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Thread: Passport - renew early.. or pay though the nose

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  1. #1
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    Spring Lake NJ, USA
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    Passport - renew early.. or pay though the nose

    So I didn't bug SWMBO enough to get my passport out of the safe-deposit box.. and I finally got off my duff and got it out myself, about 10 days before a planned Canada trip and found it expired - last month.

    ZOWIE! That was a costly mistake. The basic government fee for renewing a passport quickly is $170. That's bad. Worse is having to use a passport service to do it for you. Turns out that the only quick way to renew a passport is to visit a passport center. Those are located in major cities that have a "Federal Building". No more going down to the post office.. And to go to the passport center you must make an appointment. I called all the major ones within 400 miles of me - and the soonest any could offer an appointment was a week after the trip was going to be over. That wasn't a working solution.

    So - I went to a passport service. These services are authorized by the government to process passports for people, and somehow they have access to getting it done quickly. For a bit under $250, I should have my new passport next Tuesday. Company seems very efficient, got excellent writeups in lots of major travel and business publications, but - it appears their cost model is based on a business paying for an employee to get an expedited passport, and for the average Joe Schmo that is a lot of money.

    Lesson is - plan to start the renewal process at least 2 months before you need the passport. It will save you a bunch of money that could better be spent on the trip.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  2. #2
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Don't forget

    This is all HER fault. It is hard to get good secretarial help these days. I bet Rosemary Woods would have been on it in a timely fashion.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  3. #3
    Bikes, Guitars, and ... beemokat's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Ann Arbor, MI
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    I know good advice when I see it..

    Though I don't have any international travel coming up in the foreseeable future, I'll take a look at my passport today...
    Wherever you go, there you are.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Sep 2005
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    Eastern KY
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    they don't actually take very long-seems like it was maybe ~ 2 weeks last time for us

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    I have read somewhere, that it is a good policy to renew a passport within 5 or 6 months before expiration as some countries will not let someone in if their passport is soon to expire. Maybe it's harder to track them and persuade them to leave.

    Enjoy your trip to Canada!
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  6. #6
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    B.C. Canada
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    761
    Don Eilenberger, thank you for a very timely reminder!

    I believe US passports are good for 10 years, Canadian ones only for 5. Just dug out my Canadian passport - it expires this December. Must renew it soon.

    Some BC residents (not sure about other provinces) get a special Driver's License which works fine for travel to the US without a passport. Not sure if the same thing is available to US residents who wish to travel to Canada, but don't wish to travel to other countries.

    Impossible to predict how quickly government bureacracies respond, so your advice to renew a passport early is, I believe, VERY GOOD ADVICE no matter what country you call home.

    I can't imagine that a renewal would not take effect when your previous passport expired, so you might have to carry two passports if you left your home country some days before the expiry date of your old passport and returned on your new passport.

    If there is anyone
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

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