Sorry I’ve been MIA lately! Homework and tests are keeping me very busy! I’m hoping to be back on social media this week 🙂
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen a few tweets about me getting a passport. Now let me tell ya… this was quite the trip.
What should’ve been a quick 30 minute trip, turned into over an hour, 3000 steps, and a PowerAde. Luckily, I had the time to give and wasn’t in a rush to get somewhere else. As I tell this story, I’m going to give some advice for getting your first passport, so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did.
My day was starting pretty good. I made sure that I dressed nicely and did my hair and makeup all nice. My driver’s license photo isn’t the best, so I wanted to make sure that my passport photo was. Especially since your passport is good for ten years. I went and got my passport photo taken on campus and had my application all filled out before I went to the district court.
After my last class of the day, I got into my car and headed there. Mind you, it was snowing some heavy flakes. This was also the first time I’d ever driven in snow. So, I was pretty anxious about that. But, I needed to get the application in ASAP.
So I get to the district court finally, after driving slowly and trying to find a place to park, and I head in. I had to walk into several offices and ask how to get to the passport office, but I finally made it. Out of breathe. Still jittery from driving in snow. And excited to apply for a passport. I’m pretty sure the workers thought I was a little crazy at first.
I head up to the desk and give them the information that they needed: a driver’s license, a birth certificate, and the application. Easy peasy right? The lady helping me was going through everything, had me make a few corrections, and then we were set. And then she says this:
“Ma’am, did you bring your checkbook with you?”
I’m 19. I’ve never written a check, therefore, I don’t have a checkbook. But of course, the passport office does not take cards or cash. Which is something I should’ve probably checked beforehand. But the helpful lady told me I could head over to the post office nearby and get a money order. It was in walking distance, which was good because she needed to hold onto my driver’s license for copying.
I start heading to the post office. Except, I went the wrong way because my phone doesn’t like to act correctly in the cold. After turning around and heading the right way, I made it to the post office, got my money order, and was ready to take on the world. Again.
As soon as I walked into the passport office, the lady helping me said this:
“Ma’am I tried calling you, but I couldn’t get ahold of you. I forgot to mention that there is a $25 dollar processing fee. But we can take cash for that and there is an ATM right downstairs. The treasury should be able to break a $20 for you.”
I hadn’t gotten her call because my phone likes to die in the cold all the time. And since I was just walking in the snow, my phone decided it needed some rest. So I head downstairs and pull out $40… since you can only pull out $20s and the processing fee was $25.
I went on over to the treasurer and asked if they could break the $20. At this point, I was getting very frustrated… And of course, the lady says to me:
“We can’t do that here. You’ll have to go to the bank down the road.”
I was so done by this point. I was not about to walk down the road again to break a $20. But I needed to move my car since it was parked in a “30-Minute Only” zone and I had been there for 45 minutes. And the police station was right next-door. I got in my car, and drove right across the street to the Ace Hardware store.
I went into the store, stood in line for a PowerAde, and walked back to the district court. I don’t even like PowerAde, but I also don’t drink soda…. So, I went with PowerAde, just so I could break a $20.
I finally got my passport application in and now it’s just a waiting game.
Moral of the story: Make sure you know what method of payment you can use.
If you are thinking about getting a passport anytime soon, here’s a quick checklist of things you need to have before you can get one:
- Birth Certificate
- Driver’s License (or a form of I.D.)
- A passport photo (you can get these at a Walgreens or Rite-Aid. Or maybe even on campus!)
- An application.
- A checkbook (or money-order).
- Cash (not necessary, but helpful).
- Time and Patience.
I’m so excited to finally get my passport and begin some new adventures! As always, I will keep you posted on my plans 🙂 I’ve got some thoughts in store…