As some of you know, I had my wallet, phone, handbag etc stolen during the weekend. So today I started the endless task of requesting replacements for the myriad of cards which are now undoubtedly lining the bottom of a rubbish bin somewhere.

Replacements for bank debit, credit and loyalty cards – not a problem. AA membership – one easy phone call. NZ Drivers License  just pop in to the NZTA agent to get a new one. Oh and just bring along your birth certificate or passport and proof of address. And $38.20.

Hang on – WHAT????

Yes, apparently further ID is required to get a replacement drivers license. Why? ‘Legislative requirements’ I was informed by the NZTA call centre.

So let me get this straight. NZTA have a digital photo of me. Which they took. They have a digital image of my signature. Which I supplied when I was issued the drivers license. But to get what is essentially a reprint of an existing drivers license – and lets be clear about this, I’m not applying for a new license, I just want a copy reproduced from the existing records – I need to rock up with a birth certificate or passport??? And since I just had my handbag snatched I’m really not that keen to walk around with the last bit of ID I currently own, just to get a reprint of something already on file.

Come on NZTA, don’t treat us like criminals.

Surely I can front up to the agent, and the digital photo you already have can be compared to the living breathing version of me standing in front of you? I can reproduce my signature at will – as many times as you like for comparison to the one you already have in your files.  How will a birth certificate or a passport give you any more proof of identity than comparing the living version of me to what you already have? How would anyone else be able to be issued with my replacement drivers license if they don’t look like me and have my signature?

This is an example of bureaucracy gone too far.

NZTA – you can do better. Lead by example and apply some common sense to your policies.