It would seem to be an easy enough task: change my Canadian passport to reflect my married name. Ta da! Et voila!
It’s only a twelve-dollar fee to change an existing passport. In Canadian currency. What is that, four bucks?
I won’t even tell you how many wasted hours have been spent in passport photo places that attempt to create a Canadian-authorized photo with little or no success–while trying to entertain infant and toddler. In the US, you can pretty much submit your own at-home photo, providing it’s the right size and has a white background. The Canadians ask that the photos be taken by a professional (fine, I need all the help I can get anyway), are a specific size in millimetres (the Queen demands it!), are stamped with the date the photo was taken, not processed, and are signed by a Canadian-born Guarantor of lofty profession and title.
I found a delightful grandfather with a little passport biz about 20 miles north who specializes in such quirky requests. He shot my photo, then did one for Noah’s US passport. His youngest grandson is the same age as Noah, but I digress. So, I now have the photo! Now, I just need a guarantor. I haven’t lived in Canada for 10+ years. I don’t really know anyone there, except family and a few close friends. I don’t have a doctor, accountant, lawyer or even veterinarian there to vouch for me. I can’t have it notarized, because, well, I would have to be with the Canadian-born notary to show that the photo looks just like me! There is a form, the PPTC 132, that one might use in lieu of a guarantor, but of course it’s only available at a Passport Canada office… in Canada. No downloads, people?!
Scouring the Los Angeles Canadian Consulate site for more info, I came across this little gem: “for the remainder of 2007, Canadians and Americans do not need a passport to travel back and forth between Canada and the U.S. by land, sea, or fresh water.”
Hmm, so Dad was right. He’d told me as much, but did I listen? Maybe we should just fly in to a bordering US airport this Christmas, drive across and I’ll handle my passport at that time.