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Law change to restrict access to personal details on the
Motor Vehicle Register

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Legislation coming into force next year will significantly restrict access to personal details held on the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR).

Legislation coming into force next year will significantly restrict access to personal details held on the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR).

A widely circulated e-mail wrongly suggests that the new legislation (the Land Transport Amendment Act 2009) will make these personal details available to third parties for the first time.

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

When the new legislation comes into force on 1 April 2011 it 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 make an Official Information Act request to the NZTA. 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 
www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle/registration-licensing/information.html(external link)

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
Media Manager - NZ Transport Agency           
T 04 894 6285                                               
M 021 276 3222  
E andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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