About driver licences

Other licensing information

Renewing your driver licence

Driver licences are usually issued for 10 years. The date your licence expires is shown in section 4b on the photo side of your licence or in the class/endorsement table on the back if you have a new style licence. If you want to keep on driving after that date you will need to get your licence renewed before it expires.

You can get an Application for driver licence renewal (DL1) form from any driver licensing agent or download one from our website.

When you submit your completed application form to a driver licensing agent, you will also need to:

Driver licensing agents

For many driver licensing services you will need to visit a Transport Agency driver licensing agent.

Driver licensing agents include participating offices of:

Or you can look in your phone book for your local branch or phone the Transport Agency's contact centre on 0800 822 422.

Renewing your licence from age 75 onwards

Because the effects of ageing can sometimes affect a person's ability to drive, there are special licence-renewal conditions for older drivers.

You will need to renew your licence at ages 75 and 80 and then every two years after that.

You should receive a renewal reminder letter in the mail before your licence expires.

You'll need to book an appointment with your doctor to get a Medical certificate for driver licence. During your appointment, your doctor will discuss your present state of health with you and test your eyesight.

They will recommend whether you are:

  • medically fit to drive
  • medically fit to drive with conditions (such as corrective lenses, time-of-day restriction, distance restriction)
  • to be referred to a specialist (such as an optometrist or occupational therapist driving assessor) for further assessment – your doctor will advise you of the results
  • not medically fit to drive.

If your doctor decides you are medically fit to drive, he or she will give you a Medical certificate for driver licence. You will then need to renew your licence at a driver licensing agent.

For more information, visit our website.

Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged licence

By acting promptly to replace or renew your lost or stolen licence, you’ll reduce the opportunity for it to be used in identity crime. If you can’t get to one of our driver licensing agent, contact us to cancel your licence.

You will need to:

  • complete an application form
  • present evidence of your identity
  • pay the fee
  • hand in your old licence (if you have it) or sign a declaration that your old licence has been lost or stolen.

For more information, phone the Transport Agency's driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422.

International drivers

If you are visiting from another country or have recently arrived in New Zealand, and you have a current and valid overseas driver licence, you can drive for a maximum of 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. Each time you visit New Zealand, you may drive for a further 12-month period on a valid overseas driver licence, as long as you stay for no more than a year at a time.

You must have your current and valid overseas driver licence or driver permit with you at all times when you’re driving. If your overseas licence or driver permit is not in English, you must also carry an accurate English translation issued by:

  • a translation service approved by the Transport Agency's (visit our website or contact the Transport Agency’s driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422 for a list of approved translation services), or
  • a diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate, or
  • the authority that issued your licence.

Note: if your driver licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (issued in accordance with a United Nations Convention on Road Traffic) is acceptable as a translation.

If you don’t have a current and valid overseas driver licence or driver permit then you cannot drive in New Zealand. If you want to drive, then you must apply for a New Zealand driver licence.

Converting to a New Zealand driver licence

If you have an overseas driver licence, but want to drive for longer than one year in New Zealand, you must convert to a New Zealand driver licence. You should apply early to make sure you have your new licence before you have been in New Zealand for 12 months.

Application forms are available from driver licensing agents, from our website or call our contact centre on 0800 822 422.

If you are converting a heavy vehicle licence you will not have to sit a practical test if you have a licence from an exempt country – (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America), and

  • your licence is current (or has expired less than 12 months ago), and
  • you have held that licence for more than two years.

You only have to pass the theory test for the highest class of licence. For example, passing Class 5 converts all classes of licence (except Class 6).

If you have a licence from a country not listed above you will need to pass the theory and the practical test for the highest class. For example, Class 5 converts all classes of licence (except Class 6).

If you also want to convert to a Class 6 (motorcycle) licence additional tests and fees will be required.

Once you have been granted a New Zealand driver licence, your overseas licence is no longer valid for driving in New Zealand. This applies even if you have not yet been in New Zealand for a full 12 months.

For more information, visit our website or phone the Transport Agency's’s driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422.

International driving permits

If you have a New Zealand driver licence and you want to drive in other countries, the New Zealand Automobile Association (AA) advises that international driving permits (IDPs) are recommended for most countries. Check the AA website for an up-to-date list.

Note that an IDP is not a driver licence; it is a translation of your driver licence and is only valid while the accompanying driver licence is current. Your IDP will be valid for a maximum of one year from the date of issue.

You can apply for an IDP through the AA. Look in your phone book for your local branch or visit their website at www.aa.co.nz.

< previous | next >

Last updated: 26 January 2016