I recently renewed my passport. As I didn’t need it immediately, this time I chose to go though the proper process (fill out the form, mail it in with a check, and wait for the State Department to return it).
It was to expire on March 19, 2016, so it was indeed due. Of course, whenever I open my passport, I think of all the trips, both business and pleasure, I have taken over the last 20 years. Perhaps, I will catalog all my entry/exit stamps, but for now, they will remain memories.
As the last time I needed my passport in a hurry (and I had an employer who preferred we use the expediter service), I was somewhat insulated from the process of renewing. Fill out the form, pay the service, and 3 days later I had my passport in my hot little hands. This time, I got the passport, and the passport card (recommended by our hosts we will be staying with in Mexico, as it greatly reduces the time at the border), and paid the expedite fee, as I don’t like being separated from my passport, even when I am not traveling. Also, as 2006, when I last renewed, was when they began requiring passports for trips to Mexico and Canada, there was a crush of applications at that time that led to long delays in processing, and now it is 10 years later, and the threat of the RealID rules are causing another goldrush on the passport services, I felt it prudent to expedite.
Less than 2 weeks later, I got my new passport book, and a few days after that my passport card. But I was bummed that I didn’t get my old passport back. I, like many, enjoy thumbing through the visa pages, remembering my trips.
Yesterday, in an non-descript envelope, my canceled passport was returned. Yay!