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LTSA Reminds Drivers To Renew Licences On Time

The Land Transport Safety Authority is reminding motorists to avoid fines and the possibility of having to re-sit tests by renewing their driver licences on time.

Anyone caught driving on an expired licence faces a fine of $400. If a licence isn't renewed within 12 months of its expiry date, the holder will have to re-sit the driver licence theory and practical tests to get back on the road.

"There are serious consequences to letting your licence lapse, but it's easy to avoid these problems," said Director of Land Transport Safety David Wright. "Check the spot next to '4b' on the front of your licence - this is the expiry date. As long as you renew your licence before this date you won't have any difficulties."

When photo driver licences were introduced, the expiry dates were staggered from one to ten years from the time of issue. This was done to in order to spread renewals out evenly, avoiding the situation where all 2.5 million New Zealand drivers would have to renew their licences in the same year.

Most people who converted from an old paper licence will have a photo driver licence with an expiry date in the year of their next birthday ending in the number five, i.e. the year they turn 25, 35, 45, 55, etc. In most cases renewed licences will be issued for a period of ten years.

Individual renewal reminders are mailed directly to drivers before licences are due to expire. Drivers should notify the LTSA of any change of address. This can be done at any driver licensing agent, or by completing a simple form on the LTSA website, www.ltsa.govt.nz. Drivers heading overseas can renew early and get a new licence before leaving the country.

Mr Wright said the photo driver licensing system was running smoothly and was helping to bring down the road toll by getting dangerous drivers off the road.

"When photo driver licences were introduced in May 1999, so were tough new roadside vehicle impoundment measures for disqualified and unlicensed drivers. We've seen a big drop in crashes involving those drivers since then.

"In the 12 months to the end of April 1999, unlicensed and disqualified drivers were involved in 49 fatal crashes - 11 percent of the total. In the 12 months to the end of April this year they were involved in 26 fatal crashes - less than seven percent of the total.

"That tells us that mandatory licence carriage and roadside vehicle impoundment are getting these drivers off the road and improving road safety as intended."

Ends

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