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You may be able obtain entry certification for (and then register) a class LC, LD or LE vehicle that does not meet advanced brake system standards under the ‘special interest’ category.

Class LC, LD or LE vehicle information

Before buying/importing an unregistered (in New Zealand) motorcycle we suggest you confirm which vehicle class your vehicle belongs to, and whether it meets certification requirements or may be eligible under the ‘special interest motorcycle’ category. Ask an entry certifier if you are unsure of your vehicle category, before you purchase or import.

Motorcycle enthusiasts who meet the requirements are able to bring in non-compliant motorcycles that are designated as special interest motorcycles. Note also that motorcycles previously registered in any country before 1 January 1990 are not required to meet ABS standards.

This factsheet should be read in conjunction with Factsheet 44 Importing a motor vehicle, which outlines the overall requirements for importing a vehicle into New Zealand.

Factsheet 44 Importing a motor vehicle

Import a class MA vehicle under special interest category

How do I apply for a special interest motorcycle permit?

You will need to apply to an entry certifier for a permit. A fee may be charged to process your application.

Entry certification

You need to fill in an SIMCP Application for a special interest motorcycle permit form, which includes making a declaration that you have met the current requirements and will also meet future requirements.

SIMCP Application for a special interest motorcycle permit form(external link)

Note: it is an offense to make a false or misleading declaration.

The file will then be referred to the Transport Agency to make an assessment and decision. The Transport Agency will contact you with the outcome of your application.

If you do not complete this process, your motorcycle will not be entry-certified and will not be able to be registered for use on New Zealand roads.

A special interest motorcycle permit ceases to be valid if the vehicle is not inspected at the border or certified for entry within six months of the date of issue.

What requirements have to be met before my vehicle can be registered in New Zealand as a special interest motorcycle?

To have a vehicle identified as a special interest motorcycle, the NZ Transport Agency must deem it to have historic value or less than 20,000 units of the vehicle’s make and model have been (or were) manufactured per year and was not manufactured with either an ABS or combined braking system.

Other requirements for importing a vehicle into New Zealand

You must make a declaration that:

  • you are a New Zealand citizen or New Zealand resident
  • you will register the vehicle in your name
  • you will use the vehicle for personal purposes and the vehicle will not be operated on the road for commercial purposes or for hire and reward
  • you will not sell or lease the vehicle to a third party within four years of the vehicle’s first registration in New Zealand
  • the vehicle will not be operated in a transport service
  • you have not been granted a special interest motorcycle permit in the last two years.

In addition to the declaration on the application, you must have another vehicle (car, ute, minivan, motorcycle) for your everyday use.

Is there a limit to how many special interest motorcycle permits can be issued in any one calendar year?

Under the Light Vehicle Brakes Rule, the Transport Agency may not issue more than 100 special interest motorcycle permits in any one calendar year. You may therefore not be issued with a special interest motorcycle permit if 100 permits have already been issued in the calendar year in which you apply.

A special interest motorcycle permit that ceases to be valid in the calendar year it was issued will not be counted in the quota total mentioned above.

What other motorcycles have previously been granted a special interest motorcycle permit?

The special interest motorcycle category only began on 1 April 2020. A list of previously approved vehicles may be developed in the future but bear in mind the following:

  • You must provide supporting documentation that confirms both you and your vehicle meet the criteria set out on the application form.
  • All permit applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and are required to meet the criteria set out in legislation. If a motorcycle is on a list developed in the future, this does not mean another motorcycle of the same make, model and sub-model would automatically be approved.
  • Any future list cannot be used as proof that a motorcycle meets the criteria.
  • The NZ Transport Agency is not obligated to grant a permit if it is not considered appropriate and may impose conditions on any permit.

Can the Transport Agency grant exemptions?

No, the Transport Agency cannot grant exemptions from any conditions for special interest motorcycles, including the quota total.

Where can I find out more?

Factsheet