Reregistering a Car with Lapsed Registration

      A car which has its registration lapsed for more than a year is de-registered by NZTA.  To return it to the road, it has to undergo the same compliance process as a newly imported vehicle, see my page Importing a Car into New Zealand

There is however one important difference:  The car will need to meet only those standards which were in force at the time of its first registration in New Zealand, not ones which have been subsequently introduced and not made retrospective. Fortunately, although a car is removed from the current register, its records are generally kept so it is usually fairly easy to establish when it was first registered here.  If this is not available, then other evidence such as a previous licencing label will be necessary.

Examples of this difference are :

  • the requirement to have a high stop light, which was introduced in the 1990’s is not retrospective.
  • Seat belts – for example, inertia reel belts were not required until about 1979 so won’t be required on cars registered here before this, though many owners prefer to retro-fit these anyway.
    (Note:  dates from my memory so are approximate!)

Full details on this can be obtained from the NZTA website.

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