Tuesday, 18 September 2012

ID Problems

I've been in Australia for two weeks now.  Much as I expected, the stress and worry I was feeling prior to the move evaporated almost as soon as I got here.  That's not to say that looking for a permanent place to stay and wading through the new-job bureaucracy has been easy, but it hasn't put me on edge to nearly the same degree.

One thing that has come up is the issue of ID.  I'm not sure if I just had good luck in North America, but the requirements here for apartments or phone contracts seem perverse.  In general, I'm poorly disposed to any demands more stringent than I needed to enter the bloody country.  But it seems to be popular to use a points-based system where a passport is only half the required number of points.  When I inquired about a mobile phone contract yesterday, I was told I would need:

  • A passport, with a copy of my visa;
  • A bank statement with at least ten entries;
  • My debit card (for ID, not just to pay);
  • And my health insurance card.
Once again, not only can I get into the country with less, I've entered military bases with nuclear subs more easily.

Even more fun comes with apartment hunting.  One leasing agency has, according to their application form, ID requirements so strict I literally cannot satisfy them.  I'm being a little melodramatic, since I intend to call them tomorrow and I suspect that I'll be able to work around this, but still.

I don't remember exactly what I needed to rent my last place in Canada, but I'm pretty sure it was just a passport and a deposit.  I'm not even sure about the passport, to be honest.

The one thing about this that does weigh on my mind is the point that I never rented in the UK.  It's far from impossible that things back home are closer to Oz than the US and Canada, which puts me in the slightly odd position of complaining that my new country is too much like my old one.  Which is kinda funny.

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