Register and license your car

Licensing means paying a fee to use your vehicle on public roads. This is the label that is displayed on your windscreen.

The AA is authorised by the NZ Transport Agency to be Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agents.

Find agent Or call 0800 822 422

Registration and licensing

Your vehicle must be both registered and licensed for you to legally drive it on the road. Licensing is often incorrectly called registration.

Did you know?

There were 4,248,612 registered vehicles in New Zealand at 30 June 2012, of which 2,828,970 are passenger cars and vans.


Vehicle registration is where a new car is added to the Motor Vehicle Register and given registration plates. The combination of numbers and letters on the plate is used to identify the vehicle, and enables it to be traced to an owner. The one-off registration fee covers the cost of the plates and administration.


Vehicle licensing is the annual or six-monthly fee you pay to use your vehicle on public roads. The fee helps pay for motoring-related costs and initiatives.

The licence fee goes to the National Land Transport Fund for road construction, and to safety programmes run by the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Police. It is broken down as:

  • The Motor Vehicle Account Levy is collected on behalf of the ACC, and covers injury medical costs
  • An administration and licence label fee funds services provided by the New Zealand Transport Agency and its agents
  • Penalties for vehicle registration or licence offences

The standard penalty for driving an unregistered or unlicensed car is $200, but from 1 May 2011, Police have been able to issue driver licence demerit points for these offences. The introduction of demerits is intended to be a more effective deterrent to those who try to avoid paying their annual vehicle re-licence fees.


Pricing varies based on licensing requirements. For up-to-date information go to the NZTA website or call 0800 822 422.

One location for all your car and driver licensing needs

Visit your nearest AA Centre or AA Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agent for information on:

  • New car registrations
  • Change of ownership
  • New licence number plates
  • Car re-licensing
  • Road user charges

AA speaking up for motorists

The AA supports the current vehicle registration and licensing schemes which see revenue invested in road construction and safety programmes.

Opposition to licensing fees that penalise car preferences

The registration and licensing fees should not be weighted to influence the type of vehicle that a motorist buys, for example charging a higher fee for vehicles with larger engines as a measure to combat climate change.

Motorists choose to buy a larger car for many different and valid reasons, for example to transport a large family, or for towing. These motorists already contribute more for their choice of vehicle via taxes at the fuel pump.

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