Proof of ID not easy for seniors

When former ASB customer 95-year-old John Lokes needed to open an account with the ANZ Bank recently he found that, for an older person, changing banks may not be as easy as you think.

Banks in New Zealand are required to obtain photo ID from new customers – in most cases a passport, driving licence or an 18+ card. The latter is issued by the Hospitality Association and is used by young people to establish that they can legally purchase alcohol.

John, who lived on the Hibiscus Coast for 35 years before moving to Te Atatu last August, has not had a valid passport for many years and says he gave up his driving licence around two years ago. His British birth certificate and Gold Card are not suitable.

The bank therefore suggested that he apply for an 18+ card – a situation that he considered ridiculous.
“My son-in-law joked that he’d like to see me line up to get into a nightclub and present them with my 18+ card,” he says.

In fact, applicants for an 18+ card also require photo ID. The card costs $50.

However, banks can, at their discretion, allow for an exemption for new customers without photo ID. They are likely to require the applicant to produce other forms of ID, such as a NZ birth certificate or Gold Card and proof of their address. An overseas birth certificate may require proof of citizenship.
Eventually, this is what the ANZ Bank agreed to do for John.

John says he’s glad the situation is sorted and hopes that his experience serves as a warning to other elderly people who may not have considered that they could potentially need to have some form of photo ID.


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