Drop My Passport

Topics: Birth certificate, Canada, Passport Pages: 2 (895 words) Published: March 19, 2011
Last week, on my trip to Berlin, I managed to drop my passport. I don’t know where — it might have been in the bathroom of Brussels airport trying to change clothes in a tiny room after a long red-eye, or it might have been when Brussels Air made me gate check a bag requiring a big rearrangement of items, or somewhere else. But two days later, arriving at a Pension in Berlin I discovered it was missing, and a lot of calling around revealed nobody had turned it in. In today’s document hungry world this can be a major calamity. I actually have a pretty pleasant story to report, though there were indeed lots of hassles. But it turned out I had prepared for this moment in a number of ways, and you may want to do the same. The upshot was that I applied for a passport on Wednesday, got it on Thursday, flew on Friday and again on Monday and got my permanent passport that same Monday — remarkable efficiency for a ministry with a reputation for long bureaucracy. [pic] After concluding it was lost, I called the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Once you declare the passport lost, it is immediately canceled, even if you find it again, so you want to be sure that it’s gone. The Embassy was just a couple of U-bahn stops away, so I ventured there. I keep all my documents in my computer, and the security guy was shocked I had brought it. He put all that gear in a locker, and even confiscated my phone — more on that later. Inside the consular area, I explained the situation and got the forms. They could help me quickly if I had an urgent need. I did — my mother was having heart surgery the next day and I had planned my return to be through Toronto so I could visit her in the hospital. If I did not have an urgent need it would have been a longer wait, and the expensive cost of rescheduling flights at the last minute. The next thing that worked for me is that I still carry my birth certificate with me — just not with my passport. It used to be possible to travel between Canada and the...
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