Passport Application in India – New, Improved and Super Fast
I was taken by surprise recently when I visited the Passport India website (http://passportindia.gov.in/). I had been disappointed several times in the past with the passport application process and I could not apply for passport. Here were some of the reasons:
- Requirement of excessive number of documents and proofs.
- Long lines in passport office and uncouth officials.
- Very limited number of applications accepted per day – subject to first come first serve.
- Extensive reach of touts outside passport office, making the whole process even more difficult.
But this time, it was a completely different experience. Starting from the application on the website to the document verification process, police verification and other related processes have been made extremely simple. Here is what happened in my case:
The Passport Application Process:
11-Apr-2015 : Applied for a fresh passport (Normal, not Tatkal) online. The new website makes it extremely easy to find information and proceed with the application. I downloaded the form, filled it up and submitted online. I paid the fee online. I received an appointment for 16th April 2015. Wow, just 5 days after application!
16-Apr-2015: I reached to the passport office in time. I submitted my Voter Id Card as address proof and 10th Certificate as Proof of Date of Birth and ECNR. The address printed on my Voter Id card was not complete and they told me that this incomplete address would reflect in my passport.I wanted the full home address to be printed on my passport for I asked if I could take some time and furnish another document as a proof of my Address. I rushed back to my home, made copies of my Bank Passbook and was back in the Passport office within 1 hour. The officials were very polite and cordial. This is a significant change in passport office since the day it was outsourced to TCS. My documents were collected and a file was given my them containing the documents and a Token number.
I was then asked to go to another section having 3 types of counters – A, B and C. There were several A counters (A1, A2 … A10 etc), 3 B counters and 3 C counters. Within 15 minutes of waiting, my token number was called. I went to an A counter. Showed my documents. Here they took my photograph and also asked me to suggest any changes in the various details that were entered, since these details (Name, Address, etc) were going to be printed on the passport. I opted for SMS alerts and paid a nominal 35 rupees for the same. I was okayed and sent to B section. Again after 15-20 minutes of waiting, my Token number was called and all the documents were reverified. They also asked for the original documents and compared against them. From there I was sent to section C. Section A and B were completely taken care by TCS. Section C had government officials and was the last desk for verification. My documents were again checked and okayed at section C. Finally, at an exit counter I received an acknowledgement and I was good to go.
I was overwhelmed at the ease at which things happened at passport office. This is a huge improvement over the previous process. But then the other important part of the process was yet to happen. Usually, after submission of application, I had previously heard that it took nearly a month for initiation of police verification. And then another couple of months till the passport is printed and dispatched. But I was again taken for surprise when I received an SMS on 20th April (4 days after application submission).
20-Apr-2015: I received an SMS stating that my Personal Particular Form has been sent for police verification. This was definitely a huge improvement. I visited the police station next day and submitted all the required documents.
25-April-2015: I received an SMS stating that police had given Clear Report for my application and Passport printing has been initiated.
27-April-2015: I received an SMS stating that passport printing has been completed and undergoing quality checks.
30-April-2015: I received an SMS stating that my Passport has been dispatched via speed post.
1st-May-2015: I finally received my passport in hand after 15 days of application.
I think the government took a great decision by outsourcing Passport Seva. The entire process is now much more faster and convenient than it earlier was. Thanks for reading 🙂