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Passport office - a much improved system

I'll admit it - I had put off the renewal of my passport for too long as Christmas seemed a long way ahead but the adverts have started to appear on the TV, the first snow of the winter appear on the roads, and Wessex Trains have emailed me about three "Santa Specials". Yikes - I had better get my passport renewed.

A deep breath, a form grabbed from the Post Office, and a trip to Newport scheduled for today. Then a cry of horror as I filled the form in yesterday and read that it's now done by appointment only. Oops, but a call on Sunday afternoon got me an 08:30 appointment for today (Monday).

I had been to the Passport Office once before to sort out an issue of needing a second passport and I recalled a hot and steamy room full of people waiting (I've done the same thing at Croydon too, but that's another story). But I was very VERY pleasantly surprised.

The passport folks have sorted out what used to be a nightmare system and it's now quick and easy. Indeed, I was admitted a few minutes before my appointment, given a number, and helpfully directed to the photo booth that I needed to use. My number was called WHILE I WAS STILL TAKING MY PICTURE and the security guard helpfully offered to walk my pictures over when their 55 seconds processing was up. I was out of the place by 08:35, to return in 4 hours (but it should be available in 3!) to collect. A morning spent Christmas shopping, then!

And so, by Midday we were away, by 1 collecting a repaired computer in Bristol ... oh - didn't I say that we try to combine our trips. There was a third thing too, but that's another post.
(written 2005-12-05, updated 2006-06-09)

 
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Javascript events - a good example
Proof needed? Please just use common sense!
Three life changing comments
New Road
Passport office - a much improved system
An occasional chance, and reducing data to manageable levels
Open source questions? Anyone can ask.
MySQL - an FAQ
Crazy Day-sies
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