Had been wanting to get a passport for S for quite a while now - just been lazy in the last few weeks and didn't get around to it. Finally last week I swung into action. I thought I had done my research well on the internet - lots of information all over the place on sites like http://passport.gov.in/ and http://rpobangalore.gov.in/
When I did this 4 years back for D it was a reasonably simple procedure - I took an online appointment at the Regional Passport Office which I got with about a week or 10 days delay and only had to work out the documents and so on, and the deed was done. This time I had already found to my surprize that they no longer have appointments at the RPO (that was the excuse for my laziness to find out alternatives!). Next option - there's something called a Passport Seva Kendra where you could get an appointment and go and submit your form. Appointments seemed to be filled up atleast for the next month and more! (Didn't bother to look further than that as it didn't make sense to wait longer than that to submit a form I thought !!@@#!*)
Final option - I could submit the form at a Customer Service Centre like BangaloreOne which I felt was a good option and I was ok with there being a few days of delay for the form to get to the RPO from them since hopefully a minor passport should be issued without much fuss - police verification is not needed if both parents passport numbers are on the form. Downloaded and filled form, then got S's thumbprint in multiple places (This was the part I hated most, since the stamppad leaves a purple stain which has to be scrubbed out :( - was just thankful he doesn't put his finger/thumb in his mouth any more!)
So after much ado, went to BangaloreOne at Jayanagar prepared for some small hiccups like I had not got some document copy and so on... to be told that the downloaded forms are not accepted any more !!( I would call myself internet savvy but there was no place this was obvious on any of the passport related sites that they give you a form for download but they don't accept it anymore !!!!) Even better, they didn't have forms "available" and I would have to go to the PSK anyway to get them. Did that, obviously fuming at this point and came back home.
Checked all the sites again, got more info in obscure places now that I knew what to look for - for e.g. - Copies of documents submitted have to be notarized if submitting at BangaloreOne which is not needed at PSK, RPO (Just self attestation is enough for those). Filled the new form, got thumbprints again (Sigh!) and went to BangaloreOne again. This time - completely my mistake - had made mistakes filling the form (obviously shouldn't do these things when you are in a bad mood :(). Also didn't realize I would have to take S along ! (This wasn't the case when I did it for D - I took her thumbprint and just took the forms on my own to the RPO.)
So here's my summary of learnings from the last couple of weeks:
- Passport applications for those other than diplomatic no longer taken at the RPO Bangalore.
- Only forms to be used are those you can get at PSK (maybe available at RPO also - didn't try that).
- First option for submitting forms is to try PSK for which you have to download a PDF form, fill and save. Then upload the generated file, and finally try to get an appointment.
- Else forms can be submitted at Customer Service Centres like BangaloreOne. Some additional things (relevant only for minor passports):
- Take the minor along - they will take the thumbprint themselves
- Get all attachments notarized - only specific notaries are accepted for passport attachments. Self attestation is not enough to submit at BangaloreOne centres!
- Only DDs can be given for the fee (Rs 600 for minor passports) at BangaloreOne centres
Thanks for reading this far :). Was good for me to vent and hope it helps some other parent sometime.