India passport application process 2017

It was year 2007. Chennai. My passport was about to expire and I had to get it renewed. So, in the month of November I started the process like everyone does – with an agent/broker. Paid money. The whole process was extremely confusing, secretive and exhausting. Standing in line for countless hours at the RPO in Nungambakkam was a torture in its own way. Corruption was flowing all around you. But then, it was 2007.

Fast forward to 2017 and it is same time of the decade for me. Task as hand was to renew my passport. Well, between 2007 and 2017, I made 2 visits to Passport office. Both are documented at https://vijay-ivaturi.com/2015/05/07/streamlined-indian-passport-application-process/ and https://vijay-ivaturi.com/2013/08/10/india-passport-process/. Different experiences from 2007, but cumbersome nonetheless.

2017 experience was however way different and something that makes us really proud of how the system has evolved from where it was 10 years ago. From the thought of applying for passport renewal to the actual passport in my had – it took 7 days (including weekend, normal passport, no bribes). Below is the story.

Thursday night 8 PM

I decided to renew my passport and went to the passport website for booking an appointment. It took some 30 minutes to fill in my details and there was an appointment available in nearby PSK (in Hyderabad) the very next day, Friday. Only document evidence I needed was a copy of my Aadhar which has current address.

PSK-1

Friday afternoon 1 PM

I was at the PST at the appointment time. Documents I was carrying: old passport, photocopies of old passport, new passport application receipt, copy of Aadhar. That’s it! You do not need anything else. Nothing whatsoever!

Once inside the PSK, it is a 4 step process:

Step -1 : Submit your documents to the TCS employee at entrance desk for basic validation and issuing of a token. This has been a slow step 2 years back and same now also. We were around 10 people in the room and it took the PSK staff 30 minutes to issue the token number.

Step -2 : With the token number, wait at counter-A for my turn. Documents get scanned, fingerprints taken, photograph taken and documents are reverified at this step. Since these tasks take time, there are a number of counters setup for this task and the whole room looks like a typical corporate office.

Step -3 : Next round of document validation by MEA (Government) staff. Nothing much happens here, if your documents are all in the right shape.

Step -4 : Final step where your passport application gets approved by another MEA staff member. He/she will ask to see the original address proof. Again, this is a quick step. That is it. You are done!

Before exiting the PSK, applicants have to collect a receipt indicating that passport is approved and will be processed.

PSK-2

Saturday evening 8 PM

Had a knock at my door and when I opened it, 2 burly gentlemen walked into my apartment and introduced themselves as policemen who came for verification! This is incredible. Kudos to MEA and Hyderabad police. They took 30 minutes to complete the verification process and left. No bribe.

Wednesday morning 11 AM

Speedpost employee delivered the passport at my home. I was in office and as requested by the employee, my wife tipped him some 50 bucks. And I do not mind doing it. We tip pizza delivery boys all the time. Perfectly fine in tipping the postman!

And done. Within 7 day, normal application, no bribe, no hassles. I had my passport in my had. This is just incredible. After Aadhaar, Passport is the only other public facing government service which is this efficient. We just wish the state government departments also take up such professional approaches in government hospitals, RTOs, registrar office, municipal offices etc.

Now, there are few things you should be careful about. Below is the list:

  1. Every time you move your address, make sure you get the Aadhar address changed. This is a simple process which can be completed online. You will need some very basic supporting document to modify Aadhar address. As a responsible citizen, keep your Aadhar address updated and avoid paying money to agents/brokers.
  2. Aadhar stopped giving cards anymore. All you get is an e-aadhar. When you print the e-aadhar, ensure that you accept digital signature certificate in PDF and then only print. I did not check this and my e-aadhar print had a X mark stating the document is not digitally verified. Had a tough time in Step-3 convincing the MEA official
  3. It is advisable to keep a copy and original of one additional address proof. MEA staff asks for additional proofs, so that they are 100% satisfied with the application. I did not carry any additional proof and they were all looking at me with suspicion
  4. Also carry a 10th class or degree certificate copy + original. Just in case
  5. Police verification is independent of your passport delivery process. This is a brilliant move by MEA since policemen cannot harass you anymore by delaying their verification report. In the new system, you would have got the passport already
  6. Bribe is possible situation still with police verification. It is a common practice that they will ask you to come to the police station to complete the verification and you will be compelled to pay money in the police station. In my case however, this was not the situation. Cops came to my home and everything went smooth.
  7. For police verification, keep 2 photographs ready, along with every other document you carried to PSK. Good thing about PSK is that all document you carry inside come out with you. So, these are sufficient for police verification.

So, have fun and get your passports issued or renewed without any complications  corruption. Things are changing and will change even more for our own good.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.

PSK-3

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8 thoughts on “India passport application process 2017

  1. Hi mine is a re issue case with address change. PSK appointment 3 Nov. On 6 Nov I got my physical verification done at police station( that’s fast considering 4-5 was Saturday Sunday)

    “The status as of now is Police report has been submitted by KALYAN TALUKA Police Station, Thane Rural and sent to SP Office, District Thane Rural for review.” I

    I did not get any SMS of the above status, it was reflected in passport web site.

    By when can I expect the status to change ,that is report forwarded to RPO from SP official.

    Secondly is it possible to know whether local police hasforwarded clear report to SP office.

    Thanks

    • Hi,
      Did you pay Rs.45 for the SMS notification feature during your passport appointment? If yes, you should ideally be getting SMS messages at every stage of processing. The weakest (slowest) link in the police verification process is your local police station. Now that your local PS has done its job and sent it to SP Office, it should not take much time for SP Office to inform RPO. As per the new rule, you should get passport irrespective of police verification status. While exiting the PSK, they would have told you / written in a slip if your case is “Post police verification”. In this case, it means police verification will happen after passport is issued. You could wait for couple of more days and then reach out to Passport helpline for status update.

      To your other question on police clearance, it is highly unlikely that the local police would have given a negative report. If things do not move even after couple of days, just walk into your local PS and enquire if they have forwarded your clearance report to SP Office. They usually respond to such queries.

      Thanks
      Vijay Ivaturi

      • Hi Vijay

        Yes paid 45/- And it’s pre verification basis.

        What should be ideal time taken for SP office to clear the fie from their end. In your case it was fast I see.

        Now here is why I am tensed. My fathers name has extra A in PAN card and I got it changed in Adhar card too , while in all educational certificate and old passports it’s without extra A. At PSK they told me name as per old passport will be captured else gazette procedure needs to be done( as a matter of fact they didn’t even notice the discrepancy, maybe phonetically it’s the same (EKNATH vs EKANATH) It’s fine with me too.

        Even at local police station they did not notice the spellings and I felt no need to point out to them also. It seems they are not bothered on such errors (leaving the onus on PSK maybe.

        Secondly as I live in a newly possessed building and entire floor of ours is vaccant, even buildings has few residents I could give reference of only one person who stays couple of buildings away. I just gave his PAN card as he did not change address on his Adhar card for present flat. Besides he was reluctant to give references in writing also ( police thing u know) . Besides the SMS from Police station only called for 1 reference ID proof and reference only, surprisingly as 2 were given in application form. They did or enquire why no reference letter given.

        No issues as far 1 year criteria as we are living here on rent since 2016 June.

        Actually my locality is a small rural suburb of Mumbai where my township is very prominent ( 25 towers)

        Hence is there any reason to object SP office to notice above points, or there involvement is just to check for criminal records cases on their systems and they put onus on on document verifying officials for accurateness and completeness of paper works.

        Your comments please.Its been 4 days since status changed to SP , looking at ur case timelines I feel more tense now :)))

  2. Hi,
    The discrepancies you pointed out (like minor thing in name, lack of references in our building etc) would have been called out by the local PS immediately while they were verifying you. Since they have not done that, I think you can rest assured police clearance is through. It just could be one of those things where the process is taking time at SP Office. Minor discrepancies in name and address are common thing in India. For example, my degree certification has only initial of my surname while my passport has the full surname. Never faced a problem with that. This is a common thing in India and usually government agencies do not object.

    In my case, I live in a very popular and large apartment complex in Hyderabad. So the local PS came to my apartment to verify and clearance report was directly sent to RPO. There was no intermediate SP office since I’m already in an urban area.

    The only thing you can do now is to first talk to local PS and confirm if they have forwarded the clearance report to SP Office. Once that is ascertained, wait for few more days and call up the SP Office to know status. Enquiring with RPO will not help as they will simply ask you to follow up with SP office. Since it is only 5 days since your police verification was done, I suggest you wait for some more time.

    Thanks.

    • Ok guess local cops did forward to SP as the status on website says so (submitted)

      Here the question arises who updates these status meaning if u c my status was changed same day evening of PV. So it means local PS must be connected by net to RPO. And they might have punched the same in there or something like that.

      It would be interesting to know whether physical copies of docs as well as verification report travel to sp office and then to RPO post clearance.

      What I am trying to understand if the docs have reached to SP physically or scanned from local PS, and at what stage they are currently in.

      TCS should have implemented blue dart like status updates wherein the docs could be tracked at minute level nd on which desk in particular.(like inward on this date, pending criminal investigation , etc etc)

      Guess it would be ages before micro tracking big of cases would be implemented. After a delightful experience at PSK , this PV process is next to a bad dream. I really dread running to these police stations for enquiring.

      Thanks

      • Hi,
        Did you get the passport finally? Or has there been any change in status?

        Problem with the status tracking implementation you are talking about is it requires police personnel to interact with the system constantly to keep it updated. Given that falls outside of the purview of MEA, it would have been difficult to enforce that on all state police departments.

      • Yes got it delivered on 14th day of application!!! Super fast:) though they need to improve on status tracking. It was stuck on SP office the one fine day all SMS came thru at once.

        Anyway now I need to apply for my daughters passport she is Sep 2000 will she have to undergo PV as well ? address change case . Since my passport has new address and her mothers still old one(her stainless valid so not going for address change ) how to go about it. Daughters Adhar card carrying another address where we were staying on rent earlier. Her Adhar card address change facing issues as she has no documents for current address.

  3. 14th day, that is bad. Police verification continues to be the bottleneck then.

    First thing you can do is change your daughter’s Aadhar address to current address. Since your passport has new address, this should be easily done. Aadhar updates are online and takes not more than 24 hours. I’m not sure about PV though. If she is not considered as minor, then they will probably go for same PV process. For minors, parents passport is good enough.

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