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Authorised access to the register

Important: Class authorisations expire on 31 October 2017. Please apply as early as possible to avoid delays.


Anyone can apply for an authorisation from the NZ Transport Agency to access current names and addresses in the Motor Vehicle Register.

Applications for access are made under section 241 of the Land Transport Act 1998 (external link) . The Transport Agency consults with the Ombudsman, Privacy Commissioner and Police Commissioner (our advising agencies) before deciding whether to grant an authorisation. An authorisation may be for any purpose and is subject to any conditions specified by the Transport Agency.

Who should apply for authorised access?

An authorisation is likely to be sought by people who access current name and address information in the Motor Vehicle Register in bulk, or on a frequent and ongoing basis. An authorisation allows access to current names and addresses only. You don’t need an authorisation to access vehicle information.

Who shouldn’t apply?

Don't apply for authorised access if you only want vehicle information (like the licence expiry date or odometer history). Instead, complete a Request for motor vehicle details form (MR32). If you only want to confirm if someone is the current registered person, try the Check registered person query online (external link) – it’s free.

If you’re a member of an industry body who’s made an application on behalf of their members (eg the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), the Motor Trade Association (MTA), the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (IMVIA) and the Financial Services Federation), you don’t need to make your own application unless you want access for reasons outside of the application made by the industry body.

How to apply for authorised access to Motor Vehicle Register information

You must answer a number of questions about the nature of your business and your reasons for wanting access to the Motor Vehicle Register. See  Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2011 (external link) (external link) for a list of those questions (you must answer all questions).

We’ve developed several sets of standard terms for traders, insurers, finance companies and petrol stations. These standard terms are reasons for access which have been agreed with our advising agencies, and they’ll allow your application to be finalised within a shorter period if you use them. There’s more information on these below. If you believe your requirements fit in to one of these sets of standard terms, please indicate this when answering question (g). 

There’s no application form. Applications should answer the questions in the same order that they appear in the list and set out each question in full as a heading to each response.

You may also provide any additional information which you believe would help the Transport Agency to make a decision on your application.

Applications should be sent to:

NZ Transport Agency
Customer Response Team
Private Bag 11777
Palmerston North 4442

If you have any questions, we can be emailed at the following address: s241@nzta.govt.nz.

Application fees

The application fee varies according to the type of applicant.

Applicant type

Fee (incl GST)

Individual (not being a sole trader)

$621.46

Business that is not a representative body or member of a representative body (including a sole trader)

$854.57

Representative body with a disciplinary power

$1,165.30

Representative body with no disciplinary power

$1,320.65

Any other person

$1,165.30

You must pay the fee to the NZ Transport Agency at the time of application. Applications will not be processed unless the correct fee is paid. You can pay by cheque or direct debit:

  • If paying by cheque please ensure they are made out to the NZ Transport Agency.
  • If paying by direct debit, please use our direct debit form [PDF, 31 KB] (please send the original form, not a photocopy).

Further information about authorised access to the Motor Vehicle Register

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

The Transport Agency allows up to eight weeks from the time of receiving a complete application (together with full payment) to provide you with a draft decision. This is because applications are sent to three external advisers for an opinion, before being put before a panel for review. Once a draft decision is made and forwarded to you, you have 14 days to respond to that decision.

Does an authorisation give me ownership history?

No. An authorisation only allows you to access the names and addresses of individuals currently registered in respect of a vehicle. If you want to access the names and addresses of individuals previously registered in respect of a vehicle you must apply to the Transport Agency. However, you should be aware that the Transport Agency doesn’t update details of individuals previously registered. The people listed may have moved or be deceased.

What about individuals who don't want their details released to an authorised user?

Individuals who don’t want their details to be released to a person holding an authorisation can instruct the Transport Agency not to release their details. This is known as an opting out. Any person can opt out. No reason is required.

Although the name and address details of people who’ve opted out won’t be released under an authorisation, they can be requested from the Transport Agency and may be released depending on the circumstances of the case.

Alternatively, individuals may apply for a confidential listing. This confers a higher level of protection than opting out but the eligibility criteria are harder to satisfy. In general, confidential listings are granted only in cases where there is a genuine threat to the safety of the individual. For example, people who have a domestic violence order would be granted a confidential listing as would people covered by witness protection arrangements.

How will the Transport Agency decide whether or not to issue an authorisation?

The Transport Agency is obliged to first consult the Ombudsman, the Privacy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police, but makes the final decision on an application.

What can I do if I’m dissatisfied with the decision?

If you’re dissatisfied with a decision made by the Transport Agency not to issue an authorisation, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate that decision. You also have the option of seeking a judicial review of the decision.

What happens to a person who's granted an authorisation and doesn't comply with its conditions?

The Transport Agency may, where a breach has occurred, impose additional conditions on an authorisation or limit its terms, or even cancel it. An example of a breach is where an authorisation is granted for a specified purpose but the information supplied under that authorisation is used for a different purpose.

They may also be in breach of one or more of the information privacy principles contained in the Privacy Act 1993.

What about vehicle safety recalls by motor vehicle importers and manufacturers?

Where a safety recall involves a serious or imminent threat to public safety or the life or health of an individual, the information may be released under the Official Information Act without an authorisation.

Class authorisations

Class authorisations have been granted previously for all traders, insurers, finance companies and petrol stations. These won’t be continued and all expire on 31 October 2017.

If you were previously covered by a class authorisation, you’ll need to have your own authorisation (or use an authorisation for an industry body that you’re a member of) to continue accessing current names and addresses in the Motor Vehicle Register.

Three six-month extensions to the original expiry date of the class authorisations have been made to allow more time for affected parties to send in applications.

Standard terms

To help with the timely processing of applications, we’ve developed the following sets of standard terms. When sending in an application for an authorisation, please indicate in your answer to question (g) (external link) if a set of these standard terms applies to your application.

  • Vehicle traders (external link)
    • Checking the registered person when purchasing a vehicle.
    • Checking that the registered person has been changed correctly when you sell a vehicle.
    • Finding registered persons for the purpose of a safety recall (wholesalers only).
    • Any other purpose necessary to facilitate the sale and purchase of vehicles aside from marketing.
  • Fuel suppliers (external link)
    • Finding the registered person information of vehicles involved where there has been a failure to pay for goods or services.
  • Finance companies and insurers (external link)
    • Checking the registered person of a vehicle when assessing an application to provide finance in relation to that vehicle.
    • Checking the registered person of a vehicle when you have a security interest in that vehicle.
    • Checking the registered person of a vehicle which is involved in an accident with your client (insurers only).
    • Verifying that payments for claims are made to the registered person of the relevant vehicle (insurers only).
    • Any other purpose that is reasonably required for assessing or processing an insurance policy or claim in relation to the vehicle (insurers only).

Companies and individuals with authorised access to the register

This is a list of the companies and individuals who have been granted authorised access to the motor vehicle register.

Companies and individuals with authorised access to the register [XLSX, 270 KB]

 

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