Friday, 20 March 2015

It's not for the faint hearted

Over the last few months I have embarked on the challenge of obtaining Miss 14 a passport. I think I have mentioned before that she went to Singapore (note to self, I must get her to do a blog post!), so we finally bit the bullet and approached her biological father to change her surname legally and sign her passport forms. Believe it or not, this was the easy bit. Potentially because I delegated that bit to my parents.

Actually correctly completing the passport form correctly and obtaining all the documents, was much, much harder than I imagined.

Me to the Post Office staff (after my third or fourth trip in there): "I have three degrees and this may literally the hardest thing I have ever done". They told me that have words to this effect on a regular basis when it comes to people getting children's passports.

So to make your life a little easier, please find below some of the ways I stuffed up. Hopefully I can help someone else from making the same mistakes.
  • My first adult passport was issued after Miss 14 was born so I needed a copy of my full birth certificate.
  • I didn't have (ok, I couldn't find) a copy of my birth certificate, so I had to order one interstate.
  • My surname has changed since Miss 14 was born, so needed my divorce certificate.
  • I somehow got pen on the passport photo.
  • The guarantor dated and wrote on the photos but forgot to sign them.
  • The date below one of the signatures was not in the correct DD/MM/YYYY format*.
*this was not me, so I took the risk and they ended up accepting it. I am very grateful to Australia Post for pointing it out though. In my case it made more sense to see if they would accept it rather then trying to get the form completed again by Miss 14's biological father.

These things all sound little, but it made the process quite long.

It is also important to note that there is a expiration date of the validity of a signature. Check with Australia Post when picking up the form if you are like me and for whatever reason you know there may be a delay in lodging it once signed.

Most importantly, don't take my word for it. Check out the official website,  read the instructions carefully, and listen to the lovely staff at Australia Post. Despite my dramas, all the staff I dealt with where helpful, professional, and really patient.

I am happy to report I also now have Miss 15's passport, and only have Miss 11's to go! See I can do this!

Cath xx

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