You must provide evidence of your identity

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 below. 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 documents

Document type

Issued by

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

DIA (Identity Services)

Order New Zealand certificates(external link)

New Zealand passport*

Department of Internal Affairs (DIA – Identity Services)

What you need to renew or apply for a passport(external link)

New Zealand firearms licence*  NZ Police

New Zealand firearms licence application(external link)

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

Overseas authority

New Zealand citizenship certificate

DIA (Identity Services)

New Zealand citizenship(external link)

New Zealand emergency travel document

DIA (Identity Services)

Urgent travel(external link)

New Zealand refugee travel document

DIA (Identity Services)

Certificate of identity or refugee travel document(external link)

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

DIA (Identity Services)

Certificate of identity or refugee travel document(external link)

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

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (Immigration)

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

Table 2: Supporting documents

Document type Issued by
Kiwi Access card or 18+ card

Hospitality Association of New Zealand

Kiwi Access card(external link)

Community services card

Ministry of Social Development (MSD)

Community Services card(external link)

SuperGold card


Getting the SuperGold card(external link)

Veteran SuperGold card


Getting the Veteran SuperGold card(external link)

New Zealand student photo ID card 1 3 Educational institution
New Zealand employee photo ID card Employer
New Zealand electoral roll record 3 Enrolment centre of NZ Post
Inland Revenue number 3

Inland Revenue Department

Apply for a personal IRD number(external link)

New Zealand-issued utility bill or bank statement2 Utility provider or bank
Overseas driver licence Overseas licensing authority
Steps to freedom form

Department of Corrections

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.

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

Issued by

New Zealand birth certificate showing both names

DIA (Identity Services)

Order a birth certificate(external link)

Marriage or civil union certificate

DIA (Identity Services)

Order a marriage certificate(external link)

Order a civil union certificate(external link)

Copy of particulars of marriage or civil union

DIA (Identity Services)

Dissolution of marriage or civil union order1

Ministry of Justice

Dissolving a marriage or civil union(external link)

Certificate of annulment

Ministry of Justice

Dissolving a marriage or civil union(external link)

Deed poll certificate, change of name certificate

DIA (Identity Services)

Changing your name(external link)

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

DIA (Identity Services)

How to order a name change certificate(external link)

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.

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

Evidence of identity for sitting a test

When your'e 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.

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]