Jun 8th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21

I read where you drove to Chicago to get passports. I live in Chicago, but cannot get an appointment. Do I need one? Do I have to wait until my departure is closer. I leave in two weeks. Thanks
cwonio is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 259
I was there yesterday. The others there doing the same said the appointments were useless. There was some talk that the appointments were for those who had not applied at all. I don't know for sure.

Don't go on Mon or Friday. The employees there said there were double the people.

Not sure if you told the agency your actual travel date, if not fudge by a couple of days, before you go. That will give you a cushion if you have to go. If you have to go, tell them you had to make changes.

If you go make sure you take everything you need: photos, birth certificate, application, copy of itinerary.

I would keep pushing the call center everyday. Hopefully you won't have to go.

Hope this helps.

travelatte is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21
Thank you very much. So does that mean I can go a week ahead of time? Or do I have to wait until closer to the date, although I think two weeks is close enough.
cwonio is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 259
Not sure,although they asked everyone when they were leaving and where they were from. You may be put behind some if your travel is further out and from Chicago. Don't know though.

Keep trying by phone, maybe you won't have to go.

travelatte is offline  
Jun 8th, 2007, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
Not being from the US I am just wondering why it seems to be such a hassle to get passports issued in a reasonable amount of time. For the last several months there always seems to be several threads running to the effect "that we leave in a few days and the passports haven't turned up yet".

Has there been a change in the rules or something - just curious.
shandy is offline  
Jun 9th, 2007, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,156
It's all part of the Bush-Blair War on Travel.

Much as we'd love to point fingers of scorn at our transatlantic cousins, they're no worse at organising pissups in breweries than we are (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/380911.stm). And before the Eurozoners start preening themselves, just remember that Britain and the US are practically unique among rich countries (apart from Canada, but they're fouling up their passport system right now too) in requiring their citizens to have passports to visit neighbours because we don't our force citizens to carry identity cards .

The French etc don't have to go through the pain of getting a document every ten years to go to Switzerland because they need a document every day of their lives to go to the boulangerie next door. And, since they love nothing more than inventing jobs in the state bureaucracy (just as well, since no-one wants to invent jobs in the value-adding parts of the French economy) there's always enough people to issue these instruments of state control.

The English-speaking countries hate employing bureaucrats. So if anything increases demand for passports (Americans now need passports to be allowed back into the country from trips by plane to neighbouring countries), there won't be enough processors around to issue them.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 9th, 2007, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Flanneruk, the Dutch do have an ID card for their citizens, which can be used for travel in Europe. It is not however compulsory. Here in Holland we do have to carry ID, but a drivers license also counts as ID, as does my residents permit. This rule only came a couple of years ago.
Passports were until very recently was issued by your local town coucil. You still go to the town hall to ask for it, but it takes a few days before it can be collected now, due to the biometrics etc needed.
I can still get my passport renewed within a week (from posting it to returning it) at the UK consulate in Amsterdam.
I really feel for all the US citizens who have requested new passports months in advance and are still experiencing nailbiting times days before their departure. Hopefully the relaxation of the rule for passports for Canada etc will ease things for them a bit. I hope all of you waiting for your passports get them soon!
hetismij is offline  

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