Importing & Registering A Vehicle In New Zealand: Process and Procedures
This page will explain the process of registering an imported vehicle in New Zealand, including the steps you’ll need to take and the documents you’ll need to have. Before we discuss registering a vehicle, it’s important to note that foreign visitors can bring a personal vehicle into the country without having to register it for a period of one year. The vehicle must have current registration status in the home country to qualify for the temporary registration exemption.
Before a vehicle can be registered in New Zealand, it must first be granted entry certification. In order to receive certification, the vehicle must be taken to a testing center where it is checked to ensure it meets safety and emissions standards. Inspections can be carried out by the local Automobile Association or any number of other inspection centers in the country. Once entry certification has been completed, you can apply for registration.
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Upon passing entry certification, you’ll receive the MR2A form, which is essentially your application for registration. (More information about the form can be found under the resources section at the bottom of this page.)
After filling out the MR2A form, you’ll have to present your ID and your application will be processed. After approval, you’ll receive your license plates and you’re ready to go!
If you’re considering shipping a vehicle to New Zealand, consult our international vehicle transport page for more information! You’ll find information about expected shipping costs, popular destinations, and requirements for importing a vehicle.
Car Insurance & Imported Vehicle Requirements In New Zealand
Unlike many other countries, car insurance is not required in New Zealand in order to operate a motor vehicle. In spite of this, most New Zealanders do have auto insurance at the rate of countries that do require it. Even if it’s not mandatory, it can still be problematic if you get into an accident that’s your fault and don’t have insurance. You are still responsible for damages you cause whether you’re insured or not.
Vehicles in New Zealand are right-hand drive, which means that the steering wheel must be on the opposite side of U.S. vehicles. With the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle, they also drive on the left side of the road. Vehicles brought into the country must also meet emissions and roadworthiness standards, as well as other safety metrics. There are exceptions made for vehicles that have not been manufactured in the past 20 years.
New Zealand Vehicle Registration Resources
Licensing, Registration & Administrative Fees - There are a number of fees you’ll have to pay along the way to registering a vehicle and this page has information on them and the expected costs and payment schedule.
MR2A Registration Form - Information about the registration application form, including a sample of what’s on it and an explanation of what you’ll need to fill out.
Contact us today if you have any questions about shipping a vehicle to New Zealand! We’re happy to answer your questions, lay out your options, and craft a personalized and affordable shipping package for your vehicle! Call or email us today to learn more!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.