Monday, March 28, 2011

Underthinking Drivers Licence's

So today I had to renew my driver's licence, this is a process all New Zealanders who hold a driver's licence must go through every 1-10 years depending on your age, and/or endorsements you hold.

They make Stacey Jones renew his every 2 weeks, because he endorsed Instant Finance.
But anyway this whole process seems to be underthought from beginning to end.

1/. My Address

So to get a new Driver's Licence you need to provide your current address and proof that you live there. No this is potentially not underthought since probably technically I should update my address every time I move. But since when I first obtained my licence I was living with my parents I just left it as this address. Since in the ten years I have held my Licence I have lived in 4-5 different houses.
Including this typical first student flat (disgusting)
By giving them my current address now in 1-2 years time the mail won't get to me, unless I get off my arse and change my address. However with my parents address no matter where I moved I would get the mail associated with Driver's Licence. Why are they still working in Mailing addresses anyway? I hardly receive any mail at all, it took me 4 hours to find a letter addressed to me, most of my correspondence is via emails these days anyway.

2/. The eyesight test

Okay this one is pretty standard they want to know if you can actually see, before giving you a licence that's okay. But the test they do seems less than robust, for starts the size of letters on each line are the same size, so by going down the list they are not really making it anymore testing.

Typical Chart (Not what NZTA uses)
And also the guy just got lazy behind the desk after asking me to read random lines out to him 3 times, he just said I could pick the 4th line I wanted to read. That is hardly a test I mean I changed it up, but if I was worried I could have just picked a line he had previously asked me and I would be fine. Also what has reading letters got to do with the eyesight required to drive.

Maybe they are concerned people might miss the "funny" billboards from Tui?
It would be more appropriate to show photos of various driving situations in increasingly hard visual conditions and see if they can name hazards. Also what is with the periphery test? I mean I understand the immediate periphery test, but the one where the light it almost behind your head? Why do I need to be able to see this without moving my head?

Typical driving technique when changing lanes
How NZTA sees us
"There is nothing my periphery I am going across"

3/. Drivers licence is not an ID

So last thing which really got me, was after I had filled out my application for my new driver's licence (a month early) the guy took my current licence and cut it in two.

 I was like yo chief how am I meant to get into bars now? And he said this is a driver's licence not an ID. Which I responded "Well Technically its ID" (which was underthought) and he responded "No, Technically its a Driver licence".

He was very smug about this too.

But too be fair I had left him a opening and he took it, what I should have said "It was technically a licence but practically its an ID." I mean in the ten years I have had my drivers licence, the number of times I have used it to prove I can drive  3, the number of time I have used it to get into bars, probably bordering on 5000.

"Oh yes it appears you can drive, come on in for a drink"
And that isn't all. List of things I have used my drivers licence for in the last ten years that don't relate to driving, becoming a signatory on a Bank account, enrolling in university, becoming a member of a video store, claimed reservations at a hotel, had a laugh at how different I looked when I was 16, rudimentary magic tricks, cashing cheques,
cutting cheese for a sandwich that time i forgot a knife, clearing ice off my windscreen......

Although I find that an eftpos card is more efficient
So mister smug guy at AA, technically it is a driver's licence but with practical day to day usage it is an ID first, handy pocket tool second, and driver licence distant 3rd. But now I have no photo Drivers licence for up to 3 weeks, I don't know why I could have my licence until the new one arrives, it has an expiration date on it, so for the drivers licence purpose it would be useless after that date anyway.
"Mam, I am going to use my gloves, because that is an expired licence"

But as an ID it would still prove I am over 18, regardless of if it's expired. So now I have to carry my Passport round for two weeks if I want to prove my age, oh wait.......I don't, a while back I got a D endorsement on my licence so I got a second licence, so I guess I will just use that....

"Oh yeah, I have a second licence, I just use that stupid smug AA guy"


  1. I was turning 25 when the new licences came in, so I am still stuck with the same retarded looking photo I got when the AA lady didn't know how to use her new-famgled "digitale" camera and I was trying to explain that the "tripode" could be "extended" "vertically" so as to take a non-retarded photo of a tall person. She, being about 4' 10", was having none of it. She took the photo mid-objection and I look super-dumb. I asked if she could take another one and she said "that will be another 40 bucks, sucka." I think she couldn't find the "back" button on the "interblag browsier." So now I look as if I have a rare chromosomal disorder until July 2012.

    I want my lifetime licence back.

  2. You shouldn't have let them take your licence. You need to carry your licence when you drive, they're basically forcing you to not drive, or to drive illegally.

  3. @Rory I agree, what was wrong with life time licences? I mean they don't retest your ability to drive, they just check you still have a face, you haven't changed your name or moved, and if you can still see.

    I was going to write about photos but yeah got lazy.

    @Kylejits they gave me one of those temporary paper doo-hickeys. So technically I still have licence just not photo one. I was talking to a cop last night and apparently its illegal to hold two licences like I did, but after some talking we came up with a solution, why don't they get the new licence posted to them, and then I come in, give them my old one, and get my new one, then I don't have to go without a photo licence for 3 weeks


    Want to keep Underthinking? Try one these.