Cancelling your vehicle’s registration removes the vehicle from the Motor Vehicle Register, which means you can't lawfully use the vehicle on the road.
Only Waka Kotahi can cancel a vehicle's registration if requested by the registered person or an insurance company. We may also cancel the registration without a request in some situations.
There are other options if you’re not going to use your vehicle for at least 3 months, but plan on using it again later.
You must apply to cancel the registration if your vehicle is:
You can't cancel the registration if:
If any of the above apply to you and you need to know what to do, please contact us.
You’ll need to go to a registration agent to cancel your registration.
You may also need to pay outstanding licence fees.
If the vehicle's licence has already expired, you'll need to pay the licensing fees from the date the licence expired up to the date of cancellation.
You can choose to pay at the time you apply to cancel the registration, or later.
If you choose to pay at the time, you'll pay the licensing fees owing plus an administration fee of $10.02.
If you choose to pay later:
You'll need to pay the payment notice within 14 days from the date on the notice, and you'll need to pay an additional administration fee of $14.05 when you pay.
If road user charges (RUC) apply to your vehicle, you must make sure all RUC is up to date before you cancel the registration.
If there's any outstanding RUC, you may be invoiced for the outstanding amount.
If you cancel the registration for a heavy vehicle, you'll need to provide the current hubodometer and odometer reading on your MR15 form. For a light RUC vehicle, you'll only need to provide the odometer reading.
The agent will send your application to Waka Kotahi. Once we've processed your application, we'll update the Motor Vehicle Register and cancel the registration.
We may refund you any unexpired licence fees paid (the licence admin fee is non-refundable). Any refund is liable for audit and is at the Registrar's discretion.
You're required to return the number plates to get a refund.
If your vehicle has been in a fire or accident and the plates can't be recovered, you'll need to get a letter from the police or fire service confirming this. If your vehicle was taken to a wrecker and has been destroyed or dismantled, you'll need to get a letter from the wrecker confirming this.
If you haven't returned the plates and you want to get a refund, you'll need to send a refund request to:
Your request must include:
If you've returned the plates, but you're leaving New Zealand and need any refund to be paid into a bank account, call us on 0800108 809 as soon as you've made your cancellation application at an agent so we can arrange this. It can only be paid into a New Zealand bank account.
If we owe you a refund of $5 or more, but we don't have your bank account details, we'll contact you at the email or mailing address recorded in the Motor Vehicle Register.
Email us if:
Please include your plate number and the registered person's name in your email.
You must be the registered person if you want to apply to cancel the registration.
If you've bought (or been gifted) a vehicle but haven't let us know yet, you'll need to let us know you've got the vehicle first. Then you can cancel the registration.
If you're the registered person but you can't get to an agent to cancel the registration, you can:
If your vehicle needs to be licensed continuously and you don’t license it for more than one year, we’ll automatically cancel the registration.
If your vehicle doesn’t need to be licensed continuously and you don’t license it for more than 2 years, we’ll automatically cancel the registration.
If you want to use your vehicle on the road again, you’ll need to register it again.
If your registration has been cancelled but you want to use the vehicle on the road again, there are several steps you need to follow first:
Where a vehicle has been impounded by NZ Police and the owner has failed to claim it, a tow provider may be able to cancel the vehicle's registration and claim a rebate.