A small instance that happened recently when I went to reissue my wife’s passport.
I should admit, it was an oversight that we missed seeing the list of Banks from which the statement is accepted as proof of address. We went with Axis Bank Statement and they said it was not accepted. The person across the counter asked if we had a telephone bill. “Yeahhhh”!! We pulled out an Airtel landline bill from our file which in fact, was in my wife’s name since the last two years. “Sorry”, she said(not so politely of course). Only BSNL bill was accepted! We cursed our stars, went back home with no other choice. Before leaving, we asked her for other options and she suggested we could bring the passbook of a government bank if we had an account.
An idea struck us ! Myself and my wife had a joint account in Corporation Bank and that was in the list of ‘Accepted’ Banks. We opened it long ago and had not visited it for many years now. So I had no clue if it was in operation at all. Couldn’t find the passbook either. So we decided to go in person and check out. We asked them about our account and we were glad it was still active. We asked them the formalities for change of address since it had my Madipakkam address when we opened it. “Any Telephone Bill !” was the response. 😀 Still hopeful, we asked him if Airtel bill would do. “YES” he said!!!! How cool ! Changed the address to our present address, got a duplicate passbook issued with the new address. One photo each, for me and my wife, pasted on the passbook and sealed and signed by the bank authorities. Deposited 2K for a proof of a recent transaction, made an entry in the passbook. PERFECT ! we were good to go!
Rescheduled our appointment at the passport seva kendra, Tambaram. Things went fine this time ! All formalities done in about an hour and papers submitted.
This means that the passport office gives a damn about your address proof. It just conveniently shrugged off the responsibility of validating your proof of address, and put it on Corporation Bank. In case we happen to do something so bad that our address has to be dug into, then the passport office will coolly say that they only accepted a Government Bank’s passbook and it was the bank’s responsibility to have verified if it was correct.
Conclusion: Our system operates on a set of rules and an even bigger set of loopholes. So find a way, or make a way ! 😛