Posted: 07-Apr-2020 |

Extensions for driver licence, driver endorsements and vehicle certifications including COF expiries

After considerable petitioning of the authorities, particularly NZTA, by RTF CE Nick Leggett the NZTA has released Land Transport Rule: COVID-19 Response (No 1) 2020 temporarily amending the COF inspection and driver licencing provisions for the freight sector, which will go some way to providing relief to those providing essential services during the current crisis situation and beyond. Please note, this is not an unlimited relief situation but the NZTA has the authority to extend the relief provisions until 10 October 2020.

The notice is set out below as was published on 7 April but only gazetted today (9 April), coming into force from tomorrow, 10 April 2020.

We would like to thank the staff at NZTA and the Ministry of Transport for their fast and efficient work on these changes. They have been open and responsive to the needs of industry.

When Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions were imposed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, it became impractical, or unreasonable, for people to do tasks ordinarily required to enable vehicles to undergo periodic in-service inspection and certification, or to enable driver licences, endorsements and driver identification cards to be renewed. The objective of this temporary rule is to allow for vehicles to continue to be operated lawfully, and for drivers to continue to be licensed and to use endorsements and identification cards, during this time.

COF and certification, driver licence and endorsement extensions
The Rule provides for the following documents to be temporarily extended:
• Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs) and driver licences that expired on or after 1 January 2020.
• Other vehicle certifications issued under the Vehicle Standards Compliance Rule which expired on or after 1 January 2020, including alternative fuel inspection certificates, permits authorising use of vehicles with conditions, and heavy vehicle specialist certifications of towing connections and log bolster attachments. Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002
• Endorsements (including drivers with passenger endorsements and dangerous good endorsements held by some truck drivers) that expired on or after 1 March 2020

The new provisions do not apply to revoked or suspended documents, and Waka Kotahi (NZTA) can continue to revoke or suspend for safety reasons during this period.
Once those COVID-19 restrictions are reduced, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) will set a cut-off date for this regime and also set new expiry dates for these documents, which could extend up until 10 October 2020.

Registration and vehicle licencing changes
At the same time the Rule was made, the Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) (COVID-19—Extension of Duration of Motor Vehicle Licences) Amendment Regulations 2020 were made. These provide for a similar temporary extension regarding the requirement to have a vehicle licence.
Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing) (COVID-19—Extension of Duration of Motor Vehicle Licences) Amendment Regulations 2020(external link)
The formal legal reference to the Rule amendment is below:
Q and A s about the changes can be found at this link:

Please note: These changes do not in any way allow the operation of unsafe or noncompliant vehicles. Operators should commit to maintaining their maintenance schedules as they would normally.

CVST and Police retain the power to remove vehicles they consider unsafe from service whether they are essential service vehicles or not.

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