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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Default Expedited passports suspended?

My sister [age 74] wanted to get a passport in 5 weeks [that's when we sail] however, the passport office told me they have suspended expeditied applications due to the huge influx of applications. We have a certified birth certificate but name on it says Baby Girl Smith instead of Mary Smith. She has been able to use for Social Security, Medicare, driver's license, voter registration etc, and we have all that documentation. I called Royal Caribbean 3 times, the first two times they said she probably could not sail and the 3rd time they said yes, she can, it is a certified birth certificate and she has a driver's license. Had I know before today, about the name I would have never booked, but hindsight is 20/20 and we have to deal with this. What are the chances that they will let her on the ship.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:53 AM
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You have a unique situation to be sure. It is unusual for someone of your sister's age not to have a passport for travel. Be that as it may here is my suggestion.

Contact the state she was born in, at their Vital Statistics division. She should be able to order a "Certified Birth Certificate" with her full name on it. This may take less time than a US Passport given how many people across the US have waited so long to get one, what with new travel requirements which go into effect next January.

Along with a certified copy of her BC, she'll need a photo ID such as a driver license.

Go to this link on RCI's website for more info:
http://www.royalcaribbean.com/before...ntation.do#Dom

Good luck, Steve[/quote]
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Old March 17th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Already tried that and Minnesota says what she has is a valid, legal certified birth certificate, and they can't issue another one with name unless they have a court order. In order to change a birth certificate she will need to obtain a lawyer and court calendar is 10-12 months wait. She has never in her life gone on a vacation much less a cruise, so never had any reason to think that there would be a problem with it. Since insurance won't cover this if the ship doesn't allow her to sail, we will have no choice but to show up at the pier with all the documents we have, and hope for the best. I feel really bad as I have booked this cruise as a thank you to her for taking care of our Mother until she passed away.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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seasail; this issue came up with my mom, who was born in the 1920's when they didn't automatically put names on birth certs as they wiated for baptisms etc; we had to actually track down the supplement to her birth certificate, so her birth certificate is actually two recorded documents - can you speak with a supervisor at the records dept to see if the supplement was recorded later (usually several days to couple of weeks later).

As Carnival really scrutinized my mom's birth cert the first time we cruised with it; the second time, we took her baptism certificate as well and that seemed to appease them much quicker - so you may also want to see if anyone saved the certificate when your sister was formally named (ie. in a religious ceremony ); something had to be turned in at some time to the recorder's office with a first name on it - may have to take a trip to the recorder's office and go through the microfiche on your own.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Expedited passports suspended?

Seasail,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
My sister [age 74] wanted to get a passport in 5 weeks [that's when we sail] however, the passport office told me they have suspended expeditied applications due to the huge influx of applications. We have a certified birth certificate but name on it says Baby Girl Smith instead of Mary Smith. She has been able to use for Social Security, Medicare, driver's license, voter registration etc, and we have all that documentation. I called Royal Caribbean 3 times, the first two times they said she probably could not sail and the 3rd time they said yes, she can, it is a certified birth certificate and she has a driver's license. Had I know before today, about the name I would have never booked, but hindsight is 20/20 and we have to deal with this. What are the chances that they will let her on the ship.
My mother, born in 1925, actually encountered a worse problem when she applied for a passport. For some reason, her birth was not recorded at all when she was born. When the family discovered the missing record, she was already in her late teens. The town clerk demanded affidavits from her godparents in order to record the birth. When she applied for a passport for the first time, the U. S. Passport Office would not accept the her birth certificate without additional documentation due to the late record. She had to submit both (1) her bapismal certificate and (2) a copy of the record of her listing on the first federal census after her birth (1930) to prove that she was in the country at that time. I'm not sure why the passport office could not check the census directly, but the issure sent her a letter telling her where to write to get the record from the census to resubmit with a copy of the letter. She then had to write to the census bureau and wait for its bureaucracy to respond before resubmitting everything. The snag added about two months to the time required to issue her passport from when she first applied.

Which is why I tell everybody on these boards to apply for your passport early, especailly if it is your first passport....

Note that these snags are much less likely on passport renewals since the proof of citizenship is already in place.

Norm.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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We're going on a group cruise Oct. 14th. I know some people
were planning on using the expedited service. guess we need to tell
them to apply asap through regular channels.

Do anyone know if the suspension is in effect in every passport
office?

Lou
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Old March 20th, 2007, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Expedited passports suspended?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Seasail,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
My sister [age 74] wanted to get a passport in 5 weeks [that's when we sail] however, the passport office told me they have suspended expeditied applications due to the huge influx of applications. We have a certified birth certificate but name on it says Baby Girl Smith instead of Mary Smith. She has been able to use for Social Security, Medicare, driver's license, voter registration etc, and we have all that documentation. I called Royal Caribbean 3 times, the first two times they said she probably could not sail and the 3rd time they said yes, she can, it is a certified birth certificate and she has a driver's license. Had I know before today, about the name I would have never booked, but hindsight is 20/20 and we have to deal with this. What are the chances that they will let her on the ship.
My mother, born in 1925, actually encountered a worse problem when she applied for a passport. For some reason, her birth was not recorded at all when she was born. When the family discovered the missing record, she was already in her late teens. The town clerk demanded affidavits from her godparents in order to record the birth. When she applied for a passport for the first time, the U. S. Passport Office would not accept the her birth certificate without additional documentation due to the late record. She had to submit both (1) her bapismal certificate and (2) a copy of the record of her listing on the first federal census after her birth (1930) to prove that she was in the country at that time. I'm not sure why the passport office could not check the census directly, but the issure sent her a letter telling her where to write to get the record from the census to resubmit with a copy of the letter. She then had to write to the census bureau and wait for its bureaucracy to respond before resubmitting everything. The snag added about two months to the time required to issue her passport from when she first applied.

Which is why I tell everybody on these boards to apply for your passport early, especailly if it is your first passport....

Note that these snags are much less likely on passport renewals since the proof of citizenship is already in place.

Norm.

This sounds like a Lucy movie!
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Old March 21st, 2007, 12:28 AM
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Seasail: you may want to write a letter detailing all you've done to Royal Caribbean. Check their website for who to address it to. I would also follow that up with an e-mail containing the same info.

Try also posting this to the other forums and ask if any 70+ year olds have run into the same thing and how they handled it. I wish you well and hope you get a sympathetic rep. from RCI.

My hope is that other people who don't yet have a Passport, and are even thinking about travel abroad a year from now apply NOW for a Passport. With the Homeland Security rules changing, it's only going to get worse before it gets better in terms of getting a Passport issued in a timely manner. Plan early and double the time they say...

Steve
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:01 AM
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As an update, I tracked down the church that did her baptism and they expedited that official document to us. We filled out an application to amend her birth certificate and is now on it's way to Minnesota Vital statisitics. Normal process time is 3-4 weeks however we paid the extra to expedite and also Fed-x for sending the amended certificate. Now it is just a waiting game. The stress of this has kind of put a damper on the the excitement of the coming cruise, but we will just have to trust that we have done everything in our power to correct it. So many people have criticized me for not getting her a passport, but in order to get a passport you must have a birth certificate with name rather than Baby Girl, so the amended birth certificate must be done first.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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Update; Sister received her amended birth certificate this morning. I can now take a deep breath and look forward to the cruise. I never told her how slim the chances would have been to get on the ship with the other BC.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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FYI - you CAN get an expedited passport!!! I'm doing so right now. My passport had 4 months left on it and they were refusing it, must have 6 months remaining.

If you don't live in one of the cities that issues passports, you will have to hire a service to walk it through for you.
These companies can charge up to $199 for this service ($199 for same day service, two to four days cheaper, and two weeks is much cheaper)

Just hit any of the search engines and look for "expedited passport", you will have several good companies to choose from.
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