Friday, August 24, 2007

Passports, IDs & NCLEX

I feel sorry for those who were not allowed to take their NCLEX because they forgot to sign their passports. International NCLEX test-takers, including those who will take the test in the Philippines, are required to present their Authorization to Test (ATT) and their passports as proof of identification. The passport is the only form of identification accepted by Pearson Vue, which administers the NCLEX, from international applicants. Sadly, some have been barred from taking the exam on their test date because they forgot to affix their signature on their passports.

This is a very simple matter, actually. Signing your name on any ID is a very basic rule that that requires the smallest of efforts. Unfortunately, some still fall into trouble because they forget to sign their name before presenting their passport to the receptionist at the Pearson Vue test center.

We received a report that said some were turned away from the Pearson Vue test center in Manila because of the lack of signatures on the applicants' passports. Being considerate, I suppose there's a possibility that one might forget to sign one's passport especially when it just arrived in one's hands--never been used for travel abroad or probably never been opened at all.

Usually when you travel outside the country and your passport lacks a signature, the immigration officer alerts you to it and asks you to sign it before he allows you to proceed. In hotels that I've been to, reception personnel also ask you to sign your passport when it's unsigned.

The first time one receives a passport, everyone wants to take a look at it. We Filipinos love to make fun of photos on IDs and, I guess, the passport is the biggest ID of all. Just show your passport to other members of your family and they'll notice everything, including the zit on your nose when you had your passport photo taken. Well, they might even notice your signature or the lack of it. I once had a co-worker who made it her job to check on everyone's signature including the one in our passports, just to see whose John Hancock looked elaborately funny. My neighbor also had a brilliant dog once who barked when it saw people who had poor fashion sense and wore clothes that had mismatched colors. The dog was so smart, I bet that if I had shown it an unsigned passport, it would have bitten off my hand. Everybody else seems to notice an unsigned passport, except it's owner.

In Pearson Vue's Hong Kong test center, there's a sign posted at the door that reminds test-takers to sign their passports before presenting them to the receptionist who conducts the identity check. As though the sign was not enough, the next thing that the Pearson Vue personnel tells you after asking if you already wish to go through with the check-in process is to remind you to sign your passport first. Once you've handed your passport, then the security check begins and if you've still forgotten to affix your precious signature despite repeated reminders, you'll have to be turned away like a dog, well maybe not like a dog, but you'll probably feel like one after throwing away the $350 you've already paid just to get there. Once you're turned away, you'll have to go through the registration process once more and pay another $350 to Pearson Vue.

If there's no sign reminding applicants about their passport signatures that's posted on Pearson Vue Manila's doors yet , then it's time to take a cue from the Hong Kong center. I would also suggest they get the approval of Mayor Binay of Makati and hire MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando as consultant--perhaps they can put up signages all throughout Buendia Ave. and, of course, have them painted in Bayani's trademark pink.

I can imagine the signages already: "Bawal ang walang pirma sa passport. Nakakamatay."

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6 comments:

Pinoy Syringe said...

i enjoyed reading this post, oh yeh, my cousin just got her passport renewed, it comes in this violet-maroonish color now..

can i exchange links with you?
i'm only startin out..
http://snpinoy.blogspot.com

Regina said...

im taking the nclex in manila on june 10 at 9 am but i want to reschedule to 3pm. how do i go about the process of rescheduling? is there a fee involved? how early should i arrive at trident tower? my new machine-readable passport does not have a signature. what else will i need to present?

isobelle5287 said...

thanks for reminding us! i just signed mine now. laughig out loud at your bayani-inspired signage/reminder for the passport. very funny and refreshing - after just finishing your brain-wracking kaplan qtrainer. =)

Zee said...

hi! i'm planning to take the nclex on jan. 2009. i already have a passport. i got one last year and it's the old green one. i was too early to be issued the new maroon passport. will my passport be accepted by pearson vue?? i think it will be too late to renew now since it's already december. just want to know in advance so that if ever it won't be accepted, i can still reschedule my exam and not forefeit it. :)

Geoff said...

As long as your passport's not expired, it'll be fine

carren said...

Hi Geoff, i really love reading the things in this site specially you're responses to inquiries of my fellows.. any way just dropping by to say hello...and by the way, are you still single?

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