How to Renew your Passport in One Day

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I, as a 23 year old woman, had never renewed my passport by myself. So when I found out I couldn't check-in for my flight because my passport was valid for less than 6 months, I almost shat myself where I sat.

My flight was in the afternoon on the 22nd of January. It was a great Thursday, or so I thought. Arriving early to work like I always did, I made my green tea latte, took my vitamins, had my fill of free cookies from the office pantry and was about to start work when I remembered I still hadn't checked-in or printed out my boarding pass.

I sat down, opened the AirAsia website, keyed in my passport number and a pop-up appeared telling me my passport was valid for less than 6 months and that I would need to contact them for more information.

I immediately texted my go-to guy for information. No. Not Google. In hindsight, I guess I should have consulted Google-sama first before anything, but I felt that contacting my brother was the more reliable way to go.

He of course, told me that I needed to renew my passport and that I should Google this shit up.

At which point, I got up from my seat, turned to my boss (who sits next to me) and asked for an EL (emergency leave). It was about 9.30am and I arrived at work around 8.30 am. Work starts at 9am so I basically "worked" 30 minutes that day.

Walked as fast as I could to the train station to head back home to grab my passport. All the while Googling articles and ways to get to the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) to renew my passport. This was all before Grab and Uber became popular.

For those of you who didn't know, UTC in KL actually allows you to renew your passport, among other things such as renewing your IC.

When I got there, There was already a number of people, but the line wasn't long. In fact, my number came up about 5 minutes after I sat down. I didn't even have time to finish my game.

If you're going to UTC to renew your passport, here are the things you have to do if you're going through the counters like me.
  1. Take a number. As if this wasn't common sense already and wait to be called. 
  2. Your Passport. Once your number is called, give the officer your passport, be friendly please. It seriously helps. You'll chat a bit (maybe) and then they'll take your picture. 
  3. Take the Picture. Unlike before, they take your picture there and then, so you don't need to have them made beforehand. Because of this, wear proper clothes (nothing koyak-koyak or too revealing) and make sure they are dark. They had a mirror there so you can check your reflection, but I was in a hurry so my picture ended up looking a bit...... ew... Don't make my mistake. Check before they snap. 
  4. Wait some more. Go back to your seat and wait for another counter to call your number. This counter is where you'll be paying for your passport.
  5. Payment. Passports for Malaysian citizens is RM200 for 5 years (I believe). It is half price for senior citizens and free for anyone who is disabled (again, the prices might have changed so don't quote me on this).
  6. Wait again. After paying, you sit back down until someone in the next counter calls out your number or your name. 
  7. Pick up your new passport. At this point, it hadn't even been 1 hour since I arrived and completed the whole process. 
The officer whom I spoke to when I picked up my new passport was very friendly. She asked me about my experience and I gave her two thumbs up. I literally held two thumbs up like a dork. She was surprised because apparently they had been getting a bunch of bad reviews about slow service and such. She then told me to go on their website and leave a review. Which reminds me... I should do that.

Some tips to remember:

  • Go early. Head to the office early, especially if you're taking a half-day leave from work. The earlier you are, the less people there will be. 
  • Go on a weekday. I headed over to UTC on a Thursday (at around 11am) and had quick service. Weekends are the worst as there will be a long line of people. Take a leave (like me) and you won't regret it.
  • Bring Money. You need RM200. I paid in cash, but their website said you can pay with a card (credit or debit). I'd still get RM200 ready to be on the safe side.

I hope this was a little bit helpful, :) Remember to check your passports before you travel and don't think you'd be fine. I aged 10 years after realizing I might not be able to make my flight. haha.

Happy Travelling!

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Bangunan UTC – Kuala Lumpur
Pudu Sentral
50550 Kuala Lumpur
Email : admin@utc.my
Tel : 0380008000

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