Wednesday, October 6, 2010

seriously. I hate government departments.

You know what? Australian government departments are far more effective at deterring evil-doers than you might at first assume.
They deter through obfuscation.


I decide to apply for a passport, on the off-chance that I might get that snazzy overseas holiday for Christmas (hahahahaha)
I find the website, then find the form to fill out. This looks easy.
I am issued a PIN so that if there should be a problem, I can leave the site with my information saved, and come back to it later. This should be a warning to me. They are assuming that I will have problems filling out the form.
I write down the PIN.

I begin filling out the form. Yes, Australian citizen; yes, adult (most of the time);yes, accept the terms or whatever you just said; name, sex, DOB, all pretty easy so far....
I get to page 3 and discover I spelled my name incorrectly a while back. Those pesky Ns and Ms that look so alike when you don't have your glasses on -- really whose stupid idea was it to put them next to each other?
Hmm. There seems to be no way to edit that.
Maybe when I get to the end... which I can't do because what if it can't be corrected and I have to re-apply?
I start again. New PIN. Written down. Carefully proof-reading now.

Ah. I require proof of my married name. Easy. I have several photocopies of my wedding certificate.... WHAT? this certificate (that I have used to change my drivers' licence and a whole host of other government departments) is not proof enough?? I need an official certificate issued by the RBDM?? Well, FINE.

I go to the RBDM. After some messing about, I find the place to get a marriage certificate issued.
Ah. $44. Of course.
I cart the lappie into the printer room, connect it up, print the form. It prints crooked. I'm tempted to use it but realise this could be grounds for some Official to refuse my application. I re-print.

Unhook the lappie and cart it back to it's power source.
Begin filling out the form. It asks for BIRTH details. I fill out half this section before realising this is if you want to REGISTER a birth.

Re-print. Fill out the correct section.

Now it wants me to provide ID. A drivers' licence. My birth certificate is not good enough.
Ummmm.... well, I haven't actually applied for an address change on my drivers' licence yet. I briefly think about just photocopying it anyway, but once again, am thinking I might merely be providing some Official with an excuse to refuse.


Now I'm at the licencing website. LUCKILY I am able to change my address on-line. Still, the site is confusing and I waste 15 mins waiting on a phone call before finding the information I need and hanging up.
I fill out the form. I need my drivers' licence and vehicle registration numbers. More faffing about while I get those.
Finally, done.
Now --- I need to wait while I am issued a sticker to put over the old address on my licence.
Then I can photocopy the licence and post to the RBDM with my $44 in order to get an 'official' marriage certificate.

THEN I can get back to applying for the passport.

I wonder what the next hurdle will be? And I truly can't WAIT to get the photo taken.


  1. It helps a kot to read the entire form first, take notes of what you need and of which parts you don't need to fill out. Assemble everything you need, THEN fill out the form. Takes a bit longer to get started, but once you have everything, you can whizz through it.
    I hope you get that overseas holiday.

  2. I just can't believe you can change your licence address online. That's easily the most astounding part! ;)

    Having to get passports for infants over the past couple of years was one of the worst experiences I've been through. Photo regulations include that they must have eyes open, a neutral expression (??), mouth closed, no parents arms/hands visible, etc etc. My kids were five months when I was doing this. They couldn't even sit up on their own. Took about 600 photos each I reckon. And then my daughter's got rejected for the slightest bit of red eye. I tell you what, I had a red eye after that. FROM CRYING.

    Really hope you do get your passport before Christmas :)

  3. well thank GOD I don't have to take infant photos....

    getting mine done will be bad enough!

  4. Also -- River, you can't read ahead. You have to fill each page out separately and completely before moving on to the next.
    That's the bit that had me screaming in frustration.

  5. You do not fill me with confidence! I have to get six passports before we fly to Fiji for Xmas (I know, nice for some). Something tells me I need to get onto this. Pronto!

    Oh. And thanks for the love on my blog today :)

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