Way to Passport - part I

As my passport was expired, couple of months back, I started searching for the means to get it renewed.

To make this process smooth, government has put up a website - http://www.passport.nic.in or http://www.passport.gov.in which has all the details required for getting a fresh passport or renew/re-issue the same. While the site is very useful, it still has some gray areas which resulted in some inconvenience (read: multiple trips to the passport office) for me. And hence thought to share the tips with the world out here.

The recent procedure requires the applicant to fill up the application online, take a printout and submit the application along with supporting documentation in the passport office on the day of appointment.

Before filling up the online application:
  1. First and foremost: Read the checklist carefully. There are few ifs and buts which one needs to understand correctly.
    • Address proof has to be in the applicant's name. That means, applicant's name should clearly be a part of the document that you are producing. This specifically becomes a problem for youngsters who are yet to establish their identity in this world and are still known as son/daughter of so-and-so. If you are a minor then things are a bit easy. But an adult without the identity becomes problem.
    • Note that the ration card alone is not accepted as proof. It HAS to be accompanied with one more proof from the listed options.
    • Every item mentioned in the list can be a proof, if and only if it is in applicant's name (probably except for Spouse's passport copy - but again, I feel applicant's name should be endorsed on that passport)
    • If you are providing company letter as address proof, it should also be accompanied with the photocopy of the company id card. (This is not mentioned anywhere, but it comes from the personal experience).
  2. Read "How to fill the form" section. Do not assume things however obvious they may look. Stick to what is described in the explanation and enter the details accordingly.
    • Photographs should meet the criteria specified. Old photographs would call for rejection of the application during scrutiny itself.
    • Photograph on the first page is NOT to be signed whereas photos on verification forms need to be cross-signed.
Filling up the online application: Following points are to be considered in addition to "How to fill the form" section.
  1. Surname and First Name: These two text fields should together form the name as you want on the passport. It will come as "SurnameFirst Name" on the application. So even if the text field is titled as "First Name" put your first name and father's/husband's name after that in the same field.
  2. Present/Permanent Address: this should contain the pin code as well.
  3. Spouse's, Father's and Mother's Names: Should be in full with surname appearing first. (This gets added to the verification form where the order required is as mentioned here).
  4. File Number: This field doesn't accept the number as it appears on the old passport. But it needs some data, otherwise the online application will not get submitted.
  5. Date of expiry: Even if the data is asked in the form, it doesn't get printed in the final version.
After submitting the form, it displays the earliest appointment (date/time) that is available. Even if it mentions some time, it usually doesn't carry any meaning. However the date is important. If you miss the date, you need to follow a different route to submit the application in the passport office.

After printing the form, there are lot of fields which need to be filled in by hand.
  • Use blue pen only for filling up this data (even if the form says blue/blank ink).
  • On the verification form, details of two references are required. These references should be from the same locality/area (same pin-code).
  • If you realize that any of the data that was filled in the online application needs addition/correction and if you think that it can be done by hand, you are wrong. In that case, cancel the appointment and resubmit the form with corrected information. If you change data manually, your application would get rejected during scrutiny itself.
To Be Continued...

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