Better protection for personal details on the Motor VehicleRegister from Sunday


Legislation coming into force this Sunday (1 May) will significantly restrict access to the personal details of vehicle owners held on the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR).

The MVR has been classed as a ‘public register’ since it was first established in 1924, and the current law allows any person or organisation paying the prescribed fee and providing a vehicle's registration number to obtain the vehicle owner's name and address from the register.

An amendment to the Land Transport Act coming into force on 1 May will, for the first time, significantly restrict access to this information. The new law will only permit the release of personal information for the following purposes:

  • enforcement of the law
  • maintenance of the security of New Zealand
  • collection of charges imposed or authorised by an enactment; and
  • the administration and development of transport law and policy.

Anyone who wishes to obtain names and addresses held on the MVR outside of these purposes after the new law comes into force will have to apply to the NZTA. The NZTA will consider applications using the criteria in the Official Information Act - weighing the public interest in releasing the information sought against the privacy rights of the individual concerned. Alternatively any person or organisation may seek a special 'authorisation' from the Secretary for Transport to obtain information from the register.

As an additional protection, the new law allows individuals who do not wish their names and addresses to be released to these ‘authorised third parties’ to ask for their details to be withheld. This is called 'opting-out'. Individuals can opt-out online at the NZTA transaction centre(external link) by providing their driver licence number and the registration plate numbers of all the vehicles registered in their name.

For more information on the new protections for personal information on the MVR go to link)

To apply for registered person name and address, go to the transaction centre(external link).