New Zealand's driver licensing system

Why have driver licences?

The New Zealand driver licensing system makes sure that everyone driving or riding on our roads has the skills and knowledge needed to be a safe road user. The safer drivers and riders are, the safer our roads will be.

A licence to drive or ride a motor vehicle is only given to people who pass the driver licence tests and show understanding of the rights and safety of others.

Photo driver licences help identify drivers. The police can check that people on learner and restricted licences are following the conditions of their licence and they also help catch unlicensed and disqualified drivers.


You must always have your driver licence with you when riding. You must by law show your driver licence to an enforcement officer when asked.

What does a New Zealand driver licence look like?

Blue photo driver licence card. Learner banner in blue box and drivers image on the left. Drivers identity information listed on the right.

The front of your licence has your photo and other personal details.

Blue photo driver licence card. Conditions listed on the left. Class 1 car learner listed on the right, with issue and expiry date.

The back of your licence shows the vehicles you’re allowed to drive and any conditions that may apply

Licence conditions

If your licence is issued with conditions on it, you must follow them when you ride, otherwise you could get a ticket, demerit points and a fine.

Demerit points

Common conditions include always wearing correcting lenses, such as glasses, when driving, only driving automatic vehicles, or only driving specially adapted vehicles. A condition can apply to all or some of the classes and endorsements you hold.

Note: learner and restricted licence conditions aren’t on your licence. 

Learner licence conditions

Restricted licence conditions

Driver licence classes

There are 6 classes of driver licence in Aotearoa New Zealand. Each class covers different types and weights of vehicle because the skills you need to ride a motorcycle are different from the skills you need to drive a car or heavy vehicle.

To ride a motorcycle you’ll need a class 6 licence.

New Zealand driver licence classes: what you can drive 


You can ride a moped on a class 1 licence but not a motorcycle.

Class 6 – Motorcycle

Class 6 learner or restricted licence holders can ride:

  • a LAMS-approved motorcycle
  • a moped
  • an all-terrain vehicle.

Class 6 full licence holders can also ride:

  • any other legal and registered motorcycle.

Learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS)

LAMS-approved means a motorcycle approved as part of the learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS).

Learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS)

Class 1 covers cars and other light vehicles.

General road code

Classes 2 to 5 cover trucks and other heavy vehicles.

Heavy vehicle road code