First, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Even if you aren’t Irish. I, however, am at least 1/3 Irish, and probably more. I will be having a nice traditional dinner of corned beef. I’d have cabbage and potatoes as well (combined into yummy colcannon), but unfortunately, I don’t have either one and I’m not going out again today.
Yesterday Winter decided to throw a last temper tantrum. The first day of Spring is in less than a week, and apparently Winter wanted to be remembered. So it started by raining, which then became sleet, which then alternated with snow until the wee hours of the morning. And it’s supposed to snow again tonight. Yeah. So to go anywhere today, I had to dig my car out, which took a good hour. And then get out of my parking spot. Considering they don’t really plow the roads here, getting out of a parking spot and driving can be a bit difficult. But I managed. I have a Subaru. I love my car.
Once I got moving, I had two important errands for the day. One, to get my Pennsylvania driver’s license and two, to submit my paperwork to renew my passport. The first item was easy. Technically, I was a bit late and it should have been done months ago, but I had to wait until the identity theft situation was taken care of. Now that my record is clean, I could get rid of my previous state’s driver’s license. And fortunately, even though my passport is technically expired, it only expired in January so it was still a valid proof of citizenship and identity for the folks at PennDot. So, with my old driver’s license, along with 2 utility bills to prove residence, and my Social Security Card and my passport to prove citizenship and identity, I had a Pennsylvania driver’s license in about an hour. Not bad. Apparently the terrible road conditions from yesterday’s bad weather kept a lot of people away so it wasn’t that busy. I didn’t even have to take a test since my old license is current and I have no outstanding violations (I have NO violations, none, nada, thankyouverymuch). My picture isn’t that bad either.
So now that I had the new license, onto item number 2, the passport renewal. With the new laws requiring a passport for ALL travel out of the country, even to Canada and Mexico, the passport agencies are swamped. So it’s going to take a good 8-10 weeks for me to get my renewed passport. Good thing I’m not going anywhere.
I filled out all the paperwork, got my 2 photos (not all that great, but not terrible), wrote the check for the renewal fee, and proceeded to the post office, which is the closest passport processing center (and possibly the only one in Philly open on Saturday). I had a package to pick up, so I did that first and then went and got in the passport processing line. After waiting in line for a good 30 minutes, I learned that in order to hand my renewal form to a person, I’d have to pay an additional fee of 30 dollars. What? Um, I don’t think so. Especially since I’m eligible to renew by mail. So I go and get back in the line I was in earlier when I picked up my package to mail my forms, complete with delivery confirmation.
Here’s the rub. I paid 4 dollars and 55 cents to (priority) mail my passport renewal with delivery confirmation to a post office box in the same building.
Absurd. Just absurd.