Friday, June 5, 2009

DENIED!! But I'm calm now

Having this week off, I took today, Friday, to run several errands.

Oil change
Passport Photos
Dental appointment at noon
Passport office to turn in application
Target or Wal-Mart for cake supplies needed for this weekend.

My now-defunct Chrysler Jeep Dealership (MAN! This stinks!) was to be my first visit, for a oil change. Arriving 30 minutes early, I went to the Wal-mart down the road to go get the cake supplies. While walking the aisles, I notice that *they* take passport photos, so I stopped and got it done too.

After the oil change, I had time to kill so I got breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. No, I did not celebrate National Donut Day, which is today. I got a coffee and a bacon, egg & cheese bagel, sat down and read a book while I ate.

Still having more time, I went to the Passport Agency to turn in my paperwork. I was first in line, all excited about getting my very first passport. I had the forms filled out, my new passport photos and my birth certificate. This certificate is the original one my mom was given a hundred years or so ago. Very old, with a blue stamp on it.

The lady behind the counter asks for it. I hand it to her. She looks it over and says "We can't accept this." I say "It's the original, it has the blue stamp on it." She says "It needs to have the raised seal on it." Then she also says "and it's in Spanish," under her breath but then reconsiders the comment apparently, because that should not matter.

Well yes, you stupid ethnocentric cow. (sorry, but I was FURIOUS at this point. Also, that must be said with a British accent, thank you very much). That's because it's from Puerto Rico. She returns all my forms and gives me a web site for me to request a new one. It'll only be about $12, she says.

Michael's shopping for logbook supplies and a dental appointment later, bing bada-bing, done.

The website led me through several pages whereupon it told me "Oh, Puerto Rico? You have to do it over the phone. Call here." (It didn't really say anything. That's just how I imagine the stupid site sounds after making me enter useless information.) I call the 800 number. The service rep was nice enough and explained the $5 fee for the certificate and the $7 fee for them to do it. Oh yes, and the $83 FedEx fee. "Can't it be sent regular mail? Must it be FedEx?" She said yes, they have to use FedEx. I thanked her and declined their service.

Frustrated, I started to cry at my desk. Then I remembered that my sister Brenda or Vicky had asked my mother to get it for her. Mom's still in PR. I text message Brenda. She replies that yes, mom got Vicky's certificate. Vicky just copied her license and on the same paper, wrote in Spanish a letter authorizing my mom to do it for her, as Vicky is in the States.

Relieved, I called my mother to ask for the favor. She said sure, no problema. I created the letter in Spanish, with a scan of my license in color. I'll mail it to mom in PR, along with the $5 fee.

Thankfully I don't need the passport until September.

I'm calm now.


Niki said...

1. So sorry.
2. they'd really flip if they saw my sister's which is half-English, half-Arabic (born on an air force base in africa)

Kaaren said...

1. Thanks
2. Wowza! But, does it have a RAISED SEAL?
3. Panama in September. For a tradeshow for work. Nervous and excited. More nervous really.

kilroy said...

Mine didn't have a raised seal either and it is from Pa. My Post Office suggested just getting it notarized but that was a few years ago so the rules may have changed.

Hendel D'bu said...

Wow, what a HASSLE! I hate government hassles the feel so 'at their mercy'. :-/

You look beautiful in the photo, though, if it makes you feel any better :-)