Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to renew your NSW drivers license in 4 short weeks

How to renew your standard NSW drivers lincense in 8 easy steps over the course of only 4 weeks, with only 4 trips to Service NSW:

Before we start, be reminded that in early 2016 (I think), the RMS (formerly RTA) centralized the production photo id cards such as drivers licenses. This is a “more efficient way to do business” and allows us customers to “complete our transaction faster”. So keep in mind that the process outlined below is actually an improvement compared to the olden days when the friendly customer service person would just print your license and hand it to you on the spot.

Fail to renew your license online, because no email address is linked to your account, and adding an email address cannot be done online.

Attend a Service NSW branch of your choice, for instance Parramatta. When asked, no, instructed, by the bossy receptionist to renew your license online, be quick to point out that you've tried and failed, otherwise she will shove you out the door before you get a word in edgewise.

At this point, bossy receptionist transforms into helpful assistant and updates your account. She will not, however, conduct any further checks regarding your eligibility to renew online, instead reverting to bossy receptionist and once again rush you out the door.

Successfully start process to renew license online. Suppress urge to obliterate your computer when told by the web site that you're not eligible, because the system has determined that an eyesight test is necessary.

Print and complete paper form, return to Service NSW branch again, have renewal application processed, including eyesight test and new photo. Pay AUD 178.00 for the privilege, a modest increase of just over 13 % since the last renewal five years ago. Enjoy the 50 % discount for having a good driving record.

Because the RTA, sorry, RMS, sorry, Service NSW centralized the actual printing of licenses etc, receive a temporary license in the form of a convenient paper document (size DIN A5), which you will be required to carry when driving until your “proper” license arrives by mail (in “about 2 weeks’ time”).

After three weeks, return to Service NSW branch for the fourth time because your license hasn’t arrived yet. Complete another form, take another ticket, then by pure chance once again enjoy the friendly service of Diane. Have your photo taken again, receive another temporary license, and learn that Diane is not only blessed with a cheerful personality, but also complete and utter indifference to customer service. Do not expect her to even attempt to find out why your license hasn’t been mailed, or take any steps to ensure this won’t happen again; Diane won’t even try to hide the fact that she doesn’t give a shit.

After another week, receive your license by mail. Do not take this for granted, there is no telling how many times you will hear Diane say “It just didn’t get mailed” before this last step actually happens.

So there you have it; couldn’t be any easier or more convenient, really. My only request to the RMS would be: Don’t make any more “improvements” to your services, please!