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Passport emergency HELP!

(27 Posts)
r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 10:26:23

Well, obviously this all starts with me being incredibly dumb and thinking that DD's passport was still valid for a month or so, when it had actually expired. We travel Thursday 23 March. I spotted the problem yesterday (Friday 17th)

I called the passport office helpline. The chap tells me that the 1-day emergency passport service isn't available for children. I need to apply online, send in the documents by next day delivery, and then when the documents arrive buy an upgraded online application that might, with luck, get everything back to me in time. He said very specifically to ask for a Saturday delivery, because the passport office are a 7 day service and that will buy me 2 more days.

So I haul DD out of school, get her photographed (you have to do new photos for kids apparently) and get the photos countersigned by the Head. School are incredibly helpful, bless them. Whole thing goes in an envelope, posted Friday afternoon for guaranteed Saturday delivery to a PO box in Newport. So far so good.

Today (Saturday 18th) I call up the passport office helpline again to process the upgrade. The lady tells me that the bloke yesterday was talking rubbish. The passport office in Newport do work weekends, but they only process existing applications. They won't check the post and upload documents into the system that the helpline access to do the upgrade. The earliest the documents will hit the system is Monday and it won't necessarily be early on Monday either. I will have to check back repeatedly through the day.

Also, for an upgraded child application, they have extra security and they will have to phone the person who signed the photos. So DD's Head teacher will have to happen to be in and available on the end of the phone while they are processing the thing or it will be delayed.

To fly on Thursday morning, we will need to receive the passport on Wednesday. Which means the passport office need to complete and send it Tuesday.

The helpline lady didn't rate our chances.

The frustrating thing is ... if I could get hold of a human in the passport office in Newport, I might be able to persuade them to check the post and scan in the documents, giving us our 2 days back. I specifically wrote the passport application number on the back of the envelope in BIG writing, so it should be very easy to pick out of the mail, they don't need to open anything. But they don't give out any local numbers, just the helpline - to stop hundreds of desperate people like me doing this every day, I guess.

Has anyone any advice/experience? DD has a tap exam today, or I would be driving from Surrey to Newport right now and grovelling on my knees before a bemused member of Her Majesty's Passport Service.

(& to avoid drip feeding I suppose I should say that this is the ONLY time we will get to go on holiday this year and ONLY these dates will do because DD's sister is booked into the children's hospice which is hugely oversubscribed. It's Thursday or No Holiday.)

Northernlurker Sat 18-Mar-17 10:43:18

Oh lord!

Call your mp and beg for help, make sure you mention the hospice aspect

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 10:45:07

Oh dear.

My MP is Jeremy Hunt.

FortyFacedFuckers Sat 18-Mar-17 10:48:47

I'm so sorry OP I have nothing helpful to add but I really hope someone else comes along with something more useful.

I really hope you get it sorted.

Northernlurker Sat 18-Mar-17 10:49:07

Never mind, it's still his job to help. Get on phone and email now. If he doesn't help call the papers!

FortyFacedFuckers Sat 18-Mar-17 10:50:52

Can you tweet Jeremy hunt & post the link here and we can retweet you?

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 10:59:35

I've phoned his office. I get voicemail. The voicemail doesn't let you leave a long enough message to explain. No clue if it will be picked up before Monday.

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 11:09:47

What should I put in a tweet? I'm rubbish on twitter because I waffle.

Coconutty Sat 18-Mar-17 11:14:41

We'll all try and help you, but we need social media

#NewportPassportOffice
#SaveOurHoliday ?

frenchfancy Sat 18-Mar-17 11:18:23

I'm really not sure that MPs should get involved with issues like this. The passport is out of date because the OP forgot to check. MPs are trying to run the country not help parents when they forget things.

I have every sympathy for you r3dh3d Is there anyway you can pick the passport up in person on Wednesday to reduce the postage time?

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 11:26:41

Frenchfancy - the issue is that I can't arrange to pick up the passport on Wednesday for the same reason that it will be sat in a mail bag for 2 days this weekend while there are people in the same office available and willing to process it - because I don't have a phone number for the passport office in Newport where I could speak to someone who can actually do something. It will automatically be sent back to me once printed and there is absolutely no way of stopping that, because I can only phone the helpline and the helpline is based in Ireland and they can only tick the boxes that are preprogrammed into the system.

I don't want JH's office to lean on anyone or fix my problem. I just want a phone number.

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 12:37:06

Well, I got through to a human at passports head office. Even head office don't have a phone number for the Newport office. (!) She didn't think it would hit the system till Tuesday, but wasn't 100% sure how it works ... I haven't had 2 people tell me the same thing about this process yet. It's v odd. It's like a masonic ritual or something; everyone speculates about What Goes On In Newport but nobody really knows.

I've got 3 different phone numbers for Newport passport office from the bowels of the internet. 2 turn out to be fax numbers (ow!) and the other is ringing off the hook.

Northernlurker Sat 18-Mar-17 13:51:19

Frenchfancy don't be an arse. The op is in a dire situation and needs help. It's her MPs job to help as much as it is anybody's.
I think you may need to go there on Monday op and beg.

Northernlurker Sat 18-Mar-17 13:55:00

Can you send a fax actually? Somebody might see it

monkeyfacegrace Sat 18-Mar-17 13:55:53

You need a Newport MNer to help!

PhoenixJasmine Sat 18-Mar-17 13:57:34

I've been through this OP - adult passport not child's though and totally my fault - had to delay travel by 5 days - all the sobbing and panic (genuine) on the phone couldn't speed the process up. Sorry I really don't think it's going to happen. Can you change holiday to somewhere that doesn't involve passports? Try and get as much money back as you can and go and explore a new area of the UK?

witwootoodleoo Sat 18-Mar-17 14:00:33

Yes fax them and put about the hospice right at the top!

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 18-Mar-17 14:00:45

As hard as it is not sure what your MP can do in this instance tbh.

You are very unlikely to be able to get hold of them (or constituency staff) until Monday at the earliest and even then it will depend on the urgency of other stuff they have to deal with.

pinkmagic1 Sat 18-Mar-17 14:01:44

I would also go to the Newport office on Monday morning plead. Good luck, I hope you get it back.

imsorryiasked Sat 18-Mar-17 14:03:11

Where are you flying to OP?

Pepperedpig Sat 18-Mar-17 14:04:20

I'm about 15 miles away from Newport but I'm stuck at home with a poorly child and Dp is at work with the car. I'll post on my fb page to see if anyone has the number.

Pepperedpig Sat 18-Mar-17 14:09:27

Have you tried this number? 0300 222 000

TreaterAnita Sat 18-Mar-17 14:11:14

I'm 99% sure that people found and were posting on here passport office numbers when there were massive delays a couple of summers ago (iirc because the PPO was understaffed). Might be worth a search?

witwootoodleoo Sat 18-Mar-17 14:24:53

Interestingly it seems that renewals of children's passports can be done via an appointment but new passports can't be- certainly people on this thread seemed to have managed it

r3dh3d Sat 18-Mar-17 19:01:52

Alas, witwootoodleoo, that seems to have changed since that thread - at least if what the helpline told me is correct. It looks as if they have re-organised so children's passports are only processed in Newport and they don't let you do the "while you wait" appointment thing even if it's only a renewal.

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