Passport application

Thanks to Viv for mailing this one to me. I don’t often post emailed “jokes” up here, but this one’s worth it:

Dear Minister,
I’m in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what channel I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in good time.
Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including the one with all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 30-odd years. It’s on my health insurance card, my driver’s licence, on the last four passports I’ve had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother’s name is Mary, her maiden name was Reynolds, my father’s name is Robert, and I’d be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I die!

I apologise Minister. I’m obviously not myself this morning. But between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don’t want to activate the Fifth Reich for God’s sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of week’s well-earned rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one along with my CVS passport photo AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You’d rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some tosser to confirm that it’s really me on the goddamn picture – you know… the one where we’re not allowed to smile in in case we look as if we are enjoying the process! Hey, you know why we can’t smile? ‘Cause we’re totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone “important” to verify who I am — you know, someone like my doctor… who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN PAKISTAN…

Yours sincerely,
An Irate British Citizen.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It’s funny, but my ex-employer had to send me on a foreign trip, so I needed a new passport. The thing is he actually wrote to the passport people in Pebo and addressed it Dear Minister.
still took me 6 hours to wait for the bastard though


I need to sort mine out soonish. I can’t get it done in Paris as it takes 2-3 weeks and I have to have my passport on me to work in the airport in Geneva each weekend. I won’t be in the UK long enough to post it off, so I have to book an appointment – using a premium rate number I can’t call till I’m in the UK. Which will be too late to book the appointment as I’m there for a week and you need to book 2 weeks in advance.

Great stuff.

Dewi Morgan

Was actually almost impressed by the passport’s online application system. They fill out the form with your address and stuff, all pre-printed, and mail it to you. You sign it, mail it, job done.

Lovely… in theory. In practice, it was all printed 5mm down and to the left of where it should have been, so it was illegible.

I had to copy it with biro over to the non-printed copy (which I had ordered over the net at the same time because I am a paranoid type like that) and send that off instead.

Still, marks for trying, I guess.

As for the left hand not being able to get your details from the left hand – this is what the centralised database for the ID card scheme is meant to fix. Trouble is, a lot of people don’t LIKE the idea of a “joined up” government where every department knows what all the other departments know. I see it as a bad thing, but likely unavoidable.


I had a look at the online thing and it did look swish. Doesn’t surprise me that it doesn’t work though!

I’m not in support of the ID card on the basis they’re making it compulsory (and the majority of people don’t want it) and they’re going to charge people for it. Seems a little unfair. It does scream more of “big brother” which doesn’t help.

Plus, can you really trust the govt with your personal data these days? How many laptops and CDs have they lost in the last 12-18 months? It’s madness.


Great post. Funny! BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a CBP 6059B form or US Customs Form, I found a blank form here

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x