By Nick – Random Segments
Most of the time, you go to a passport acceptance office hand in your forms and wait a few weeks to get a new passport. However last Sunday I lost my apartment to a massive fire with a trip to Toronto this weekend (In fact I am already up here as you read this), I needed to get a new passport at the local Agency.
There is one slight change to preparing your documentation, and that is not attaching the passport photo to the application. Instead you have it separate. Makes sense because instead of it being mailed off to another location, it is being made right there.
The system is extremely long, but completely automated with everything done by touch tone. No voice prompts 😉
My appointment was scheduled for 11am, with access not allowed until 15 minutes before my appointment. Being located downtown, it is one of the few times worth taking MARTA. It is located right next to the Peachtree Center MARTA station, so the walk is not too far. You enter the building and take the elevator up to the 10th floor. Here you confirm your appointment time, and go through a simple security screening. Just a quick bag scan and metal detector and I was through. From there you get in line to get your number, where they also check to make sure that you have all your documentation in order. I actually saw people being sent out of line to make sure they had the documentation, so make sure everything is in order.
Once you get your number, you wait for your number to be called, and then present your documents for your passport to be processed. Just like at a regular acceptance facility, but instead they are sending them to a room in the back to be made. Because I was doing same day I was given a pick-up time of 2:00pm. This is done with a will-call receipt that will allow you to access the office again when it is ready. I arrived at 1:15pm because there is not really that much to quickly do in downtown (World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN center can take quite a bit longer) I arrived at 1:15pm and was allowed back in after re-clearing security. Then the wait was on, where they would call people up in batches of 3 as they were ready. At 3:15pm my passport was ready, I was called up given it, and told to make sure everything was correct. It was so I headed down to the airport and got ready to take a much needed vacation.
It took about 30 minutes after getting my number to be called. The process was pleasant. The waiting to pick my new passport up was annoying, but that is to be expected when trying to do same day. Still had plenty of time to make a changed flight (I’ll be talking about that later).]]>