You're legally required to let us know immediately when you sell a vehicle. It's free to let us know. For peace of mind, do it online at the time of sale.

If you've sold a vehicle

You must let us know straight away. The easiest way to do this is online. You’ll need your New Zealand driver licence.

Let us know you've sold a vehicle(external link)

If you’re a company, or don't have a driver licence, you’ll need to contact us instead.

Contact Waka Kotahi

Advice for sellers

Avoid the buyer's fines

If you don’t let us know you’ve sold the vehicle, you could end up with the buyer’s bills or fines, like tolls or speeding tickets.

It’s a good idea to ask the buyer to put the vehicle into their name before you hand over the keys.

You could ask them to show you their receipt from the agent or their online confirmation, or you could check online:

Confirm registered person(external link)

Seller's checklist

Make sure:

  • you’ve paid all outstanding licence fees
  • the road user charges (RUC) are up to date (if applicable)
  • the vehicle has a warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF) that is no more than one month old when the buyer takes the vehicle.

Identification and personal details required

If you’re selling a vehicle, you must provide:

  • your full name (or organisation’s name)
  • your New Zealand address
  • your New Zealand driver licence, if you’re letting us know online
  • the buyer’s full name and New Zealand address.

If the vehicle is unlicensed

Vehicle licensing (rego) is paying a regular fee so that your vehicle is allowed to use the road. When you pay the fee, you get a licence label showing the licence expiry date.

Vehicle licensing (more information)

Selling an unlicensed vehicle

If you sell an unlicensed vehicle, you’re responsible for any outstanding licensing fees owing up until the date of change of registered person.

If the vehicle is unregistered

Vehicle registration is paying a one-off fee to add a vehicle’s details to the Motor Vehicle Register. When it’s added to the register, we issue number plates for it.

The registered person can cancel the vehicle’s registration at any time (but must take the vehicle off the road). You should only do this if you're sure you're not going to use the vehicle on the road anymore. You shouldn't cancel the registration if you're selling the vehicle to someone else who’s going to use it on the road.

We’ll cancel a vehicle’s registration if it has been unlicensed for 12 months (for most vehicles) or 24 months (for tractors, trailers and a few other vehicle types).

Vehicle registration (more information)

Selling an unregistered vehicle

You should make sure the buyer knows the vehicle is unregistered, before they buy it. They won’t be able to put the vehicle into their name unless they register it first.

If the vehicle's RUC is overdue

If the vehicle’s RUC is overdue at the time of sale, you as the seller are committing an offence under the Road User Charges Act 2012. The buyer may become responsible for the outstanding fees.

We recommend you consider unpaid RUC when setting the sale price. This is between you and the buyer - Waka Kotahi doesn’t become involved.

Road user charges (more information)

If the vehicle's WoF or CoF is more than one month old

Buyers can insist on a WoF or CoF being less than one month old. This helps protect them against faults that have developed since the last inspection.

If the buyer doesn't insist, they should confirm in writing to you that they accept the WoF or CoF is more than one month old. This protects you as the seller.

If the vehicle's WoF or CoF has expired

If the WoF or CoF has expired, you must:

  • make sure the buyer knows the WoF or CoF isn't current
  • ask the buyer to confirm in writing that they accept the WoF or CoF isn't current, and they won't use the vehicle on the road except to take it somewhere for repair or inspection.

Selling a vehicle 'as is, where is'

Selling a vehicle 'as is, where is' doesn't remove your legal requirements under consumer law and transport law.

Consumer rights and responsibilities (Consumer Protection)(external link)

Selling personalised plates

If you’re selling a vehicle and its personalised plates, you'll need to negotiate this separately with the buyer and complete a transfer agreement for the plates.

Personalised plates (more information) 

Selling to a motor vehicle trader

If you sell a vehicle to a motor vehicle trader, you still need to let us know you've sold the vehicle.

Let us know you've sold a vehicle(external link)

Confirm registered person(external link)

What happens next

When we receive notification that you’ve sold a vehicle, we’ll update the Motor Vehicle Register to show you're no longer the registered person for the vehicle.

If something isn’t right

We may send you a letter or email, checking if you’ve sold the vehicle. We don’t always do this, but will contact you if we’ve noticed something that doesn’t add up.

An example is if the buyer has taken too long to let us know they’ve bought the vehicle.

There are some exceptions that can stop a letter or email from being sent, for example, if you sell your vehicle to a trader.

Buying or selling factsheet

Buying or selling a vehicle (Factsheet 41)