Traffic laws are to protect the safety of all road users. You can face penalties if you commit driving offences.

Demerit points

You can get demerit points for some traffic offences and for speeding infringements.

If you get a total of 100 or more demerit points within any 2-year period, you’ll be suspended from driving for 3 months. You must surrender your driver licence to Waka Kotahi.

Your photo driver licence will be permanently cancelled and you’ll remain unlicensed even after your suspension has ended. You’re not allowed to drive until you get a new licence at a driver licensing agent.

Demerit points

Careless, reckless and dangerous driving

The courts deal very seriously with drivers who drive carelessly, recklessly or dangerously.

Penalties may include:

  • a maximum fine of $20,000
  • maximum imprisonment of 10 years
  • disqualification of your driver licence.

Not wearing a seatbelt

If you’re aged 15 or over and you drive or ride in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, or if you’re not wearing it correctly, you can be fined.

You can also be fined if you’re the driver and any passengers under the age of 15 aren’t in an approved child restraint or seatbelt, or aren’t wearing their seatbelts correctly.

Mandatory 28-day suspension of driver licence

Your licence will be suspended on the spot if:

  • a police officer detects you exceeding a permanently posted speed limit by more than 40km/h or a temporary speed limit by more than 50km/h
  • you commit one of the alcohol-related offences covered by mandatory suspension.

28-day roadside suspension

Driver licence stop order (DLSO)

If you have unpaid traffic related fines or reparation, your driver licence may be suspended by the Ministry of Justice under a driver licence stop order (DLSO). The suspension will remain until you contact the Ministry of Justice and pay or arrange to pay the outstanding amount. If you’re caught driving with a DLSO, the vehicle you’re driving could be impounded, even if it’s not yours, and you could be disqualified from driving.

Visit link) or contact the Ministry on 0800 434 637 (0800 4 Fines) for more information. 

Impounding vehicles

A police officer will impound your vehicle on the spot if you're caught:

  • driving while disqualified
  • driving while your licence has been suspended
  • driving while you’ve been forbidden to drive by a police officer.

To appeal the impoundment of your vehicle, you'll need to contact the police.

Your vehicle will be impounded for 28 days and you'll have court-imposed penalties for your offence.

 28-day roadside vehicle impoundment