Many still cannot get passports although passport offices have reopened


BANGKOK, 11 February 2014  Many people still had trouble getting their passports on Monday although the Department of Consular Affairs headquarters in Bangkok was now functional. 

In Nakhon Ratchasima, where the passport office had been closed for many weeks due to political protests, officials were only able to process 220 requests per day because of glitches with the computerized system. Many of the visitors had to go home empty-handed.

Monday was the day many passport offices resumed service, and a situation of overcrowding and long queues was similar at all of the offices. In Ubon Ratchathani, the passport office was only able to service 144 visitors and many people who traveled from nearby provinces did not get what they came for. In Phuket, scores of people arrived at the passport office since 3 in the morning on Monday, and many of these early-arriving visitors were let down as the office could only process 120 requests.

The Department of Consular Affairs was asking members of the public who will not be traveling abroad in the next 6 months to hold off on their passport renewal, in order to allow those with urgent need to get their travel documents first.