The intimation of change of address and incorporation of spouse name in my passport was a task which was long overdue for me, which I was consciously postponing. I was worried it would be inordinately delayed since it involves some Government work(!). I wanted it to outsource it to a travel agent who could do it for me. But when I checked with a travel agent he suggested that instead of going through an agent it is better the concerned person visits the Passport Office. He also informed that the systems have been put in place and for these kind of small jobs you dont need an agent and all details are available on the net.
With little bit of googling by my wife, she found out the website as well as the required forms to be filled in. The website of Passport Office has all the required details for completing this task. The website also as useful information like Know your Passport status, online registration form etc., I came to know that we can apply online for renewal of our passport, issuance of new passport and other services after registering online. The system gives you a date and time when you to have visit the Passport Office and submit the application form in person similar to that of the US Consulate. This helps to avoid the long waiting period in the RPO. The Chennai Regional passport Office on the web can be accessed here.
This Monday I went to Regional Passport Office, Chennai to get my address changed and for the inclusion of spouse name. I should say I was lucky that there were less than 50 people at 8.30 AM in the morning waiting in the queue. Normally the queue is very long I understood from my wife when she went for the address change. First a person in Khaki Uniform (Policeman!?) came and verified the documents and advised people to go to the appropriate counters. Then around 9.45 AM an officer from the Passport Office came and verified the documents with persons who were waiting in the queue. Then when the concerned counter was opened at 10.00 AM it so turned out that I am in the sixth person in the queue. I submitted the documents and waited for another 15 minutes and paid the fees of Rs600. Everything was over by 10.30 AM. The total time I spent was less than 2 hours from start to finish. I cant ask for less, I guess!!
I was informed that I would receive the amended Passport within 10 days. I was in for a surprise when I received the passport today, that is, on the third day after submission. I am really thrilled and happy about the level of service in this regard from Regional Passport Office, Chennai. The staff in RPO were courteous and professional. Definitely RPO's and in particular Chennai office is an example of how efficient Government Offices can function.
Hats off to Regional Passport Office, Chennai!!! India Shining!!