Our wonderful government has done a lot of good for Canadian travellers. They’ve increased passport application/renewal fees (who doesn’t love paying more for stuff?), reduced consular services (of course I love being independent in a crisis), and through their hostility to other states, created increased visa fees for Canadians. Even though I absolutely love the wonderful things that our wonderful government does for travellers, sometimes it’s nice to save some money.
Today’s Sunday Reader Question is: how can I save money on passport applications/renewals?
When you submit your passport application/renewal, you will be charged a processing fee. There’s no way out of that. However, when you submit your documents by mail, you’re likely to pay for a courier or another expensive mailing method. You’re mailing confidential information, and in the case of passport renewals, your previous passport.
Did you know there’s a way to securely and quickly mail your application/renewal without incurring substantial mailing fees? Most federal Members of Parliament (MP) constituent offices provide passport shipping services for free, and some of them will review your application for any errors or omissions.
Usually you bring your completed forms and other required documents to the constituency office, and they will send it through a free and secured courier to Ottawa for processing. Although you’re still liable to pay the passport processing fee, this is a fast and secure way to save some money on your passport application/renewal.
A few years ago, I worked for an MP, in the constituency office. At that time there was no mention of a free and secured courier to Ottawa for processing. Mailing letters to an MP – to Ottawa – can be done, with no postage through Canada Post. Is this new?
I’ve heard it to be a standard thing. My local MP, and about a half-dozen random MPs I’ve Googled across the country provide this service. I believe most MPs do it.