Due to our current COVID situation, a number of changes have happened since I posted the process of renewing my TAJ card in Budapest.
Starting November 2020, we can no longer go straight to the OEP office if we need to renew our TAJ cards. We are now required to request for an appointment. Simply send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It probably does not matter how much detail you put in your email request. I wrote in English, saying that I would like to request for a renewal appointment, and provided my complete name, TAJ number and the expiration date of my card.
Within 30 minutes, I received a reply with my schedule. The email is entirely in Hungarian, but what matters is the date and time, anyway, and Google Translate also helps. This is the actual email I received.
Note that due to the large number of appointment requests, you may have to wait a bit for your appointed date. I requested mine on February 1st and my appointment was March 3rd, a little over a month. I am sure they are also spacing out the appointments in order to minimize the number of clients that they will have to serve daily for the employees’ protection.
The documents required are still the same. Be sure to bring the complete set (originals and copies) on the day of your appointment. If you want, print out the email confirming your schedule. But this is not necessary; I only showed it from my phone.
There was a stark difference in how the office looked last year and this year. Pre-COVID, it was noisy and full of people, both inside and outside. But now, it was a quiet ghost town. The guard at the entrance only lets you in if you show proof of appointment (your email). He will also ask you to use the hand sanitizer before he tells you which counter to go to. All counters now have transparent protective Plexi-glass to separate the clients and the employees.
Other than these new COVID measures, the entire renewal process is as seamless and efficient as ever. In fact, I timed it again, and it was actually 2 minutes quicker than the process last year! 🙂
I hope the first time I use my sparkling new TAJ card is when I get my COVID shot!