Time really does fly. It seems like not so long ago when I got my passport in Vancouver and now here it is, five years later and time to renew.
It is very simple if you live abroad. Well, maybe it is simple also if you don't live abroad. I filled out the Adult Simplified Renewal Abroad Passport Application (PPTC 482) for eligible Canadians applying outside of Canada. This is a shorter and simpler form, no guarantor needed, citizenship and identity documents not required. I filled it out as a PDF document so it looked nice and tidy, easy to read. I highly recommend doing the forms this way.
With the completed form, you must supply your most recent passport, the required fee, and two recent identical photos. We now have the choice of acquiring a 5 year or a 10 year passport, which is what I opted for. The fee for the 10 year passport is $260.00 (this includes a $25.00 Consular service fee). You can pay with a credit card. The credit card authorization form is filled out at the Canadian Embassy in San José with a further $9.00 fee for this service. I also opted to have my original passport returned to me because it has the stamp when we first arrived in Costa Rica and when I took that trip to Lexington, Kentucky, where one of my paintings was accepted for an art show at the Red Mile .... memories.
Here is the link to access the applicable forms: Passport Canada Website. Be aware that the requirements for the photos are different then for American passports so make sure you read what you have to do. I mention this because when we had our photos taken in Atenas, we selected the smaller version and had to have them redone. That was not much of a problem.
We went back to Studio Fotografico in Atenas, where the original photos were taken, and they just called them up on their computer and reprinted them in the larger size. Last weekend, they celebrated their 25th year in business and they gave me a cool keychain.
We took the bus to San José last Friday, with completed forms in hand, my old passport and the photos. You do not need an appointment. Their hours are from 0800 to noon, Monday to Friday. The Embassy is located at Edificio 5, Tercer Piso, Sabana Sur. The web site is here. Get off the Atenas bus just after it turns left from Sabana Park. You can walk to the Embassy but we opted for a taxi (doesn't cost much).
Service was fast and efficient. You will have to go through a security guard (similar to security at an airport) and leave all purses, bags, etc., in a locker. Check in with the receptionist. She will assign you to one of two very small rooms with tight security measures installed and there you will meet with a very nice person who will take your forms and approve them for completeness, etc.
One caveat: do not attempt even a teeny tiny smile on your passport photos. I did, and received a call saying my mouth was open just a bit in the photos and they did not know if they would be accepted but would let me know in a couple of days.
Hopefully, they will not be rejected and my new passport will be available for pickup at the Embassy within a week or two.