11.23.2010

Our DFA experience (courtesy lane)

It was so efficient this is one of the few times I was happy with government service.

The husband works for a government agency and so we had the privilege to use the courtesy lane at DFA. Courtesy lane applicants need not make an appointment by phone or online. Just print out a filled up form and bring your requirements and you can walk in at any date. Just go in the morning because they will not accept applicants after 10 am.

enjoying his breakfast

We were there at 7.40 am after a quick breakfast at Jollibee Macapagal Avenue (northbound). Since this is the route we take everyday, I know parking at McDonald’s right in front of DFA will be full so we opted to park at the vacant lot across S&R. Parking was P30.

We entered thru gate 3, along Macapagal. Showed the guard husband’s government ID. Then we proceeded to the 2nd floor. There was another waiting line but since we had a toddler in tow, we were asked to line up to have our documents/requirements checked right away.

For government employees, make sure you have a copy of the govnt employee ID to be attached to the application of all of you in the group. For married employees, only the spouse and unmarried children can go in with the employee and for single employees, his parents.

the TV on the background flashes the numbers on screen. we waited for about 20mins for our number to be called

Only 1 counter was open when we arrived but it’s before 8 am so that wasn’t bad at all. Our number was 7009. Counter 10 opened about 5 minutes after we arrived and began processing applicants from number 7001 so we were just the ninth in line. Again, not bad at all. I thought we have to wait for our 7009 number to be called from the first number I saw on the board which was 5001.

Took us only a few minutes at the counter. After which we paid at Cashier 3, in the same room. Our processing fee was P1,200 (rush service) since we used the courtesy lane. There is no option for the regular processing of P900.

Jared and his dad playing while mommy gets ready to fall in line at cashier 3 on the background

After paying (we were the 3rd in line when I lined up), we were asked to go to the other room to have our photos taken. Again, a privilege of using the courtesy lane is that you have 5 photo booths assigned just to you so when we got there, it was out turn again. The lady was so friendly, even playing with Jared’s Thomas the train that I felt he was at ease when he had his photo taken. He was smiling a lot for the camera but reaches out to take a look at his photo right away so the lady tried 6 times until she got an acceptable photo. Jared wasn’t smiling then and his unruly hair looked like a bird’s nest. =)
mommy checking Jared's passport info on the PC. this was after his photo was taken

For courtesy lane applicants, there is also a separate line for courier service. Fee is the same at P120/applicant but since I needed to hold on to my passport for my flight on Dec 9, they did not cancel my old one there. There is a delay in processing of passports so ours are scheduled to be released on Dec 6. In the event my passport won’t be ready by then, I can still use my old one which was a great thing.

We were done by 9 am and still had the rest of the day to celebrate hubby’s birthday.

Tips:
1. Eat. You don’t how until what time you will be inside so eat. Heads are cooler when stomachs are full. =)
2. Be patient. Expect lines and lots of waiting.
3. If you have kids in tow-bring toys and milk. The waiting areas are cool and there is even space for kids to roam around and play a bit so no worries son this part.
4. Have you passport delivered. Since I am picking up our passports instead of having them delivered (see above), I checked the passport claim line and it is long. Good luck to me when I pick up my passport. There is no courtesy lane here. Pay the courier fee and avoid the line, the heat and the hassle of going back for the passport.
5. Go early. People I feel are generally more cheerful in the morning.hehe.

3 comments:

Mimi said...

hi! i'm renewing my passport soon and i also need the passport for a flight one week after my dfa appearance. do you simply ask them not to cancel the old passport? no additional paperwork? is it option given to all applicants or a priviledge to government employees?

is the reason why you didn't use the courier is because you have to go back to surrender the old passport?


thanks and appreciate your reply.

Got to Believe said...

hi mimi,

i mentioned to the officer that i have a flight soon and he offered not to have my passport cancelled yet. pls ask them this option when you apply, not sure lang if its just for govnt employees and dependents but i think this is offered naman to all.

yup, that's also the reason why we had to go back to claim--we cannot use the courier bec they have to make my old passport void before they release the new one to me.

hope you'll have an easy time when yoou renew. =)

leslie

Ave Gaile Peraz said...

hi, i stumbled upon your blog about dfa courtesy lane. Im from bulacan and i need to renew my passport. I didn't know that i need to get an appointment first before anything else, not like before. And i'm living by 10th of june. Is it possible if im going to the courtesy lane i will get my passport renew.

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