Reregistering your vehicle

If your vehicle’s registration has been cancelled and you want to use the vehicle on the road again, you need to register it again.

This page covers light vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of 3500kgs or less (eg cars, vans and utility vehicles).

If you need information on reregistering other types of vehicles (eg heavy vehicles, trailers, tractors or all-terrain vehicles), please contact us.

How to register your vehicle when the previous registration has been cancelled

There are four steps to follow to register your vehicle if it isn’t registered now, but it has been registered in New Zealand before.

Step 1: Go to an entry certifier

Take the vehicle to an entry certifier. You’ll need to contact the certifier first to check on their wait times and costs, and to book an appointment. Some sites may not certify all vehicle types, so check before you take your vehicle in. 

Find a entry certifier near you

Because it’s unregistered, you can’t legally drive it on the road. It needs to be towed or transported by another vehicle.

You need to take proof that it has been registered in New Zealand before, and that you’re the person entitled to register it again now.

The proof can be old registration papers, or documentation that show the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) or chassis number, such as an old Certificate of registration.

The agent will need to be satisfied that the documents demonstrate that the vehicle, when originally registered, was designed and constructed according to the requirements applying at that time.

Step 2: Inspect and certify

The entry certifier will:

  • inspect and certify the vehicle
  • charge you a fee for the inspection and certification - the fee will vary between different certifiers
  • attach a VIN to the vehicle if necessary
  • issue a record of compliance with registration requirements
  • issue a warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF) from the date the vehicle passes the inspection.

Step 3: Register and license

Register and license the vehicle, so you can legally drive it on the road.

The entry certifier can do this for you, or you can do it within the timeframe that the record of certification is valid.

You’ll need to pay registration and licensing fees. They include the cost of the new number plates and the necessary licence labels. These fees are set by legislation and vary according to the vehicle type, engine size and vehicle use. 

Registration fees

Step 4: Get back on the road

You can drive your vehicle on the road when it has its new number plates, licence label, inspection label and road user charges (RUC) licence label (if applicable) attached.

Damaged vehicles may need extra certification

The process may be more complicated and cost more if the agent needs to refer the vehicle to a specialist certifier.

The agent will do this if the vehicle has been:

  • structurally damaged
  • deteriorated (not in good condition)
  • modified in a way that could affect its safety performance.

Specialist certifiers

The NZ Transport Agency appoints specialist certifiers to help agents with vehicle certification. An agent may refer a vehicle to either of the following types of specialist certifier:

  • a repair certifier, if the vehicle has structural damage, deterioration or previous structural repairs that could affect its safety
  • a low volume vehicle (LVV) certifier, if the vehicle has been modified in a way that could affect its safety.

If the vehicle needs to be repaired

Check if it’s worth reparing the vehicle

In some cases, the cost to restore or repair a vehicle (so that it can be registered) could be higher than the value of the vehicle itself.

Some agents may offer a preliminary check (for a fee) to give you an idea of the work needed to bring the vehicle up to standard.

It’s up to the agent if they offer that service.

If the vehicle hasn’t been repaired yet

We recommend going to an agent before you get the vehicle repaired. The agent will let you know if the repair needs to be certified under the supervision of a specialist repair certifier.

The repair certifier is responsible for making sure the repair is done correctly.

If the vehicle has already been repaired

If the vehicle has already had structural repair, the agent will let you know if the repair needs to be certified.

If it does, the repair certification may involve taking parts of the vehicle apart, because the repair certifier has to be satisfied with the quality of the repair.

Once the repair certifier is satisfied, they’ll issue a repair certificate, which will be sent with the vehicle back to the agent.

You’ll need to pay the cost of the:

  • repair
  • repair certification
  • certification for the registration.

If a vehicle is so severely damaged or so poorly repaired that it’s unsuitable for repair certification, it won’t be given a repair certificate.

The vehicle will be released to you but you can’t, by law, register the vehicle or drive it on the road in New Zealand until it meets the appropriate standard.

If the vehicle is modified or rebuilt

Modifications to a vehicle may affect its safety performance to the extent that it needs to be certified by a specialist LVV certifier. The agent will let you know if this is necessary or not.

When the LVV certifier is satisfied with the safety performance of the vehicle, they’ll send the vehicle back to the agent.

You’ll need to pay the cost of the LVV certification as well as the agent’s certification fees.

Visit the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association website(external link)