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Vehicle licensing (rego)

Most vehicles need to have a vehicle licence before you can use them on public roads. You pay a fee for the licence and you get a vehicle licence label to display on the vehicle.

Your vehicle licence is often referred to as your rego, but it's not the same thing as registration.

Vehicle registration information

The registered person and their responsibilities

The registered person is the person recorded on the Motor Vehicle Register as the person responsible for the vehicle.

This isn't the same as legal ownership (and the Motor Vehicle Register doesn't record legal ownership).

This page focuses only on your responsibilities for licensing your vehicle.

The registered person's responsibilities

Vehicle licences expire

Vehicle licences expire, so as the registered person, you need to make sure you renew yours regularly.

You can check the expiry date on your current licence label at any time.

Check your licence, exemption and inspection expiry dates online

Continuous vehicle licensing

Most vehicles must be licensed continuously. That means there can’t be any days when your vehicle isn’t licensed, unless you officially take it off the road.

Motor vehicles that are not required to be licensed continuously include light trailers (up to 3500kg), tractors, forklifts, etc.

New Zealand Legislation – Motor vehicles exempt from continuous licensing requirement(external link)

How to renew your vehicle licence

You must have a current WoF or CoF

Your vehicle must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF) before you can get a licence or use the vehicle on the road, unless your vehicle is exempt from continuous vehicle licensing or does not require a WoF or CoF for road use (mopeds etc.).

Download Factsheet 27 – Vehicles exempt from registration and licensing [PDF, 58 KB]

Step 1: Receive a reminder

You’ll receive a reminder in the post or by email two to four weeks before your vehicle licence is due to expire. It lets you know the licensing fees and your options.

Sign up for email reminders

Give us your email address and we'll send your next reminder by email instead of post. Over time, we'll be adding more vehicle-related notifications and communications that we'll send by email too.

Give us your email address

Step 2: Renew online

You'll need:

  • your reminder number or your plate number
  • your credit/debit card or internet banking details.

It's easy and it saves you time and money.

Renew your vehicle licence now

Step 3: Receive your new licence label

It should arrive in the post within five working days.

If you’ve renewed online and your licence label hasn’t arrived within ten working days, please call us on 0800 108 809.

If online isn’t an option for you

Visit one of our agents instead

If you’ve run out of time and can’t wait seven days for your label, renew at an agent instead of going online. The agent will give you your label straight away.

Use the reminder you received from us, or fill out an Application to license motor vehicle (MR1B) form at the agent.

You must display your licence label

When you pay the licensing fee, you’ll get a label that shows the date your licence expires. You must display the label on the left-hand side of your vehicle’s windscreen, or near your number plate (for trailers or motorcycles).

If your label is lost or stolen

You need to get a replacement label. You can get a new label:

  • straight away by going to an agent, filling out an Application for replacement licence label (MR6) form and paying a fee
  • sent to you in the mail by calling us on 0800 108 809 and paying over the phone.

Vehicle licensing fees

Common vehicle licensing fees

If you don’t renew in time

If your licence expires and you don’t renew it in time, we’ll send you reminders:

  • six weeks after it expires
  • six months after it expires
  • two to four weeks before we cancel the vehicle’s registration (we do this when the vehicle has remained unlicensed for 12 months).

The registered person is responsible for keeping the vehicle licensed.

If you don’t get the reminders

Make sure your contact details are up to date

As the registered person, you need to let us know as soon as anything changes. This helps us make sure we're sending the reminders to the right person at the right address.

Check/update your contact details

Pay your licensing fees

We send the reminders to help you make sure you don’t forget. Even if you don’t receive a reminder, you’re still responsible for the licensing fees.

If your licence has expired and you haven’t received a reminder, don’t wait! Renew online (you don't need to enter a reminder number if you don't have one) or fill in an Application to license motor vehicle (MR1B) form at one of our agents.

Check your licence label

It tells you when your licence is due to expire.

Not using the vehicle on the road

If you won’t be using the vehicle on the road for at least three months in a row, you can (and should) apply for an exemption from licensing. You can also have someone else apply on your behalf.

When your vehicle goes on exemption, it means it doesn’t have to be licensed for the period of time that the exemption lasts.

Some people call this putting your rego on hold.

Apply for an exemption from licensing

Choosing a different licence expiry date

You can choose a different licence expiry date by filling in an Application to change licence expiry date (MR27) form at one of our agents. The agent will let you know your options and the fee.

Find an agent in your area

You've bought a vehicle without a licence

You’ll only need to pay from the date you bought the vehicle, not the date the licence was due. The seller is responsible for the unpaid fees before you bought the vehicle.

You've sold a vehicle without a licence

You’re responsible for any licensing fees owing up to the date you sold or disposed of the vehicle. We use a debt collection agency to recover outstanding licence fees.

Your vehicle has been stolen

If your vehicle has been stolen, you should report it to the police first.

If its licence has expired, you won’t need to pay from the date it was stolen, as long as you contact us.

If your vehicle is found, you’ll only need to pay licensing fees from the date it was returned to you.

If your vehicle has been stolen and is licensed, contact us.

Your vehicle will be permanently off the road

You’ll need to cancel its registration by filling in an Application to cancel registration (MR15) form at one of our plate agents. You should hand in the number plates at the same time as the MR15 form.

If you don’t have plates to hand in, you need to provide a reason why (and supporting evidence).

Find a plate agent near you

Cancel your vehicle's registrations registration

Download Factsheet 49 – Vehicle licensing [PDF, 56 KB]

Contact us for more information