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Vehicle registration and licensing

The difference between registration and licensing

While licensing is often called ‘rego’, there is a difference:

  • Registration is when a car is first added to the Motor Vehicle Register in New Zealand and gets its registration plates.
  • Licensing is the yearly fee you pay to keep your vehicle on the road.
  • Your vehicle must be both registered and licenced to be used on the road.

The fees from vehicle licensing go towards paying for roading projects and road safety programmes.

Licensing fees

From 1 July 2015 the ACC portion of the licence levy is being reduced by an average of 41%. The current figures are:

Motor vehicle type/usage 3 months 6 months 12 months
Passenger car
Petrol driven – private 70.30 140.38 280.55
Petrol driven – taxi 84.72 169.27 338.31
Petrol driven – rental 84.72 169.27 338.31
Non-petrol driven – private 105.66 211.07 421.94
Non-petrol driven – taxi 120.08 239.96 479.69
Non-petrol driven – rental 120.08 239.96 479.69
Trailer
Less than 3500kg 7.24 14.28 28.37
Motorcycle
Petrol driven – – 0- 60cc incl 99.14 198.03 395.85
Petrol driven – 61-600cc incl 102.01 203.78 407.35
Petrol driven – 601cc and over 130.54 260.85 521.51
Moped
Petrol driven 41.56 82.90 165.60
Goods truck/van/utility
Private passenger Petrol driven – 0-3500kg GVM 72.61 145.00 289.80
Petrol driven – 3501-6000kg GVM 82.06 163.86 327.51
Non-petrol driven – 0-3500kg GVM 115.43 230.62 461.04
Non-petrol driven – 3501-6000kg GVM 147.86 295.49 590.78
Transport licensed goods Petrol driven – 6000-12000kg GVM 96.11 191.98 383.73
Non-petrol driven – 6000-12000kg GVM 161.90 323.61 647.00
Other (standard) goods Petrol driven – 0-3500kg GVM 81.69 145.00 289.80
Petrol driven – 3501-6000kg GVM 82.06 163.86 327.51
Non-petrol driven – 0-3500kg GVM 115.43 230.62 461.04
Non-petrol driven – 3501-6000kg GVM 147.86 295.49 590.78

You can save some money by doing this online. You will receive your label in the mail. Or you can do it at an agent such as NZ Post, but this will cost you slightly more.

Your vehicle must have a current warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness. The only time you are allowed to drive a vehicle on the road without a current licence is if you are taking it to get a WoF or CoF.

If you don’t relicence your vehicle it will be canceled 11 months and 4 weeks after it first expired.

If you don’t need to drive your vehicle on the road you can apply for a temporary exemption of the licence for between three and 12 months. Some vehicles are exempt from licence fees in certain circumstances. Find out more here.

If you will be taking your vehicle off road permanently you can cancel the registration here.

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Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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