Land Transport Act 1998

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Transport

Version as at 5 April 2023

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Land Transport Act 1998

Public Act
1998 No 110
Date of assent
8 December 1998
see section 1

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Transport.


1Short Title and commencement
2ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
3Act to bind the Crown
4General requirements for participants in land transport system
5Drivers to be licensed
6Vehicles to be safe and operated in compliance with rules
7Drivers not to be reckless or dangerous
8Drivers not to be careless or inconsiderate
9Loads transported by vehicles to be secured
10Road users and others to comply with ordinary rules and emergency rules
11Drivers not to exceed specified alcohol limits
11APersons not to drive or attempt to drive while blood contains evidence of, or oral fluid indicates, use of qualifying drug
12Persons not to drive while under influence of alcohol or drugs
13Drivers and other road users to comply with directions of enforcement officers, etc
14False or misleading information not to be given
15Persons not to impersonate enforcement officers
16Heavy motor vehicles not to be overloaded or in breach of dimension requirements
16ATemporary restriction of heavy traffic on roads
16BInterference with operation of speed measuring devices
17Distance recorders not to be altered
18Health practitioners to give Director medical reports of persons unfit to drive
19Licences of certain persons subject to Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 to be suspended
20Traffic surveys not to be conducted unless approved by Agency
21Enforcement officers to ameliorate hazards
22Driver’s duties where accident occurs
22APersons not to engage in unauthorised street or drag racing, or other related prohibited activities on roads
22ABRoad controlling authorities may make certain bylaws
22ACMinister may amend, replace, or disallow bylaws
22AEPublication and proof of bylaws
22AFWarning notices
22BOperators of traction engines to hold appropriate current qualification
22CTraction engine to be safe and operated in compliance with regulations and rules
23Issue of driver licences
24Director may issue temporary driver licences
24AAuthorised persons may request driver licences for certain persons
25Minimum age for driver licensing
26Drivers may be tested and examined
27Suspension and revocation of licences
28Photographic driver licence
28ATransitional provisions for photographic driver licences
29Certain driver licences have no effect
29APersons convicted of specified serious offences prohibited from holding passenger endorsement
29BPassenger endorsement may be reinstated in certain cases
30Driver licences are property of Agency and are to be surrendered in certain circumstances
30ARequirements for vehicles
30BProvision of identification information in Braille [Repealed]
30CGeneral safety criteria
30DAdditional criteria for small passenger service and vehicle recovery service
30EAdditional criteria for large passenger service
30FAdditional criteria for goods service
30GDirector may require information for fit and proper person assessment
30HDirector’s duties concerning prejudicial information
30INon-disclosure by Director of information for safety reasons
30JTransport service operators must be licensed
30KApplication for transport service licence
30LGrant of licence
30MConditions of goods service licence
30NTransfer, assignment, or lease of transport service licence prohibited
30OTerm of transport service licence
30PDriver must have or drive under transport service licence
30QRecords to be kept by facilitator of facilitated cost-sharing arrangement
30RAgency may revoke approval [Repealed]
30SWhen Director may revoke transport service licence
30TProcedure Director must follow before revoking transport service licence
30USuspension of transport service licence or imposition of conditions
30WDirector to notify proposal to make adverse decision
30XProcedure for consideration of information
30YDirector’s determination
30ZApplication of Part
30ZADirector may grant exemptions or approve alternative fatigue management schemes
30ZBApplication of subpart
30ZCLimits on work time
30ZDRecords must be kept
30ZEApplication of subpart
30ZFDrivers must maintain logbooks
30ZGDirector may approve or revoke alternative means of recording matters
30ZHDuties regarding logbooks
30ZIEvidence in proceedings for offences against subpart 1 or subpart 2
31Contravention of section 5(1)(a) or (b) or (4) or 30(2), (3), (3A), (4A), or (4B)
32Contravention of section 5(1)(c)
33Contravention of section 5(2) or (3)
33AOffence to operate as driving instructor without authorisation
34Contravention of section 6
35Contravention of section 7, or section 22 where no injury or death involved
36Contravention of section 7 or section 22 involving injury
36AAContravention of section 7 by causing death of another person
36AContravention of section 22A
36ABContravention of sections 7 and 114 [Repealed]
36BContravention of section 22B or section 22C
37Contravention of section 8
38Contravention of section 8 causing injury or death
39Aggravated careless use of vehicle causing injury or death
40Contravention of ordinary rules
41Contravention of emergency rules
42Failure to secure load
43Overloading and over-dimension offences
43ACourts may impose appropriate fines for infringement offences that are not overloading offences
44Contravention of section 14
45Contravention of section 17
46Contravention of section 20
47Contravention of section 22(2), (3), (4), or (5)
48Contravention of section 92(4)
49Contravention of section 97(5) or (6)
50Contravention of section 117(2)
51Contravention of section 198(4)
52Contravening notices, requirements, etc, given or imposed by enforcement officers
52AContravention of section 114
53Obstruction of enforcement officer or dangerous goods enforcement officer
54Personation of enforcement officer
55Tampering with vehicle surveillance equipment
55AOffences concerning alcohol interlock devices
56Contravention of specified breath or blood-alcohol limit
57Contravention of specified breath or blood-alcohol limit by person younger than 20
57AAContravention of specified breath or blood alcohol limit by holder of alcohol interlock licence or zero alcohol licence
57ADriving with blood that contains evidence of, or oral fluid that indicates, use of 1 qualifying drug
57BDriving while blood contains evidence of, or oral fluid indicates, use of 2 or more qualifying drugs
57CDriving while blood or breath contains alcohol and blood contains evidence of, or oral fluid indicates, use of 1 qualifying drug
57DPenalties for offences against sections 57A(1), 57B(1), and 57C(1)
58Contravention of section 12
59Failure or refusal to remain at specified place or to accompany enforcement officer
60Failure or refusal to permit blood specimen to be taken or to undergo compulsory impairment test
61Person in charge of motor vehicle causing injury or death
62Causing injury or death in circumstances to which section 61 does not apply
63Further penalty in certain cases where person driving vehicle used in transport service
65Mandatory disqualification and assessment for repeat offences
65AAlcohol interlock requirements for repeat offences or certain first time offences involving use of alcohol [Repealed]
65ABQualifying offences
65ACAlcohol interlock sentence
65ADInjury or death
65AEPeriod of disqualification
65AFAlcohol interlock sentence disqualifies person from driving except under alcohol interlock licence
65AGAlcohol interlock licence requirements
65AHWhen court may take alcohol interlock sentence into account
65AIExceptions: persons who are not to be given alcohol interlock sentence
65AJEffect of subsequent qualifying offences on alcohol interlock sentence
65AKEffect of other subsequent offences on alcohol interlock licence
65BMandatory zero alcohol requirements for repeat offences and certain first offences
66Names of drivers convicted of alcohol or drug-related offences may not be suppressed [Repealed]
67Blood test fee
68Who must undergo breath screening test
69Who must undergo evidential breath test
70Person may be required to undergo further evidential breath test if initial test fails to produce result
70AWho has right to elect blood test after positive evidential breath test
71Meaning of apparently younger than 20
71AWho must undergo first oral fluid test
71BWho must undergo second oral fluid test
71CPerson must undergo further oral fluid test if either first or second oral fluid test fails to produce result
71DPerson has right to elect blood test after 2 positive oral fluid tests
71EPerson may be required to accompany enforcement officer to undergo blood test
71FWho must undergo compulsory impairment test
71GApproval of oral fluid tests and oral fluid testing devices
72Who must give blood specimen at places other than hospital or medical centre
73Who must give blood specimen in hospital or medical centre
73APurposes for which blood specimen taken under section 72 or 73 may be used as evidence
74Procedure for dealing with blood specimens
75Certificates in blood-alcohol and drug-driving proceedings
75ACertificates of compliance for evidential breath-testing devices
76Presumptions relating to blood specimens
77Presumptions relating to alcohol-testing
77APresumptions relating to drug testing
78Presumptions as to age of driver
79Circumstances in which certificate not admissible in proceedings
79AOffence to carry on transport service without licence
79ABOffence to drive vehicle used in transport service without licence
79BProvision of incorrect information
79CFailure to present vehicle for inspection
79DContravention of section 30K
79ELiability of persons who use unlicensed transport service
79FContravention of section 30M
79GContravention of section 87G
79HContravention of section 128A
79HAFailure to keep or produce records
79IContravention of section 128B
79JLiability of employers and principal
79KLiability of directors of bodies corporate
79LCourt may require convicted transport service licence holder to sit examination
79MPenalties for failure to pay service fares, etc
79NFailure to keep or produce records or comply with conditions of exemption or approval
79OFailure to comply with prescribed work time restrictions or rest time requirements
79PDefences to work time offences
79PAMatters to be taken into account in imposing penalty for offence against section 79O
79QFailure to discharge duties regarding logbooks
79ROffences and proceedings concerning logbooks
79SDefences to logbook offences
79TOffence to cause or require driver to breach speed limits, maximum work time, or rest time requirements
79UOffence to cause or require driver to breach maximum gross weight limits
79VSearch warrants in relation to offences against section 79T or 79U
80General penalty of disqualification may be imposed if offence involves road safety
81Mandatory disqualification: court’s discretion if special reasons relating to offence
82Effect of disqualification
82AApplication for reinstatement if suspended for any period (other than under section 95), or disqualified for period not exceeding 12 months
82BTransitional provision concerning application of section 82A
82CApplication for reinstatement following expiry of alcohol interlock licence or zero alcohol licence
83Holder to undergo approved tests or courses if disqualified for more than 1 year
84New licence to be issued if disqualified driver qualifies for specified vehicle classes
85When disqualification starts
86Term of disqualification if person already disqualified
87Particulars of certain court orders to be sent to Director and offender
87ADisqualification of transport service driver
87BDisqualification of holder of transport service licence from holding transport service licence
87CProcedure for disqualifying person under section 87A or section 87B
87DImmediate suspension of transport service driver and other persons in interests of public safety
87EProcedure for suspending persons under section 87D
87FTerm of suspension
87GEffect of disqualification or suspension of transport service driver and other persons
88Demerit points to be recorded by Director
89Notice of demerit points
90Suspension of licence or disqualification from driving under demerit points system
91Cancellation and reinstatement of demerit points
91BWays in which warning notice or driver licence stop order or details of related fines must be served
91CLiability to driver licence stop order
91DWarning notice to be served on defendant
91EImposition of driver licence stop order
91FEffect of driver licence stop order
91GCancellation of driver licence stop order
91HTermination of driver licence stop order if traffic fine paid or resolved
92Compulsory attendance at driving improvement course or dangerous goods course
93Court may order compulsory driving test
94Substitution of community-based sentences
94AMandatory prohibition from driving for 12-hour period if results of 2 oral fluid tests are positive
95Mandatory 28-day suspension of driver licence in certain circumstances
95AExtension of 28-day suspension period of driver licence under section 95
96Vehicle seized and impounded for 28 days in certain circumstances
96AImpoundment of vehicle used in transport service
97Storage of impounded vehicles
98Release of vehicle after 28 days
98ACommissioner may prohibit sale or disposal of certain motor vehicles
98BAppeal of notice to District Court
98DImmobilising devices applied to parked motor vehicles
98EEnforcement of section 98D and related matters
99Court may reduce disqualification
99ADirector may approve programmes
100Director to remove certain disqualifications
100ADirector may authorise removal of alcohol interlock device and certify that requirements of alcohol interlock sentence have been fulfilled
100BCourt may cancel alcohol interlock sentence and disqualify driver instead
100CCourt may impose alcohol interlock sentence if exception no longer applies
101Appeal to Director against mandatory suspension of driver licence
102Appeal to Police against impoundment of vehicle
103Persons who may apply to court for limited licence
104Issue of limited licence to be delayed or prohibited in certain cases
105Court may make order authorising grant of limited licence
106General right of appeal to District Court
107Appeals against court orders relating to disqualification or grant of limited licence, and deferral of disqualification
108Appeal against Director’s refusal to remove disqualification or replace alcohol interlock licence with zero alcohol licence
109Appeal against refusal of Director to remove suspension of driver licence
110Appeal against refusal of Police to direct release of impounded vehicle
111AAppeal to High Court on question of law
111BFurther appeal to Court of Appeal
112Effect of appeal on demerit points
112ADirector may accept enforceable undertakings
112BNotice of decision and reasons for decision
112CWhen enforceable undertaking is enforceable
112DCompliance with enforceable undertaking
112EContravention of enforceable undertaking
112FWithdrawal or variation of enforceable undertaking
112GProceedings for contravention or alleged contravention
113Enforcement officers may enforce transport legislation
113APower to inspect records
114Power to require driver to stop and give name and address, etc
115Enforcement officers may give directions prohibiting driving of vehicles
116Enforcement of directions
117Moved vehicle not to be damaged and to be returned to person entitled to possession
118Requirement to give information as to identity of driver or passenger
119Powers of entry
120Arrest of persons for alcohol or drug-related offences, or assault on enforcement officer
121Enforcement officer may immobilise vehicle, etc, in specified circumstances
121AEnforcement officer may give directions or immobilise vehicle if driver breaches certain licence conditions
122Enforcement officer may seize and impound vehicle for up to 12 hours in emergency
123Enforcement officer may seize and impound vehicle for up to 10 working days in relation to certain offences
124Inspection of vehicles required to have evidence of vehicle inspection and certificate of loading
125Stopping, inspection, and weighing of heavy vehicles and certain transport service vehicles
126Off-loading of overloaded vehicle
127Protection against claims resulting from action under section 125 or section 126
128Enforcement officer to order heavy vehicle to stop until load secured
128AEnforcement officer’s powers in respect of non-complying small passenger service vehicles
128BEnforcement officer’s powers in respect of non-complying vehicle recovery service vehicles
128CEnforcement officer’s powers in respect of certain motor vehicles subject to service inspection and certification requirements
128DAppointment of parking wardens
128EPowers of parking wardens
128FPowers of enforcement officers in relation to public transport service fares
129Vehicles may be inspected and directed to remain stopped for contravening dangerous goods rules
130Power to inspect railway lines
131Power to inspect premises used for loading and unloading of dangerous goods
132Inspection powers concerning dangerous goods
133Owner liability for moving vehicle offences and special vehicle lane offences
133AOwner liability for stationary vehicle offences
134Strict liability for offences involving insecure loads and loads falling from vehicles
135Commencing proceedings, and jurisdiction, for offences
136Time for instituting proceedings
137Compliance with speed limit and certain other matters not to be defences
138Infringement offences
139Issue of infringement notice
139ATowage fees if parking offences prosecuted
140Contents of infringement and reminder notices
141Provisions relating to infringement fees
142Evidence of driver history relating to infringement fees
143Evidence of driver licence
144Evidence in certain proceedings
145Evidence of approved vehicle surveillance equipment
145AEvidence and proof
146Evidence of testing and accuracy of speed-measuring devices, etc
147Evidence of accuracy of weighing devices and sites
147ACertification of accuracy of alternative weighing technology
148Presumptions relating to axle weights and dangerous goods
149Admissibility of certain statements by drivers of certain vehicles
150Evidence of certain documents
151Evidence of rules
152Power of Minister to make ordinary rules
152AGovernor-General may make ordinary rules
153Rules concerning road user behaviour
154Rules concerning driver licensing
155Rules concerning vehicles
156Rules concerning dangerous goods
157Rules concerning roads
158Rules concerning licensing, standard-setting, etc
159Rules concerning land transport documents
159AOrdinary rule may require committee to be established
160Other provisions concerning ordinary rules
161Procedure concerning ordinary rules
162Agency may make emergency rules
163Procedure for making emergency rules
164Matters to have regard to when making or recommending rules
165Incorporation by reference
166Agency may grant exemptions [Repealed]
166AAgency may grant exemptions to New Zealand Defence Force [Repealed]
167AAASetting or amending high-risk and tolerance blood concentration levels for drug-driving offences
167AABMinisters may appoint independent experts for purposes of section 167AAA
167ARegulations imposing fees and charges for purposes of clean vehicle discount scheme
167BRegulations setting fees and charges for purpose of Part 13 (clean vehicle standard) requirements to import vehicles with zero carbon dioxide emissions
167CRegulations for purposes of Part 13 (clean vehicle standard)
168Regulations relating to fees and charges for land transport
168AAARegulations relating to register of land transport records
168AALand transport revenue to be paid into Crown Bank Account
168AABCertain orders are confirmable instruments [Repealed]
168AAgency may declare that vehicle is mobility device or is not motor vehicle
168BOrder in Council for certain land transport revenue [Repealed]
168CPiloting fees
168DDirector may grant exemptions
168EGeneral provisions relating to exemptions
168FRegulations or rules may provide for transport instruments
168GAgency, Director, or Secretary may make transport instruments
168HProcedures relating to transport instruments
168IIncorporation of material in transport instruments
169Objectives of Minister
169AFunctions of Minister
170Purpose of this Part
171Application of this Part
172Interpretation in this Part
173Meaning of imported
174Measurement and determination of carbon dioxide emissions
175Targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions
175AMinister must review targets
176Category 1 light vehicle importers: annual, fleet-based compliance regime applies
177Charges payable by category 1 light vehicle importer if carbon dioxide emissions targets exceeded
178Category 1 light vehicle importer may bank overachievement of carbon dioxide emissions target
179Category 1 light vehicle importer may defer obligation
180Category 1 light vehicle importer may transfer carbon dioxide credits
181Category 2 light vehicle importers: vehicle-by-vehicle compliance regime applies
182Charges payable by category 2 light vehicle importer if emissions targets exceeded
183Category 2 light vehicle importer may bank overachievement of carbon dioxide emissions
184Category 2 light vehicle importer may transfer carbon dioxide credits
185Vehicle importers must hold carbon dioxide accounts
186Director must allocate unique numbers for carbon dioxide accounts
187Carbon dioxide account information required for vehicle importation
188Director to keep accessible record of carbon dioxide accounts
189Opening carbon dioxide accounts
190Carbon dioxide account holder may require Director to close account
191When Director may close carbon dioxide accounts
192Director may suspend carbon dioxide accounts
193Application of general right of appeal to District Court
194Requirement to collect and keep information and records for purposes of clean vehicle standard
195Offence in relation to failure to collect data and keep records for purposes of clean vehicle standard
196Offence of knowingly producing false records or information
197Inspection of records or other information
197AOffence in relation to production of records or other information
197BDirector may require person to supply information, produce documents, or give evidence
197COffence in relation to requirement to supply information, produce documents, or give evidence
197DPrivileges for person required to supply information, produce documents, or give evidence
197EConfidentiality of information and documents
197FEffect of proceedings
197GEffect of final decision that exercise of powers under section 197B unlawful
170National land transport strategy [Repealed]
171Procedure for completing national land transport strategy [Repealed]
172Currency of national land transport strategy [Repealed]
173Amendment or revocation of national land transport strategy [Repealed]
174Effect of national land transport strategy [Repealed]
175Regional land transport strategies [Repealed]
176Currency of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]
177Copies of regional land transport strategy to be made available to certain persons [Repealed]
178Regional land transport committees [Repealed]
179Consultation requirements for preparation of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]
180Regional councils to consider contracting out functions under this Act [Repealed]
181Effect of regional land transport strategies [Repealed]
182Annual reports on regional land transport strategy [Repealed]
183Certain territorial authorities to prepare land transport strategy [Repealed]
184Land Transport Safety Authority of New Zealand continued [Repealed]
185Authority to be Crown entity [Repealed]
186Director of Land Transport [Repealed]
187Acting Director [Repealed]
188Use of words Land Transport Safety Authority [Repealed]
189Principal objective of Authority [Repealed]
190Functions of Authority [Repealed]
191Authority to comply with policy directions [Repealed]
192Performance agreement [Repealed]
193Minister may determine content of agreement or amendment [Repealed]
194Amendment of agreement [Repealed]
195Service charter [Repealed]
196Authority to have powers of natural person [Repealed]
197Functions and powers of Director [Repealed]
198Inspections and audits
199Agency to maintain register of driver licences
199ARegister of transport service licences
200Restrictions on access to photographic images of driver licence holders
200BSecondary legislation may require creation of land transport record
200CLand transport records must be created for certain bylaws [Repealed]
200DLand transport records may be created for certain bylaws [Repealed]
200ERegister of land transport records
200FPurpose of register
200GWhen Registrar must create land transport record [Repealed]
200HDate of effect of land transport record
200IContents of register
200JOperation, access, and search of register
200KAmendments to register
200LSubmitting information to Registrar
200MRegistrar must notify person that record created
200NRegistrar may notify record or changes to register
200OEvidentiary effect of information on register
201Authority to consider delegating or contracting out of functions and powers [Repealed]
202Authority may arrange for services to be provided by outside agencies [Repealed]
203Authority may delegate functions or powers to employees [Repealed]
204Director may delegate functions or powers to employees of Authority [Repealed]
205Director may delegate functions or powers to persons outside Authority [Repealed]
206General provisions concerning delegations under sections 204 and 205 [Repealed]
207Delegation of Minister’s functions or powers to Agency or Director
208Appointment of enforcement officers and dangerous goods enforcement officers
208AAgency is enforcement officer for certain infringement offences
209Taking of blood specimens for statistical or research purposes
209AAExpiry and repeal of section 209(2A) to (2C)
209AAnalysing oral fluid or blood specimens for statistical or research purposes related to use of drugs or alcohol
210Service of notices
210ATransfer of responsibilities between regional councils and territorial authorities
211Commissioner to provide traffic accident reports
211APayment of fees
212Agency to pay sum to assessment centres
213Customs control over imported vehicles
213APublic right of way at level crossings
215Amendments to other enactments
216Transitional regulations
217Expiry of section 216 [Repealed]
218Regulations and other enactments having effect under this Act
219Expiry of section 218 [Repealed]
220Rules having effect under this Act
222Saving of certain land transport documents
223Transfer provisions for certain employees of Agency
224Saving of certain notices issued by enforcement officers
224ASaving of certain directions given by parking wardens
224BSavings of bylaws made under certain Acts
225Savings relating to court orders, proceedings, etc
226Saving of notices suspending driver licences
227Saving of demerit points
228Saving of certain applications under Transport Act 1962
229Savings relating to rules and land transport strategies
230Savings relating to functions of Agency
231Savings relating to blood specimens taken under Transport Act 1962
232Savings relating to blood specimens taken under this Act and posted in accordance with Transport Act 1962
233Interpretation matters applying to this Part
234Register of motor vehicles
235Purposes of register
236Application for information from register
237Entitlement to receive information
238Registrar may confirm or deny match of information
239Further restrictions
240Complaints procedure
241Authorised access to name and address only
242Motor vehicles must be registered and licensed
243Application for registration
244Application for, and issuing of, licence
245Commencement of licence
246Change of use of motor vehicle
247Obligations of sellers and acquirers of motor vehicles
248Prohibition against use of motor vehicle
249Circumstances when motor vehicle may be seized and impounded
250Personal property
251Storage of impounded motor vehicles
252Release of motor vehicle
253Disposal of motor vehicle
254Impounded motor vehicle not to be damaged
255Cancellation of registration
256Discretion to refund fees
257Issue of plates and certificates of registration
258Supplementary plates
259Contract to dispose of rights to personalised plates
260Acquisition and disposal of personalised plates
261Eligibility for trade plates
262Application for trade plates
263Transitional provision for existing registration plates
264Replacement of certificate of registration, licence, or registration plates
265Surrender and seizure of registration plates and facsimile plates
266Registrar may prohibit or decline to issue plates
267Appeal to District Court
268Infringement offences
269AAdditional fee for certain RUC vehicles
270Fees and charges identified as land transport revenue
271Appointment of Registrar
273Authorisations by Registrar
274Land transport revenue to be paid into national land transport fund
275Other prescribed fees received under this Part

An Act—


to promote safe road user behaviour and vehicle safety; and


to provide for a system of rules governing road user behaviour, the licensing of drivers, and technical aspects of land transport, and to recognise reciprocal obligations of persons involved; and


to consolidate and amend various enactments relating to road safety and land transport; and


to enable New Zealand to implement international agreements relating to road safety and land transport