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Buying and selling

Buying a vehicle

  1. Confirm the seller is the registered person for the vehicle online.

  2. Complete the MR13C with the vehicle and seller's details. Make sure you complete an MR13C for trader-to-trader transactions as well.

Once the MR13C is processed, the vehicle comes under the trader network and is classed as a 'non-CVL vehicle'. This means it doesn't have to be continuously licensed.

See also tips for buying a used vehicle

Selling a vehicle

  1. Confirm the buyer's identity by checking their ID.

    Business or organisation: If the business has an NZ Transport Agency customer number, quote the customer number on the Application for registration of a motor vehicle (form MR2A) or the Notice by person acquiring motor vehicle (form MR13B).

    Individuals: The only identification you can accept is a New Zealand driver licence. If  your buyer doesn't have a New Zealand driver licence, take them to one of our agents. They'll need either a passport or a combination of documents that shows their name, date of birth and signature.

  2. Complete either the MR2A or MR13B form. You'll need: 

    • your Transport Agency customer number

    • the vehicle details (plate number, make, model and VIN/chassis number)

    • the customer's ID details (NZ driver licence for an individual or NZ Transport Agency customer number for a company)

    • the name and address details of the registered person (full name, as shown on ID).

      Note: You can sign an MR2A on behalf of the buyer, but the new buyer must sign the MR13B.

  3. Take the MR2A or MR13B form to one of our agents with the required fee. We'll send a Certificate of registration (MR3) to the new registered person.

Reversing registration when a sale falls through

If you've registered a vehicle and the customer fails to take possession, you need to complete an Application to reverse registration (form MR2D) within 28 days of the registration date.

Your application needs to include:

  • the unused registration plates and 'mint condition' licence label

  • a written explanation of why you want the reversal

  • a written disclaimer from the person or business, confirming that they didn't take possession of the vehicle

  • the original receipt copy of the MR2A or MR2B.

We'll refund you the registration fee, minus:

  • a $57.50 handling fee

  • a $7.36 administration fee relating to the original application to register the vehicle

  • the cost of the plates and label, as we're unable to reuse these.

If the vehicle was registered for more than 28 days, do one of the following:

  • Register the vehicle into your name.

  • Complete an Application to cancel registration (form MR15) if the vehicle is to be re-registered.

  • Request the registered person be changed to the name of the trader who made the error. Contact us to do this.

Avoiding issues with continuous vehicle licensing requirements

Most vehicles in New Zealand must be continuously licensed. If they're not, licensing fees accrue and, where they remain unpaid, we may recover them through a debt collection agency.

Get a vehicle license (rego)

You can avoid these issues by registering a vehicle in your name using the Trader notice of acquisition form (MR13C). Using the MR13C means that the vehicle becomes part of the trader network. While in the network, vehicles don't have to be licensed continuously and can remain unlicensed for two years from the last licence or exemption expiry date.

Trader notice of acquisition form (MR13C) (online)(external link)

If you haven't sold the vehicle after two years, you need to apply for exemption from continuous vehicle licensing to prevent cancellation of the vehicle's registration, which you can do online:

Put my vehicle licence (rego) on hold (online)(external link)

Vehicles that are part of the trader network are not subject to continuous vehicle licensing (CVL). As soon as the Notice by person acquiring motor vehicle form (MR13B) is processed, the vehicle becomes subject to CVL again. This means, if a trader sells a vehicle with an expired licence of 12 months or more, the vehicle needs to be either licensed or placed on exemption immediately - or it will automatically lapse off the Motor Vehicle Register.

Change of registered person - buyer (MR13B) (online)

Any delay in completing the MR13B online may result in the previous registered person being held responsible for payment of licence fees for a vehicle they no longer own. You'll be responsible for settling this with the registered person.

Licensing requirements for vehicles subject to road user charges

If you're selling a vehicle that is subject to road user charges (RUC) you're legally required to ensure it has a current RUC licence. Vehicles subject to RUC include those that are:

  • powered by diesel or other fuel not taxed when sold

  • heavy vehicles (over 3500kg gross laden weight).

You also need to check that any heavy vehicle (over 3500kg gross laden weight) has a hubodometer fitted to a non-lifting axle on the left-hand side of the vehicle.

Find out more about road user charges