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  1. #41

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    Re - 6 month issue. It depends on the country.
    I went to Spain in Sept, and my passport was to expire in Nov, so I got a new one last spring. Several folks (both friends and some travel customer service people), plus travel literature mentioned Spain does not like passports with less than 6 months. Even folks at RailEurope mentioned it to me. I did the renewal early, as I was traveling by myself and just did not want to have any trouble. Losing 5 months on my old passport was worth it.

  2. #42
    I <3 Kozuka
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    I was told by someone who recently renewed his passport that you're no longer allowed to smile in your picture (something about smiles throwing off the facial recognition software). I can't find any confirmation of this on the Dept. of State web site, though.
    I was told the same when my photo was taken -- "No teeth" -- and I had to remove my glasses. Since I can't see more than 6" away without them, I look quite dumbfounded.
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  3. #43
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    I got my first passport (Canadian) in about 2005, and was not allowed to smile. I renewed this year; same thing. I thought that in Canada, you are required to have the photo taken by someone who's certified to do so. I always get my photo taken at Black's, and they always stamp something on the back (I think the date?) and initial it.

    I also ran into the issue of having to travel from Canada to the US within 6 months of my passport expiring earlier this year. I printed off info from the US govt, Canadian govt, and Canadian passport websites, all saying the same thing--as long as my passport was valid during the time I was traveling, I was fine. I took the printouts with me to the airport just in case, and didn't need to present them. When I checked in at the Air Canada counter, the agent said, "You know your passport expires this summer, right?" I gave a sheepish, "yes," and that was the end of the conversation.

    When I renewed, I didn't have to mail my passport away. I filled out and printed the online form, went down to the passport office, was there for about 10 minutes, and then back in my car on my way home again. They snipped the corner of my then-current passport, and stamped VOID on it, but let me keep it. My new passport showed up in the mail less than 10 days later.

  4. #44
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by luna_skater View Post
    I also ran into the issue of having to travel from Canada to the US within 6 months of my passport expiring earlier this year. I printed off info from the US govt, Canadian govt, and Canadian passport websites, all saying the same thing--as long as my passport was valid during the time I was traveling, I was fine. I took the printouts with me to the airport just in case, ...
    PML! This is totally what I plan on doing, although I'll be travelling by ferry
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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    When you go to a place like Walmart to take your passport picture all they do is put you against a pulled down white screen and then the technician takes out a portable digital camera and snap the picture. There's absolutely no reason to pay for that.
    But you still need to print and cut two copies. I don't know about you but all my photography lives 100% digital. Sure you can take your own picture, but you still need to print two copies cut to 2" x 2" exactly. Too much hassle. I ran across the street to Walgreens one day at lunch and had it all done in less than 10 minutes - photos taken, two copies cut exactly the right size for IIRC like $10-12. It would have cost me more to buy photo paper and ink for the printer sitting in my closet that I haven't used in two years and I'm not sure how I would have cut two copies so perfect.

    On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I mailed in my old one with my application with Walgreens photos and the fee enclosed at the post office as Priority Mail. On Wednesday - 2 days ago - exactly 4 weeks and 1 day after I mailed the renewal app - I received my new one as Priority Mail. 1 day later I received the old one back canceled in a separate mailing. I'd say the 4-6 week processing estimate on the government site is dead on.

  6. #46

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    I got my pic at Walgreens, and they reprinted to get it right. I thought it was easy, took maybe 15 minutes.
    Also in May when I mailed my renewal, just regular, no special processing, other than 'registered' for documentation, but not speed. I mailed on Friday, got email following Friday that it was received and then I received my new passport the following Thurs - exactly 2 weeks!

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