Motor vehicle licensing is where you pay a fee to use your vehicle on public roads. The fee helps to pay for roading projects and road safety programmes.
Vehicle licensing is sometimes referred to as ‘rego’, but should not be confused with registration, which is the process where we add a vehicle’s details to the Motor Vehicle Register and issue its number plates.
Most motor vehicles must be licensed continuously.
If you license your vehicle after the current licence has expired, you'll have to pay any backdated licence fees as well as the new licence fee. The backdated fees apply from the date the licence expires to the date you relicense.
We’ll send you a Motor vehicle licence reminder (MR1) in the mail two to four weeks before your licensing fee is due.
There's no need to wait! You can renew your licence as soon as you receive the reminder. Your next licence always starts the day after your expiry date, so you won't lose money by renewing early.
Here's an example of the current reminder. It shows you:
Licensing online (external link) is the quickest and easiest option, and it saves you money too.
We send the reminder to the last address recorded for you on the Motor Vehicle Register.
If you forget to let us know your new address and you don’t receive a reminder, you can still check your expiry date on the licence label on your vehicle.
If you don’t license your vehicle for any reason (including not receiving the reminder), you’re still legally required to pay the backdated fees as well as paying for a new licence.
Save time and money – it’s quick and easy to license your vehicle online on our website.
We’ll send the label to you in the post.
Otherwise, you can pay in-store at an agent.
Either write on your reminder how many months you'd like to license for (from 1 to 12), or fill out a licensing form (MR1B).
Your motor vehicle must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF) before you can get a licence or use the motor vehicle on the road.
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).
The registered person is responsible for keeping their vehicle licensed.
If your motor vehicle is unlicensed, you'll be sent notices to remind you that you need to relicense it.
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.
The Transport Agency will then use a debt collection agency to recover outstanding licence fees.
The New Zealand Police and local authorities fine registered people caught using unlicensed motor vehicles on the road. You could be fined $200 for not displaying a current licence on your vehicle.
Even if you don’t receive any of the reminders, you are still liable for licensing fees. If your licence has expired and you haven’t received a notice, don’t wait – use a licensing form (MR1B) at an agent.
Make sure you keep your address up-to-date so we know where to send any reminder notices.
If you won't be using your motor vehicle on the road for a continuous period of at least three months you can apply for an exemption.
You can change your motor vehicle's licensing date by completing an application to change licence expiry date (MR27) transaction at an agent.
The agent will advise you of your options and the fee you need to pay.
You’ll only be required to pay from the date you acquire the vehicle, not the date the licence was due. The seller is liable for the unpaid fees before you acquire the vehicle.
You are liable for any outstanding licensing fees up to the date of the sale or disposal of the vehicle. Normal debt collection practices are employed to recover outstanding licence fees.
If your vehicle’s licence has expired you won’t be required to pay from the date it was stolen, as long as you contact us and provide a copy of the police report. If your vehicle is recovered, you’ll only be required to pay licensing fees from the date of its return.
If your vehicle has been stolen and is licensed, contact us.
You’ll need to cancel its registration by completing an MR15 form, available from some agents.