Licence scam “the tip of the iceberg” says safety campaigner

A prominent road safety campaigner has suggested that many motorists from China and India may not have valid licences when they drive in New Zealand.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website, says the Auckland example, where a booking officer at AA Meadowlands has allegedly been selling licences for $500, is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Anyone with an international licence can drive for up to a year in this country. There is clear evidence that many people from India and China are driving using fake licences.”

The Indian government estimates that 30% of Indian drivers’ licences are fakes.

“There is also currently a global epidemic of fake licences originating from China, but even the official licences may not be what they seem.”

A Chinese source told that bribery is common:

“Drivers give bribery money to the police; the police will issue them licences under the counter. That's illegal, of course, but not many corrupt guys are caught.”

Matthew-Wilson says he’s horrified at the thought of thousands of motorists driving without having ever passed a legitimate driving test.

“New Zealand drivers often aren’t very good, but at least they’ve passed a test proving they know which side of the road to drive down.”