Changes to driver licensing and other Land Transport Rules

15 Oct 2014, 10:44 AM

The Associate Minister of Transport Hon. Michael Woodhouse has signed into law amendments to the Land Transport (Driver Licensing} Rule 1999 and ten other Land Transport Rules.

Changes to the Rules

Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Rule 201.4

These changes will affect people who obtain, renew, or reinstate a car (Class 1) or motorcycle (Class 6) learner or restricted driver licence. Changes to evidence of identity requirements and application processes will affect everyone who applies to obtain, renew, replace or reinstate a driver licence, an endorsement, or a driver identification card.


What changes have been made?

The Rule changes will:

  • apply a five-year time limit (reduced from ten) to all new learner and restricted car and motorcycle licences. The time limit also applies for renewal and reinstatement
  • include transitional provisions for current holders of car or motorcycle learner or restricted licences
  • clarify that the new five-year time limits on learner and restricted licences don't apply to people aged 75 years and over
  • require that an application for a renewal of a learner or restricted car or motorcycle licence can only be made on or after the expiry date and that the applicant must pass an appropriate theory test
  • strengthen the evidence of identity requirements that applicants must fulfil when obtaining, renewing, replacing, or reinstating a driver licence, an endorsement, or a driver identification card
  • enable the NZ Transport Agency to offer driver licensing and driver testing transactions online in the future
  • remove the requirement for the scanned image of the holder's signature to be printed on the licence card
  • make other minor amendments to the principal Rule, including the replacement of outdated references.


What are the effects of these changes?

  • The introduction of five-year licences will encourage novice drivers and motorcycle riders to progress through the graduated driver licensing system (GDLS) within a reasonable timeframe, without prematurely forcing those who aren't sufficiently competent to progress too quickly.
  • To establish your identity as part of a licence application, you need to provide documentary evidence from the list of acceptable documents in the Rule (eg. a current New Zealand passport). As part of these changes, the list of acceptable documents has been updated using guidance from the whole-of-government Evidence of Identity Standard, developed by the Department of Internal Affairs in partnership with relevant government agencies. This will strengthen the requirements and enhance the ability of the system to manage the risk of identity-related fraud.
  • Some driver licence transactions will become available online when all the necessary system changes have been made, and robust business processes are in place to manage identity¬≠ related risks.


When do the changes take effect?

Ten amendment Rules (other than Driver Licensing) come into force on 1 November 2014.

Changes to the Driver Licensing Rule apply from 1 December 2014.