About your responsibilities

Becoming a motorcyclist brings with it many responsibilities, which are explained in this section. Some are related to owning a motor vehicle, while others are the responsibility of all motorcyclists and drivers.

Registered person's responsibilities

If the motor vehicle is registered in your name, you are responsible for making sure that the following requirements are met.

Warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness

All vehicles driven on New Zealand roads must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF). See Motorcycle requirements for more information about WoFs and CoFs.


All vehicles used on New Zealand roads must be registered. When you register a vehicle, it is added to the Motor Vehicles Register. Once a vehicle is registered, it is issued with a registration plate (commonly referred to as a number plate) and a current vehicle licence commonly referred to as rego). A certificate of registration is also sent to the registered person.

Before a vehicle can be registered, it must have been given a vehicle identification number (VIN) and been approved for registration by an approved vehicle inspector. Vehicle inspectors can be found at participating offices of the Automobile Association (AA), Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ), and Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ).


Relicensing is sometimes confused with registration. Relicensing is the payment of a fee to use a vehicle on the road. All vehicles used on the road must be relicensed regularly and must display a current licence label on the windscreen.

To get a vehicle licence, you must:

  • make sure your vehicle has a current WoF or CoF
  • fill out the relicensing notice (MR1) that you should receive in the post, or fill out an Application to license a motor vehicle (MR1B), available from any agent of the Transport Agency
  • pay the appropriate fee.

You can also relicense online at www.nzta.govt.nz/online.

A vehicle licence is valid for up to 12 months. Most vehicles must be licensed continuously. This means that the licence fees must be paid from the expiry date of the previous licence (that is, if you renew your licence after the expiry date of the previous licence, the licence fees will be backdated and you must pay these).

You can apply for an exemption from continuous licensing if you won't be using your vehicle for a period of three months or more. An exemption means that when your licence expires, the licence fees won't be backdated next time you relicense your vehicle. An exemption does not mean that you can use your vehicle on the road without a current licence. Click here for more information.

If you don't:

  • relicense your vehicle, or
  • apply for an exemption from continuous licensing

and the vehicle remains unlicensed for more than 12 months, its registration will lapse.

You will still have to pay any backdated licence fees and, if the vehicle is to be used on a road again, it must be re-registered with new plates and registration papers. Your vehicle may also need to be certified by an approved vehicle inspector.

Buying a motor vehicle

Before you purchase a vehicle, it’s a good idea to see whether it is registered and licensed, or has been reported stolen. Check the label to make sure it is currently licensed, and you can check at www.nzta.govt.nz/online to see if it has been reported as stolen. Click here for more information.

You should do this before you buy the vehicle, because once you have bought it:

  • you will be liable for any outstanding fees owing on the vehicle
  • you may lose the vehicle if it has been stolen.

Once you’ve bought a motor vehicle, you need to notify the Transport Agency immediately. The seller may want to confirm that you’ve done this before they hand over the vehicle. You need to do the following:

  • Complete the I’ve bought a vehicle transaction at www.nzta.govt.nz/online. You will need your driver licence and a credit or debit card or your bank account details to pay the appropriate fee.


  • Complete a Notice of acquisition of motor vehicle form (MR13B) at an agent and pay the appropriate fee. You will need to show the agent your New Zealand driver licence as evidence of identification. If you don’t have your driver licence, you’ll need to show other identification that includes your full name, signature and date of birth.

Ask the agent to give you a transfer receipt, or print out the email confirmation page if you do the transaction online. Take this to the seller when you pick up the vehicle – it shows you have changed the vehicle’s registration into your name.

A new Certificate of registration will be sent to you after you complete the transaction. The Certificate of registration isn’t legal title for the vehicle – it is simply a record of who is responsible for the vehicle.

Selling a motor vehicle

IIf you are selling a motor vehicle:


  • Complete a Sold/disposed of your vehicle? form (MR13A), available from an agent, and post it to the address on the form.

Make sure you and the new registered person complete seller/buyer forms immediately. If you don’t, you could be liable for the buyer’s speed camera tickets, licensing fees and any fines they may receive for not displaying a current WoF or a current licence. Ask them to how you one of the following documents as evidence they’ve changed the vehicle into their name:

  • a change of registered person transfer receipt
  • an email confirmation page (if they have completed their transaction online).

If you sell your vehicle through a registered motor vehicle trader they should notify the change for you, but it is wise to check that they have done this.

Go to www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle or call 0800 108 809 if you have any questions about:

  • your responsibilities as the person registered in respect of a motor vehicle
  • where to obtain any of the forms
  • where to find an agent of the Transport Agency.

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Last updated: 14 July 2014