Getting yourself a passport nowadays is a walk in the park. Here are a list of changes to the old rules that should have you beaming from ear to ear.
Towards the end of 2016, Sushma Swaraj, the Union Minister for External Affairs, launched an effort that made the issuance of passports a whole lot easier and hassle-free.
A new set of rules regarding passport issuance came into effect on December 26th 2016, which significantly streamlined the previous process, while also providing more options for applicants with regards to the submission of proofs.
Listed below are the changes made to the previous set of rules for the issuance of a passport:
1) Date of Birth Proof
According to the previous rules, it was mandatory for an applicant to submit a birth certificate as proof of his or her date of birth. The new rules, however, allows for a list of substitute documents that an applicant can choose from, to submit as birth date proof.
The list of documents are as follows:
- Birth certificate
- Aadhaar Card
- PAN Card
- Election Photo ID Card
- Driving Licence
- Matriculation, transfer or school leaving certificate of the last school attended by the applicant that also contains his or her date of birth. This certificate must be recognised by the education board.
- Government employees can submit a copy of their service record. This copy must be attested by the applicant’s relevant department officer.
- Retired government employees can submit a copy of their pay pension. This copy must also be attested by the applicant’s relevant department officer.
- Any policy bond that has been issued by Life Insurance companies that contain the date of birth of the policy holder.
Additional Reading: How To Get An Aadhaar Card
2) Parents Names
As per the previous set of rules, the applicant was required to provide the names of both his or her parents when filing for a passport. However, after the rule change, only the name of one parent will be required to file for a passport.
3) Certificate of Marriage
The previous rules required applicants who are divorced or separated to provide the name of their spouses when filing for a passport. But, as per the new rules, this will no longer be required.
4) Date of Birth Proof For Orphans
Orphans who do not possess a birth certificate, or any similar document that can be considered as a date of birth proof, can submit a declaration that confirms his or her date of birth, provided the declaration is given and signed by the Head of the Orphanage or Child Care Home on the official letter head.
5) Annexure Reduction
According to the previous rules, applicants were required to submit 15 additional documents in accordance to various annexures of the application form. However, as per the new rules, only 9 additional documents will be required to be provided by the applicant. Annexures A, C, D, E, J and K have been removed.
Previous rules required applicants to get all additional documents attested by a notary or someone of similar standing. But, as per the new rules, all additional documents or annexures can be self-attested by the applicant.
If you happen to be a Sadhu, you’re in luck. Sadhus can submit the names of their spiritual gurus when applying for a passport instead of the names of their parents, which was the case under the previous set of rules.
8) Government Employees
Any government employee who requires a passport urgently, but does not possess a no-objection certificate or an identity card from their employer, can now apply for a passport by providing a self-declaration in Annexure-N through a written letter which states that his or her current employer has been intimated about his or her wish to apply for a passport.
Getting your passport renewed nowadays is equally easy as well. Remember that the validity period for an Indian passport is only 10 years, following which you will be required to renew your passport either before or when it expires.
Passport Renewal Online
If you’re looking to renew your passport online, all you need to do is follow the steps below:
- Online Registration
- Register for passport renewal on the Passport Seva website
- Already registered? Then login as an existing user
- If you haven’t already registered, you can do so using the ‘New user? Register Now’ link
- Choose the passport office that is nearest to your current address
- In order to register, you will be required to enter basic details such as your name and date of birth
- You will then be required to create a login ID and password
- Following that, you will receive and email at the email address you provided
- You will then be required to activate your account with the link sent to your email
- After logging in, click on ‘Apply for fresh passport/Reissue of passport’
- Completing the Application
- You can either download a PDF of the application and fill it offline or fill the form online
- Enter your current address
- If there is any change to your details, then make sure you update the form accordingly
- You will be required to provide two local references along with their full names, numbers and addresses, in case a police verification is required
- If you are filling an online form you can click on submit and complete the application
- If you are using the PDF version of the form, make sure you hit validate to save the form when you enter your city or village. You will then be required to upload the form to the same page you downloaded it from. Your details will be entered in the online form automatically
- Make sure you have verified all your details, since no changes will be allowed after this step. The only way to make any changes after this is by visiting the passport office.
- No payment fees are charged for a passport renewal application
- Once you have completed the procedure mentioned above, you can click on ‘Schedule Appointment’ to book a slot at your preferred passport office according to your convenience
- You will then be required to go to the relevant passport office on the day and time of your slot and submit the required documents
- You can get the list of documents required from the Passport Seva Kendra website. For passport renewal, the following documents will have to be submitted at the passport office:
- A copy of your online application (mandatory)
- Your original old passport
- A self-attested copy of the first two and the last two pages
- A self-attested copy of the ECR/Non-ECR page
- A self-attested copy of the page of observation (if any) made by the Passport Issuing Authority
With these new rules in place, getting a passport should be a walk in the park. Time to dust off those travel brochures and head into the sunset.
Additional Reading: Travel Insurance Plans For Globetrotters