Expired Romanian Passport Shenanigans  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in ,

I happened to be in the area so I decided to pay the consulate a visit, not expecting to be able to vote, but hoping to learn more info about my programmed visit for my passport renewal. I didn't waste a lot of time, but in typical Romanian fashion, someone managed to use my time with info that is likely useless.

Motor Vehicle Accident at Don Mills and Eglinton, in Toronto, next to the Romanian Consulate; photo before entering the consulateYes, I did say I'm not voting, but then I also wrote a bit about the candidates and, being in the area, I thought I drop by the consulate with my freshly-expired passport, thinking that even if I don't get to vote, at least I clarify what happens in December when I'm programmed for renewal.

Being in the area still means that it took me about 20 minutes on that Saturday afternoon (only that, unlike my previous journey, when I came from the West, this time I came from the South),  and on arrival I noticed an MVA / collision smack in the middle of the Eglinton and Don Mills intersection. I thought “’re-ati ai dracu’ de cumpanasi”

It seemed rather symbolic that even though far from downtown, the main intersection next to the Consulate is still under construction with traffic restrictions, and there was even a collision (Romania having the most deadly or second ~ roads in Europe), with terrible traffic all around.

Anyway, I made my way in. There was nobody else voting at that time, and I found about 4-5 guys in security uniforms walking around aimlessly, one of whom told me “you’re supposed to enter through another door, but we’ll let you in this time”. I get in, some dude walking around said something and motioned toward a row of almost 10 people sitting at tables and talking to each other. I approached tentatively, while the talking people continued to talk while looking at me, seemingly confused by my presence, and a few good seconds later, a man raised his hand high up in the air and I went to his desk, giving him my freshly (a few days) expired passport. He asked me if he can take it out of its cover, scanned it with the tablet, then said that it’s expired. The guy walking around directed me to a table with two guys, perpendicular on the row of tables with almost 10 people, where the “consulate” fonctionnaires (civil servants) were.

I explained that I made an attempt to renew my passport before it expired and ended up with an appointment obtained online for December. Before the “bugetar” got a chance to answer, a lady from the “election row”, dressed in a Romanian iie started to explain to me that I should have come to the Consulate directly. I questioned why was I not given this information when I scheduled my appointment online. The “iie” lady again replied before the consulate person had a chance to do so. She claimed that the “econsulat” is a separate service and the fast-track passport renewals are offered as a courtesy by the local consulate without the knowledge of the Ministry. I looked at the “bugetari” but they had nothing to add or correct. She continued “don’t you know, it’s everywhere on the website”.

Anyway, according to them, I also need a “birth certificate” which needs to be a “legalized copy” irrespective how long ago the passport had expired.

Since I didn’t know, I checked out the website. As you can see in the screenshots in the photo album below (RoMAE-photos), there is indeed, in the lower right corner of the Toronto Consulate page, a link to the following text (Google translated with minimal corrections from tomae-news):

The Consulate General of Romania in Toronto will process with priority during the period prior to the elections for the President of Romania in 2019 travel documents (simple electronic passports). Citizens whose passports are expired are invited to appear at the headquarters of the consular office for the renewal of these documents so that on the occasion of the elections they can exercise their right to vote, according to the legislation in force. DO NOT vote with “travel title”.

So, just to be on the safe side, I looked again at the passport requirements (RoMAE-pass).

The Google translated passport page from the consulate (I could not find it on the English version of their website) should be sufficiently clear, even though the documentary burden seems excessive.

The simple electronic passport for adult Romanian citizens residing in Canada
You can get a CRDS passport if you are a Romanian citizen who has been assigned a Personal Numeric Code and if:

  • you have acquired a right of residence for a period of at least one year or, as the case may be, have successively extended the right of residence, within one year, in the territory of the respective state;
  • you have acquired a right of residence on the territory of the respective state for the purpose of family reunification with a person domiciled in that state;
  • you have acquired a long-term or permanent residence right;
  • you have acquired the nationality of the respective state;
  • you have the right to work;
  • you are registered with a private or public institution for studies or vocational training;
  • you are the holder of a registration certificate or a document certifying residence in an EU Member State or the European Economic Area.

The application for the issuing of passports must be submitted personally.

Required documents:

  • a) the request for obtaining the passport (provided by the computer system at the consulate);
  • b) proof of payment of taxes and fees for issuing the passport;
  • c) the original residence permit or the certificate of registration in the register of resident population from the authority of the country of residence or any other document attesting the right of legal residence (eg: residence certificate issued by the local town hall, the passport issued by the authorities of the country of residence in if you have its citizenship, etc.) in the original;
  • d) the identity card issued by the authorities of the state of residence in the original - the driving license that mentions the domicile for the states that do not issue to the foreigners identity cards or residence certificate issued by the local town hall;
  • e) the Romanian birth certificate in original; (tomae-cdn)
  • f) the Romanian marriage certificate in the original (for the married and the widowed);
  • g) the divorce sentence remaining final in the original (for the divorced);
  • h) the Romanian death certificate of the spouse, in original (for the widows);
  • i) the old passport in the original;
  • j) the original Romanian ID cards or ID cards.

FWIW, as you can see in the screenshots added to the photo album linked below, an expired (Canadian) passport can be used to establish identity / citizenship when dealing with the provincial government of Ontario (OHIP-pass) and any expired ID, including passport, can be used to vote in the Canadian federal election (cndelxn-faq); in the Federal election you can even vote by simply swearing a declaration with the voting official or by being vouched for by a neighbour or a voter in the area. The point of such regulations is, in Canada, to make your life easier, not to satisfy bureaucratic OCD/paranoia (the bureaucratic burden for citizens has been worsening in some respects, but it’s still way better than in Romania).

In summary, my misunderstandings are as follows:

  • why can’t I vote with an expired passport if in my adoptive country (and many other countries) citizens can do so?
  • why do I have to provide a bunch of documents again? – the proof of residency / Canadian citizenship has already been shown and it’s reflected in the “domicile in Canada” mention on two pages in the expired passport
  • if I could just “show up” at the consulate for expedited passport renewal, why didn’t the email confirmations (reproduced in the previous article, linked above under not voting) I got from econsulat.ro reflect that?

I did a quick search on CRDS (Romanian Citizen with Foreign Residence/Domicile) passport and found the following:

  • Stiri diaspora mentions a petition as well as problems many Romanians face because of this “instrument of punishment invented by communists”
  • Forum softpedia some see only minuses, others think it matters not.

    1. Cu pasaportul CRDS mi-am deschis cont bancar in Euso si Ron la BT-Cluj
    2. Prelungirea pasaportului CRDS pe calea indicata de MAE, pe www.econsulat.ro dureaza cam 6 luni, de l inregistrarea cererii de prelungire pe site-ul de mai sus, si pana la
    predarea actelor, plus 30 zile pina vine pasaportul care se ridica personal
    3. Procedura mea de anul trecut a fost urmatoarea. In tara se poate intra si cu pasapoarte expirate. Problema consta in a ajunge pina la granita cu avionul.
    Cu masina nu-i nici o problema. Vamesul nu are nici o problema cu un pasaport expirat la intrarea in tara.
    4. La Cluj se dau bilete in fiecaere dimineata, cand este program cu publicul. Se dau cam 100-150 de numere.
    Se intra cu numarul, se predau actele si programarea pt. ridicarea actelor noi este de 14 zile. Se ridica personal. (20190502)

  • Daniela Stoica publishes on Rotalianul a text that quotes MAE-CRDS and presents a few advantages.
    • – se intră în comunitatea cetăţenilor români CRDS, care permite, de exemplu, participarea la scrutinele electorale organizate în străinătate doar în baza paşaportului (fără necesitatea prezentării altor acte care atestă locuirea legală în acea ţară).
    • – pentru posesorii de paşapoarte CRDS este mai facilă operaţiunea 'repatrierii' (a restabilirii domiciului în România), care permite şi scutirea de taxe vamale pentru aducerea în România a bunurilor personale în urma repatrierii.
    • - De asemenea, facem menţiunea că posesorii de paşapoarte CRDS pot, oricând doresc, să stea o perioadă mai îndelungată în România (peste 15 zile), să solicite o carte de identitate provizorie pentru perioada petrecută în ţară. Valabilitatea acestui document poate varia între o lună şi un an, în funcţie de situaţia personală a solicitantului (cât timp va petrece în ţară).
  • Avocatnet has a Q&A that is a bit difficult for me to parse – someone is upset for something.

I will be contacting “votstrainatate”, the new prime-minister (Ludovic Orban) as well as the minster of foreign affairs (Bogdan Aurescu).

Sources / More info: tomae-team, tomae-news, RoMAE-photos, RoMAE-pass, OHIP-pass, cdnelxn-faq, tomae-cdn

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Sunday, November 10, 2019 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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