Let us imagine for a moment – you are 86 and are wanting to open a bank account with another bank – because of your eyesight you are no longer able to drive, so when your drivers licence came up for renewal two years ago you did not renew it. You also have not traveled overseas for a number of years so the passport you did have has long expired – So when the bank asks you for photo ID, what can you use?
The disability sector has brought this issue to the attention of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Office for Disability Issues. There are many older people who do not have common forms of photographic identification such as a drivers licence or passport and this is a barrier for people to prove their identity to access services and places. In fact, the idea for this article came from a team member who has witnessed this happen to many older people in her community. For example, without photo ID people had experienced difficulties with opening a bank account, making a hire purchase or entering Work and Income offices.
What are other options for photographic ID?
- Hospitality NZ 18+ card. You can download a 18+ card application form or pick up one up at your nearest PostShop. The card will cost you $45.
- If you have a New Zealand Firearms Licence you can often use this as it is usually an accepted form of photo ID.
- You can also use your SuperGold card as photo ID. SuperGold Card carriers may choose to add a photo to their SuperGold Card. To arrange for a photo to be added to your card, visit your nearest AA Driver and Vehicle Training Licensing outlet with your card, along with three forms of identification that verify your name and date of birth, plus, evidence of your address. It’s a free service for all SuperGold card holders.
However, the Department of Internal Affairs have also heard that often other IDs such as a HANZ 18+ card, and a SuperGold card are not always accepted.
What are the next steps?
The Department of Internal Affairs and the Office for Disability Issues will be continuing to work on this issue. In June 2017, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Office for Disability Issues held a workshop to bring relevant stakeholders together to understand this problem. They found that:
- People without common photo ID have more difficulty accessing some services
- Businesses require photo ID to manage internal identity-related risks and to meet legal obligations
- A key driver for photo ID requirements is the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism regime
They have commissioned a report titled “The impact of photographic identification requirements on people without common photographic documents.” In this report, they have set out short, medium, and long-term actions which include engaging with retailers, financial institutions and banks etc. to raise awareness about what can be used as photo ID; exploring options for new photo ID which appeals to a wider range of people. And by December 2019, Should the market still not provide a suitable photographic document, Internal Affairs could consider further actions which may include facilitating the certification of available identity documents to give organisations confidence they are acceptable (if this aligns with wider work in Internal Affairs within the identity area).
In the meantime…
I would recommend ringing or looking online at your bank, post office etc. policies on what they consider a valid form of identification is, and what special exemptions for older people they will make in these situations.