LA Passport Saga

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I travel alot. So when I realized (last December) that my passport was gonna expire on May 20th, I figured that I had lots of time to get my passport renewed for all the trips to Fiji and Bali I had planned. Besides, I had heard horror stories of people who waited three to four months to get their passport back after they sent the paperwork in. I had to get on it.

But, like many things, the time slipped away from me, I procrastinated and there I was last week with May 20th just around the corner. So I sprang into action. Got my picture done at Kinko’s and went over to the big Post Office in Hollywood on Wilcox Avenue, having seen a passport window there. It was closed at 4:30 by the time I got there. But the hours said 9 to 3, so the next morning at 9:30, I was there. Closed again! So I asked the postmistress, “What’s up with that?” and she said they were pretty much always closed due to lack of staff.


So I tried two more places in Hollywood. No go. But since I had an appointment in Beverly Hills, I decided to go early and check out the Maple Drive Post Office. Ahhhhh. Easy parking, huge empty post office and right there a little passport office with a very nice woman inside who processed my paperwork in about 5 minutes. No line, no waiting. I opted for the regular processing because she said sometimes they get it done in two weeks. That was last Thursday. Yesterday I received my new chip implanted passport that tells the state department and anyone else with the proper technology where I am at all times, making me an easy target. But wow.Seven days turn-arond to get a passport with no extra fees. The State department is on it!!!!!!

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5 Replies to “LA Passport Saga”

  1. No kidding they can be fast when they need to. A little over a year ago we realized with our oldest 16 and ready to start working that family trips were going to be hard to organize. We opted to make the last big family trip a big one and took them to London and Paris. That was at the height of the nightmare stories. We went to Monrovia City Hall and got them applied for and in 2-3 weeks we had all 3 passports in hand. My neighbor needed her first passport on a rush and through MCH she had it in 5 days (that was early last year).

    I have heard that the place you apply for it at has a big impact on turn around times.

  2. FYI: I think it was BoingBoing (maybe via Instructables?) that ran a piece within the last few weeks about subtle ways to disable that handy RFID chip. My passport isn’t due for renewal ’til 2010, but when I get the new one…wait. Maybe I shouldn’t say something like that in a public forum, huh?

  3. Burns I think I remember that post on Boing Boing… I believe it mentioned the best way to disable the chip is just to whack the passport repeatedly with a hammer. Subtle, indeed.

  4. Won’t destoying the chip make your passage through customs a bit more problematic? With the chip they just scan and you go through, hopefully. Otherwise wouldn’t they be suspicious if your chip didnt work and they have to read through the passport?

  5. I got my renewed passport in five business days, no extra rush fees paid. Now I’m working on getting my EU passport since my grandparents were born in Europe and that makes me eligible for one. Then I can get out of this stinking country if McCain wins. Something tells me it’s going to take longer than five days.

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