COVID-19 SERVICES UPDATE: Information on Waka Kotahi services, extensions and more

SCAM ALERTS: Report a phishing scam or learn about the latest phishing emails

ONLINE SERVICES: We currently have an issue with receiving some payments and are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.

EASTER WEEKEND – PLAN AHEAD: Heading away for the long weekend? Check our holiday journeys tool(external link)

SCAM ALERTS: Refund email and Vehicle licence (rego) renewal phishing emails

Updates to the general road code

This page lists any updates to The official New Zealand road code since the last published edition. These changes will usually have been caused by a legislation change.

The 2019/2020 version of The official New Zealand road code was published in March 2019.

Road code changes

Page 38

5-year learner and restricted licences

The information about 5-year learner and restricted licences has been removed. The government removed these requirements for learner and restricted licences on 1 December 2021. 

More information about changes to learner and restricted licences

Page 53

What does the full licence practical test involve?

The list of critical errors for a full practical test has been amended to remove ‘failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign’ and now reads:

During the test you could incur a critical error for the following:

  • driving too slow or too fast
  • failing to look before performing a manoeuvre
  • failing to signal
  • mounting the kerb
  • stalling the vehicle
  • blocking a pedestrian crossing
  • any other illegal action, eg
    • following too close
    • failing to give way to pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing
    • driving over part of a roundabout

Page 130


Added new text due to sharrow marking and flush median rule changes.

Passing a cyclist
Ideally allow at least 1.5m between you and a cyclist when passing. If you cannot pass safely, slow down and wait behind the cyclist until you can pass safely.

There are some situations where cyclist may want to move toward the centre of lane in order to keep safe. This is called “taking the lane”. A driver of a motor vehicle may encroach on a flush median, when passing a cyclist provided they do so safely.

Situations when cyclists may take the lane are:

  • On roundabouts
  • Turning right at intersections
  • Turning left at intersections
  • When the road is too narrow for motor vehicles to safely pass the cyclist
  • When there are parked cars where doors might unexpectedly  open in the path of the cyclist

You may see a sharrow marking in these situations.

The sharrow road marking indicates a situation where cyclists are likely to ride more toward the centre of the lane in order to be safe. Drivers should slow down and follow the cyclists until the road widens and they can pass safely, or use another lane to pass the cyclist.

Page 170

Stopping at intersections, railway level crossings and pedestrian crossings

Added text to clarify new rules around cycle-only lanes

Cycle-only lanes

Cycle-only lanes are marked by a symbol of a cycle on the road.  A driver must not stop in or obstruct a cycle lane. When approaching an intersection a driver must not enter a cycle lane if the drivers intended passage or exit is blocked by stationary traffic and the driver will obstruct the cycle lane.

cycle lane blocked at intersection

Advanced stop box

An advanced stop box is a green square with a white cycle symbol at the head of a controlled intersection. It is for cyclists only and gives them a head start when the lights turn green. Motorists should not encroach on the green cycle box and should expect cyclists to come through to the front of the queue.

Page 243

Safe driving around cyclists

Updated text to include new sharrow markings and cycle lane rules

  • Hazards like parked cars, potholes, glass, litter, strong wind and opening car doors may cause cyclists to veer off-line and move into your path. Because of this, give cyclists plenty of room when passing them. Ideally, allow at least 1.5 metres between you and the cyclist.
  • Wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road. You may see a sharrow marking in this situation.
  • At intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists that you would to any other vehicle on the road. Take care to indicate turns. If you are turning the same way as a cyclist at an intersection, wait to pass until they are through the intersection.
  • If you are crossing a cycle lane, give way to cyclists before you cross.
  • Take extra care around young cyclists.
  • You must not drive in or cross a cycle lane except for a maximum of 50 metres when entering or leaving side roads, driveways or parking spaces.
  • You must not stop, stand or park in a cycle lane.
  • A driver approaching the intersection must not enter a cycle lane if the drivers intended passage or exit is blocked by stationary traffic which would cause the driver to obstruct the cycle lane.

Page 252

How to do a hook turn

Added new hook turn sign information

  • This sign may be placed ahead of an intersection where a hook turn is recommended

Hook turn