Indian passport renewal in five simple steps!

Thinking of applying for renewing your old Indian passport or applying for a fresh one, you've come to the perfect place. When I started this process about a month and half back, I struggled to find a detailed resource based on someone's personal experiences, so I decided to create this guide for my readers. I started documenting the process right from day one (including messages, emails etc) to make sure this guide is as helpful as possible for anyone looking for this information. Still I couldn't update all possible details here, so feel free to ask me questions in the comments below and I will try and answer all your queries.

Of course, this works only if you are already an Indian citizen. Also, thankfully the process is far more simple now so I have to draw only a little from my past experiences when the process was just chaotic.

indian passport renewal fresh process steps
Indian passport in 5 simple steps


But wait...
This time when I was filling up the form I completely f%#*$€d up in my first attempt. Errr...what exactly happened? Well, this was going to be my third passport but I incorrectly selected ‘fresh’ instead of ‘re-issue’ for the passport type. Though the error was overlooked at the time of issuing me the token, as soon as I showed my documents at the first check, the error was found.

I did try, in vain, to convince the staff at the office to let me correct the mistake there itself and allow me to submit. Unfortunately, I was sent back packing and had to refill another online form and submit once again.

So now you know how much experience I’ve had even with the new system - certainly more than a regular passport applicant :)

Identify your category

However, before we get into more details, you need to know what category you fall into. This is important as making a mistake here will result in the rejection of your application. The category also defines the documents that you need to submit, so do make sure you do it right.

Indian passport renewal in 5 simple steps!

Making the passport consists of four of five (based on your luck) major steps and I can break them down for you here:

1. Filling up the passport application form
2. Visiting the Passport Seva Kendra to submit the form
3. Police verification
4. The long wait
5. Receiving the passport

1. Filling up the passport application form

Filling up the application process is simpler than you would imagine it to be. All you need to do is go online, register yourself and fill up the form.

Frankly, this is a very simple process and takes about 45 minutes at max. Do keep in mind the fact that you can't change your city once you've registered yourself with an email ID. I first registered myself in Mumbai, then realised that I didn't have the address proof and so had to register once again for Pune from a different email ID.

indian passport renewal fresh
Passport portal (click on the picture above)


If you need your passport quickly, you can also apply under the Tatlak (instant) category. With this you can skip the police verification process before your passport is processed.

The fee for the passport also needs to be paid online. Here's how it looks for those who are 18 years and above:

Normal 36 pages: Rs 1500
Normal 60 pages: Rs 2000
Tatkal 36 pages: Rs 3500
Tatkal 60 pages: Rs 4000

Find out more on the fees here.

At the end of your online application form, you will be asked to pick a day and time for your visit to the nearest PSK. All the days available will be within the next one week. Pick a day and time convenient to you.

2. Visit to Passport Seva Kendra (PSK)

Before you go to your PSK, you need to identify the one close to you. Here's a link for that. On your big day, I would  strongly recommend reaching at least half an hour before your appointment time, even though the website says reach 15 minutes before your appointment time. Here are the simple steps you need to follow when you are at the PSK.

1. Show your receipt at the entrance and go to the waiting/ seating area outside

2. When it’s time (30 mins before your appointment time), go inside, get your bag checked and your receipt verified

3. Collect the token - at this stage they will do the first verification of your documents and only if your documents are in order will you allowed to go further. Surprisingly, I saw quite a few people turned away at this stage itself. In my case, only my electricity bill was asked for (they only need your address proof) and I then got the token. The token will look something like this.

token indian passport renewal fresh


4. Right after taking the token, go inside the ‘waiting area’ by scanning your token. A policeman will be there to help you.

5. Now sit and wait for your turn based on your token number - there is a board which flashes the number and there would be someone who will also call out your token number

6. Walk to the first Section A. This is where your documents will be checked, and your photo as well as finger print scan will be taken. This typically takes about 10 minutes if everything is in order. They will upload all the relevant documents, confirm all the information you filled online, take your photo and also scan the fingers. I had also opted for the facility of sms alert and so paid ₹45 for the service and got a receipt too.

7. Wall then to the Section B - Verification Zone. Unlike Section A, the waiting area here was completely full. There will be benches but most likely they will be already full of people waiting for their turn. Plus there will be tons of people standing and waiting in a few haphazard queues. So be prepared to wait for a long time. My token number was N121 and when I walked in, the running number was only N59. In short, this section is slow.

Curiously, numbers don’t move in any specific order, not sure why that was.

So what happens here?
Well, this is the fastest zone once you reach on the table. They simply re-verify the information and check once again against the submitted documents. It took less than 2 minutes on the table.

Counters: 12

8. Once done, head over to Section C - granting zone. It’s the same common waiting area and so pretty full of people, though not as chaotic as you imagine it to be. It’s again a long wait here. I waited for more than an hour before my number flashed on the screen.

The time at the counter was again just a few minutes. The staff there looked at closely at my picture on the passport, reconfirmed my picture on my first passport and finally put a stamp on my passport which says it’s cancelled.

He then asked me to wait to hear from my closest police station, and if I don’t hear hear anything for the next three weeks, I should get in touch with them directly.

Counters: 9

9. Token submit desk - on the way out, you need to submit your token after filling up the feedback form at the back. The staff will quickly make a photocopy and give that to you, while retaining try original.

I didn’t have a pen and the lady graciously offered her own to me to fill the form.

And yes with that I was done.

The entire process at the Passport Seva Kendra took about two hours. The place had air conditioning, toilets and drinking water, so it wasn’t really uncomfortable. I do wish there were more counters at Section B and C, and more seating area there as well.

3. Police verification

This was to me the most mysterious process and the one which was also the most challenging to handle. Most people I spoke to told me that police would often ask for money to do this, else the process could get delayed forever. I certainly didn’t have time to wait forever for a passport due to my upcoming trips, but I was also completely against paying any money to expedite the process.

I was still in transition between Pune and Mumbai when I got a message exactly seven days after I submitted my documents at the Passport Seva Kendra. Here’s what it looks like.

indian passport renewal fresh

The list of documents needed was large and I decided to do some internet research to read more on it. What most forums said is that the only documents I needed to show were the ones I gave at PSK and also keep a copy of them as well. So that’s what I did, and almost completely ignored the message.

The window of their visit was fairly large (11am to 6pm) and they came at 5pm. They did ask me for letters from neighbours but I told them I didn’t have those with me. Anyway, they said it should be ok. They took my picture with the tablet and uploaded it right away on the website. They also took copies of the submitted documents and asked me to sign a couple of times.

And that’s all they did. There was absolutely no conversation about money, which I would have turned down anyway. In fact I had planned on fighting it out through social media in case they asked for any money, but thankfully that never happened.

The entire process took less than 15 minutes.

4. The long wait

While everything else was seamless, my wait to actually receive the passport was much longer. Two weeks after my police verification, I got a message saying that my application has been sent to the Commissoner of Police (image below) and it’s pending there. The message also said that I should connect with the police station.

indian passport renewal fresh


However, the message gave no hints on how to reach them. I found one number online and someone kind on the other end gave me another number. After numerous attempts, I got through and they actually took my application number to check the status. It was Friday, and they told me that by Tuesday or so they will be able to process the passport. All this while this was the status online for my application.

indian passport renewal fresh

I waited restlessly for more than one more week, and then called them once again. However, before that I tried reaching out to them through social media too. Here is a tweet I did, but unfortunately failed to get any response from them at all, though some of my friends online did offer some advice.




Getting through this time was rather difficult but in the end I did get to speak to a guy who again took my number and gave the same exact answer. I had to desperately plead to him that my travels were getting hampered due to the delay and I really needed the passport ASAP. The man then called another guy on the phone (perhaps his senior) who asked me the same questions and then assured me that it will be processed soon.

Shockingly in the next half half an hour I got this message saying my passport printing process had been initiated.


indian passport renewal fresh

The online status of my application also changed immediately to something very positive and encouraging :)

indian passport renewal fresh
Hurray! The battle was almost won finally!


5. Receiving the passport

Two days before one complete month, I received this message saying my passport has been dispatched and I should receive it soon. As always I was traveling (in Chennai actually) and so told amma about it so that she stays at home to receive it. Our backup was that if the postman doesn’t give the passport, I will come to Pune, visit the post office and fetch it.

However, the very next day the postman came home and without even asking any questions handed over the passport to ma. I had left a letter as well as my Aadhar card but none of this was required. What shocked my mother even more was that he didn’t ask for any money at all. Taken aback my mother still handed over ₹100 as ‘Diwali ka inam’ as it would be a bit odd to push him into taking a bribe. Of course he was happy, smiled and left.

Needless to mention I was happy too and richer by another passport. World...I am coming :)

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Do you have a passport story to share as well? Do share it on the comments below.

Comments

  1. I had a similar experience. The recent renewal took nearly a month. 20 years back, it had taken 3 weeks to get a fresh passport!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first experience was long, but first renewal was smooth like makkhan. I did the submission with an agent then...but it was very affordable. This time it took way to much time...

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  2. My police verification was done in a jiffy and passport dispatched. Very quick process. This is my 4th Passport. However, my second one was not so simple. I'm from mumbai and i was in chennai where i applied for Passport renewal with ecnr. They didn't accept my degree certificate as a requirement for ecnr because my name in the old passport was vasudha Bhatia, whereas, in Maharastra, the degree certificates are printed with first name, Father's name and last name. So I spite of my passport having my father name, they said, vasudha Bhatia and Vasudha Amar Bhatia are not the same. I had to actually file an affidavit/gazette and even publish an ad in a local Tamil newspaper ( which I couldn't read) and an English newspaper and submit that. It said, I'm changing my name from vasudha Amar Bhatia to Vasudha Bhatia. I found that extremely ridiculous.
    That is not the end of the story.
    I gave my application with just my surname and first name. But in chennai, they automatically added the middle name which is either spouse or father's *FULL* name. So can you imagine what my name would have been in the Passport? @#$_&-+()/@*¡!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That's quite a story...and pretty ridiculous (esp the name change part). It's a miracle that you could do it all :)

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  3. This was really informative Siddhartha, considering that my passport is expiring next year as well and I need to get it renewed.
    One question, say for instance I live in New Delhi and my permanent address is in another city. Can I still go for PSK in New Delhi, considering I don't have the address proof for Delhi?
    Am confused since you mentioned that you had to go to Poona since you didn't have the address proof for Bombay. Thanks in advance for the response. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to apply from a city for which you have an address proof. There are many documents which can be used for this, including the house rent agreement. So if you have any of these for Delhi, you can still apply from there.

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