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Phase 1 : Getting a token
The first thing you need to do is to get a token. This token will have a time slot during which you have to submit your application. This token consists of a sticker that is stuck to your application form and is signed by you. You have to go to the front of the passport office and get a token. Tokens are issued till they are completed for the day so if there is a rush which is usually on Mondays or days after holidays the tokens get over very quickly otherwise you can get one till about 11:00 AM in the morning. There are 2 types of tokens one for regular and the other for tatkal. Tatkal tokens are for passports that are required urgently and they cost more. You can even get a token online by applying for it on the passport site.
Phase 2 : Submitting the application
You have to arrive at the passport office 10 minutes before the time slot given on the token. You are sent to a waiting room from where you are taken into the passport office at the allotted time. The token will have the counter number and a token number. You will have to go to the corresponding counter number and wait for your token number to be flashed on the display at which point of time you have to go to the counter. You will be asked for the originals of all the documents that you have submitted as part of the application form. Once the documents are verified it is put in a file and given back to you. You have to then proceed to the cash counter to submit the file and pay the fee.
Phase 3 : Paying the fee
This counter has no token system you have to just wait in a queue. You can pay the fee in cash. You will be given a receipt which will have the day on which the passport will be dispatched or needs to be collected. You have to tell them at this counter if you want to collect the passport from the passport office otherwise they will assume that you want it dispatched to your house by speed post.
Checking the status
The status of the passport application can be checked online.
The process has been made a lot simpler and a lot less burdensome from what it used to be. The only thing is that the security outside the passport office act like they own the place. There are still a lot of touts but just ignore them and walk right into the passport office and deal with your stuff.