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Registration is generally a one-off requirement that identifies you as the person legally responsible for your vehicle. When a vehicle is registered, we add its details to the Motor Vehicle Register and issue number plates.

Registration is not the same as vehicle licensing, which is where you pay a fee for using public roads.

If your vehicle is not correctly registered or is unregistered, you could receive a fine or infringement. 

Registration is not legal title for the ownership of your vehicle. It simply identifies who is responsible for the licensing and safety inspections of the vehicle.

How to register your vehicle

Before a vehicle can be registered for use on New Zealand roads, your vehicle must successfully complete entry certification before you can apply to register it – a process that provides you with a certificate of registration and number plates.

Find out more about who can register a vehicle?

The registration process

  1. On arrival in New Zealand, a vehicle undergoes entry certification to verify it meets New Zealand's required standards. (See the exceptions to the entry certification requirement.)

  2. If the vehicle meets the standards, it’s approved for registration and a registration application form (MR2A) is printed.

  3. You then present the completed registration application form to a registration agent for processing. You'll need to provide ID.

  4. The agent processes the application, registering and licensing the vehicle so that you can legally drive it on the road. You’ll receive new number plates and licence label.

  5. You may only drive your vehicle on the road when it has its number plates, licence label, WoF or CoF label and (if applicable) road user charges licence attached.

Being the registered person

Once you have completed this process, you become the registered person.

Find out what it means to be a registered person

Your certificate of registration

We will post you a certificate of registration.

When you receive the certificate, carefully check the information and contact us if any details are incorrect.

Vehicles exempt from registration and licensing

Your vehicle may not have to be registered or licensed. Motor vehicles used on a private road are exempt from the requirement to be registered and licensed.

Find out which vehicles are exempt

Exceptions to the entry certification requirement

The following vehicles are not required to undergo entry certification before being registered:

  • trailers/caravans under 3500kg
  • tractors
  • self-propelled agricultural machines
  • trailers not designed for highway use
  • mobile machines not designed for highway use
  • all terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • agricultural motor vehicles including agricultural tractors and trailers.  Agricultural vehicles are motor vehicles that are designed, constructed or adapted for agricultural purposes.  They do not include vehicles that are designed or constructed for general road use.  Agricultural purposes does not include forestry.

These are known as ‘non-VIN’ vehicles – they don’t require a vehicle identification number (VIN). You can apply to register these by completing a non-VIN vehicle form (form MR2B) and presenting it to a registration agent.

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