Protect yourself from online scams
Protect yourself and others from online scammers.
In recent months there has been a rise in scams on social media for driver licensing in New Zealand. We wish to warn AA Members and the general public to be careful of these. Please read the below information and forward to others who may be affected by this.
Who is targeted by scammers?
- People unfamiliar with the driver licensing process and not sure where to go
- People looking to do the whole process online
- People who have recently come to New Zealand and are unsure where to find accurate information
What to watch out for:
Social media accounts, pages and profiles that:
- Claim affiliation with the AA, AA Driving School and Waka Kotahi NZTA
- Use stolen/copied AA and Waka Kotahi NZTA branding and images
- Claim to be driver licensing agents
- Offer driver licensing services and assistance through social media, WhatsApp numbers and generic emails (such as Gmail emails with 'licence', 'aa' or 'nzta' in the name)
- Sell fake licences
- Sell application forms (which are free at driver licensing agents or online)
What to do:
- Do not engage in any way with individuals online offering fraudulent licensing services/licences
- Do not give your personal information on social media – the risk of identity theft is very high - driver licensing is not done through social media
The risks of driving without a valid licence:
A fraudulent licence is the same as having no licence at all – your licence details can easily be checked by any licensing agent or police officer.
- You may not be covered by insurance in the event of an accident if you do not have a valid licence – this may occur even when the accident may not have been your fault
- You are putting yourself and others in danger as you have not met the minimum standard for driving a vehicle
- Creating and using a falsified government document is a criminal offence and is punishable by law
- Driving without a valid licence carries the risk of being fined and forbidden to drive
Five important facts about driver licences:
1. Waka Kotahi NZTA is the government agency that issues driver licences and sets the regulations and policy for driver licensing. Waka Kotahi NZTA offers driver licence services to the general public through agents such the AA network of Centres, Agents and Mobile Units.
2. The AA does not issue driver licences but acts as an intermediary by processing applications, bookings and payments on behalf of Waka Kotahi NZTA.
3. There are only two driver licensing agents in New Zealand contracted by Waka Kotahi NZTA to offer driver licensing – the AA and VTNZ.
4. Driver licence applications cannot be fully done online. You can apply for a licence or book a test on the Waka Kotahi NZTA website, but you would still need to come in person to a licensing agent such as an AA Centre for identity verification, photo, signature and eye test. These can only be done in-person. At an AA Centre or AA Driver Licensing Agent you can do the whole process in one go.
5. There are two options for converting to a New Zealand driver licence. If you are from an exempt country you can convert without a test. If you are from a non-exempt country you would need to pass a theory test and a practical test to obtain a New Zealand driver licence. Most countries fall in the non-exempt category. For both options, you will need to come in-person to a Driver Licensing Agent, they cannot be done online.
How the AA helps you with driver licensing:
At the AA you can:
- Apply for and pay all driver licensing fees
- Book and pay for all driver licence tests (please note that the actual tests are carried out by VTNZ Testing Officers at designated testing sites in each city/area)
- Do the learner licence test
- Have your driver licence photo and signature taken and eyesight test done
- Do other identity verification for IRD Numbers and RealMe
The AA offers driver licensing and identity verification services to the public and AA Member services through:
- AA Centres around New Zealand
- AA Driver Licensing Agents around New Zealand – these are local businesses that offer AA services such as driver licensing, identity verification and AA Member services
- AA Mobile Units – these are Agents that visit small towns and remote areas by car at set times a month to offer driver licensing, identity verification and AA Member services
- Specialist Overseas Licence Conversion Sites – there are 37 of these around New Zealand – these are AA Centres and AA Driver Licensing Agents
AA Driving School offers driving lessons for drivers at every licence level as well as practice tests that help prepare learner drivers for their restricted and full licence tests.
Social media accounts that the AA uses:
The AA uses several social media accounts to engage with AA Members and the general public. These are for general information, tips, updates and general topics of interest.
The AA will never ask you for personal information on social media or offer driver licensing services on social media.
The AA Driving School Facebook page and Instagram account offer general driving tips, learning to drive advice and driver licensing info and direct people to see more information on the AA website.
There are no AA social media accounts that deal specifically with driver licensing or identity verification for IRD or RealMe.
If in doubt: Stop, look left and right and check the right information before proceeding to give your personal information on social media or other online channel.