A Guide to Dealing with the Croatian Bureaucracy: Renewing Documents
July 4, 2021 – TCN intern Marina Kaleb walks us through the important steps in renewing your documents and dealing with the Croatian bureaucracy.
Have you personally had trouble finding information online regarding the renewal of your documents in Croatia? I spent days researching, contacting people, and trying to figure out the process of getting the so-called Zagreb 12 Hour Urgent / Fast / Fast Passport. It actually took me over 24 hours to get a passport “someday” so here’s what I wish I had known before embarking on this trip on one of Zagreb’s hottest summer days. .
the The MUP website includes all kinds of details like payment details and parts of your passport renewal process, but it lacks a variety of details. In Croatia for all your documents you have to go to the local police department. In Zagreb, it is located on Petrinjska ul. 30. It is located near the main square and quite easy to find.
The MUP website provides a list of places where you can submit your payment to FINA, your local bank, or even online banking, but what they don’t tell you is that there are has a post office in the same building which makes life difficult for everyone. Easier. As you enter the police department, the post office is located in the far left corner. On both sides of the office they have a booth with payslips for individual documents, for a quick passport you need to complete two of the forms with your full name, address and OIB number on the right side of the 410 kuna payslip .
3. Arrive early
Be there early when the police department opens. I made the mistake of getting there at 9am which felt pretty early and spent a good 3 hours waiting in the heat. Before handing in the payment slips at the post office in the building, get a number from the machine at the entrance otherwise you can wait what seems like forever. At least by the time you pay for your new documents, hopefully other people would have already left.
4. Patience will be your best friend
Being stuck inside waiting more than 2 hours on a hot summer day will test your patience. Come get ready, bring water, a snack, a book or listen to a podcast. Keep busy and the time will pass much faster. There are around 4-5 counters that usually work for urgent passports and the process is very time consuming, so be sure to double check that you have everything you need before you start lining up. Plus, the counters wait about a minute or two before moving on to the next number, so be sure to be quick and keep an eye out.
5. Working time
When I spoke to people who have been through this process before, I was reassured that I was going to get my passport the same day, in just a few hours. So I planned my trip in advance, booked my bus seat for the same evening, and was ready to collect my passport and get on the bus. However, nowhere online do they state that due to their summer working time from 7am to 2pm / 3pm I believe (not mentioned online) it actually takes more 24 hours to get your passport. We were told to come back the next day after 11 am to collect our “fast” passports.
After 24 hours of frustration, exhaustion and stress I managed to get my new passport, so hopefully this helps someone else who is going to have a close encounter with the Croatian bureaucracy, good luck!
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