ANSWERED: Can someone else wait in the passport renewal line for me?

May 11 2022, 5:59 pm

With passport renewal wait times skyrocketing in Canada, thousands are rushing to have their travel documents sorted.

Queues for passport renewal keep growing nationwide and frustrated Canadians are talking about their experiences waiting in lines for hours, sometimes days.

New problems give rise to new solutions, and therefore, many have decided to extend their services to those who don’t want to be bothered with all that.

Daily Hive found ads across Facebook, Kijiji, and other online marketplaces, where people are offering to keep your spot in line for cash.

But do passport processing offices allow you to have someone else queue up in your place? The answer is layered.

Daily Hive asked Service Canada and Passport Canada what the rules regarding this were.

On the official website, it states that it’s currently experiencing very high call volumes, and recommends waiting to call if your travel plans are not happening within the next two weeks.

“Service Canada recognizes that an increase in demand for passport services has resulted in lineups and longer wait times for service, and we understand the concern this may cause for clients,” it said in an emailed statement.

The agency added that for in-person appointments, it is recommended that applicants submit their application themselves.

But in case this isn’t possible for the applicant, they can technically have someone else do it for them, with certain considerations.

“The application may be submitted by a third-party provided they are a relative and can meet and provide proof of certain criteria,” Service Canada clarified. “In all cases, the person must provide identification.”

It further noted that if someone else is simply saving a spot in line for an applicant, they are not obligated to follow this rule.

“Measures are in force for the those applying for a passport on someone’s behalf and do not apply to clients simply waiting in line.”

So, if you need someone else to go through the whole process, they have to be a relative, and you must provide supporting documents to authorize them to apply on your behalf. But if you’re getting a friend or a for-hire passport line stander, you should arrive by the time your number comes up in the queue.

Service Canada does not accept urgent or express applications submitted by a third party.

These are processed in less than 10 business days and come with an additional fee, depending on your urgency.

The $50 express pick-up service can take two to nine business days, while urgent pick-up costs $110 and your document is ready by the end of the next business day.

The applicant must be present in this situation and the passport officer dealing with their case is responsible for telling them the date of their pick-up

“We ensure everyone who submits an application is the right person and that they meet all the requirements to submit,” Service Canada said.

“Our focus is on serving those clients at our counters, who deserve the best support we are able to offer.”

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