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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
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Spring Lake NJ, USA

    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
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  2. #2
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Pleasure Island. NC

    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
    2009 R 1200 RT,1996 R1100RT, 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  3. #3
    Bikes, Guitars, and ... beemokat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI

    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    they don't actually take very long-seems like it was maybe ~ 2 weeks last time for us

  5. #5
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    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!
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders #298 & Knights of the Roundel #333

  6. #6
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    B.C. Canada
    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
    1992 K100RS

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