The biometric chip in my passport is broken.
Or rather, the biometric chip in my passport is half-broken.
Although, I’m not sure broken is the correct term since it has never worked.
Not since the day my passport was issued
Which, by the way,
Was in 2012,
Before I turned eighteen:
The age you have to be for an epassort with a biometric chip to work.
I feel like that might have something to do with it.
While this doesn’t bother me on a day to day basis,
It makes any international journey excruciatingly irritating.
Which, as someone with a life in one country and a family in another,
I arrive at the gate and my passport is accepted by the first machine.
They point me to the ePassport gates:
“The biometric chip in my passport is broken” I say.
“If it worked here it’ll work there” they reply.
This is because my chip is only half-broken.
My Dad’s passport works every time on both machines.
My Mum broke hers and it works never,
but mine is half broken so I get the worst of both worlds.
I place the passport in the machine:
“Error. Please wait. Veuillez patienter. Erreur.”
“It does this every time, the biometric chip in my passport is broken” I say to the attendant.
“Oh no just try it on another machine they’re temperamental sometimes”.
I humour them and try, but I wonder why the machines are never temperamental on anyone else’s passport.
Only on mine.
That sounds more like a sentient machine programmed to exact revenge on me than a temperamental system, if I’m perfectly honest.
Or maybe it’s because the biometric chip in my passport is broken?
I don’t know.
It’s just a theory.
So I go to the non-eu passports and confused chinese families wonder why I’m skipping the line.
Only to be told:
“Oh the biometric chip in your passport is broken. You should’ve queued up here from the start.”
Is it now?
I had no idea.
Now I could just replace my passport but that costs nearly 75 quid and the passport still has five good years on it.
Also I want to keep a GB/EU passport as long as possible.
Also I like the photo in this one and I don’t want to have to find my deed poll again to justify my name when I renew my passport.
Furthermore I may have a French passport within the next few years.
Although that will probably also require my deed poll, and my grandparents blood types while we’re at it.
In fact, I think I could apply for it now But you need two years of higher education and I don’t know if that means two years of consecutive successful higher education or bac+2.
One I have, the other I don’t
And the website is unclear.
Or maybe i’m not understanding the nuance of the French,
In which case my naturalisation demand is somewhat laughable.
If it’s bac+2 I could do the paperwork tomorrow and have a passport surprisingly soon
And I could travel with that passport,
Which won’t have a broken biometric chip in it.
We live in hope.
But if it’s two consecutive years I won’t have that ’til next summer.
And at that point I may as well wait another year and apply at the 5 year residence mark, which is less likely to be rejected.
But article 50 has been triggered already and waiting the full five years would leave me in France with a non-EU passport for a full six months.
Which seems like a situation I would rather avoid.
So whatever happens I probably have at least another year using this passport. The one that has a broken biometric chip in it.
And quoi qu’il en soit politiquement,
It’s a pain in the arse.