Thursday, February 19, 2009

An application for a passport

Or an exciting trip through Australia's bureaucracy!

My wife, daughter and I are going overseas in September (more on that later) So we decided that although there is plenty of time (ha ha ha) , we should apply for our passports now.

And just as well.

We started to fill out the forms, entering our details over and over (why do they make us do that?) . We weren't anticipating any trouble since both the Mrs and I have had passports in the past but were well out of date. So we come to the bit where we have to fill out the marriage licence stuff (this is because my wife's Maiden name is different to her married name) and quickly realise that our church marriage certificate isn't going to cut it this time, we are going to need an official document from 'Hatches Matches and Dispatches' (department of Births, deaths and marriages) to verify it.

"Naw! This can't be right" I said, "I'll check with the post office tomorrow"

And I do. My argument is that my wife already has a passport with her married name on it, why do we have to jump through this extra hoop for? Surely the old document is good enough?

"Nup" is the answer and "because" is the explanation given in good old bureactise.
"You have to get a certificate from the department in town. Oh? You were married in NSW? Then you'll have to get one from them. When are you going overseas? September? Hmph, just as well as the department in NSW are not reknown for their speed"

She did however give me a heavily photocopied sheet giving me directions to the brisbane office and all the phone numbers and web sites for the interstate ones. I got the feeling that they gave this out often.

So after some deep web surfing I managed to get the correct form and filled it out. Apparently a non urgent request will take 5 weeks to do and $42 plus $8 postage and handling while an urgent request costs $62 (plus postage!) and takes a week!

The Mrs was tempted to go the urgent route but I'll be damned if I'll pay some government department what is essentually extortion money that prays on someones misfortune (needing the doco urgently)

So 5 weeks for the marriage certificate to show that the old passport was right all along and that my wifes name really is the same as mine. Another 4 or 5 weeks for the passport - after we have got the photo's PRECISELY right and signed, then maybe we'll be able to go on our trip.

The cost so far? Well $206 dollars for me and the Mrs, $103 for my 15yr old daughter and $50 for the marraige certificate.

$565!!

wonderful!

10 comments:

Mary Kitt-Neel said...

cool! if you are coming to the part of america where i am, i'd be happy to show you ... show you ... (scratches head) actually there's nothing close to me except nashville. oh well.

Moko 2.0 said...

Mary, there's you.

Dude, that sucks. Extortion is the exact word for it, the bastards.

jadedj said...

For the sake of argument. How long, and what would it cost for a divorce and quick re-marry? There's always a way to beat the system.

Chaz said...

ha, reminds me of having to get mine from B,D & M in Queensland after being told my lovely certificate that we got married in the daintree wasn't enough for our Visa application

Therbs said...

I had to get my birth certificate 6 years ago to update my pasport. Cost me around $30 then whatever the passport costs. I could imagine that these charges have been whacked up high. Bastards really give me the shits. We've already paid for the service through income tax and GST then they slug us again because we've interrupted their morning coffee on their flexi day off. Blow 'em up.

bangarrr said...

This is why you don't let them get out of date. Mick if it makes you feel better my current problem is about 700 times worse though like you with time and effort I'll get the result I want.

mr-stu said...

This is how the governments are getting their money back slowly they are throwing at the downturn by upping the costs of all the little forms we have to get from them!

MickH said...

We're not going that far Mary only NZ
.
.
.
TO SKI!
.
YAY!

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