Gas station without pumps

2018 October 19

Fast passport renewal

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:01
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Both my California ID and my passport expire simultaneously at the end of November, which would leave me without a legal ID.  I went to the California DMV site to see what the procedure is now for renewing the California ID, and found that I needed a current ID.  OK, if I go before the end of November, everything is cool, right?

But when I tried at the beginning of October to get an appointment to renew the ID, the earliest appointment they could give me was the middle of December (about 80 days)—after all my legal IDs expired!

So I looked up how quickly I could get a new passport, to see if I could have that before the December deadline.  The usual renewal process looked a little iffy, but expedited passport processing and express mail in both directions looked like it should be more than fast enough, even with the worst-case projected times.

So I had my wife take a picture of me with a white background, cleaned up the background and adjusted the exposure with Photoshop Elements, and took the picture to Bay Photo for printing on 2×2 photo paper.  They couldn’t do that on the spot, but they mailed it to me at no extra cost (given that the print cost only 65¢, they probably lost money on the deal).  The photo printing and mail took about 2 days.

On October 12 at 2pm, I used Express Mail from the Post Office to send in the form, the photo, my about-to-expire passport, and a check.

On October 19, just after noon, I got the new passport in the mail (separate delivery from the usual mail).  So the passport delay was less than 7 days (10 days if you count the slow process I used for getting a passport photo).  Only the passport book came by express mail—I’m still waiting for the passport card.

The total cost was $241.20, including the photo, the express mail each way, and the expedited passport processing.

I now will have legal ID to take with me for my mid-December California ID renewal.  In ten years time, when I need to renew both again, I’ll probably try to do the passport 6 months ahead of time, so that I don’t need to worry about expediting it.

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