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New passport

February 27, 2011

Something you need to know about Sarah is that she has a bit of a compulsion to create order out of the chaos that I often leave in my wake. This has led to one very specific problem which has now happened three times. I go away somewhere involving a flight overseas, I come home and change clothes leaving my trousers in a pile on the floor. Sarah scoops them up and has them in the washing machine in what seems like seconds. The big problem, three times now my passport has been in the pocket.

Now I can tell you that passports and washing machines don’t mix very well. The first two times this happened my passport was completely ruined and I had no choice but to get a replacement straight away. The latest time my passport was a bit protected by the plastic wallet I’m now using to try to make it last a bit longer.

However I’ve only got about 15 pages left and we’re going to at least 15 countries possibly with multiple entries to some of them and the odd visa along the way. I reached the conclusion that I should probably get a new extended passport. The factor that made me pull the trigger though was that my old passport was a bit ripped and bits were washed out from it’s last pass through the washing machine. I figured that this is probably asking for trouble by some jobs worth customs guy at a border somewhere.

The process for a new passport is very simple. The form can be ordered online form the passport office – Form Download. This took only a few day to arrive.

You then have to fill in the form, get 2 passport photos and then get someone to verify your ID (and sign the back of one of the photos). You can then send it off or go to a post office and use the “check and send” service. Going via the post office costs £8.19 but it cuts the time taken down to 2 weeks from 3 weeks.

The real bitter pill here is the cost of a new passport – £77.50 for a standard passport but a whopping £90.50 for an extended one.

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