Vehicle licensing (rego)

Most vehicles must have a vehicle licence before you can use them on public roads. You pay a fee for the licence and you get a vehicle licence label to display on the vehicle.

Your vehicle licence is often referred to as your rego, but it's not the same thing as registration.

Vehicle registration information

The registered person's responsibilities

When you let us know you've bought a vehicle, we record you as the registered person on the Motor Vehicle Register. That's the person responsible for the vehicle, but isn't the same as legal ownership.

Your vehicle licensing responsibilities

As the registered person, you're responsible for making sure your vehicle is licensed at all times while using the road, or has an exemption from licensing.

If your vehicle has an exemption, you must not use it on the road.

Your other responsibilities

This page only covers your vehicle licensing responsibilities. However, there are other important responsibilities that you also need to be aware of.

The registered person's responsibilities

Continuous vehicle licensing

Most vehicles must be licensed continuously. That means there can’t be any days when your vehicle isn’t licensed, unless you officially take it off the road.

Vehicles that aren't required to be licensed continuously include light trailers (up to 3500kg), tractors and forklifts.

Vehicles exempt from continuous vehicle licensing - New Zealand legislation(external link)

Vehicle licences expire

Vehicle licences expire, so as the registered person, you need to make sure you renew yours regularly.

You can check the expiry date on your current licence label at any time.

Check your licence, exemption and inspection expiry dates online

Vehicle licensing fees

Licensing fees are different for different kinds of vehicles.

Common vehicle licensing fees

How to renew your vehicle licence

You must have a current WoF or CoF

Your vehicle must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or certificate of fitness (CoF) before you can get a licence or use the vehicle on the road, unless your vehicle is exempt from continuous vehicle licensing or doesn't require a WoF or CoF for road use (mopeds etc).

Vehicles exempt from registration and licensing (Factsheet 27) [PDF, 58 KB]

Step 1: Receive a reminder

We'll send you a reminder in the post or by email 6 weeks before your vehicle licence is due to expire. It lets you know the licensing fees and your options.

Save paper - switch to email

Add your email address and we'll send your next reminder by email instead of post. You may also receive some of our other reminders by email.

Add your email address

From December 2022 we're making the links in our vehicle licence reminder emails non-clickable, to help protect you from phishing scams. If you're unsure about an email you receive, check our reporting scams information to help you identify genuine emails from us.

Report a scam (check if an email is genuine)

Step 2: Renew online

You'll need:

  • your reminder number or your plate number
  • your credit/debit card or internet banking details.

It's easy and it saves you time and money.

Renew your vehicle licence now

Step 3: Receive your new licence label

It should arrive in the post within 7 working days.

If you’ve renewed online and your licence label hasn’t arrived within 7 working days, order a replacement online.

Order replacement motor vehicle and RUC labels(external link)

We recommend you update your address before you order the replacement label.

Update your address(external link)

If online isn’t an option for you

Visit one of our agents instead

If you’ve run out of time and can’t wait 7 working days for your label, renew at an agent instead of going online. The agent will give you your label straight away.

Use the reminder you received from us, or fill out an Application to license motor vehicle (MR1B) form. You can pick one up at the agent or print it at home before you go. 

Application to license motor vehicle (MR1B) form [PDF, 111 KB]

You must display your licence label

When you pay the licensing fee, you’ll get a label that shows the date your licence expires. You must display the label on the left-hand side of your vehicle’s windscreen, or near your number plate (for trailers or motorcycles).

If your label is lost or stolen

You need to get a replacement label. 

Order replacement motor vehicle and RUC labels(external link)

If you don’t renew in time

If your licence is due to expire and you don’t renew it in time, you'll be breaking the law under the Land Transport Act 1998.

If your vehicle stays unlicensed for 12 months, we'll cancel the vehicle's registration, which means you won't be able to legally drive it on the road anymore.

You'll still be responsible for any outstanding licensing fees.

We'll send you a warning notice before we cancel the registration.

If you don’t receive a reminder

Even if you don't receive a reminder, you're still responsible for keeping your vehicle licensed, and paying the licensing fees.

Remember, you can check your expiry date on your current licence label or online anytime.

Check your licence, exemption and inspection expiry dates online

Make sure your details are up to date

As the registered person, you need to let us know as soon as your details change. This helps us make sure we're sending the reminders to the right person at the right address.

Update your contact details

Pay your licensing fees

If your licence has expired and you haven’t received a reminder, don’t wait! Renew online (you don't need to enter a reminder number if you don't have one) or fill in an Application to license motor vehicle (MR1B) form at one of our agents.

Renew your vehicle licence now

Not using the vehicle on the road

If you won’t be using the vehicle on the road for at least 3 months in a row, you can (and should) apply for an exemption from licensing. You can also have someone else apply on your behalf.

When your vehicle goes on exemption, it means it doesn’t have to be licensed for the period of time that the exemption lasts.

Some people call this putting your rego on hold.

Apply for an exemption from licensing

Choosing a different licence expiry date

You can choose a different licence expiry date by filling in an Application to change licence expiry date (MR27) form at one of our agents. The agent will let you know your options and the fee.

Find an agent in your area 

You've bought a vehicle without a licence

You’ll only need to pay from the date you bought the vehicle, not the date the licence was due. The seller is responsible for the unpaid fees before you bought the vehicle.

You've sold a vehicle without a licence

You’re responsible for any licensing fees owing up to the date you sold or disposed of the vehicle. We use a debt collection agency to recover outstanding licence fees.

Your vehicle has been stolen

You need to report the vehicle as stolen to the police first, then you can call us about your licensing fees.

If its licence has expired, you won’t need to pay from the date it was stolen, as long as you contact us.

If your vehicle is found, you’ll only need to pay licensing fees from the date it was returned to you.

If your vehicle has been stolen and is licensed, please call us on 0800 108 809 for advice.

Your vehicle will be permanently off the road

You’ll need to cancel its registration by filling in an Application to cancel registration (MR15) form at one of our plate agents. You should hand in the plates at the same time as the MR15 form.

If you don’t have plates to hand in, you need to provide a reason why (and you may need to provide supporting evidence).

Find a plate agent near you

Cancel your vehicle's registration

Vehicle licensing (Factsheet 49) [PDF, 62 KB]

Contact us for more information