Thursday, June 28, 2012

Getting linna's passport.

Yesterday, AJ and I took on the daunting task of getting Linna her first passport for our move to Singapore in August. Since AJ was having to leave work during the day in order for us to get Linna's passport, we didn't want this to be a long, frustrating, or difficult process. So, before we left I did a lot of research on what we needed to bring, and after reading some helpful blogs and websites, I found out that we needed the following in order to get an infant a passport to travel internationally.

1. Her social security card
2. Her birth certificate
3. Both parents present with photo IDs
4. Passport photo of the baby (or have one taken on site)
5. Fill out a DS-11 Application for US passport
6. Finally (of course) the baby must be present

Linna's first passport photo.

We decided to go to the Ridgedale Service Center to apply for Linna's passport because it's close to our home, and they do photos on site. I know we could save money by taking the photo ourselves, but the hassle of trying to photograph my squirmy baby myself, in front of a white backdrop, with the specifications they require, it just wasn't worth it to me. We'll pay the $20 and skip the hassle. They also have the application for a US passport available there too.

I called the Ridgedale Service Center the day before, to make sure we had everything we needed. We did NOT want to have to go to the service center twice. Heck, we didn't even want to go once. It is both my husband and my idea of hell. When I called, the person on the other end of the phone told me we were all set. Good. Off we go!

First of all, when I arrived at the help desk to get a number in line, the lady looked at me like I was crazy (maybe I am, but that's neither here nor there). I know what she was thinking... "where's your husband?". My husband was driving from work, and I know how long the wait is at the service center, so I thought he could meet us around 15 minutes after we got there and had the form all filled out. NOPE, he needed to be there for me to even GET a number.

Second of all, the lady told me we needed checks. Excuse me?! Checks?! A. who writes checks anymore, and B. why do we need checks?! Neither my husband nor I were carrying the check book. So, I had to call my husband to quickly drive to the house, get the check book, and meet us at the service center. Of course this delayed us by a half an hour, and we were closing in on nap time! Total frustration. Oh and P.S., Hennepin County Service Centers do NOT take VISA credit or debit cards. I know. WTF?! This is something that could have been mentioned to me when I called to check to make sure I had everything in order to get Linna's passport ordered.

Once my husband got there, needless to say, we were both so aggravated. What was supposed to be a semi-easy process was turning into a nightmare. However, once we got our number in line, we only had to wait about 10 minutes. The man who processed our passport application was so sweet. He brought us over to the photo area, and had AJ hold Linna up and off to the side, so she could be in the photo all by herself. Linna's reaction was priceless. She just looked as us like, "what the hell are you doing to me?". But, she looked into the camera and we got a cute little shot of her face... and Papa's hand (but that's ok).

We had to write two separate checks because the application goes through two different agencies (so we're told). The total was about $140. We'll receive the passport in about 4-6 weeks (but the guy that helped us said we'd probably get it sooner). Even though the process was frustrating at first, it's the first step and story in our adventure to Singapore!


  1. My Friend had the same experiance, but with her own passport. She was first told that she needed an appointment to get one done... made said appointment only to get there and they had no record of her making th appointment. THEN... when she made the appointment in person for the next day, she went, and they told her that she could not pay with cash, that she needed to pay by check... she didnt have her checkbook either. This was at the same one that you and your husband whent to. Maybe they need a lesson on communication.

  2. This post made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of the fantastic experience we had trying to get our MN driver's licenses :) I'm glad it worked out for you!

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