Mandatory use of headlights on mopeds and motorcycles from Nov 1st 2009

From 1st November 2009, it will be mandatory to have headlights or running lights switched on in daytime (as well as nighttime) for mopeds and motorcycles manufactured after 1st January 1980.

Land Transport Q & A

4. Headlamps on mopeds and motorcycles

How will the Rule be amended in relation to the use of headlamps on motor cycles and mopeds?

Mopeds and motorcycles riders are required to ride with their headlamps on or, if fitted, daytime running lamps, during daylight hours. This requirement applies only to riders of mopeds or motorcycles manufactured after 1 January 1980.

Why will this Rule amendment be made?

Motorcycle casualties (fatalities plus serious and minor injuries) have increased by almost 80 percent since 2001. While some of the growth in casualties might have been expected as a result of the 28 percent increase in motorcycles being licensed over the same period, the large increase in casualties is a concern.

Furthermore, in that period the cost of fuel rose, and continuing fluctuations in the cost of fuel, may make motorcycle ownership and use attractive. It is important that best-practice motorcycle safety initiatives are put in place to deal with this growing road safety problem.
What penalties will there be for those breaching this provision of the Rule?

The proposed penalty will be an infringement fee of $100.

What else is being done to improve the safety of motorcyclists?

Motorcyclist safety has been proposed as a high priority for Safer Journeys road safety strategy to take us through to 2020. In August 2009, the public’s views will be sought on several road safety issues, including motorcycle safety, and possible actions for addressing them. Following public consultation a final strategy will be released in December 2009.

Bus Lanes

As of Feb 27th 2005 motorcyclists in New Zealand are permitted to use all bus lanes. However this does not apply to “Bus Only” sections of road as designated by the local council.


The following are Bus Only sections of road (not available to motorcyclists):

Lambton Quay from Panama St to Hunter St,
Hunter St to Customhouse Quay,
Customhouse Quay to Willis St,
Willis St to Mercer St.

All other bus lanes are available to motorcyclists (when last checked with Wellington City Council). For current bus lanes in Wellington contact Wellington City Council


For current bus lanes in Auckland contact Auckland City Council


Where are they, and when?

Bus Priority Lanes – how they work

Vehicle Registration

Vehicle Registration

see “What if my vehicle is roadworthy but no longer registered?” in this NZTA: Re-registration factsheet

Registration is the initial recording of a vehicle on the Motor Vehicle Register, and issuing of registration plates. Vehicles can only be registered once they have been checked to ensure they are safe to be on the road.

NZTA: Vehicle registration
NZTA: Vehicle Licencing
NZTA: Vehicle registration and licensing fees

Important notice! regulations for vehicles registered in NZ before 1978 have recently changed (2005) The most important changes are with indicators and brake lights. Vehicles registered or manufactured before 1978 were previously exempt – not any more. This means that affected vehicles will either have to have indicators and brake lights fitted, or acquire an Lighting Equipment Endorsement.
There is only one agency issuing exemptions – the Vintage Car Club.

Non-members of the VCC need to pay a processing fee of $70 and complete a detailed six page document (with attachments eg photos) to apply for a Vehicle Identity Card with a Lighting Equipment Endorsement.There is a specific list of exempt motorcycle models, but only one scooter is on the list – the Bajaj Super 150.

The cost for a non member of the Vintage Car Club of NZ (Inc.) is $70. The cost is free of charge to members. The forms need to be completed and forwarded to the branch closest to you. To find details of the branch nearest you visit the Vintage Car Club website branch listings.

You should allow AT LEAST 10 working days from the time VCC National Office receives the application which comes via the local VCC Branch.
Contact the branch prior to forwarding the information to ask how long it will take for the branch to process their part. They forward the completed forms to VCC National Office.The application form clearly states what items you will need to include.

If you have any questions, you can contact the National Registrar who signs off on the forms (Rod Brayshaw, 07 549 4250

Driver Licensing

Driver Licensing
To ride a motorcycle on the road you need a Class 6 (motorcycle) licence. You cannot legally ride a motorcycle on the road using a car driver licence.

The graduated driver licensing system (GDLS) has three stages:

Stage 1 – learner licence
Stage 2 – restricted licence
Stage 3 – full licence

You must be at least 15 years old before you can apply for a motorcycle licence.

Getting a motorcycle licenceMotorcycles: how to get your licence (Factsheet)
Getting your learner licence
Getting your restricted licence
What is the Restricted Licence Practical Test?
Getting your full licenceFull licence test for motorcyclists

Where can I find out more?For further information contact the Land Transport Safety Authority, PO Box 2840, Wellington, check this website, or call the driver licensing helpdesk, freephone 0800 822 422.