Neither of us had a passport so we took an afternoon last month and went and completed our applications, got some ridiculously expensive photos and headed off to the courthouse. Everything went off without a hitch until I the lady at the courthouse reviewed my application. I had a passport 20 years ago but it expired so I destroyed it. There was question that asked if I had ever had a passport before and if so what was the number. I told her I had a passport but not idea what the number was. She said just mark you have never had a passport before. I thought that was odd but she was the expert. 10 days later Rhonda's passport shows up. Mine is nowhere to be seen. I keep checking online then last Monday a letter shows up. They said that I have not adequately identified myself and they need 19 hundred other pieces of ID. No joke I had to take them the following:
- High school yearbooks
- Pictures of me in the newspaper
- speeding tickets
- expired ID
- Utilities bills
- my kids birth certificates
I called Wendi and she had the one yearbook that Heather, Wendi and I were all in. I discovered the error (expense) of getting tickets long ago and have not had a ticket it years (even though I have been pulled over no less than 15 times in the last 6 years). All of the newspaper articles with me are less than ten years old. I do have 3 kids that are over 10 years old so they came in handy.
Our wonderful government has a plan for this. They think of everything. I had to come up with every house I have ever lived in including the address and the dates I lived there. For my family in Basin City that would not be hard. Most of them outside of college could probably count the number of homes they have lived in on 1 hand...or maybe 2 fingers. Me on the other hand, I needed all of my fingers, toes and most of my wife's as well. Keep in mind I have lived here in Port Townsend for the last 10 years I have moved a grand total (excluding mission transfers) 31 times. In addition to this they needed all of the schools I attended. Moving around a lot meant a lot of schools. I had 3 elementary schools, 2 junior highs, 3 high schools and 5 colleges. Oh and they also wanted every job I have ever had. I only went back as far as my mission. I don't think me flipping burgers at Dairy Queen is really that important.
After putting all of this together which was no small feat mind you. I had to go to Seattle and deliver it in person. I went to the State department and met with a wonderful lady who was completely pleasant. Unlike the battle axe receptionist, she could have used a lesson or two on kindness from Barney the Dinosaur. She got the yearbook out turned to the page I was on looked at the photo then at me then at the photo then at me then at the photo....you get the idea. After about her doing this 6 times I looked at her and said "Its been 23 years and I am fat now, come on work with me" She smiled and said lets take a look at those newspaper clippings. After sometime she said she would issue the passport and I am actually the Ryan Anderson I claim to be. That was reassuring. I had some high hopes there for a few minutes if I really wasn't me I would not have to pay my taxes. Then yesterday the passport came in the mail and it was all good. The odd thing is that if it were not for the miracle of technology I would have completely forgotten about it, but now you get to read about it. How lucky are you!