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Rules for overseas drivers take effect tomorrow

31 May 2006

New licensing rules for overseas drivers take effect tomorrow

Licensing requirements for overseas drivers will be tightened from tomorrow (1 June 2006), when the Driver Licensing Amendment Rule 2006 comes into force. Aimed at improving New Zealand’s driver licensing system, the Rule contains several changes to help ensure the validity of overseas driver licences and prevent identity fraud:

- Overseas drivers with a non-English licence must carry an accurate English translation or an International Driving Permit (IDP) while driving. This will help police determine that an overseas licence is valid, verify that the driver holds the correct licence class for the vehicle, and check for any conditions that may be attached to the licence.

- When a person is issued with a New Zealand driver licence their overseas driver licence will be invalidated for the purpose of driving in New Zealand. This change means people cannot drive on two licences – there have been cases of people accumulating demerit points on two licences and so avoiding penalties.

- Overseas birth certificates and driver licences will no longer be accepted as primary identification for the purpose of converting an overseas licence to a New Zealand licence. Applicants must now show a passport as proof of their identity, in addition to presenting their original overseas driver licence (not an International Driving Permit). These changes will make it harder to legitimise a false identity that could be used for illegal purposes.

The Driver Licensing Amendment Rule 2006 also includes changes to licence classes for commercial vehicles, as well as minor changes benefiting other groups of drivers. For more information call 0800 822 422 or visit


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