Most motor vehicles must be licensed continuously. If you license your vehicle after the current licence has expired, you'll have to pay any backdated licence fees as well as the new licence fee. The backdated fees apply from the date the licence expires to the date you relicense. Some vehicles are exempt from the requirement to be continuously licensed.
We'll send you a renewal notice in the mail two to four weeks before your licensing fee is due. It will set out the fees and your options. The notice is sent to the address last recorded on the Motor Vehicle Register. If you forget to notify us of your new address and you don't receive a reminder from us, the licence label clearly shows the expiry date. If you forget to notify your address or re-license your vehicle for any reason, you're still legally required to pay the backdated fees as well as paying for a new licence.
You can quickly and easily relicense your vehicle online here. We'll send the label to you in the post.
Otherwise you can pay for your motor vehicle licence at any of our licensing agents, and at other independent agents. Look for the NZ Transport Agency logo. Either use the renewal notice you got in the mail, or fill out the appropriate licensing form at the agent.
There are some cases where you may not have to license your vehicle or where you may be exempt from having to keep your vehicle licensed continuously. Find out more on licence exemptions.
Before you relicense your vehicle
Make sure your vehicle has a current warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness. You are allowed to drive your vehicle on a road without a current licence if, and only if, you are taking it to get a current warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness.
Didn't receive a relicensing notice?
You still need to relicense your vehicle. If your licence has expired, your fastest option to obtain a licence is to go in person to one of our licensing agents. They can process your licence on the spot.
See more detailed information on vehicle licensing requirements.
When you pay the vehicle licensing fee you'll receive a licence label that shows when your licence next expires.
You must display this label as close as possible to the bottom of your vehicle's windscreen on the left-hand side (inside the windscreen), or for trailers and motorcycles, on or near your number plate.
If your licence label has become damaged or unreadable you'll need to get a replacement from one of our agents.
We'll send you an overdue notice six weeks after your licence expires.
We'll then send you a warning notice six months later if you've not taken steps to relicense your vehicle.
If your vehicle is still unlicensed after 11 months we'll send you a final warning before cancelling your registration four weeks later.
You didn't receive an overdue notice?
Again, as the registered person you're legally responsible for ensuring your vehicle is licensed at all times, we will still require you to pay backdated fees even after cancelling your registration.