You must provide identification (ID)

For a driver licence application, you can present:

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

If you don't have either of these, you'll need to provide:

  • one document from table 1, and
  • one document from table 2.

One of these documents should have your photo on it, otherwise you'll need to get a declaration from an identity referee.

All documents must be originals. Photocopied or scanned certified documents aren't acceptable.

Table 1: Primary ID

Document type

New Zealand full birth certificate issued on or after 1 January 1998, carrying a unique identification number

New Zealand passport*

New Zealand firearms licence*

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

New Zealand citizenship certificate

New Zealand emergency travel document

New Zealand refugee travel document

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

New Zealand certificate of identity (issued under the Immigration Act 2009)

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

The primary ID must be issued by the relevant authority listed in the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999.

Primary ID documents and who they can be issued by(external link)

Table 2: Supporting ID

Document type
Kiwi Access card or 18+ card
Community services card
SuperGold card
Veteran SuperGold card
New Zealand student photo ID card 1 3
New Zealand employee photo ID card
New Zealand electoral roll record 3
Inland Revenue number 3
New Zealand-issued utility bill or bank statement2 3
Overseas driver licence
Steps to freedom form

All documents in this table must be current, except for a utility bill or bank statement (see below)

1 To be acceptable for driver licensing purposes, your student ID should have your:

  • surname
  • first name or initials
  • date of birth, and
  • photo.

It must have your educational institution’s logo or banner on it, or be on the institution’s letterhead.

If it doesn’t meet all of these requirements, you won’t be able to use it as identification for a driver licence.

2 This must show your first name (or initials) and last name, and the issuer (utility company or bank). It doesn’t need to show any transaction details.

It must have been issued within the last six months.

3 You can show these documents to the agent in electronic format on your phone or mobile device.

The supporting ID must be issued by the relevant authority listed in the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999.

Supporting ID documents and who they can be issued by(external link)

Photo required

If neither document has a photo, you must also provide a passport-style photo and an identity declaration signed by an identity referee. The photo must be less than six months old. 

Who can be an identity referee

Your referee must:

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

Your referee must provide their:

  • passport or driver licence number
  • name
  • date of birth
  • contact details, including a daytime telephone number.

Your referee must write your full name on the back of the photo and sign and date it. The image must be a good likeness and of equal standard to the one required for a driver licence or passport application.

Note: a business that takes passport photos may supply a photo with a pre-printed label on the back.

Identity referee declaration form (DL26) [PDF, 80 KB]

Evidence of name change

If your name has changed from the one on your driver licence (eg due to marriage or civil union, or you’ve changed your name) you’ll need to provide evidence of the name change.

You’ll also need to provide linking name change documents if the names on either of your forms of identification aren’t the same.

You’ll need to provide one of the following documents as proof of your name change. The documents must be originals, and issued in New Zealand.

Document type

New Zealand birth certificate showing both names

Marriage or civil union certificate

Copy of particulars of marriage or civil union

Dissolution of marriage or civil union order1

Certificate of annulment

Deed poll certificate, change of name certificate

Statutory declaration confirming change of name has been registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages

1 Your dissolution document will only have your married name on it. To change your name with this you’ll also need to provide linking documents that show your previous name as well, eg birth certificate, passport or marriage certificate.

The name change documents must be issued by the relevant authority listed in the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999.

Name change documents and who they can be issued by(external link)

If you’ve changed your name because your gender has changed, you can also update your gender recorded on the Driver Licence Register.

Changing the gender details on your driver licence record

ID for sitting a test

When you're sitting a test, you'll also need to prove your identity.

Theory tests

If you’re sitting your theory test at the same time you make your application, you’ll already have your evidence of identity from making your application. This is all you need.

If you’re coming back at a later date to sit or re-sit your theory test, you’ll need to provide valid photo ID so the agent can be sure the right person is sitting the test. This could be:

  • your New Zealand passport (current or expired up to two years)
  • a current Kiwi Access/18+ card
  • current photographic student ID
  • your New Zealand driver licence (current or expired up to two years
  • any photographic document from Table 1: Primary documents 

Practical tests

If you’re sitting a practical driving test, you must have a valid driver licence.

If you have a current New Zealand photo driver licence, then this is all you need.

If you’re using a temporary driver licence, you’ll also need to provide photo ID to the  testing officer so they can be sure the right person is sitting the test. This could be:

  • an expired New Zealand photo driver licence
  • an overseas photo driver licence
  • a passport
  • a Kiwi Access or 18+ card
  • a photographic student ID
  • any other photographic document from Table 1: Primary documents or Table 2: Supporting documents
  • any other form of photo ID where the testing officer can clearly see that the person  recorded on the temporary licence is the same person on the photo ID.

This is the only time where the photo ID doesn’t have to be valid or approved, as it is accompanying the temporary driver licence. In all other cases the ID must be valid for driver licensing purposes.

If you don’t have the right ID

If you don’t have any of the ID listed on this page, you’ll need to get some approved ID before you can make a driver licence application.

You can apply to government agencies for most forms of ID:

Primary documents

New Zealand birth certificates(external link)

New Zealand passport(external link)

New Zealand firearms licence(external link)

Certificate of identity or refugee travel document(external link)

New Zealand citizenship(external link)

Urgent travel documents(external link)

Supporting documents

Community Services card(external link)

SuperGold card(external link)

Veteran SuperGold card(external link)

IRD number(external link)

Kiwi Access card(external link)

Name change

Marriage certificate(external link)

Civil union certificate(external link)

Dissolving a marriage or civil union(external link)

Name change certificate(external link)

Changing your name(external link)

If you can’t get legislated ID

If you only need a replacement driver licence, and none of the details on your licence record need to be changed, you may be able to apply using alternative ID.

Alternative ID for replacement licence only 

If you need to make any other type of driver licence application, you’ll need to contact Waka Kotahi to see what else we may be able to accept.

We’ll assess your circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Make sure you have your ID handy when you call us to discuss your options.

Contact Waka Kotahi

ID is required to prevent fraud

We need to have steps in place to prevent people from getting a driver licence fraudulently.

Requiring particular forms of identification, every time you get or renew your driver licence, improves the integrity of the licence system and protects law-abiding drivers.

Identification for driver licensing (Factsheet 20) [PDF, 239 KB]