4 The pre-registration process
Until a vehicle has undergone the pre-registration process successfully, it cannot be registered. The sequence of events that makes up the pre-registration cycle may vary depending on the vehicle and how it is manufactured or imported. The basic cycles are approved new light vehicles, imported used vehicles and parallel-imported new vehicles.
1 Approved new light vehicles
A new vehicle is required to meet the certification requirements applicable to the date of manufacture. The manufacturer or manufacturer’s representative completes the certification and may also print the MR2A registration form.
2 Imported used vehicles
A used imported vehicle is also required to meet applicable certification requirements. However, compliance is checked and determined by an entry certifier.
The pre-registration process for used imported vehicles may include:
- a border check
- the pre-registration and VIN process
- vehicle inspection and certification.
2.1 Border check
Imported used vehicles must undergo a preliminary border inspection. This:
- records the name of the vehicle importer
- records some basic vehicle information
- identifies any obvious damage to the vehicle.
This information is downloaded to LANDATA and is available to inspecting organisations during the pre-registration process.
2.1.1 Application for exemption from border check requirements
A vehicle owner or entry certifier may apply for an exemption from the requirement to undergo a border check.
A Request for exemption from border check requirements form is available in Reference materials 16. Complete a copy of this and forward it to:
Assessments - Customer Access
NZ Transport Agency
Private Bag 11777
Palmerston North 4442
Fax: 06 953 6267
If the exemption is approved, the NZ Transport Agency will send a letter confirming the exemption.
2.2 VIN process
A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-character series of digits and letters that provides a unique identifying number for every vehicle. The VIN structure is defined by an international standard (ISO 3779). The VIN always contains exactly 17 characters and never contains the letters O, Q and I.
Under the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance Amendment 2005 (Rule 35001/2), all vehicles registered or re-registered in New Zealand on or after 1 April 1994 are required to have a VIN assigned and affixed to them, with the following exceptions:
Light trailers (trailers with a gross weight of less than 3501 kg)
Tractors (including traction engines)*
Self-propelled agricultural machines*
Trailers not designed for normal highway use
Mobile machines not designed for normal highway use*
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
* This does not include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). These vehicles are covered by vehicle type 12.
A vehicle without an identifier must have a VIN assigned in order to meet in-service (WoF/CoF) inspection requirements.
Vehicles currently registered are not required to have a VIN unless the original VIN or chassis number is found to be missing on inspection. However, a vehicle owner may choose to have a VIN assigned to a registered vehicle with an existing identifier for security reasons.
In order to complete the pre-registration process, all required vehicle details must be recorded in LANDATA for the vehicle. When an entry certifier is presented with a vehicle, a query is completed on the VIN or chassis number. If details are available for that vehicle, the LANDATA system will display the details. If the details are not available, they must be entered. When the vehicle file is updated with the new details, the VIN or chassis number will be decoded (if it is a 17-character identifier), or a ‘7AT’ (New Zealand) VIN will be assigned.
2.3 Entry-level inspection and certification
Vehicles must then be inspected to certify that they comply with legal requirements. Upon successful completion of the inspection and certification process, an MR2A registration form will be issued.
3 Parallel-imported new vehicles
A new light vehicle (including a motorcycle) that has been parallel-imported by a private individual or independent dealer is required to meet applicable certification requirements. Compliance must be checked and determined by an entry certifier.
The pre-registration process for parallel-imported new vehicles may include:
- a pre-delivery inspection (PDI)
- repair certification (for damaged/written-off parallel imports)
- the VIN process
- vehicle inspection and certification.
3.1 Pre-delivery inspection (PDI) (Note 1) (Note 2) (Note 3)
Parallel-imported new vehicles must undergo a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) carried out by an agent appointed by the vehicle manufacturer. This verifies that any outstanding warranty or safety recalls have been attended to, and that various safety systems are armed and checked for operation before the vehicle goes into service.
An entry certifier must retain a copy of the PDI checksheet as evidence that a PDI was carried out.
Any imported vehicle that has not been previously registered (regardless of mileage covered) will need to have evidence that a PDI has been carried out.
A PPSR alone is not considered to be valid proof of registration for an import from Australia. Any vehicle that appears to be new or is sold as a new write-off will be treated as a parallel imported new vehicle.
When a parallel import is presented from the UK with a V308, a PDI is not required.
3.2 VIN process
A record must be created for a parallel-imported new vehicle on LANDATA. This means that the vehicle identifier and attributes must be entered.
3.3 The inspection and certification process
Vehicles must then be inspected and certified as complying with applicable legal requirements. Vehicles must undergo a full structural inspection; however, applications for an exemption from trim removal requirements are likely to be successful.
Upon successful completion of the inspection and certification process, an MR2A registration form will be issued.
- If a parallel-imported vehicle does not meet the requirements to be registered as a new vehicle, it must undergo a border check (or the apply for an exemption from the border check process). The definition of ‘new’ is described in Pre-registration and VIN Table 2-2-2. Valid registration indicators.
Page amended 29 April 2020 (see amendment details).
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Pre-registration and VIN
- 3 Inspection and certification
- 4 Technical bulletins
- 5 Reference materials