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Criminal & traffic law

General driving offences

Licences and related offences

Driving without a licence or breaching licence conditions

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 5(1)(a), (b), 31; Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999, Schedule 1

To drive a vehicle on the road you must have a current licence that’s appropriate for you and your vehicle. It’s an offence to drive with an expired licence, or to drive without the appropriate type (for example, if your licence doesn’t cover your type of vehicle), or to breach the conditions of your licence. You can be given an infringement notice (a ticket) for $400 – or you can be fined up to $1,000 if you’re prosecuted and convicted through the courts.

Driving while disqualified or suspended

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 5(1)(c), 32

It’s a criminal offence to drive while you’re disqualified or while your licence is suspended or revoked, or to breach the terms of a limited licence, alcohol interlock licence or zero alcohol licence.

On your first or second conviction, you can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to $4,500, and you’ll also be disqualified for at least six months. For your third or later conviction, you can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $6,000, and you’ll be disqualified for at least one year.

Not producing your licence for the police

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 5(4), 31; Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999, Schedule 1

If the police stop you while you’re driving, you must show them your licence straight away. If you don’t, they can give you a $55 infringement notice on the spot, or if you’re prosecuted and convicted through the courts you can be fined up to $1,000.

Next Section | Unsafe driving

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Driving and traffic law

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Applying for a limited licence” (guide)

This Plain English guide, plus template application forms and affidavits, will help you apply for a limited licence. It’s available on the Community Law website – www.communitylaw.org.nz

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)


Phone: 0800 699 000
Email: info@nzta.govt.nz

The NZTA site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

You can read and download fact sheets and other publications from their site, or you can order hard copies by contacting them, including their fact-sheet on Legal mobile phone use while driving.


NZ Police

Frequently Asked Questions


The “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section of this webpage have Frequently Asked Questions about traffic fines, speeding, demerit points and where you can pay your fines.

Consumer protection

“Parking, towing and clamping”


This Consumer Protection webpage has information about the law covering tow trucks and wheel-clamping on public and private property, and about unreasonable fees in private car parks.

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