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Criminal & traffic law

General driving offences

Licences and related offences

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

Driving without a licence or breaching licence conditions

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

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 imprisoned 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 imprisoned 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

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 you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres/

For Community Law’s guide to applying for a limited licence and template application forms: communitylaw.org.nz/resources/legal-letters

Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi’s site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

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

Search your question on Waka Kotahi’s resources section: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police’s “frequently asked questions” section provides helpful information, particularly the “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section.

Website: www.police.govt.nz/advice-and-services/faqs

New Zealand Government

The New Zealand government website sets out more information about driving fines and penalties, including how to pay for infringement notices.

Website: www.govt.nz/browse/transport/driving-fines-and-penalties

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics, including private parking tickets and the towing and clamping of cars.

Website: www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/help-product-service/cars/parking-clamping-towing

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