Stand down period being introduced for learner licence resits to manage increased demand


NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is introducing a 10-working days stand down period for learner driver licence tests after a second failed attempt on the same day, in order to manage demand and reduce wait times.

Changes introduced on 1 October 2023 to bring in an all-in-one fee for each stage of a driver licence have significantly increased the number of people sitting their learners licence test.

The removal of resit fees has seen many people choosing to re-sit a theory test more than once in a single day, after failing their initial attempt.

“Learner tests must be booked in person at AA and VTNZ sites.  Introducing a stand down period after two failed attempts on the same day means more testing slots will be  available for others, and may encourage applicants who fail tests to better prepare for their next attempt,” says Neil Cook, NZTA Deputy Director of Land Transport.

“The 10-working days stand down comes into effect on Monday 8 January 2024, and applies to applicants trying to book more than two learner tests on the same day. We’ll monitor the learner licence resit bookings closely, and will remove the stand down period when demand drops.

“The number of learner licence tests available on any day is determined by the number of computer terminals and staff available to supervise testing.  Many people are currently failing a learner test then waiting for the next available slot, failing again, then using the next available slot, which clogs up the number of available tests at a site,” says Mr Cook. 

The change to all-in-one fee for each stage of a driver licence last year was designed to encourage people to enter and progress to a full driver licence and demand for tests has increased significantly.

To obtain Class 1 a learner licence to begin on-road training, an applicant must pass a theory test by correctly answering at least 32 of 35 randomly selected questions based on the Road Code.

“Some people are turning up to sit a learner test without having read and learned the Road Code. This impacts other learner licence applicants who must wait for a free slot. The 10-working days stand down will prevent applicants clogging up available testing slots,” Mr Cook says.

NZTA, AA and VTNZ ask people to make sure they are properly prepared before arriving for a driver licence test to improve their ability to pass. The link) website and Drive Go app have plenty of information to help people prepare for both theory and practical driving tests and AA have a free quiz link) and online practice tests for learners link)