Passport – easier done yourself

There were only a few times till date that I have been involved with the passport office. First time – when I got my passport done for the first time – 1998. There was an agent whom we approached and he did it for us. In those times, internet was not so prevalent and the corruption was so steeped into the system that getting a passport done was a huge ordeal regardless of whether you knew the local goonda or local MP (not that there is much difference between them! lol). The second time in early 2005 – when I had to get my name included into my wife’s passport and the address change was being made for her passport. A new passport was issued at that time from Bangalore RPO. Relatively, a much better experience, but no online service. And then now, much recently in mid-2006, to change address and getting my wife’s name included in my passport. This time the experience is WOW! And I guess it has to do with the efforts by Regional Passport Office @ Bangalore.

One has to really laud the efforts by Regional Passport Office based at Bangalore for simplifying the passport process – infinitely. Their website – – is quite informative. For almost every passport work that you have to get done, you have FAQs and pointer documents. Not only that, the forms that cost Rs.5 (or is it Rs.2 per form?) at the passport office are downloadable as free PDFs. You can print them in your home printer or a locally available printer at an internet cafe or even your office. I only wish that these were editable PDFs.

One of the biggest advantages at RPO Bangalore is the online appointment service. You can look it up here. Great service! A few days before I was going to do my passport work, I asked some friends if they knew any agents whom I could approach for the passport work. They said I could rather use the online service as it is much hassle free. Taking their advice, I went to this online service and reserved an appointment. A small caveat here – make sure you keep up your appointment. If you know you cannot keep up your appointment, then make arrangements to cancel your appointment so that you can go back and reserve a new appointment. If you do not cancel your appointment and you do not keep up your appointment, then the system punishes you by not allowing you register for an appointment for the next 7 days. Do not worry about trying out different names. The system has been designed to work on a combination of parameters. :-)

Anyways – if you have an appointment, then complete all formalities before you reach the office. Print the forms, paste the photos on them, take all the documents that are identified as required for the passport work that you wish and the necessary fee. The fees for each service is mentioned here. That’s it. And one more big important thing – considering the propensity to get locked up in traffic jams in Bangalore, it is better that you try and plan for 30 mins delay and reach the location atleast 30 mins in advance. I missed an appointment once when I was barely 1.5 kms from the office because the jam would not move an inch for 25 mins near Trinity circle.

There you go. Need a new passport, want to make changes to your passport, first go to their website. e-Governance is really easing up things for civilians like us! Way to go!!

BTW: Did you know that if you are a professional graduate, then it is better for you to go in for the ECNR (Emigration Check Not Required) stamp in your passports. By default, you are given the ECR (Emigration Check Required) stamp. Do not worry, the ECR is only a provision by the Government of India to safeguard your interests in a foreign land.

8 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    Hey R_c,
    Great post, da! Using technology to make such positive changes is always a laudable thing! I need to get the address in my passport changed..will do as you suggested. Lets hope my experience is as good as yours!

  2. Shruthi (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

    This is a very useful bit of info!! Thanks!

  3. Susan (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    Pl let me know what is Takal System for applying a passport here in bangalore and how long will it take. What are the formalities and procudures to be followed and how much will it cost me and how fast will i get the passport.



  4. Susan (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    Pl let me know at the earliest as my Sister and Bro-in law wants me to be there at the earliest for about 2 months, hence i thought of going for the takal system.

    Thanks and waiting for yr reply



  5. Shruthi (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    Susan, here are two links – — scroll down to Tatkal Scheme. You will get all the info here.

  6. rubic_cube (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 12:58 am

    @ Susan: Pls view links provided by Shruthi.
    @ Shruthi: Thanks!!

  7. rubic_cube (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 1:00 am

    @Ravi: Thanks! I will do some fact finding at the Indiranagar RTO regarding change of address on licence and RC Book and do another post about that. I bet I will return with a different experience.

  8. sharad (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

    where to get the documents attested ????

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