I'm used to being able to run by the police passport offices, fill out a form with my information, take a picture, sign the form and then, a few weeks later, pick up my new passport.
But not anymore. At least not in Gothenburg.
Starting from April 9th, a visit to the police passport office has to go via the Internet. And believe me – you’re going to have to schedule it a long time ahead. When I visited the site on April 9th, the first available time was on May 27th!
This winter I became aware that it was time to renew my passport. Since I'm going on a trip in early June, I went by the police passport office at the end of March. And there was a long queue, let me tell you that.
Once I had managed my way through the crowd and taken a number, I grumpily noticed that there was closer to 200 people before me in line.
I soon realized that this visit would not take that half hour I’ve grown accustomed to during my last visits when renewing my passport. It was going to take 2-3 hours.
Last week when I made a new attempt, it was the same thing. That’s when I became aware of the fact that from Monday onwards, I was going to have to schedule my visit online.
After talking about this with friends and family, it became clear to me that this has been the case in Stockholm for quite some time, apparently. On the other hand, this I can understand – Stockholm is a major city. But for it to be like this in the rest of the country is really bad, in my opinion. Something has gone very wrong.
It is probably a yet another sign of the police's increased workload and inadequate resources, combined with the growing population.
For my own part, I will not be able to wait for my scheduled appointment. Worst-case scenario would be to arrange for a temporary passport at the airport, but that is very expensive in relation to the single month it is valid.
No, I’m going to make a trip to Uddevalla instead. They still have drop-in.
And after that, the only thing that remains is to accept that everything will be managed via the web in the future.