Exemptions from registration
You don't need to register vehicles used on a private road.
Note: Private road means a road; place or arcade laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land.
With the exception of the above using an unregistered vehicle on a road is an offence, however if you are fined for using an unregistered vehicle you will have a defence if your vehicle is:
- An official vehicle of a visiting military force.
- A vehicle being operated on a road that is closed to ordinary vehicular traffic under regulations.
- A motor vehicle normally propelled by mechanical power that is being temporarily towed without use of it's own power.
- A trailer attached to a tractor, traction engine, forklift, a self propelled machine that's designed for specialist industrial purposes.
- A trailer attached to a self propelled machine that is designed for agricultural purposes.
- A trailer designed exclusively for agricultural operations and used on a road only when proceeding to or from a farm or when being inspected, serviced or repaired.
- A trailer attached to an exempted vehicle as defined in the Land Transport Management (Apportionment and Refund of Excise Duty and Excise–Equivalent Duty) regulations 2004.
- An overseas visitors vehicle. (An overseas visitors vehicle is a vehicle that's registered overseas and will be in New Zealand for less than 18 months. For more information about overseas visitors vehicles, see Factsheet 35 - Importing a vehicle temporarily).
Exemptions from paying registration or licensing fees (exempt Class A)
While you still have to register and license them, some vehicles are exempt from registration and licensing fees. These include:
- A pedestrian-controlled goods service vehicle.
- A motor vehicle propelled and supported solely by self-laying tracks.
- An all-terrain vehicle.
- Any mobile machinery used on roads only in road construction zones in accordance with notices declaring such zones. Mobile machinery means:
(a) a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for earthmoving or construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, ditches, or buildings; but
(b) excludes any motor vehicle designed primarily for carrying passengers or goods or any motor vehicle designed for carrying passengers or goods to which machinery has been added.
- A logging truck or logging trailer that is unladen and is only used on a road while being taken directly to a place of, and for the purpose of, inspection, servicing, repair, or obtaining evidence of vehicle inspection.
Exempt Class B vehicles are exempt from the payment of some levies and charges such as ACC levies and fuel excise and excise equivalent duty. These vehicles include:
- Some farm vehicles:
- motor vehicles (not trailers) used solely for agricultural operations or for getting from one part of the farm to another
- tractors used solely for agricultural operation or in conjunction with road construction or maintenance
- tractors used to cart milk from the farm to dairy factory or to transport farm produce or supplies from one part of the farm to another
- tractors used to load fertiliser and cart fuel for topdressing.
- mobile machinery such as airport runway sweepers, stationary log haulers
- other vehicles including self-propelled grass mowers, forklifts, traction engines.
See our Agricultural Vehicle Guide for more information.
If you're not going to use your vehicle on the road for at least three months, you can apply for a temporary exemption from the requirement to continually license your vehicle. The maximum exemption period is 12 months, but you can apply for subsequent exemptions.
The exemption will take effect from when the current licence or existing exemption expires.
How to apply
Applying for this exemption online will save you time and money. For details see vehicle registration and licensing fees.
If you apply for a temporary exemption after your existing licence or exemption has expired, you'll need to pay any outstanding fees before we process your application.
If you want to use your vehicle on the road during the exemption period
You must relicense it before you use it. If you relicense your vehicle during the first three months of the exemption period (the minimum exemption period is three months), we'll backdate your new licence to the expiry date of your original licence, exemption or change in registered person – whichever is most recent.
When your exemption expires
You need to either: