Philippine Passport Change Experience at Washington DC

This trip wasn't really a part of our plan. As you know my husband will only be home for two weeks, this is his first R&R since we went back to Iraq. And plans has been made as to how are we going to spend that short period of time, together. Going to Tennessee for a couple of days is one, and probably go to Myrtle Beach on South Carolina too, heard that's a good place so yeah, I want to go! I'm thinking he must have planned something to surprise me on that one. *sweet*

Anyway, I told him that I want to go to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, to get my passport information changed, change my last name to my married name, since this is the only time I could do this, him being here. So we included DC in our plan. I was surprised he told he's never been there!! That made it perfect, because we both never been to that place, and we enjoyed our one day trip there.

So we're in DC on Monday. We woke up early, was so excited. The embassy was probably just 50 steps away from our hotel, so it was so convenient! I was so thrilled, because I'd be seeing a part of my country, where I can see fellow Pinoys, and I can freely speak tagalog all I want! And to my surprise, they do flag ceremony on Mondays! It's so cool. I can't even remember when was the last time I attended a flag ceremony and said my "Panunumpa sa Watawat" (Pledge of Allegiance to the Phil flag), do you? Felt like I was a little kid as I sang our national anthem, and I'm happy as well because my husband was there with me, now he have seen how we do the ceremony. Glad I was able to share it with him. I felt so proud. The ambassador was there, and so the rest of the employees, and "early birds". So, my advice, go on Mondays if you want to experience this as well.

After that, everyone went inside, time to work! We're already in line, when I realized, I have to go outside and get my passport pictures taken. So I asked the fine lady at the counter, she said CVS is just a walk away from there. I never had the time to get this done before we went to DC, oh well. Another tip, get your pictures done ahead of time, make sure you get the best shots! Because I didn't like mine. Back to the embassy; the whole process just took less than 30 mins. actually, it was quick. What took me so long was the time spent filling out forms, we also did "Report of Marriage" application, that's why. See, I had to legibly fill out 4 Forms, all handwritten, nice. And done with that, the lady at the first window checked my forms, and pictures, and directed me to the next window, the Cashier, where I paid $83 for all. And then I was told to proceed at the left side of the embassy lobby, where another woman checked my Passport application form's information, if they are all filled out and spelled correctly. She printed a copy for me to check for errors,and had me signed on the signature part of the printed form. She printed one again, and had me signed again. That's it! She took all the forms, pictures, my old unexpired passport, and said expect the new passport with my old one on mail via UPS after 6 weeks. I really don't want to give her my old passport, for I don't have any identification with me at all, aside from that, but then it's a requirement, so let it go. I never heard of lost passport yet being in this process, so I guess I shouldn't worry. So there, all I have to do is wait 6 weeks. After that, we went back to the hotel, and went on our Washington DC sightseeing. See my next post!

Oh here's the breakdown of what I paid: $83
$50 - Passport Application (the maroon one)
$25 - Report of Marriage
$ 8 - UPS carrier fee

Passport Application requirements (change of last name)
1. Old Passport
2. 4 pcs. passport pictures, royal blue background
3. Application form
4. Photocopy of Old Passport's biographic page and back, date of US entry stamp
5. Photocopy of Marriage Certificate
6. Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate (needed for validation only)

* Get your set of pictures taken wherever (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart etc,)get the best picture you could get, remember this will be your passport for years! (until you renew again)
* Get the requirements all ready in hand before leave your home. That just make things easier and faster.
* If you're going to file "Report of Marriage". Print out the form online and make copies of it (4). My mistake, I forgot, so I wound up filling out 4 forms there!
* Go on Mondays, before 9am, so you'd be a part of the flag ceremony, trust me it just feels great!
* You can pretty much go anytime of the day, because there's no long lines.
* Plan your trip. Washington DC is so beautiful, never miss to explore around!

For more questions, please leave a comment so I can address your concern, Thanks!

**UPDATE: Just got my New Passport!

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