My mother and I renewed our passport this morning. Our passports will expire this November. For those not in the know, you're supposed to renew your passport 6 months before the expiry date written in your passport or you won't be able to travel. Although, we've encountered this already when we traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Allan didn't know this little but important fact so we were held up at the check-in counter at the Clark airport. Fortunately, the airport personnel allowed him to travel by just signing a waiver. I'm not sure what exactly he was waiving. Anyway, just a little guide on what to do when you're renewing your passport. Ours was issued after May 1995. They have a different set of requirements for those issued before this date. By the way, they are now issuing machine-readable passports so everyone is required to make a personal appearance at DFA. Remember before, if you're just renewing your passport you can just take it to a travel agency and then they will give you your new passport. Now because of the machine-readable passport, which is an international requirement that will be strictly enforced in all airports by 2010, you have to go to DFA whether you like it or not.
1. Ready the documents that you need.
a. Fill-in the passport application form. The downloadable form from the DFA site is different from the one we accomplished and submitted. I asked my officemate who went to DFA earlier to get us a form.
b. Have your picture taken. Don't forget that they follow these guidelines. The color of the background that they require now is royal blue and not white. Just go to a reputable photo studio.
c. Photocopy the inside and back cover of your passport and the pages of the latest immigration departure and arrival.
d. Old passport
2. Use DFA's online appointment. You will skip a lot of the unnecessry steps by using their online appointment. My officemate who didn't know about this went to DFA without an appointment. Her time was wasted going there because they just gave her a schedule two days after. A few months ago when you make an appointment online, they will also give you a schedule two days after. But when we registered, the schedule they gave us was 4 days after the day I made the appointment online. I guess a lot of people are getting their passports nowadays compared to before. By the way, when you register online they will send you an email confirmation, print that and bring it to your scheduled appointment. And then head straight to Gate 2 of DFA.
3. Go to DFA on your scheduled day and time. We were given the time 1am-12nn. If you get the same sched, arrive before 11:30am because I heard one of the personnel there telling the guard that they will close the gates at that time. When you enter Gate 2, the processing area is right there after the gate (photo shows windows for the processing). They just check if you accomplished the form correctly and then they'll ask you if you want your passport in 7 working days (P750 charge) or 14 working days (P500 charge). And then you have to proceed to the auditorium for the payment and encoding. Remember to pay first before lining up for the encoding. The payment is located way at the back of the auditorium. Then line up for the encoding. They have actually set up rows of chairs for people to sit down while waiting for their turn. And please wag sumingit like that bitch when we were there. Stupid din nung siningitan nya who didn't even confronted her. Kainis! Pero buti nga sa kanila dahil pinabalik pa rin sila although I don't know why but I think they were asked to have their pictures taken again. The process is actually a bit quick kaso inabot na kami ng lunch time (and may sumingit kasi!). All the personnel went out for lunch. Although they have relievers there were only a few about 6 0r 7 as compared to more than 25 people who were encoding before lunch break.
4. Wait for your passport and return to DFA to get it. Or you can do what we did. We went out to the basketball court and paid for our passports to be delivered to us. We availed 2Go's courier services. They deliver anywhere in the Philippines for P99. Although they will deliver your passport the next day after the date that your passport will be ready.
So now we're all done. Hassle lang coz I still need to go back again for my next passport renewal. By that time, I will be married and I need my passport to show my new name. Earlier, I was next to a girl who was there renewing her passport because she recently got married. Take note, she already has the machine-readable passport and they only started releasing that last year. Parang sayang lang coz you can still use that. Unless you're using your passport as a valid ID with your married name. Oh, and I overheard her talking to her husband mukhang foreigner coz she was talking in English. She doesn't look like a colegiala or yuppy ha kinda looks like the girls from Hooters haha. Eeep sorry! I'm just glad we're done with that. So where are we going next?
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