A New Parent’s Passport Experience, T&T
The first week in March 2020, we took our three-month-old to a passport appointment at the Chaguanas location. We were renewing our passports and applying for the baby’s first passport. The appointment was made over the telephone and we walked with our reference number.
No surprise, there was no parking available at the Passport Office, and when we arrive the reference number is of no significance. You just join the line like everyone else and wait for your turn.
While waiting my baby needed to have his diaper changed, and we asked the security officer, we were told there is a washroom outside, you can check there and change him outside. No surprise again, there is no changing area for a baby in the washroom. Fortunately, I knew someone with a business space next to the passport office, and they were lovely enough to let us use their conference room.
Our wait was over 3 hours, with a 3-month-old, and there were so many other parents with uneasy children, just sitting waiting for their turn.
It is sad, that people still do not have access to basic things, even at a government office. The office space is rented, but I am sure it is enough to request a changing table in the washroom and allocate parking for parents with infants.
The inefficiency of the entire process consumes your day and patience.
Hey are a few ideas:
- For all parents with kids renewing or even expectant mothers, have a day and time to serve them, weekly.
- All renewals should be accessible online.
- Before renting any location, require that the facility offer to clients; family washrooms with change stations, differently-abled amenities, and special parking.