The New Passport Rules and Not Smiling…What is the World Coming To?by Pat Alvarez on Apr. 17, 2012, under Travel
My passport expires next month. I knew that this was coming, for a little while, at least since maybe February. But I forgot and I do digress.
Getting a renewal is not as easy as it once was. There are pages of instructions on how to do it. Go on, you know you want to…go to the government’s travel website and read the requirements and documenting information you need to send.
And…you can not smile in your new passport picture. I think I look better when I smile and find it hard … as a rule not to smile. Especially when someone is pointing a camera at me. Also, you can not pose…you can not tilt your head to get the best angle. The rule is you have to look straight ahead … so the picture shows you direct on…big nose, double chin, and shadows….not smiling at the photographer.
I went to a photographer in Tucson. I asked him how this is working. He said, “everyone just looks angry in their pictures.” He was wonderful, though, and took several “takes” and put on different lights and settings. I’m really not sure what he did. But my old picture was better…now, maybe the 12 years difference in age affected the outcome, but I don’t think so. I’m just saying.
The worst part is I dilly dallyed so much…I am a busy woman…that I realize I now have to ask for expedited service. That is another $60 on top of the $110 passport renewal fee. And then, they recommend that you ask and pay for overnight delivery…another $13…and suggest you send the same way and with insurance due to identity theft issues…click/bada bing…another $10-20 dollars.
It landed up costing me in excess of $190.00. Times have changed.
If you have nothing better to do and are fantasizing about world travel, be my guest. Visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html