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Time running out for some drivers

LTSA online

The LTSA will today begin the process of sending out 235,000 driver licence upgrade packs to drivers who were born in September. A new television advertisement, targeting Virgos, reminds drivers that it's time for them to upgrade.

Director of Land Transport Safety Reg Barrett issued a reminder to those born in May and June that their time to upgrade had now lapsed and they risked being fined for driving on an expired licence if they were caught. If they were caught a second time without having obtained a licence they would have the car they were driving impounded.

Time was also running out for those drivers with birthdays in July who had not yet upgraded, Mr Barrett said.

The fine for driving on an expired licence is $400.

"Vehicle impoundment and further fines await those who are slow to get the message," said Mr Barrett.

"The new licences are a road safety initiative, plain and simple. The majority of drivers know this, but the sooner all drivers recognise that, by upgrading, they are helping create a safer driving environment for everyone, the better off we'll all be," said Mr Barrett.

The new laws have been designed to give Police greater ability to detect unlicensed and disqualified drivers - a group responsible for more than 50 road deaths in 1997.

The excuse that upgrade packs had not been received will not be accepted. Application forms and all the information needed to upgrade can be obtained from driver licensing agents, or from the LTSA's website at www.ltsa.govt.nz.

Two forms of ID are needed to upgrade to a photo driver licence: one to prove who you are, such as a driver licence, full NZ birth certificate or passport, and one to prove your address, like a recent bill or bank statement.

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