4/22/2013

Malaysian Passport Renewal Online

June will be a very busy month for me; I'll be traveling to 3 different locations for 3 consecutive weekends. 2 of these locations will be abroad hence I took it as a sign to try out a feature provided by the Malaysian Immigration Board that I believe is highly underutilized: online renewal of the passport.

What:
Typically one has to go to the Immigration Board and bring the following documents:
1) identification - birth cert or new IC
2) passport photo
3) old passport
4) renewal fee

The entire experience has been described by many as a horror tale; long waiting time, slow service etc. I found many positive reviews on the online renewal process, so I took it as an encouraging sign! :D

Note that the procedure consists of the following:
1) verification - examination of identification, thumb print verification
2) payment
3) processing of the passport

Online process covers the first 2 steps. The board guarantees a passport processing time of max 1 hour so be prepared to spend that time lepaking somewhere waiting for your passport to be ready.

How:
1) Plop your butt in front of the PC
I always recommend IE, Chrome may be my personal favourite but IE's still the most reliable for online transactions etc.

Go to the online renewal site here, and prepare the following:
- current passport
- soft copy of passport photo
- credit card (online banking not provided) for renewal fee

2) Get crackin'
Log in and checked the particulars (pre-saved from your previous application). Make sure you fill up all the necessary fields.

Upload your photo, ensure that there's no white border; in my experience I didn't check and the photo was rejected. Luckily I brought the photo for the processing.

Select your collection centre. Remember that you're not allowed to change the collection centre so please spend some time to choose the centre that's most convenient for you.

3) Pay the dough
Select your credit card merchant, proceed to pay either:
- RM100 for 2 yrs
- RM300 for 5 yrs

Print the receipt; this is important for collection. I'd a mild panic attack when I read the receiving centre was in Putrajaya; I selected KL without checking which centre it meant. Luckily for me it was the branch off Jalan Duta *whew*

4) Collection time
I went with a colleague to the branch off Jalan Duta. Outdoor parking's free and the only option. It was scalding hot outside (we reached around 12.30pm) so luckily we managed to get a spot near to the entrance.

Head to the counter for online renewal (empty that day!) and provide your old passport, IC and receipt. My uploaded photo was rejected because it had white borders; good thing I had foresight to bring the hard copy photo. The staff was friendly and informed us he will call when the passports are ready in approximately 30 min. So we hungry people headed to Solaris Dutamas about 5 min away for lunch!

5) Lepak-lepak
It was my first time to Solaris Dutamas, we headed to the popular food court (non-halal) and settled for Kin Kin pan mee. We finished lunch and came back armed with Chatime after 40min. The passports were ready and we headed back to work.


The Verdict?
This service is a great way to save time and do many of the important steps within the comfort of your home.

You may opt to use the kiosk at the branch, but you'll still need to wait out the processing time.

Thanks to the board for a very useful and simple service. Now I'm fit for travel woo hoo! :D

PS1. This is my first article penned from my mobile phone so I'll do some touching up when I've the time :)
PS2. Currently the passport renewal system is offline

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