2007-02-24 : What is it with this place ?
Starting a story with “I wanted to apply for a bank account” is hardly riveting stuff, but I realise that some of the dizzying star-quality of many of my other blogs is starting to give people vertigo – time to bring it back a notch.
Recently I was alerted to what sounded a reasonable proposition – Icesave have a savings account that pays 5.7% interest, and that's almot 1% higher than my current savings account. So off I go to apply, and it seems that the only forms of ID they'll accept are a UK passport or a UK driver's license.
As it turns out if you have an Australian driving license you can “easily” exchange it for a UK one, so I go delving into the requirements for that procedure. You have to surrender your Australian license, and send along another form of ID, such as a passport. Now if you've got a UK passport then you can complete it all online. However if you've got an Australian passport you need to get a certified copy from somewhere, or you need to take it in to an office where they can do it on the spot for you. Again, on-the-spot can be done in the Post Office, but only if you have a UK passport. You can only get Australian passports on-the-spotted at a DVLA office. No problem.
Based on the Transport SA setup, I figured that for a city of about 1.5 million, there's 10 metropolitan Transport SA offices. Any idea how many DVLA offices are in the London “metro” area (loosely defined as the area inside the M25). 7 million people ? Any guesses ?
I'm just not 100% convinced this plan's got any chance of coming to fruition.
About an hour from my gaff to Wimbledon on a good day… probably another 20 mins to the DVLA office from there, then about a week and a half in the queue, 10 minutes filling out a different form because they sent me the wrong one in the post to start with, 20 mins for the person to process it all, 20 mins back to the tube and another 40 or so to get to work. If I leave the house at 8am Monday I should make it to work by the Thursday before Easter.