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Warrant of fitness (WoF)

Updated: 11 September 2014

Changes for WoF inspecting organisations
The Transport Agency has published a summary explaining how the changes to the certificate of fitness system will affect WoF inspecting organisations. Read more.

In 2014 the Transport Agency is changing how often some vehicles need to have a WoF inspection. The changes will save motorists time and money while maintaining road safety.

Why is the WoF changing?

Six-monthly WoF inspections were introduced in the 1930s and vehicle safety technology has dramatically improved since then. Analysis of crash data also shows that vehicle defects now play a very small role in road crashes.

Following careful consideration the decision was made to reduce how often some vehicles are required to have a WoF inspection. These changes will save motorists time and money while maintaining road safety which remains the Transport Agency's priority.

Summary of changes to WoF

From 1 July 2014, vehicles first registered anywhere in the world on or after 1 January 2000 will move to annual WoF inspections for their lifetime.

For new vehicles, after an initial inspection, another WoF inspection won't be required until the 3rd anniversary of their first registration.

The length of time a WoF is issued for is calculated based on the vehicle's date of first registration in New Zealand or overseas, and are described in more detail in the table below.

Length of WoF for light motor vehicles from 1 July 2014

Excludes agricultural motor vehicles.
Note that changes come into effect once the current WoF expires.

When was the vehicle first registered anywhere in the world

How long the WoF is issued for

New vehicle that's never been registered

WoF is issued for three years

Less than two years ago

WoF is issued to the vehicles third 'birthday' (third anniversary of when it was first registered)

More than two years ago, but less than three years ago

WoF is issued for 12 months

On or after 1 January 2000

WoF is issued for 12 months

Before 1 January 2000.

WoF is issued for 6 months

Older vehicles to retain six-monthly inspections

Research shows that for pre-2000 vehicles, the percentage of vehicles involved in crashes with WoF defects, while still very low, starts to increase. The data also shows that the increase for older vehicles is falling over time as vehicle quality improves.

Even so, the package of changes takes a cautious approach and leaves vehicles older than 12 years (registered anywhere in the world before 1 January 2000) on six monthly inspections. This allows the fleet to gradually move to annual inspections as pre-2000 vehicles leave New Zealand's fleet. The 1 January 2000 date is a fixed date.

What the changes mean for vehicle owners

The changes come into effect when your current WoF expires, so just take your vehicle in as usual and the WoF inspector will issue the new warrant for the appropriate length of time.

More information

For more information, please refer to the questions and answers document.

Alternatively you can call our contact centre on 0800 108 809, or by emailing

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