I went to renew my passport today. It expires next month after having it for five years. I just discovered today that it’s now a lot easier to get your passport application/renewal processed in person. While mail has always been an option, getting your forms done in person was a big hassle since there were only three passport locations in all of Vancouver (at least when I applied in 2005). Shortly after I made my application in 2005, the government of Canada opened up Service Offices across the nation. Rather than have distinct locations where you could only do one specific government service, these smaller offices now provide access to a whole host of services. I went to one such office today rather than needing to head downtown to the passport office. I only had to wait for one person in front of me.
As part of my renewal package, I had to surrender my current passport. I looked at the pages the night before and it was kinda sad. I had only one stamp in it. That doesn’t mean I only left the country once. In the five years I had my passport, I only went to the United States (Europe, I haven’t forgotten you). Every flight, except for one, I was cleared to enter the US before getting on the plane. In those cases, they don’t stamp your passport. The one lonely stamp I have states my port of entry was “NYC”.
I get my new passport in four to five weeks. In the meantime, I’m stuck in Canada.