Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Time To Renew My Canadian Passport

On the one hand, they make it convenient for Canadians in the US to renew a passport online. No guarantors are required to sign for a renewal.  They only want two names, not relatives, who have known me for over two years.  Sheila and Helen, you are the ones.

However, passports photos are still needed and that became the hard part.  While there are many places here that offer passport photo services, not many of them will do the Canadian requirement photos.  Ah, there was the challenge.  To find such a place.  I asked around and got a lot of "duh".  So, I searched the internet and found one "in the city", as they say here.  I live in "The Valley".  But, unless I really had to, I would prefer to go somewhere where I could stay in the Valley.  Well, a few research phone calls and eureka!  I found one, only 17 miles away - not bad for L.A., trust me - and using an expressway that I consider reasonable, it was good.

I have heard a few stories about passport photos being rejected by Canada, including my son's, so I was leary.  But lo and behold, my new friend, Larry at Hooper Imaging on Mulholland in Woodland Hills is quite up to date on all the requirements. In fact, he showed me a new requirement that only came through two days ago about how the photo studio had to stamp the back and add the date and other nonsense.

Larry said that Canada is the most difficult, quel surprise, for rejecting passport photos.  I suggested their optical scanner may be more sensitive to shadows.  Apparently, all countries use the same standard US optical scanner, so that can't be the case.

Anyway, my passport renewal application plus two photos duly processed by Hooper is in the mail.  I had to include my current passport, which will be returned, yeh right.

So, everybody, stay healthy and stay out of trouble.  I can not travel outside the US until my passport is returned.

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