Your next trip to the other side of the world has been planned for months, and you swore to yourself that nothing would prevent you from leaving. You have organized everything down to the last detail. But now, while plane tickets are booked and the travel agent gives you the latest information, no matter how hard you look, your passport cannot be found!
Of course it’s panic! Here are some valuable tips that will help you avoid a hives attack less than a month before you leave.
Find a contact person quickly
The average time to obtain an appointment at the town hall to reissue a passport is one month. In addition to this period, there is the production of sesame, the only identity document required to board a plane to a distant destination (excluding the E.U. and French overseas departments and territories).
In some large French cities, we have to wait much longer.
The trick is to contact the smallest town halls in your department. Not all municipalities issue identity documents, but you will find your happiness in the list on the official website of the French Administration. Expect to travel for miles, but it’s worth it since the waiting time can be reduced to just a few days.
Once the appointment is booked, count on average about ten days before receiving the saving SMS that will invite you to pick up your passport at the counter of a town hall secretary that you will never forget!
Prepare the documents to be provided to the town hall
To save even more time during your appointment, several “steps” can be anticipated:
– Make sure you have your ID card and it is not expired! Put it away carefully (not like the passport)!
– Buy a tax stamp online. It will cost you 86 euros and a little ink, if you have a printer.
– Have two passport photos taken that meet the requirements of the administration. To make it simple, run to the photo booth nearest you: sit down, don’t smile under any circumstances, and remove your jewellery, glasses, and small hair in front of your eyes and ears. Basically, pout and press OK.
– Complete the loss declaration on an official form provided for this purpose.
An urgent passport renewal: why not me?
State services and more specifically prefectures are empowered to issue an emergency passport, valid for one year and available in one week or less. This document is only granted on an exceptional basis and unfortunately for you, pleasure travel does not fall within this scope.
You benefit from this speed only in the event of unexpected business travel, the death of a loved one abroad, or for medical or humanitarian reasons.
Don’t try to invent a terminally ill uncle in Mexico City, everything must be justified and will be scrupulously checked by the relevant departments before starting the passport renewal procedure.
Do you feel guilty for not taking out cancellation insurance?
Relax it wouldn’t have made any difference to your misfortune. Cancelling the trip due to the loss or theft of your passport is an exclusive clause. You would not have been able to claim any reimbursement, total or partial, if you had taken out this insurance, which is reserved for essentially medical reasons. That’s good news, though, you’ve saved money.
You now know how to try your luck and maybe receive your new passport on time. Keep your fingers crossed and keep smiling!