Argh!

I arrived at the Passport Office at Downtown Vancouver’s Sinclair Centre at 6:30 this morning.  I thought I was in the earlier part of the line.  I quickly learned, as I followed the rest of the line all across the mall walls like cattle that this was going to be a long wait.

This took forever!   I was getting frustrated around 2:30, I was so close to the beginning of the line outside the office on the main floor and they cut me off.  I was worried that I had to come again and wait another 7 hours.

A passport office person came down, and offered us in the lineup a ‘drop-off’ option around 3:30pm.  It was only good for those who were NOT travelling within 5 weeks.  For those, in my situation (I won’t be going anywhere for awhile because I have full-time school)- this drop-off option was available if I had a credit card and everything else.

Finally I was lead up to the office, in an elevator packed with other passport applicants.  We had to wait in another line for reception.

I waited 10 hours for nothing.  There was this lady in front of me- she had also did the ePass application (basically having an account online to fill out the passport applications, then printing these out ‘properly’, having them signed by your doctor or whoever else qualified, and  signing your life away three times).  I could’ve just come up straight to the office to reception, show my papers, have my credit card info filled by me on the application, and get a number to visit another passport officer. (She in fact only waited a half hour in the office line- compare that to my )

This information and service needs to be explained much more clearer on the website.  I misinterpreted the drop-off option online- I did not have to wait like the rest of the paper applications.

This line was riduculous!  Nobody really kept us updated with any information on whether we should continue waiting in line- or if it would take another 3 hours to move 10 feet closer to the front of the line.  People in lines need to be updated, so they don’t get frustrated and stressed out like I did in line.

And finally- why does the government further advertise this ePass service?  I had to google Passport Canada to find this e-service.  Google it!  It’s not an easy link to recall- http://www.pptc.gc.ca/can/pol_on-line_form.aspx?lang=e.

They need to put a banner online so people can easily understand that, “Hey, I don’t need to wait all day, loosing a day’s paycheque just to apply for a passport which won’t be available after a month anyways!”  E-pass means fill online, print it out, have all your documents and just cut to the reception line.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.  Do it online!!! E-PASS! E for Easier.

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