I ordered my birth certificate from the State of New Jersey the 3rd of May and received it last Wednesday the 23rd. It was complicated because that State only sends birth certificates within the United States and only to the address on the identification used! This could have been a real problem for me, but as I had just sorted out transferring my driving license back to the State of Connecticut using my mother's address -- I was good to go! I had arranged with my brother to mail it to me when it arrived, however, when it didn't drop through the letter chute a week ago, I called my mother. She said it had not come -- but when I checked I discovered that it had been delivered to the front desk on the 5th of May. I called my brother and he promised to look for it when he visited my mother later the same day. That night he telephoned me with the good news that it was indeed among the vast quantities of mail she collects! He sent it by UPS on Monday and Wednesday morning it was delivered!
Now I could make an appointment with the Embassy in London. Because it is a 'damaged' passport, I must appear in person. The earliest appointment I could get was 29th June at 7.45 a.m. and I booked it. Train tickets have been ordered and delivered and arrangements have been made to stay with my Niece in Bayswater. The only thing left is getting the passport pictures. I am happy to say there is a photographer here in town who is familiar with all the rules involving this and taken photos for other Americans -- the government is incredibly fussy about this and regularly reject photographs that are not up to their exacting specifications:
Submit a color photograph of you alone, sufficiently recent to be a good likeness of you (taken within the last six months), and 2 x 2 inches in size. The image size measured from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head (including hair) should not be less than 1 inch and not more than 1 3/8 inches. The photograph must be color, clear, with a full front view of your face, and printed on thin paper with a plain light (white or off-white) background ....U.S. Government Bureaucracy at its best!
Once I've appeared and sworn allegiance, and so on and so forth, my application will be sent off to the States. I am praying that Officialdom will return my damaged document to me because it has the home office stamp giving me indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom. I will need to present it along with my new passport to British immigration officials the next time I return to the UK. Which brings me to going to France this year!
The Man leaves on Saturday 2nd June for the Lot and I shall join him whenever I get my passport, which could take 4 weeks from the appointment day! But at least, at the moment, things are looking good for a sunny and warm English summer!