Theory tests are required to get a learner licence, requalify your licence, and sometimes when converting an overseas driver licence to a New Zealand licence.

How to get a learner licence
Getting your licence back
Converting to a New Zealand driver licence

You’ll need to go to a driver licensing agent  to book a theory test. Remember to take the relevant paperwork and fee with you.

Multi-choice test to check your road rule knowledge

The learner licence theory test is a computer-based, 35-question, multi-choice test that assesses your knowledge of road rules and safe driving practices.

It contains general road code questions, and specialist questions related to the class you are applying for. 

Everything you need to pass the test is in the Official New Zealand road code. You can buy the road code at most bookstores and driver licensing agents, or it’s available online.

Official New Zealand road code for car drivers
Official New Zealand road code for motorcyclists
Official New Zealand road code for heavy vehicle drivers

Once you have passed your theory test, the agent will give you a temporary learner licence so you can start practising your driving. Your photo driver licence will be posted to you.

You need to get at least 32 questions right

If you are sitting a theory test for a car or motorcycle licence, you need to get at least 32 questions right to pass.

If you are sitting a theory test for a heavy vehicle licence, you need to get at least 33 questions right to pass.

Test your own knowledge

Before you book your theory test, you need to be thoroughly familiar with the road rules. You will need to read and learn everything in The official New Zealand road code. You will probably need to read it several times to know and understand everything you need to know to be a safe driver.

To help you learn the road rules, you can test yourself against the questions from the theory test in the road code.

You can also use our free website Drive to access real theory test questions and play games and quizzes to help you remember the road code.

Drive website(external link)

Supervisor condition

Once you have passed the theory test, you may have a supervisor condition on your licence. If you have a learner car licence, then one of the conditions you must follow is that you must have a supervisor with you when you drive.

Find out who can act as a supervisor
See the full conditions you must follow on a car learner licence

Changing or cancelling your test

If you want to change or cancel your test time, you will have to pay another fee to rebook. How much that fee is depends on how far in advance you are changing the test.

Find out how much you will need to pay to change your test

Languages available

Besides English, the theory test is also available in the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (simplified and traditional)
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Korean
  • Māori
  • Punjabi
  • Samoan
  • Thai
  • Tongan.

If one of these languages is appropriate, but you have trouble reading, then you may be able to use a reader to read the test in English. Talk to the staff at the specialist overseas conversion site if you need to use a reader.

If none of these languages are appropriate, then you may be able to use an interpreter. The interpreter should be an affiliate or full member of:

  • the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI), or

  • the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

They’ll need to present their ID card when they interpret the test for you.

If you can’t use a member of the NZSTI or NAATI, you can provide someone else to interpret the test for you. They must be over 18 years of age, and present a passport or New Zealand driver licence when interpreting the test. Your theory test will be closely supervised at all times.

For more information about these options, talk to your driver licensing agent when you book your test.

Find a driver licensing agent in your area

Speech or language difficulties

If you are having difficulty preparing for your theory test because of a reading or language difficulty, there are several organisations that may be able to help:

There may be people moving around, or some noise, while you do the test. This can make it harder to concentrate, especially if you have reading difficulties. People with reading difficulties can also apply for extra time to complete the theory test, or for the theory test to be given orally.