Thursday, December 04, 2008

Passport renewal

Yesterday, I was really excited to get my passport renewed. Yes I know inane stuff like that can get me excited. Go figure!

Anyways, I had everything ready. My 3 passport size pictures with blue background. The application form filled up. The photo copies of the first 3 pages of my old passport. My original marriage contract as well as photocopies. I even availed of their online facility where I was able to set an appointment for the processing of my new passport. I was designated a slot for Dec. 03, 2008 from 3 to 4pm, Gate 2.

So I was all set or so I thought.

I get there by 2:45pm and go straight to Gate 2. I wait for my turn and sit on one of those long white benches. You know where there are a bunch of people sitting and you end up wiping the bench with your behind as you inch your way towards the counter. Naturally at situations like these, you end up scrutinizing the person next to you, even manage to strike some polite conversation. It turns out the guy beside me has been there 3 times. He came all the way from Bulacan and always by some stroke of bad luck got stuck there by 5pm thus the numerous return to the DFA. It is funny how when you start making conversation you hardly notice that soon enough it is already your turn at the counter.

So I give the lady my documents. She checked her list to see if I was really scheduled for that day. Then she proceeded to verify my documents. I was asked for the original copy of my marriage contract. I hand it to her. She tells me it isn't the proper MC. It should be a MC on a secure paper authenticated by the NSO or a CTC (Certified True Copy) of the MC from the Civil Registrar Office of the city hall where I got married. I was puzzled. I told her that is the only MC, I was given by the Church. And that I have only been married for a little over 6 months. She politely tells me it has to be authenticated by NSO. Either that or I can apply for a new passport using my maiden name. I was disappointed. But rules are rules and I couldn't really argue with her. She is merely doing her job.

So my excitement turned to disappointment! I just shrugged my shoulders and hurriedly left the building. Useless insisting they issue me a passport if my documents are incomplete. Oh well.

I'm just thankful I can apply for it online. I don't exactly cherish my NSO experience last year when D & I applied for the CTC of our birth certificates and for the CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage). It is really such a waste of time, day and effort to cater to these bureaucratic agencies.

Now after reading the NSO website, apparently there is a time frame of 2-4 months after the wedding before you can apply for an authenticated Marriage Contract. Well it has been over 6 months, hopefully there is already a record of our marriage somewhere in the archives of the NSO. Or else I hate to think of the hassle of going to the Quezon City Hall, visit the Civil Registrar office, get the document and go all the way to the NSO to have it authenticated. Phew just typing about the procedure is giving me heart palpitations. Hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) our MC is already at the NSO.

Here I thought I would have a new passport before this year ended. I guess not!

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