COVID-19 SERVICES UPDATE: Information for all alert levels, Waka Kotahi services and more

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Who is allowed to drive during the different alert levels?

Please visit the Ministry of Transport website for details on who can travel at different alert levels.

COVID-19 transport information – Ministry of Transport (external link)

My driver licence/endorsement has or is about to expire, can I still drive?

To ensure you have enough time for your application to be completed, we encourage you to renew your driver licence or endorsement as soon as possible and as alert levels allow. While temporary extensions are in place for driver licences and endorsements that expire between 21 July and 30 November 2021, we recommend you visit soon to help avoid longer wait times at the agent counter. Please ensure you take the correct documents required with you.

If your licence or endorsement remains expires after the extension ends, you won’t be able to continue driving until it is renewed.

Please see below for driver licensing agent information under the various alert levels.

Information about the temporary extensions in place

Alert Levels 3 and 4

Driver licensing agents are closed under Alert Levels 3 and 4.

If you don’t need to drive, you should stay home and only drive according to government guidelines. Please follow the Government guidelines related to travel.

Drivers must continue to comply with all other road rules, as well as any relevant restrictions of their licence (eg learner licence restrictions and zero alcohol licences). Any licence suspensions, disqualifications and revocations will also continue to apply.

Alert Levels 1 and 2

You can renew your driver licence at a driver licensing agent as they are can open under Alert Level 2. Please be aware that there may be wait times due to current demand and Government public health and safety guidelines must be followed. Please continue to be patient with those providing services as they adjust to working differently. Some people have circumstances that require priority by our agents and we recommend you plan your visit so you are not under any time pressure if you do need to wait. We also recommend you check our website or the agents’ website to ensure you take everything you need in with you.

Government COVID-19 information(external link)

Does the new licensing period start from the date I renew my driver licence or endorsement?

The start date of the new licensing period depends on whether the original expiry date has passed.

If you renew your licence or endorsement before it has expired, the new period will start from the existing expiry date, giving you the same validity period as you always receive. For example, a licence that is renewed on 1 September with an expiry date of 1 October will have a new licensing period starting from 1 October.

If the original expiry date on your licence or endorsement has passed and it is temporarily extended, the new period will start from the date you have your licence renewed.

As longer wait times are expected leading up to the end of November 2021 when the extension for all driver licences and endorsements ends, we encourage you to renew your document at your earliest convenience and avoid the busiest times of day such as lunchtime. Remember to bring all necessary and valid documents with you. 

Remember, driver licensing agents are open under Alert Levels 1 and 2.

I’ve lost my licence or it’s been stolen, what should I do?

You can advise us of a lost or stolen licence by letting our Contact Centre know.

If your licence has been stolen, you should also report it to Police.

Report a stolen licence to NZ Police(external link)

My practical test was booked during the lockdown period, will this be cancelled?

No, your practical driving test has not been cancelled. It has been held in the booking system for you and VTNZ will send you communication of your new test booking date and time, either by text or phone, once driving testing services resume.  Your practical test will be rescheduled as soon as practically possible – please note that this won’t occur under Alert Levels 3 or 4. No further fees apply to this reschedule.

I want to book a practical test online, but I can’t. What do I do?

Alert Levels 3 and 4

Practical driver testing services, including online booking, are currently unavailable until further notice.

Alert Levels 1 and 2

Practical driver testing services, including online booking, are available.

Can I still get permits or an extension of a permit for my heavy vehicle?

Our permitting team is currently processing 50max permits within the usual time frame.

How do I renew my small or large P or D endorsement, if it has expired or is about to expire?

To ensure you have enough time for your application to be completed, we encourage you to renew your driver licence or endorsement as soon as possible and as alert levels allow. While temporary extensions are in place for driver licences and endorsements that expire between 21 July and 30 November 2021, we recommend you visit soon to help avoid longer wait times at the agent counter. Please ensure you take the correct documents required with you.

If your licence or endorsement remains expires after the extension ends, you won’t be able to continue driving until it is renewed.

Please see below for driver licensing agent information under the various alert levels.

Information about the temporary extensions in place

Alert Levels 3 and 4

We are still processing applications for commercial endorsements (Passenger, Vehicle Recovery, Driving Instructor and Testing Officers received prior to the Alert Level announcement. There are eligibility criteria for new endorsement applications that can’t reasonably by satisfied while Alert Level 3 and 4 restrictions are in force, however we are conscious of the need to maintain permitted movement, and we are only able to accept applications for a Small or Large Passenger Endorsement during this time. There will be criteria that will need to be met for those wishing to apply for a new Large Passenger endorsement.

Please email Safer Commercial Endorsements at pvio@nzta.govt.nz discuss the criteria.

Alert Levels 1 and 2

You can renew your endorsement at a local counter agent as they can open under Alert Level 2. Please be aware that there may be wait times due to current demand and Government public health and safety guidelines must be followed. Please continue to be patient with those providing services as they adjust to working differently. Some people have circumstances that require priority by our agents and we recommend you plan your visit so you are not under any time pressure if you do need to wait. We also recommend you check our website or the agents website to ensure you take everything you need in with you.

I have completed a defensive driving course but under Alert Levels 3 and 4 the licensing agents are closed.  Will I still be able to use it?

Certificates issued prior to Alert Level 4 will remain valid and can be used when services reopen under Alert Level 2.

I have completed a CBTA course for my motorcycle licence but under Alert Levels 3 and 4 the licensing agents are closed.  Will I still be able to use it?

Certificates issued prior to Alert Level 4 will remain valid and can be used when services return to normal.

I have completed a course for a truck licence but under Alert Levels 3 and 4 the licensing agents are closed.  Will I still be able to use it?

Certificates issued prior to Alert Level 4 will remain valid and can be used when services reopen under Alert Level 2.

My suspension or disqualification is due to end or has ended. What will this mean for me?

Alert Levels 3 and 4

If you are currently suspended or disqualified your suspension or disqualification will still end on the same date, it will not be extended. However, as our service providers are currently closed, you will not be able to reinstate your driver licence until services return to normal. That means you cannot drive until you have been issued with a current licence.

Alert Levels 1 and 2

You can apply to reinstate your licence at a local counter agent as they can open under Alert Level 2. Please be aware that there may be wait times due to current demand and Government public health and safety guidelines must be followed. Please continue to be patient with those providing services as they adjust to working differently. Some people have circumstances that require priority by our agents and we recommend you plan your visit so you are not under any time pressure if you do need to wait. We also recommend you check our website or the agents website to ensure you take everything you need in with you.

I have my learner licence. Can I practice my driving with a member of my ‘bubble’ during Alert Level 3 or 4?

During Alert Level 4 you should stay at home as much as you can as any unnecessary travel could spread COVID-19.  Members of the public should only be driving for essential purposes (eg getting groceries or medical supplies) and where ever possible only sending one person at a time.

During Alert Level 3, you should continue to remain at home and avoid driving where possible.

Can I still drive my vehicle if I’ve received a notice that I am medically unfit to drive?

No, you are unable to drive your vehicle. We can revoke and suspend licences on safety grounds, which includes acting on advice regarding whether or not a driver is medically fit to drive a light vehicle.

I have completed a course certificate to renew my V, I, O or D endorsement but the agents are closed. What can I do?

V, I and O certificates issued prior to Alert Level 4 will remain valid and can be used when services reopen under Alert Level 2.

For D endorsement certificates, we will consider the impacts of COVID-19 and the alert levels when services reopen under Alert Level 2and the certificate is presented.

I have completed a course certificate to apply for a new V, I, O or D endorsement but the agents are closed under Alert Levels 3 and 4, what can I do?

All driver licensing facilities are temporarily closed under Alert Levels 3 and 4. There are eligibility criteria for these endorsements that can’t reasonably be satisfied while Alert Level 3 and 4 restrictions are in force, however we are conscious of the need to maintain permitted movement, and we will actively monitor this position and review it as appropriate.

We will take the impacts of COVID-19 and the alert levels into consideration for the validity of Dangerous Goods certificates presented when services reopen under Alert Level 2.

I'm on a learner or restricted class licence and it's about to expire. I’m about to sit my practical test, can I still use my current licence?

If your licence is expired when you sit your practical test, but you meet the criteria for your licence to be extended, you can present the expired licence to the testing officer and it will be treated as current.

This doesn’t apply if you hold an alcohol interlock licence as you can’t apply for a new class or stage until you’ve been approved to exit the alcohol interlock programme.

If you don’t meet the criteria to be extended, you will need to renew your licence prior to your test.

My practical test is booked in after the current lockdown ends. Will it go ahead?

Tests will only commence once Alert Level 2 is in place. Tests already booked in at that time will go ahead and tests from Alert Levels 3 and 4 will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

My medical/eyesight certificate is due to expire during lockdown, can I continue driving?

We will take the impacts of COVID-19 and the alert levels into consideration for the validity of Medical and Eyesight Certificates presented when services reopen under Alert Level 2. Until we have a clearer indication of lockdown duration, the Contact Centre will continue to assess each case individually.

I have my driver test scheduled under Alert Level 2 but my driver license has expired. What do I do?

If your driver licence expires between 21 July and 30 November 2021, it is temporarily extended and can be used to sit your practical driver test.

Will I get a new driver licence card now to reflect my extended expiry date?

We are not issuing new cards to reflect the extended period you can use your licence for. If your driver licence card shows an expiry date between 21 July and 30 November 2021, it is deemed current. However, if you apply to renew, a new driver licence card with the renewed expiry date will be issued.

Will the Police give me a fine or take my driver licence card from me if it shows as expired?

Police are aware that licences that expire 21 July and 30 November 2021 are deemed current. If your driver licence card shows an expiry date between 21 July and 30 November 2021, it shouldn’t be taken off you for the reason of expiry.

If any other issues require your driver licence to be taken from you, this is at police discretion.

Why have I received a renewal reminder when my licence has been extended?

Reminder notices are generated by the original expiry date of your licence. Even though the expiry may have been extended, we are continuing to send renewal reminders as they also detail the process to renew should anyone wish to do so now.

Can I present my expired driver licence card to sit a heavy vehicle theory or practical test?

If your licence is expired when you sit your theory or practical test, but you meet the criteria for your licence to be extended, you can present the expired licence to the licensing agent or testing officer and it will be treated as current.

This doesn’t apply if you hold an alcohol interlock licence as you can’t apply for a new class or stage until you’ve been approved to exit the alcohol interlock programme.

If you don’t meet the criteria to be extended, you will need to renew your licence prior to your test.

I’ve got a time limited licence. What if there are no theory or practical tests available before the end of November 2021 and my licence will expire?

If you are ready to progress to the next stage of your licence, you need to book a practical test as early as possible to secure a time. Otherwise you will need to re-sit a theory test to renew your current licence.

What if I need an optometrist or medical certificate to renew my licence and can’t get an appointment before the end of November 2021?

We encourage you to arrange certificates required for your licence renewal at your earliest convenience to avoid this happening. Remember that the certificate is valid for 60 days so please present it to us within that time to avoid having to get one reissued.

If you are unable to do so and your licence expires without being renewed, you cannot drive until you have presented all relevant documents and have the licence renewed.