If an entry certifier finds that the vehicle you’re importing requires, or has had, repairs to fix structural damage or deterioration, it may require repair certification before it can be registered. You may also need repair certification if you want to have your vehicle re-registered.
Where vehicles need repair, the law requires that the repairs restore the vehicle to a similar condition – within 'safe tolerance' – to when they were manufactured. This applies to all vehicles and all types of repairs: structural, mechanical and electrical.
All used vehicles entering New Zealand must be checked and certified before they can be registered for use on the road.
An entry certifier checks the documents that prove the vehicle meets the necessary legal requirements and also thoroughly inspects the vehicle.
If the certifier identifies that the vehicle has been damaged or repaired before it arrived, they must decide whether a specialist repair certifier needs to inspect the repairs. The Repair Certifiers Association (external link) can provide more assistance in helping you through this process.
A specialist repair inspection may involve some disassembly of your vehicle. The inspection and any required repairs will be at your cost, which will vary depending on the work and certification required. This cost is additional to the entry certification fee.
The inspector may determine that your vehicle is so severely damaged that they cannot approve it for registration or that it has been badly repaired. You’ll need to arrange to have the vehicle transported for repair. A repair certifier must oversee this work, otherwise you risk having to redo the repair.
Remember: you cannot drive the vehicle on the road until it meets all legal requirements.
Make sure you keep the vehicle identifier – the chassis or vehicle identification number (VIN). Removal and reattachment of this number may mean the vehicle will not gain certification. It’s best to consult a repair certifier before you repair any corrosion or accident damage.