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For most people, your driver licence is valid for 10 years. We'll send you a renewal reminder letter about six weeks before your photo driver licence is due to expire (provided we have your current address on our system). 

Download the application form to renew your driver licence [PDF, 204 KB]
Find a driver licensing agent in your area

The renewal/upgrade process

In most cases it takes less than 10 minutes to renew or upgrade your licence.

To renew your licence, you must apply at a driver licensing agent

You will need to:

You'll then receive a temporary licence which is valid for 21 days. Keep this on you whenever you're driving until your new driver licence arrives in the mail - within two to three weeks.

Renewal fees

The licence renewal fee for your new licence will depend on the class(es) you are renewing. 

All full classes and learner heavy vehicle classes will generally be issued for 10 years and cost $43.90.

Your learner or restricted licence car or motorcycle licence will only be issued for five years and cost $20.10

If you are aged 64½ or over, your licence may be issued for less than the standard term and will expire on your 75th birthday (in which case you may pay a lower fee).   

See the full list of fees.

Don’t know when your driver licence expires?

Old style licence card

If you have an old style licence card, see the front of your photo driver licence for the expiry date of your licence. See the back of your licence for the expiry date of any endorsements you may hold.

New style licence card

If you have a new style photographic licence the classes and endorsements you hold are in a table on the back of the card. You will need to check the expiry date of each class and endorsement.

See what's on your New Zealand driver licence.

When can you renew your licence?

You don't have to wait for the driver licence renewal pack. You can renew at anytime.

If you renew your licence:

  • more than 12 months before the expiry date of your current licence, your new licence will be valid for 10 years from the date we grant your application
  • within the 12 months before the expiry date of your licence, your new licence will be valid for 10 years from the expiry date of your current licence
  • after it has expired, your new licence will be valid for 10 years from the date we grant your application.

For drivers aged 75 years and over the expiry term is different

Learner or restricted car or motorcycle licence

If your learner or restricted licence was obtained or last renewed before 1 December 2014, you can renew it at any time.  However, your new licence will only be issued for five years.

If your five-year learner or restricted car or motorcycle licence was obtained or last renewed on or after 1 December 2014, you cannot renew it until on or after the date of its expiry. You will need to pass a theory test and your new licence will be issued for a further five years.

Travelling overseas?

If your licence is likely to expire while you're overseas, it's worth renewing your licence before you leave. You can only renew your licence when you're in New Zealand. 

Renew your licence before you leave New Zealand

Haven’t upgraded from a paper licence?

If you haven’t upgraded from a paper driver licence to a photo driver licence, you are strongly advised to do so as soon as possible

All old style New Zealand driver licences (booklet or paper) have now expired which means you cannot drive using your old New Zealand driver licence.

Photo driver licences are one of the best ways to catch unlicensed and disqualified drivers and, along with tough roadside penalties, get them off our roads.

Licences with photos also help the police to check that new and inexperienced drivers (those in the graduated driver licensing system) do not break the conditions under which they're allowed to drive.

You should carry your driver licence with you at all times when driving, as drivers are required by law to produce their driver licence immediately on request to a police officer. If you're caught driving on an expired licence you could face a $400 fine and, if summonsed to court, you could be fined up to $1000. Driving on an expired licence could also affect your ability to get car insurance, delay any insurance claim or result in a claim being declined.

Read Factsheet 54: Upgrading driver licences from paper to photo

Your licence expired more than five years ago?

If your licence expired more than five years ago, you may have to pass theory and practical tests to renew your licence. However, if you can produce evidence of having been licensed to drive during the previous five years (for example with an overseas driver licence) tests may not be required.

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