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About your licence

Updated: 31 October 2013

Your photo driver licence is your official legal permission to drive on New Zealand roads. Your licence card carries information that verifies who you are, the vehicles you're qualified to drive and any conditions you're required to meet when driving. You must drive within all the conditions listed on your licence. If you don't, you run the risk of incurring penalties.

On this page

What's on your licence

Your driver licence is a wallet-sized card that features your photo along with details about you and the conditions under which you must drive.

Item on the licence What is it?
1. Your last or family name.
2. Your given first or Christian names.
3. Your date of birth.
4a. The date your licence was issued (if your licence was issued after 16
January 2006, this shows when you first got your licence rather than the
card issue date).
4b. The date your licence expires. You must not drive with an expired licence.
4c. Shows whether or not you want to be an organ donor. Your next of kin
will still be asked for permission, so make sure they know your wishes.
5a. Your unique driver licence number.
5b. A random card version number to deter fraud.
6. Your address, if you choose to show it on your licence.
7. The vehicles you're licensed to drive:

  • class 1 cars and other light vehicles
  • classes 2-5 trucks and heavy vehicles
  • class 6 motorcycles
  • any endorsements held.

Where 'L' appears next to the listed class, you hold only a learner licence.
Where 'R' appears next to the listed class, you hold only a restricted
licence.
8. When your learner and restricted licences and endorsements expire.
Endorsements are needed for driving special type vehicles, eg, forklifts F
endorsements, and for particular work, driving instructors' I
endorsements.
Conditions Any special conditions that apply when you're driving, eg that you must
wear correcting lenses
9. C/E The classes/endorsements to which each condition applies. If no
classes/endorsements are listed, the special conditions recorded apply to
all classes and endorsements.

Licence classes and endorsements

There are six licence classes:

  • car drivers class 1
  • heavy vehicle drivers classes 2,3,4 and 5
  • motor cycle riders class 6.

There are nine licence endorsements:

  • passenger (P)
  • vehicle recovery service (V)
  • driving instructor (I)
  • testing officer (O)
  • dangerous goods (D)
  • forklift (F)
  • roller (R)
  • tracks (T)
  • wheels (W).

See more detail on licence classes and endorsements.

Licence colours and conditions

Green licence

The driver is fully qualified.

Green photo driver licence.

Green photo driver licence

Yellow licence

The driver is in the restricted phase for one or more class of licence.

Yellow photo driver licence.

Yellow photo driver licence

Number 7 on the licence front will show an 'R' against any licence classes for which the driver is not yet fully qualified.

Restricted car drivers:

  • must not drive on their own between 10pm and 5am. You may drive between these times only if you have a supervisor beside you when you are driving.
  • must not carry passengers other than a spouse, partner, parent, guardian or dependents, without a supervisor beside you supervising your driving.

Restricted motorcycle riders:

What is a 'supervisor'?

A supervisor is a person who has a full New Zealand licence for the same licence class and who does not have a supervisor condition. They must have held their New Zealand licence (or an equivalent overseas licence) for at least two years.

Blue licence

The driver is still learning to drive for at least one licence class.

Blue photo driver licence.

Blue photo driver licence

Number 7 on the licence front will show an 'L' next to any classes for which the driver is not yet fully qualified.

Learner drivers must have a licensed driver beside them supervising their driving at all times.

Learner motorcycle riders:

Learner car and motorcycle drivers must display a learner (L) plate (multiple plates in the case of cars).

Learner heavy vehicle drivers don't need to display learner plates.

Pink licences

The driver is currently subject to special conditions as the result of a suspension or disqualification. There are three different pink licences. They are:

Limited licence

Limited licence.

Limited licence

The driver is currently suspended or disqualified, and driving under the conditions of a court order.

No licence classes are shown in section 7 on the licence. The words 'refer court order' appear instead.

The conditions on the back of the licence require the driver to carry the court order at all times and drive under the conditions of the court order.

Alcohol interlock licence

Alcohol interlock licence.

Alcohol interlock licence

The driver has an alcohol interlock condition which allows them to only drive vehicles which are fitted with an alcohol interlock device.

The driver can operate all classes and endorsements displayed on the card.

The words 'Alcohol interlock' appear on the front of the card and the conditions on the back of the licence specify that 'only vehicles with an alcohol interlock device to be driven'.

Zero alcohol licence

The driver has a Zero alcohol condition which means they must maintain a zero alcohol limit when they are driving.

Zero alcohol licence.

Zero alcohol licence

The driver can operate all classes and endorsements displayed on the card.

The words 'Zero Alcohol' appear on the front of the card and the conditions on the back of the licence specify that the licence holder is 'subject to zero alcohol level'.

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