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Evidence of your identity must always be provided

When making a driver licence application, you must present:

  • your New Zealand driver licence (can be current or expired up to two years), or
  • your current New Zealand passport

If you don’t have your New Zealand driver licence or your New Zealand passport has expired then you will need to provide one document from table 1 below AND one document from table 2 (one of these documents must have your photo).

Table 1: Primary documents

Document type

Issued by

New Zealand passport*

Department of Internal Affairs (DIA – Identity Services)

Overseas passport (may include New Zealand visa/permit)*

Overseas authority

New Zealand emergency travel document

DIA (Identity Services)

New Zealand refugee travel document

DIA (Identity Services)

New Zealand certificate of identity (issued under the Passports Act 1992)

DIA (Identity Services)

New Zealand certificate of identity (issued under the Immigration Act 1987)

Department of Labour (Immigration)

New Zealand firearms licence*

NZ Police

New Zealand full birth certificate issued on or after 1 January 1998

DIA (Identity Services)

New Zealand citizenship certificate

DIA (Identity Services)

*These documents can be current or expired up to two years. All other documents in this table must be current.

 Table 2: Secondary documents

Document type Issued by
18+ card Hospitality Association of New Zealand
Community services card Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
SuperGold card MSD
Veteran SuperGold card MSD
New Zealand student photo ID card Educational Institution
New Zealand employee photo ID card Employer
New Zealand electoral roll record Enrolment centre of NZ Post
Inland Revenue number Inland Revenue Department
New Zealand-issued utility bill or bank statement* Utility provider or bank
Overseas driver licence Overseas licensing authority
Steps to freedom form Department of Corrections

*These documents must be issued within the last six months. They must show your first name (or initials) and last name, and the issuer (utility company or bank). They don't need to show any transaction details. 

All other documents in this table must be current.

 If neither document contains a photo, you must also provide a passport-style photograph signed by an identity referee.

Who can be an identity referee?

Your referee must:

  • have a valid New Zealand passport or New Zealand driver licence
  • have known you for one year or more
  • be at least 16 years of age
  • not be related to you or part of your extended family group
  • not be your spouse or partner
  • not live at the same address as you.

Your referee must provide their passport or driver licence number, name, date of birth and contact details, including a daytime telephone number.

Your referee must write your full name, their own signature and the date on the back of one photo. A business that takes passport photos will usually supply one photo with a pre-printed label on the back.

Download the declaration form for your identity referee to complete [PDF, 80 KB]

Evidence of name change

If the name you want on the back of your photo driver licence is different from the name on the driver licence register, or on either of your two forms of identity, you will need to provide one of the following documents (which must be an original) as proof of your name change. Suitable documents are:

  • your marriage or civil union certificate

  • a dissolution of marriage or civil union order

  • a certificate of annulment

  • a deed poll certificate, change of name certificate or birth certificate showing both names

  • a statutory declaration confirming change of name which has been registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

ID is required to prevent fraud

We need to have steps in place to prevent people from obtaining a driver licence fraudulently. Requiring particular forms of identification improves the integrity of the licence system and protects law-abiding citizens. 

Download Factsheet 20: Identification for driver licensing [PDF, 55 KB]