Any Canadian who has had the displeasure of going through a government agency/body for any kind of documentation knows that the process is usually a miserable and agonizingly long experience. Government offices are generally slow to move, with a lot of paperwork (which delays processing) and long line ups/wait times. However, I am very pleased to say that renewing your passport via the new ‘Simplified Renewal Passport Application’ is a winner for efficiency in my books.
As I begin to prepare for my trip to Taiwan this November, I unfortunately came to the realization that I needed to renew my passport. The Government of Canada (as well as the Government of Taiwan) states that you need a valid passport for at least six months at the time of entry, which sucks for me as mine would have expired within five months. So I went to Costco and got my passport photos, then did my research on selecting the path of least resistance for renewing my passport – turns out it’s pretty painless! I verified the details on the Government of Canada Travel website and downloaded this form to complete and print out. I was thinking this is too easy and expected hold ups at the passport office.
Aside from booking the morning off work, it was an in-and-out stop at Service Canada. I located the closest passport office and went in after 9:30am (I’ve found that in most cases, going in during ‘office hours’ is the best time for shorter lines) and I was processed, paid and out of the building in less than 15 minutes. Truly a record for any government office I’ve dealt with!
I got to keep my passport (rather than mailing it in with my application and waiting for it to be returned) and should expect my new passport within 10 business days in the mail. I was really impressed to be honest and hope that other countries’ offices have adopted a similar ‘simplified renewal’ version for their citizens. Too bad I’ll have to go through the long application process in the next couple of years once I change my surname…. I knew there was a catch!
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.