Perhaps after living in Canberra for more than a year, and in light of further restrictions and border closures arising from Sydney’s Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster, it’s time to bite the bullet and become an “official” ACT resident.
New border and quarantine restrictions from the latest Sydney COVID-19 outbreak could be the catalyst for residents who have been avoiding swapping over driver’s licences and registrations.
A Bourne Identity-like crisis, I’ve noticed something eerily unique about people who have moved to Canberra either for work or study: no one wants to admit that they’ve taken the plunge.
Unlike that one friend who took a 1997 gap year to London and still refers to trains as “the tube”, ask a Canberran where they’re from and chances are you’ll get their “original” city.
“I moved here 15 years ago, but I’m originally from Brisbane.”
“I moved here for work, but I’m still in Sydney every eighth-month.”
“I grew up here, and my parents lived here, but I moved to Melbourne three days ago, so I’m Victorian.”
You get the gist.
But now, with an ACT Policing presence on the Federal Highway checking people from NSW to ensure they are allowed to enter, a licence indicating a Greater Sydney residence is more hassle than protest.
In 2019, requests about establishing or transferring registration to the ACT was the top question asked of Access Canberra, with over 42,000 inquiries.
The fourth highest transaction at Access Canberra service centres in 2020 was registration transfers (almost 13,400) and there were almost 275,000 page views on the Access Canberra website about swapping registration over.
Throughout 2020, when Victorian number plates were targetted and quarantine requirements were as fickle as petrol prices, more Canberrans wanted certainty in Australia’s (arguably) best-performing jurisdiction during the pandemic.
So perhaps it’s time to bite the bullet and “officially” call yourself a Canberran once and for all.