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Do I need a permit for my heavy vehicle?

Vehicles travelling on New Zealand roads must be within a certain size and weight so they can fit on the road safely, don't impede other traffic and don't damage roads and bridges. 

The maximum size and weight dimensions for vehicles are set out in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016. But sometimes larger or heavier vehicles need to use the road, for example to relocate a house, or to achieve more efficient transportation of freight.

If your vehicle exceeds the usual size and weight dimensions, you are likely to need to get a permit.

Do I need a permit for my truck?

You are likely to need a permit if your vehicle exceeds one or more of the dimensions allowed in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016 (VDAM Rule):

  • overall length of a towing vehicle and trailer combination of 20 metres (or, in specified cases, 22 metres)
  • overall length of an articulated truck and semi-trailer of 19 metres (unless it is a quad semi-trailer with two steering axles, in which case the limit is 18 metres)
  • overall weight of truck trailer combinations of 44 tonnes (or less, depending on vehicle combination and maximum axle loads).

Special operating requirements may mean that even if you fall within the above parameters, you may STILL need a permit, or, even if you fall outside the above parameters, you may NOT need a permit. Please read the information on vehicle dimensions and mass on our website for more detail.

What kind of permit do I need?

There are a number of permits available for oversized or overweight vehicles. These questions and answers will help you find out which permit(s) you will need.

1. Is your vehicle longer than allowed in the VDAM Rule and the load is indivisible?

2. Is your vehicle heavier than allowed in the VDAM Rule and the load is indivisible?

3. Does your vehicle have 50MAX certification?

4. Is your vehicle heavier than allowed in the VDAM Rule but its load is divisible?

5. Is your vehicle a specialist vehicle that is heavier than allowed in the VDAM Rule?

Remember to check your route

You must also check the route you intend to operate your vehicle on to make sure the vehicle and its load is manoeuvrable, fits safely on the road and interacts safely with other road users. Failure to meet this requirement can result in an infringement notice being issued. Read section 3 of the  VDAM Rule for more information(external link).