New Zealand to review heavy vehicle driver licensing regime

Photography by: ChameleonsEye /

Review may lead to a simplified heavy vehicle driver licensing system.

New Zealand to review heavy vehicle driver licensing regime
The New Zealand trucking industry may be operating under a new licensing regime within the next two years.


New Zealand may introduce changes to heavy vehicle licensing rules by the end of 2016 as part of a review of the country's driver licensing system announced today.

NZ associate transport minister Craig Foss says parts of the driver licensing system will be examined with the aim of modernising it.

The current licensing regime was introduced in 1999, and Foss says a lot has changed since then.

"It will consider whether the heavy vehicle driver licensing process could be simplified by reducing the number of heavy vehicle classes and related endorsements," Foss says of the review.

The review will be undertaken in stages, with the expectation that recommendations will be implemented in 2016 or early 2017.

While Foss says key parts of the system such as the photo driver licence and the minimum licensing age are not up for discussion, he adds that there are opportunities to make it easier to understand and use.

"For example, the review is an opportunity to consider online licence renewals and whether the full licence test needs to evolve, given the recent changes to make the restricted test more difficult," he says.

The first stage of the review will develop recommendations for government to consider, with the next phase developing the necessary legislation and amendments.

The NZ Ministry of Transport says the review will lead to improved customer experience, a reduced compliance burden and improved compliance with licensing requirements.

"The review’s primary focus is to provide a robust and better quality regulation. This will clarify, simplify and where possible reduce compliance requirements and transactions," the department says.

"A secondary focus is to address a number of minor provisions that may no longer be fit for purpose."

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