Vehicle Registration (rego)
The fee from vehicle licensing (also known as vehicle registration or rego) helps pay for road development and upgrade projects as well as road safety programmes in New Zealand.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will send you a registration notice in the mail, two to four weeks before your registration fee is due. (This is called a MR 1.) It sets out the fees and your options for payment.
To find out the current fees, go to the NZTA website via this link.
You can pay for your vehicle registration at most VTNZ stations. You can either bring in the form you received in the mail from the NZTA or, if you don’t have it with you, or if you want to align your Warrant of Fitness inspection due date with your vehicle registration due date, there is a licensing form (MR 1B) in the station.
Many people don't realise that we also hold licence plates in our stations - call in when you need a new plate for your vehicle.
Change of address
You can update your address details online with the NZTA. This will update both your motor vehicle details and driver licence details.
What to do with your licence label
When you pay the licensing fee, you get a label that shows the date your licence expires. You must display this label on the left-hand side of your motor vehicle's windscreen, or near your number plate (for trailers or motorcycles). Ask at the station for a new registration pouch for your vehicle, free of charge of course.
Your motor vehicle must have a current Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness before you can get a licence label or use the motor vehicle on the road.
Exemption from licensing
Anyone who won't be using their motor vehicle on the road for a continuous period of at least three months should apply for an exemption, or arrange for someone to do it on their behalf. (Note that an exemption period can be for no more than 12 months, but you can apply for consecutive exemptions.)
Exemptions must be applied for in advance. They take effect from when your current licence (or existing exemption) expires. If the motor vehicle isn't licensed, the exemption will start from the application date.
Fill out an Exemption application form (MR 24), available at the station. There is a small NZTA administration fee to do this, regardless of how long you want the vehicle to be exempt.
Before the exemption can be processed, you'll have to pay any outstanding fees.
Can I change the licence expiry date?
You can change your motor vehicle's registration date by completing an application to change licence expiry date form (MR 27), available at the station. We will advise you of your options and the fee you need to pay. A lot of our customers choose to do this to align their Warrant of Fitness expiry date with their vehicle registration’s expiry date, so they can do it all at the same time when at VTNZ.
What about refunds?
A licence fee can't be refunded unless the motor vehicle's registration is cancelled and you hand over the registration plates.
What if I don't relicense in time?
The registered owner of a motor vehicle is responsible for keeping the vehicle licensed.
- If your motor vehicle is unlicensed, you'll be sent notices to remind you that you need to relicense it.
- Six weeks after your licence expires, you'll receive an overdue notice.
- If you've still taken no action six months after the original licence or exemption expiry date, you'll receive a warning notice.
If the vehicle remains unlicensed for 12 months, its registration will be cancelled. You'll be sent a final notice two to four weeks before this happens. If you leave it unlicensed for 12 or more months and then want to re-register it, NZTA will require you to re-enter it into New Zealand and get it entry certified. We can do this for you but it can be costly so we recommend, if you're not planning to use your vehicle for 12 months that you apply for an exemption. This buys you time and reduces the risk of incurring the cost of having to get it re-entered.
The NZTA will then use a debt collection agency to recover outstanding licence fees.
Do all vehicles have to be licensed continuously?
All motor vehicles must be continuously licensed while using the road, except for the following:
- vehicles that are not required by law to be registered or licensed
- vehicles that are more than 40 years old
- agricultural machinery, tractors and mobile machines
- exempt class EA and EB vehicles
- trailers and trailer-type caravans having a gross laden weight not exceeding 3,500 kilograms
- all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
These motor vehicles can be unlicensed while they're off the road (eg, for repairs or restoration). They don't require exemptions to remain unlicensed.
However, if these vehicles remain unlicensed for one year, their registrations are cancelled. If you have one of these vehicles and you won't be using it for more than a year, make sure you request an exemption before the year is up, to prevent the registration being cancelled. That will then give you up to a further 12 months before you run the risk of it being cancelled. You can do this at VTNZ.
How is the licensing money spent by the NZ Transport Agency?
The motor vehicle licensing money we collect on behalf of the NZTA goes to a variety of funds:
The licence fee goes to the National Land Transport Fund for road construction, and to safety programmes run by the NZTA and the New Zealand Police.
The Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) Motor Vehicle Account Levy is collected on behalf of the ACC. This levy covers the medical costs related to injuries that happen on public roads.
An administration and licence label fee funds the operating costs of the services provided by the NZTA and its agents.
Motor vehicles may be subject to one or more of the following levies, depending on their type and use:
- Safety Standards levy
- Audit and Standards levy
- Transport licence fee.