Registering a car in New Zealand
So many things that you need to know when you want to buy a vehicle. One of many is the rego that often leads to confusion. Actually, it isn't as complicated as you might think.
What is it?
First of all, rego doesn't mean registration! A rego is the vehicle licensing. This is where you pay a fee to use your vehicle on public roads. It helps to pay for roading projects and road safety programmes. Most motor vehicles must be licensed continuously!
You'll get an e-mail two to four weeks before the licensing fee is due. You can do it as soon as you get it. It will start the day after your expiry date so there will be no wasted money. But if you wait too long you have to pay any backdated licence fees as well as the new one.
The reminder which you get 2 - 4 weeks before the due date includes following:
your vehicle details
the fee to licence your vehicle for 12 months
a breakdown of the individual components in that fee
how to renew your licence online
Make sure your address is up-to-date (last address recorded on the motor vehicle register)!
However, you can still check the expiry date on the licence label on your vehicle.
The cost of the rego varies with the the kind of your vehicle. Check out the most common licensing fees.
When you pay the licensing fee, you get a label that shows the date your licence expires. You must display this label on the left-hand side of your motor vehicle's windscreen. If you have a trailer or motorcycle you can put it near to your number plate.
If you don't license on time
The registered person is responsible for keeping their vehicle licensed. If the motor vehicle is unlicensed, you will be sent notices to remind you. If the vehicle remains unlicensed for 12 months the registration will be cancelled. You will get a final notice 2 - 4 weeks before this happens.
The Transport Agency will then use a dept collection agency to recover outstanding licence fees.
The New Zealand Police and local authorities fine registered people caught using unlicensed motor vehicles on the road. You could be fined $200 for not displaying a current licence on your vehicle.
Put your licence on hold
If you won't be using your motor vehicle on the road for at least 3 months (has to be a continuous period) you can put your licence on hold.
Change your licence expiry date
At an agent, you can change your licensing date by completing an application to change licence expiry date.
Buying or selling
If you bought a vehicle without a licence, you'll be only required to pay from the date you acquire the vehicle (not the date the licence was due).
The seller is liable for the unpaid fees before you acquire the vehicle.
If you have sold a vehicle without a licence you are liable for any outstanding licensing fees up to the date of the sale or disposal of the vehicle.
Vehicle has been stolen
You need to provide the police report and contact NZTA. After that you won't be required to pay from the date it was stolen.
If your vehicle is recovered you will only be required to pay licensing fees from the date of its return.