Correct as at 20th February 2020. It may be superseded at any time.

Extract taken from: NZTA Vehicle Portal > VIRMs > Entry certification > Introduction

1 Introduction

1 Purpose and scope

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) has prepared this manual to assist vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations in achieving correct and consistent standards for the pre-registration, inspection and certification of vehicles entering service in New Zealand.

The purpose of this manual is to explain the conditions of appointment and the requirements for the inspection and certification of vehicles that are entering service in New Zealand.

This manual is for NZTA-appointed vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations. Its scope is to describe the pre-registration procedures and set out the statutory requirements for the entry inspection and certification of motor vehicles when they enter service in New Zealand.


IMPORTANT: In order to be certified for entry into service, vehicles must comply with the requirements in the Vehicle inspection requirements manual: In-service certification as well as the requirements in this manual. Vehicles must therefore be inspected for compliance with the requirements in both manuals before they can be certified for entry into service. This manual highlights where any requirements in the Vehicle inspection requirements manual: In-service certification manual do not apply at entry (eg brake inspection).


This manual applies to the entry inspection and certification of all motor vehicles. The only exceptions are new vehicles imported, inspected and certified by the vehicle manufacturers' New Zealand representatives, provided that the representatives have been appointed for the purpose of entry inspection and certification by the NZTA.

This manual sets out what vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations are required to do.

Amendments to this manual will be issued from time to time as inspection and certification requirements change and improvements are made. Suggestions for improvement can be made using the feedback button found on every page.


The following diagram shows the role of this manual in relation to the certification process and to other relevant manuals.

role of the manual

2 Overview of the manual


Structure of the manual

The manual is structured into five main parts:

1. Introduction explains the duties and responsibilities of the inspecting organisation and vehicle inspector, the pre-registration process, the inspection and certification process, complaints procedures, inspection premises and equipment requirements, and the appointment of vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations. It also includes definitions and abbreviations, an improvement suggestion form and a form for recording amendments to the manual. The introduction is relevant to all vehicles requiring entry inspection and certification.

2. Pre-registration and VIN explains pre-registration requirements and describes the procedures for using the LANDATA system to check, assign and affix vehicle identification numbers (VINs), and to record vehicle and inspection details.

3. Inspection and certification covers documentation, standards, and inspection requirements for vehicles of groups L, M, N and T.

4. Technical bulletins provide extended explanatory material relating to specific items, referenced throughout this manual.

5. Reference materials provide form templates and examples of required documentation, referenced throughout this manual.

The inspection requirements for the different groups of vehicle components are separated by tab dividers. For each vehicle component or component group, the inspection requirements will include:

  • a list of ‘Reasons for rejection’, which specify the vehicle defects that must result in the vehicle being rejected for entry certification. The condition and performance reasons for rejection apply to mandatory, permitted and modified equipment, unless otherwise stated. The NZ Transport Agency has imposed these requirements in accordance with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, section 2.3(1)
  • a summary of the legislation that is relevant to the entry inspection and certification of that component or component group. These are broken up, as required, into mandatory and permitted equipment, condition, performance and modification
  • additionally, tables, notes and illustrations are included for further guidance.

For some vehicle components or component groups, the inspection requirements will include additional information, such as inspection specifications or guidance on determining compliance.

Offline use

The manual pages can be printed or downloaded in PDF format and saved to your computer for offline and offsite use.

By clicking on the printer or PDF icon near the top right of screen, the manual from the page you are at and any sub-sections will be included.

IMPORTANT: The offline versions of the manual are NOT considered by the NZTA to be accurate other than on the day it was printed (for example, and amendment may come into effect the following day). Printed and PDF copies of this manual or any of its sections should be used for short-term reference only.

3 Contacts

The following are contact details for the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA):

National Office

Operational Standards and Guidelines
Victoria Arcade
50 Victoria Street
Private Bag 6995
Wellington 6141

Tel: 04 894 5400

Fax: 04 894 5011

Palmerston North Office
(formerly TRC)

Licensing Assessments
Private Bag 11 777
Palmerston North 4442

Tel: 0800 804 580

Fax: 06 953 6282

The following are contact details for the Border Inspection Organisations:

Independent Verification Services (IVS) Ltd

Mandy Tepania
Phone: 0800 021 169
Email: mandy.tepania@ivsltd.co.nz
Alternative email: inspections@ivsltd.co.nz

Japan Vehicle Inspection Centre (JEVIC) Ltd

Euan Philpot
Phone: 09-9661777
Email: euan.philpot@jevic.co.nz
Alternative email: shuji.kurumiya@jevic.co.jp

KMA NZ Ltd/Autoterminal Japan

Kevin Nalder
Phone: 09 3667147
Email: admin@kmainspections.com

New Zealand Bio-security Services

Bevan jones
Phone: 0800 38 24 36
Email: information@biosecurity.net.nz
www.biosecurity.net.nz/

Page amended 1 July 2013 (see amendment details).

 

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:

Vehicle type

Description

2

Light trailers (trailers with a gross weight of less than 3501 kg)

3

Tractors (including traction engines)*

4

Self-propelled agricultural machines*

5

Trailers not designed for normal highway use

6

Mobile machines not designed for normal highway use*

12

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
  • the VIN process
  • vehicle inspection and certification.
3.1 Pre-delivery inspection (PDI) (Note 1) (Note 2)

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.

Note 1

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.

Note 2

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.

Page amended 1 December 2015 (see amendment details).

5 The inspection and certification process

Overview


IMPORTANT: The VIRM: In-service certification is an integral part of the entry inspection and certification process. A vehicle must be inspected to verify it complies with the requirements set out in the VIRM: In-service certification and in this manual in order to be certified for entry into service. This manual highlights where any requirements in the VIRM: In-service certification manual do not apply at entry (eg brake inspection).

Note: a partially completed (eg cab chassis) heavy vehicle can be passed for entry certification where not all in-service requirements are met. An Annex C permit can be issued instead of a CoF at the end of inspection. Refer to 1-5 Annex C: conditional operation of a vehicle for such vehicles.


In order to inspect and certify a vehicle for entry into service the vehicle inspector and inspecting organisation must take the following steps:

1. Know the vehicle inspector’s and inspecting organisation’s responsibilities. Part 1 lists the legal responsibilities. The vehicle inspector and inspecting organisation must read and understand them.

2. Identify the vehicle class. Part 5 of this section provides a table of vehicle classes.

3. Establish whether the vehicle requires inspection and certification for entry into service. Part 6 of this section provides information on vehicles that must be inspected and certified for entry into service.

4. Establish whether the vehicle may be inspected and certified for entry into service. Part 7 of this section lists a number of criteria vehicles must meet before inspection.

5. Establish whether the vehicle complies. Part 8 of this section explains how to use this manual in order to determine a vehicle’s compliance with the requirements.

6. Complete the required inspection documentation (checksheet and LT4085). Part 9 of this section explains the requirements for handling and completing checksheets and LT4085 forms.

7. Record the inspection outcome (record of determination). Part 10 of this section explains how to record inspection results in the NZTA computer system.

8. Issue the WoF or CoF label (evidence of vehicle inspection). Introduction section 3.8 of the VIRM: In-service certification explains the requirements for issuing WoF and CoF labels.

9. Collect fees. Part 12 of this section lists the requirements for the inspecting organisation when charging and collecting fees.

Page amended 1 June 2019 (see amendment details).

5-1 General duties and responsibilities

Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 (Rule 35001/1) (‘the Rule’)

1.1 Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations (definitions in the Rule)

Vehicle inspector means an individual appointed by the NZTA under section 2.2(1) of the Rule to carry out inspection and certification activities in accordance with requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA.

Inspecting organisation means a person or organisation appointed by the NZTA under section 2.2(1) of the Rule who is responsible for inspection and certification outcomes.

In this manual, a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation is one appointed for the purpose of entry inspection and certification or re-registration of used or parallel-imported new vehicles, unless stated otherwise.

To avoid doubt, any reference to a certifier in any legislation, deed of appointment, or any other relevant document is a reference to a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation (as applicable) appointed by the NZTA under the Rule.

1.2 Inspection and certification activities (section 2.1(1) of the Rule)

Only vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations appointed by the NZTA may carry out inspection and certification activities as specified in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 and in this manual.

1.3 Primary duty (section 2.1(2) of the Rule)

Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations must carry out inspection and certification activities competently and diligently and in accordance with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 and with the requirements in this manual.

1.4 Inspection and certification activities that can be carried out (section 2.2(2) of the Rule)

Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations may carry out only those inspection and certification activities for which the NZTA has appointed them.

1.5 Responsibilities to the general public

Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations must maintain control of the certification process, charging a reasonable fee and providing courteous service and accurate information to members of the public.

1.6 Requirements, conditions and period of appointment (section 2.3(1) of the Rule)

The NZTA may specify the period of appointment for a vehicle inspector and inspecting organisation and may impose requirements and conditions as to the performance of the inspection and certification activities, including the performance of those activities at individual sites.

1.7 Driver licence

Vehicle inspectors must hold a current driver licence for the vehicles that they are inspecting.

1.8 Fit and proper person (section 2.3(3) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must be, and continue to be, a fit and proper person.

1.9 Document retention (section 2.3(4) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must:

a) keep, for at least two years, the original of any documents that have been collected in the certification process

b) keep the following documents in a retrievable form for at least three years:

  • vehicle compliance certificates (LT4085)
  • de-registration and registration documents, or export certificates
  • vehicle inspection checksheets
  • specialist inspection (eg light vehicle repair and low volume vehicle) certificates

c) keep heavy vehicle specialist certificates (LT400) for the life of the vehicle.

1.10 Advise incorrect certification and/or vehicle defects (section 2.3(4) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must:

a) advise the NZTA as soon as practicable if there is a reason to believe that the inspection and certification of a vehicle has been carried out incorrectly

b) advise the NZTA as soon as practicable after becoming aware of a defect in a manufacturer’s production run or quality control process that may affect the safety performance of a vehicle that has been inspected and certified.

1.11 Delegation (section 2.4(1) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation may not delegate any function or power to carry out inspection and certification activities for which they were appointed, except under conditions specified by the NZTA in writing.

The only tasks that may be delegated to non-approved staff are administrative processes such as recording vehicle attributes and standards markings or removing and replacing components to enable the inspection process to be carried out.

5-2 Inspection and certification

2.1 Inspecting and certifying a vehicle for entry into service (section 6.3(2) of the Rule)

The inspection and certification of a vehicle for entry into service must be carried out in accordance with requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA.

The vehicle inspection must be completed before a vehicle can be released from the IO to correct any faults identified during the inspection. If an IO wishes to use an alternative procedure, they must contact the NZTA - Technical Services, Vehicles team for approval.

2.2 Determining compliance of a vehicle (section 6.4(1) of the Rule)

A vehicle may be certified for entry into service only if a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has identified the vehicle and has determined, on reasonable grounds, that the vehicle:

a) is safe to be operated, and

b) has been designed and constructed using components and materials that are fit for their purpose, and is within safe tolerance of its state when manufactured or modified, and

c) complies with the applicable requirements (all of which are contained or referred to within this manual and the VIRM: In-service certification), and

d) has not suffered water or fire damage as specified by the NZTA (see paragraph 2.5 below), and

e) has undergone specialist inspection and certification as required by paragraphs 2.6 to 2.10 below and that the specific aspects of the vehicle have been certified.

2.3 Information to take into account when determining compliance of a vehicle (section 6.4(3) of the Rule)

In making a determination, a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must take into account:

a) information, if any, recorded when the vehicle was inspected at the border of which the inspector or organisation is aware, and

b) information obtained from inspecting the vehicle and associated documents, and

c) additional relevant information, if any, about the vehicle issued by a manufacturer, modifier, repairer or other relevant person of which the inspector or organisation is aware.

2.4 Information received from other sources

To ensure consistency of procedures and standards, local IOs must refer any queries or variations to their technical manager for clarification. Technical managers will liaise with the NZTA to further clarify any query or variation as required.

2.5 Water- or fire-damaged vehicles (section 11.1 of the Rule)

The NZTA may, by way of notice in the New Zealand Gazette, specify the extent of water damage that makes it impractical to determine by way of an inspection whether a water- or fire-damaged vehicle is safe to be operated. A vehicle having sustained water or fire damage to the extent specified by the NZTA – whether that damage has been repaired or not – cannot be certified for entry into service in New Zealand (see Technical Bulletin 2).

2.6 Vehicle repair specialist inspection and certification (section 6.5(1)(a) of the Rule)

Vehicle repair specialist inspection and certification is required if a vehicle has been repaired because of, or following, significant damage or deterioration to its structure, chassis, body-to-chassis attachment, suspension or occupant protection system.

Vehicle structure – Threshold for requiring specialist repair certification (in the Inspection and certification section of this manual, section 3-4), sets out the degree of damage or repair permitted to a vehicle undergoing entry certification before repair certification is required.

Specialist repair certifiers may choose to accept variations from the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for a vehicle’s critical dimensions, provided it can be shown that any variation will not adversely affect the safety of the vehicle or its operation. Any variation must be noted and explained on the LT308 or LT400. An IO does not have to accept any variation if there is concern that safety has been compromised.

2.7 Alternative fuel system inspection and certification (section 6.5(1)(b) of the Rule)

Alternative fuel system inspection and certification is required if a vehicle is fitted with an alternative fuel system that is in working order.

2.8 Low volume vehicle specialist inspection and certification (section 6.5(1)(c) of the Rule)

Low volume vehicle (LVV) specialist inspection and certification may be required if a light vehicle has been modified so as to affect its compliance with an applicable requirement since it was manufactured, last certified for entry or last certified as a low volume vehicle.

2.9 Heavy vehicle specialist inspection and certification (section 6.5(1)(d) of the Rule)

Heavy vehicle specialist inspection and certification may be required if a heavy vehicle has been modified so as to affect its compliance with an applicable requirement since it was manufactured or last certified for entry or for modification. This includes modifications to its chassis, brakes, log bolster attachments, towing connections or load anchorages.

2.10 Other specialist certification (section 6.5(1)(e) of the Rule)

Other specialist inspection and certification may be required in accordance with an applicable requirement, or as required by the NZTA.

2.11 Modified vehicles not requiring specialist certification (section 6.5(3) of the Rule)

Specialist inspection and certification of a modified vehicle is not required, if:

a) the vehicle has been inspected by a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation appointed for the purposes of entry inspection and certification in accordance with this manual and the VIRM: In-service certification, and the inspector or organisation is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the risk of injury to any person has been minimised, or

b) the vehicle was modified for the purposes of law enforcement or the provision of emergency services, that is, equipped for the attendance of fires, for ambulance duty or as a police vehicle.

Page amended 1 November 2014 (see amendment details).

5-3 Performance review

3.1 NZ Transport Agency may monitor and review performance (section 3.1(1) of the Rule)

The NZTA may monitor and review the performance of a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in complying with the requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA, including the performance of inspection and certification activities at individual sites.

3.2 Providing information to the NZ Transport Agency (section 3.1(2) and (3) of the Rule)

In monitoring and reviewing performance, the NZTA may require a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation to undergo such monitoring and review, and provide such information as the NZTA reasonably considers relevant. A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must comply with a requirement from the NZTA.

3.3 Costs of monitoring and review (section 3.1(4) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must bear the costs of the monitoring and reviewing of their performance in accordance with any prescribed fee.

5-4 Investigations

4.1 Investigations (section 3.2(1) of the Rule)

If the NZTA has reason to believe that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with any of the conditions of their appointment, or has failed to comply with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, the NZTA may require the inspector or organisation to undergo investigation and to provide such information as the NZTA reasonably considers appropriate.

4.2 Notification of action (other than immediate suspension/imposition of conditions) (section 3.2(3) of the Rule)

Following an investigation and before carrying out action, the NZTA must notify the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of:

a) the action that is being considered, and

b) the reasons for the action that is being considered, and

c) the date by which submissions may be made to the NZTA in respect of the action that is being considered, which must be at least 21 days after the notice was given, and

d) where appropriate, the date on which the action that is being considered will take effect. This must be at least 28 days after the notice was given, unless the NZTA determines otherwise.

4.3 Responding to a notification of action (section 3.2(5) of the Rule)

If a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation is notified as above, they must ensure that all information that they wish the NZTA to consider in relation to the action being considered is received by the NZTA within the period specified in the notice or within any further period that the NZTA may allow.

4.4 NZ Transport Agency must consider submissions (section 3.2(6) of the Rule)

The NZTA must consider the submissions made and information supplied, and must:

a) decide whether or not to take the action that is being considered, and

b) provide written notification, as soon as is practicable, to the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation of:

i. the NZTA’s decision, and

ii. if appropriate, the date on which the action is to take effect, and

iii. if appropriate, the right of appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998.

4.5 Immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (section 3.3(1) of the Rule)

If the NZTA has reason to believe that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with a condition of their appointment or with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, and presents a significant risk to land transport safety, the NZTA may suspend, with immediate effect, the whole or any part of the appointment, or impose any conditions on the appointment.

4.6 Notification of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (section 3.3(2) of the Rule)

Where the NZTA suspends the whole or any part of an appointment, or imposes conditions on the appointment, the NZTA must notify the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of:

a) the grounds for the suspension or imposition of conditions

b) the fact that the inspector or organisation may make submissions to the NZTA

c) the right of appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998.

4.7 The NZ Transport Agency must consider submissions following immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (section 3.3(3) of the Rule)

The NZTA must, as soon as practicable, consider any submission made and notify the inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of the result of any such consideration.

4.8 Duration of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (section 3.3(5) of the Rule)

A suspension or imposed condition remains in force until the NZTA has determined the action to be taken and that action has been taken.

4.9 Withdrawal of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (section 3.3(4) of the Rule)

The NZTA may at any time withdraw a suspension or imposed condition.

4.10 Right of appeal (section 3.3(6) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation may appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998 against a decision by the NZTA to immediately suspend or impose conditions.

4.11 Costs of investigations (section 3.2(7) of the Rule)

The NZTA may require a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation to bear the costs associated with an investigation or remedial action in accordance with any prescribed fee.

4.12 Remedial action, suspension, revocation (section 3.2(2) of the Rule)

If, following an investigation, the NZTA is satisfied that the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with any of the conditions of their appointment, or failed to comply with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, the NZTA may do one or more of the following:

a) require that remedial action, such as training, be undertaken by the inspector or organisation

b) suspend the whole or any part of the appointment of the inspector or organisation for a specified period or until specified conditions are met

c) revoke the whole or any part of the appointment of the inspector or organisation.

4.13 Obligation to comply (section 3.2(8) of the Rule)

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must comply with a requirement of the NZTA in relation to paragraphs 4.1, 4.11 and 4.12.

5-5 Identifying the vehicle class

A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation can only inspect and certify vehicles for entry into service which belong to the classes for which they have been appointed by the NZTA, and for which they have a current driver licence.

  • Refer to Technical bulletin 3 for guidance when determining the vehicle class for a modified vehicle.
Note 1

Because vehicles are defined by class in vehicle related rules, but not in other legislation, an LE class motor tricycle must be entry certified as an LE vehicle in relation to vehicle standards and VIRM requirements, but may be registered and licenced as either:

  • a motorcar (no helmet required, drive on car licence), or
  • a motorcycle, provided it is declared a motorcycle by the NZTA (helmet required, motorcycle driver licence required).

Vehicle equipment standards classifications

ClassDescription
AA (Pedal cycle)

A vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power.

AB (Power-assisted pedal cycle)

A pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300 watts.

For further information visit the Transport Agency website's Low powered vehicles page.

LA (Moped with two wheels)*

A motor vehicle (other than a power-assisted pedal cycle) that:

  • has two wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50ml and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h; or
    • has a power source other than a piston engine and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h.
LB (Moped with three wheels)

A motor vehicle (other than a power-assisted pedal cycle) that:

  • has three wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50ml and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h; or
    • has a power source other than a piston engine and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h.

An LB 1 motor vehicle has one wheel at the front and two wheels at the rear. An LB 2 motor vehicle has two wheels at the front and one wheel at the rear.

LC (Motorcycle)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has two wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.
LD (Motorcycle and side-car)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has three wheels asymmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median axis; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.
DEFINITION:
Side-car

A car, box or other receptacle attached to the side of a motorcycle and supported by a wheel.

LE (Motor tri-cycle)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has three wheels symmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median axis; and
  • has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding one tonne; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.

An LE 1 motor vehicle has one wheel at the front and two wheels at the rear. An LE 2 motor vehicle has two wheels at the front and one wheel at the rear.

DEFINITION:
Passenger vehicle
(Note 2)

A motor vehicle that:

  • is constructed primarily for the carriage of passengers; and
  • either:
    • has at least four wheels; or
    • has three wheels and a gross vehicle mass exceeding one tonne.
MA (Passenger car)

A passenger vehicle (other than a class MB or class MC vehicle) that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position).

MB (Forward control passenger vehicle)
(Note 3)

A passenger vehicle (other than a class MC vehicle):

  • that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position); and
  • in which the centre of the steering wheel is in the forward quarter of the vehicle's total length.
MC (Off-road passenger vehicle)

A passenger vehicle, designed with special features for off-road operation, that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position), and that:

  • has four-wheel drive; and
  • has at least four of the following characteristics when the vehicle is unladen on a level surface and the front wheels are parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal centre-line and the tyres are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure:
    • an approach angle of not less than 28 degrees;
    • a breakover angle of not less than 14 degrees;
    • a departure angle of not less than 20 degrees;
    • a running clearance of not less than 200mm;
    • a front-axle clearance, rear-axle clearance or suspension clearance of not less than 175mm.
DEFINITION:
Omnibus

A passenger vehicle that has more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position). An omnibus comprising two or more non-separable but articulated units shall be considered as a single vehicle.

MD (Light omnibus)

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 5 tonnes.

MD 1 (Note 3)

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes and not more than 12 seats.

MD 2

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes and more than 12 seats.

MD 3

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 4.5 tonnes.

MD 4

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 4.5 tonnes but not exceeding 5 tonnes.

ME (Heavy omnibus)

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 5 tonnes.

DEFINITION:
Goods vehicle
(Note 2)

A motor vehicle that:

  • is constructed primarily for the carriage of goods; and
  • either:
    • has at least four wheels; or
    • has three wheels and a gross vehicle mass exceeding one tonne.

For the purpose of this description:

  • a vehicle that is constructed for both the carriage of goods and passengers shall be considered primarily for the carriage of goods if the number of seating positions multiplied by 68kg is less than 50 percent of the difference between the gross vehicle mass and the unladen mass
  • the equipment and installations carried on special purpose vehicles not designed for the carriage of passengers shall be considered to be goods
  • a goods vehicle that has two or more non-separable but articulated units shall be considered to be a single vehicle.
NA (Light goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

NB (Medium goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.

NC (Heavy goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 12 tonnes.

DEFINITION:
Trailer

A vehicle without motive power that is constructed for the purpose of being drawn behind a motor vehicle.

TA (Very light trailer)

A single-axled trailer that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 0.75 tonnes.

TB (Light trailer)

A trailer (other than a class TA trailer) that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

TC (Medium trailer)

A trailer that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.

TD (Heavy trailer)

A trailer that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 10 tonnes.

Note 2

For the purpose of determining vehicle class, a dedicated wheelchair position (a seating position for transporting a wheelchair and its occupant that is unavailable for other passengers when it is not occupied by a wheelchair) is included in the total seat count. A seating position that can be used for either a wheelchair or occasional/removable seats, but not both simultaneously, is only to be counted as one seat. If a wheelchair position takes up more than one seating position, the number of seating positions is the highest possible count of seated passengers. In the examples below, Figure 1 has 11 seating positions, Figures 2 and 3 have 10 seating positions and Figure 4 has 9 seating positions.

Figure 1: 11 seating positions (including two occasional/removable seats)

Figure 2: 10 seating positions

Figure 3: 10 seating positions

Figure 4: 9 seating positions (including one occasional/removable seat)

Note 3

Some seating positions, as defined on a Japanese deregistration certificate, may be wheelchair positions or occasional seats (also known as dickie seats or jump seats). This may make the seat count more than nine in some cases. Rather than be class MD1, they can be considered class MB providing that they have nine or fewer seats that meet New Zealand requirements and the seating is original equipment. Wheelchair positions or occasional seats that have been removed are to be excluded from the seat count. See Technical bulletin: Identifying class MB or MD1 based on seats on Japanese deregistration certificates.

Page amended 1 June 2019 (see amendment details).

5-6 Establishing whether a vehicle requires inspection and certification for entry into service

All motor vehicles require inspection and certification for entry into service, except for the following:

a) pedestrian-controlled goods service vehicles

b) vehicles propelled and supported solely by self-laying tracks

c) vehicles used on roads only in road construction zones in accordance with notices declaring those zones

d) vehicles that are used on a road only when crossing or proceeding along a section of the road where the vehicles have been authorised to operate by an authorisation of a road-controlling authority that requires:

i. a written agreement by the vehicle’s operator or the person for whom the vehicle is being operated, to construct, reconstruct, maintain, or restore to the satisfaction of the road-controlling authority all or part of the road used by the vehicle, and

ii. the erection and maintenance of warning devices, signs or control devices as required by the road-controlling authority and the director, and

iii. where the use of the road does not consist solely of the direct crossing of the road, the prior approval of the NZ Transport Agency

e) all-terrain vehicles that are used on a public highway

f) motor vehicles exclusively designed and used on a road for driving, carrying or propelling any of the following, which must be permanently attached to the vehicle:

i. aerodrome runway sweepers

ii. electrical substations

iii. filters for transformer oil

iv. log haulers that are stationary when hauling logs

v. aero engine test benches

g) tractors owned by a local authority and used exclusively for the construction, maintenance or mowing of stopbanks and the banks of rivers, streams, drains, canals or other watercourses

h) mobile or movable huts, galleys or similar motor vehicles that are used on a road solely in connection with the construction or maintenance of roads

i) tractors used exclusively for shunting railway rolling stock

j) traction engines

k) forklifts

l) aerodrome crash fire tenders that are used on a road only in emergencies

m) trailers while being drawn by a motor vehicle specified in (n) to (s) of this schedule

n) motor vehicles, used exclusively in connection with the embarking and disembarking of ships’ passengers or for loading and unloading ships’ mail, cargo, and passengers’ baggage, and used on a public highway only when proceeding unladen from one wharf to another wharf or from its usual place of storage to a wharf and returning to that place of storage

o) motor vehicles designed exclusively or principally as part of the armament of the New Zealand Defence Force

p) cable jinkers

q) front-end loaders

r) log skidders

s) tractor cranes

t) rough-terrain cranes

u) mobile crushing and screening plane machines, which are mounted on trailers

v) motor graders

w) motor scrapers

x) trailer scrapers

y) plant for servicing oil-filled cables

z) post debarkers

aa) saw bench apparatus

bb) forestry chippers

cc) tree feller bunchers

dd) trench diggers and excavators

ee) vehicles that are always used unladen on the road and that are designed exclusively for carrying earth or other bulk materials

ff) mobile concrete mixers that are mounted on tractors

gg) a vehicle that is similar in design, construction or purpose to a vehicle listed above that cannot be categorised by vehicle class.

Page amended 1 July 2013 (see amendment details).

5-7 Establishing whether a vehicle may be inspected and certified for entry into service

A vehicle that requires inspection and certification for entry into service (see part 6) can be inspected and certified for entry into service only if:

a) the vehicle’s identity (by VIN or chassis number) is established without doubt, and

b) the vehicle has been inspected at the border in accordance with section 4 of Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 (applies only to used vehicles that are to be registered in New Zealand for the first time) (Note 1), and

c) the VIN process has been completed (see Pre-registration and VIN), and

d) the vehicle owner has presented proof that he/she is lawfully entitled to the vehicle.

Note 1

For requirements regarding the Takata Alpha airbag recall see Technical bulletin 43: Takata airbag recall.

5-8 Establishing whether a vehicle complies

To establish whether a vehicle complies:

1. Select the relevant sections in both the VIRM: In-service certification and this manual that set out the requirements for the vehicle class and/or type.

2. Inspect the vehicle and accompanying documentation in order to determine whether the vehicle complies with the requirements set out in both manuals (unless stated otherwise, equipment labelled ‘permitted’ must comply with legal requirements). The process for determining compliance with approved standards is outlined in Flowchart 1. Determining compliance with approved standards.

IMPORTANT: When inspecting a vehicle for entry into service, inspectors must inspect in full each item covered in both the VIRM: In-service certification and this manual (unless stated otherwise). This manual highlights where any requirements in the VIRM: In-service certification manual do not apply at entry (eg brake inspection). If the full inspection of a particular item requires the removal or disassembly of parts, these parts must be removed or disassembled.

3. The vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation may refuse to inspect a vehicle because:

a) the vehicle is presented in such a condition that inspection is unreasonably difficult or cannot be completed (eg components covered in dirt, components missing etc), or

b) the vehicle has an insecure load.

4. Where a vehicle inspector determines that a reason for rejection in either the VIRM: In-service certification or this manual applies to a vehicle, the vehicle inspector must reject the vehicle for entry into service.

5. Where the vehicle inspector requires further information in order to determine compliance with a requirement, the inspector must reject the vehicle until the information has been obtained.

Determining compliance of a vehicle component or system with approved standards usually involves:

a) inspecting the actual component or system, and

b) inspecting relevant documentation.

Flowchart 1. Determining compliance with approved standards illustrates the process of determining whether a component or system complied with approved standards at the time of manufacture of a vehicle.

Determining compliance with approved standards

Flowchart 1. Determining compliance with approved standards

 

Note 1

An item can be a component or system.

Note 2

OES means Original Equipment Specification (ie a replacement part that is identical to original equipment or is approved by the vehicle manufacturer as a replacement part).

Note 3

For example, the item is a system, such as a door retention system, that is an integral part of the vehicle.

5-9 Checksheets and the LT4085

Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, section 2.3

9.1 Checksheets

The vehicle inspector must use an Transport Agency-approved checksheet. Checksheet specification and approval application forms are available from the Technical Services Vehicles team of the Transport Agency (email: vehicles@nzta.govt.nz). The checksheet must be completed legibly and in full.

A vehicle inspector can determine one of two outcomes:

a) Passed inspection: Record the determination and issue a WoF or CoF label as set out below

b) Failed inspection: Record the determination as set out below. The reasons for the failed inspection must be clearly stated.

If requested, a copy of the checksheet must be supplied to the vehicle owner.

9.2 The vehicle compliance certificate (LT4085)

If, following the inspection of a vehicle and accompanying documentation, a vehicle inspector determines that the vehicle complies with all applicable requirements in the VIRM: In-service certification and in this manual, the inspector must issue an LT4085 vehicle compliance certificate.

The inspector must complete the LT4085 form in every detail and sign it. Sample vehicle compliance certificates (LT4085s) are shown in Reference material 5.

5-10 Recording the inspection outcome (‘record of determination’)

Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, section 6.6.

The vehicle inspector must:

  • record the inspection outcome (pass, fail) in the LATIS system (the record of the inspection outcome in LATIS is the ‘record of determination’), and
  • enter the inspection outcome into the system before the vehicle leaves the premises of the inspecting organisation.

5-11 Issuing the WoF or CoF label (‘evidence of vehicle inspection’)

Refer to the VIRM: In-service certification, section 3.8.

Important: If a vehicle is unregistered, the WoF label must be completed with the VIN or chassis number, rather than the vehicle registration number, recorded on the reverse side of the label.

A CoF can be issued in the same way, but only for a vehicle that doesn't require a CoL, such as a light rental vehicle (other than PSVs or tow service vehicles).

Page amended 1 November 2014 (see amendment details).

5-12 Collecting fees

Applicable legislation: Land Transport (Certification and Other Fees) Regulations 2014.

The fee to be paid by an applicant for inspection and certification of a vehicle for entry into service is the amount fixed by the inspecting organisation that is reasonable, having regard to:

a) the time spent in inspecting the vehicle to ascertain whether it complies with the relevant requirements, and

b) any fees payable to the NZTA, and

c) any standard or usual rate at which the inspecting organisation imposes charges for other work carried out in respect of motor vehicles.

12.1 Duplicate evidence of vehicle inspection

The fee to be paid by the operator of a motor vehicle to an inspecting organisation for a duplicate of an evidence of vehicle inspection is $7.70.

6 Complaints

Encourage customers to direct any complaints to the inspecting organisation in the first instance.

To ensure that all written complaints are investigated, the inspecting organisation must maintain an effective complaints management process in accordance with the Performance review system (PRS) manual and provide the following:

a) a clear and concise statement that recognises the positive value of complaints

b) clear and concise instructions to all customers on how to register a complaint. This can be accomplished in several ways, for example:

  • a clear notice visibly displayed on the workplace wall
  • a clear statement on any receipt or invoice issued
  • a clear statement on the inspecting organisation’s checksheet

c) a straightforward explanation of the expected standards for resolution and the customer’s right to appeal to the NZTA if they are dissatisfied with the proposed resolution

d) documentation of complaint investigations, prepared in accordance with the PRS manual so that details of the investigation can be readily checked

e) acknowledgment in writing of all written complaints within three working days, with the investigation completed and a resolution proposed to the complainant within 20 working days, of the complaint being made

f) a record of all complaints, both verbal and written, recorded in accordance with the PRS manual

g) directions, for any customer who wishes to make a complaint or appeal a decision made by an inspecting organisation, to use the NZTA free phone 0800 699 000.

7 Inspection premises and equipment


Inspecting organisations must:

  • have premises and equipment that comply with all applicable requirements set out in this section
  • continue to comply with all applicable requirements set out in this section
  • maintain their premises and equipment in a good state of repair at all times
  • have brake performance testing equipment calibrated at least every 12 months, or more frequently if required by the brake performance testing equipment manufacturer.

1 Premises specifications

Minimum access, exit and turning circle specifications

Specification

Vehicle class

LA, LB, LC, LD

LE, MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA

MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC, TD

Minimum access and exit width

2.4m

2.8m

3.0m

Minimum access and exit height

2.0m

3.0m

4.5m

Minimum level approach to roller brake machine (measured from the centre of the rollers)

2.0m

5.0m

19m

Minimum level exit from roller brake machine (measured from the centre of the rollers)

2.0m

5.0m (Note 1)

19m

Minimum turning radius

5.0m

8.0m

12.5m (Note 2)

Marked turning circle diameter

N/A

N/A

25m (Note 3)

Note 1

Reverse-off facilities must have 5.0m minimum level distance behind the brake-rollers.

Note 2

700mm clearance on each side of the 12.5m radius swept path for a B-train.

Note 3

May be located within 5 km of inspection premises.

1.1 Inspection area specifications
Minimum dimensions

Specification

Vehicle class

LA, LB, LC, LD

LE, MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA

MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC, TD

Inspection area width

2.4m

4.0m

5.0m – see (c) below

Inspection area height

2.5m

3.0m

5.0m

Inspection area length

3.0m

6.0m

23.0m – see (g) overleaf

Other requirements and considerations:

a) The inspection area must be situated within a building that has a roof, sides and doors made of permanent building materials.

b) The inspection area must be clear of all structural and equipment intrusions apart from the vehicle hoist and roller brake machine.

c) The inspection area width for vehicle classes MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC and TD may overlap any adjoining inspection area for the same vehicle class up to 1m along its length.

d) The inspection area floor must be smooth concrete or tar seal.

e) The ground must be even and level. That is, all vehicle combinations must remain stationary with all brakes released.

f) There must be sufficient suitable lighting in the inspection area.

g) The minimum inspection area length for vehicle classes MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC, TD may be reduced to 16m for drive-through premises.

1.2 Minimum underbody inspection area specifications

Available options


At least one of the following as applicable

Vehicle class

LA, LB, LC, LD

LE, MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA

MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC, TD

Trolley jack and axle stands

tick

WoF only

N/A

Vehicle hoist

N/A

tick

N/A

Inspection pit

Width

N/A

0.8 – 1.0m

0.8 - 1.0m

Depth

N/A

1.3m

1.3m

Length

N/A

4m

Side entry: 10m
End entry: 15m

Other requirements and considerations:

a) The underbody inspection facility must be located and centrally aligned within the inspection area.

b) The pit length is measured at the base of the pit and does not include any steps that may be located at the ends.

c) There must be sufficient and suitable lighting provided for the underbody inspection. Refer to sections 7.2.2 and 7.2.5 for more details.

1.3 Equipment
Equipment Vehicle class
LA, LB LC, LD LE, MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC, TD
Lamps
  • Graduated light board (moped and motorcycles only), or
  • Commercial quality optical headlamp beamsetter

tick

tick

tick

tick

Vision
Calibrated electronic light transmission measuring device (This must be a lightmeter; an NZTA tint sample is not acceptable for entry-level inspection)   ticktick
Brakes
Access to level test strip (motorcycles only) tickticktick 

Approved brake machine

  ticktick

Calibrated equipment to measure disc runout

 ticktick 

Calibrated brake drum measuring device

 ticktick 

Calibrated brake disc measuring device

 ticktick 

Suitable container or equipment for sampling and checking brake fluid

 ticktick 

Air gauge (minimum 1000kPa)

   tick

Fittings that enable the air gauge to be attached to a duomatic coupling

   tick

Stop watch

   tick

Seats and seatbelt anchorages

1m straight edge

n/a n/a tick 

Spirit level

n/a n/a tick 

Plumb bob

n/a n/a tick 

Calibrated torque wrench (see Reference material 74)

n/a n/a tick 
Running gear

a) Two-post vehicle hoist (with sifficient capacity)

n/a n/a any one of
a, or b
 c
b) Four-post vehicle hoist with built-in jacking mechanism (with sufficient capacity)

c) Inspection pit and industrial quality trolley jack

Industrial quality hand-held inspection lamp (minimum 750 lux)

ticktickticktick

Leverage bar (steel or similar strength material) for steering and suspension

  ticktick

Leverage bar (steel or similar strength material) for ball-race turntables

   tick

Graduated tyre tread depth gauge

 tickticktick

Vehicle dimensions

3m measuring tape

tickticktick 

25m measuring tape

   tick

Tow connections

40mm tow pin wear indicator gauge

   tick

50mm tow pin wear indicator gauge

   tick

40mm tow eye wear indicator gauge

   tick

50mm tow eye wear indicator gauge

   tick

Taxi meters

Test strip, or calibrated rolling road

  tick 

Meter seal kit

  tick 

Stop watch

  tick 
VIN

VIN embossing machine

ticktickticktick
Letter and number stamps ticktickticktick

Glass etching equipment

n/a n/a ticktick

Rivet gun

ticktickticktick

An instrument for analysing exhaust emissions as prescribed in Introduction 8 (1.6) below

n/a n/a ticktick

Lighting

Right side (centre of vehicle)

 

500 lux

500 lux

500 lux

Left side (centre of vehicle)

 

500 lux

500 lux

500 lux

Front (centre of vehicle)

 

500 lux

500 lux

500 lux

Rear (centre of vehicle)

 

500 lux

500 lux

500 lux

Underbody  

400 lux

400 lux

400 lux

Lighting during inspection, underbody, interior, engine and boot

 

750 lux

750 lux

750 lux

All measuring equipment used as part of the entry inspection and certification process must be calibrated at least once every 12 months. This must be recorded in the PRS Equipment record.

1.4 Compliance with statutory requirements

It is the inspecting organisation’s responsibility to ensure that the inspection premises and equipment comply with:

  • occupational safety and health requirements, and
  • any other relevant acts, regulations and local bylaws.
1.5 Approved brake testing equipment

Only the brake testing equipment in the VIRM: In-service certification sections 5.5 to 5.7 (as applicable) is approved for entry inspection of brake performance.

1.6 Approved vehicle exhaust emissions testing equipment

The equipment used to measure the exhaust emissions of petrol, LPG or CNG vehicles must:

1. be capable of testing carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions; and

2. comply with:

a) BAR-97 Emissions Inspection System Specifications, or

b) OIML R99/ISO 3930 Instruments for measuring vehicle exhaust emissions, Class 1 Standards, or

c) Japan Safety Regulations for Road Vehicles, Technical Standard – Machinery Equipment for Vehicle Inspection as specified by the Minister for Transport in Announcement No. 375 of 14 June 1995.

For diesel vehicles tested using filter paper equipment, the equipment prescribed in Japanese Industrial Standard JIS D 8004, Reflection Type Smokemeters for Automobile Diesel Engines, must be used for analysing exhaust emissions.

For diesel vehicles tested using an opacimeter, the equipment prescribed in International Standard ISO 11614:1999, Reciprocating internal combustion compression ignition engines – Apparatus for measurement of the opacity and determination of the light absorption coefficient of exhaust gas, must be used for analysing exhaust emissions.

The equipment used in testing must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions.

The emission testing equipment must be thoroughly checked, maintained and calibrated in accordance with the respective manufacturer’s directions.

1.7 Other requirements and considerations

Computer systems must be available on site when the site is open for certification. The computer equipment, VIN equipment and document storage must be located and operated from a location where the public does not have access when staff are not present. All data entry must be carried out by staff. When not in use by staff, the NZTA computer system must not be accessible to any other person.

Where premises or equipment are not owned by the inspecting organisation, the times when the premises and equipment are leased for entry certification use must be specified in the contract with the leaseholder.

Inspection area lighting should conform to New Zealand standard code of practice for interior lighting design (NZS 6703:1984), or subsequent amendments. The code of practice establishes performance requirements for specific workplace lighting.

Ambient lighting (ie not hand-held spotlights) of 500 lux (initial) is required at the middle of the vehicle at all four sides and 400 lux (initial) at the centre of the underbody. Lighting must be a minimum of 750 lux during the underbody, interior, engine and boot inspections of the vehicle. Hand-held lighting can be used to provide the required lighting level. Any requirements for hand-held lighting must be noted on the site plan. In these cases, vehicle inspectors must use hand-held lighting during inspections.

The site plan submitted with an application must identify areas where structural inspections will be carried out.

Vehicle inspectors

Applications for appointment must be sponsored by an employing inspecting organisation.

Page amended 1 May 2018 (see amendment details).

8 Appointments

The candidate must:

a) have held a Transport Agency-approved in-service inspector authority appropriate to the class of vehicles they will inspect for a minimum of six months (Note 1), and

b) if you have been out of the trade for more one year and less than five years before applying, you must provide evidence of any training carried out within the last six months to bring your skills up to date with the current entry level requirements, and

c) demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of applicable statutory provisions and vehicle standards relating to entry certification sufficient to inspect a vehicle in accordance with this manual, and

d) have sound knowledge of common vehicles and their components and systems sufficient to inspect them in accordance with this manual and the VIRM: In-service certification, and

e) be a fit and proper person (section 2.6 of the Rule); the criteria considered with any application include:

i. criminal history

ii. transport-related offences

iii. relevant complaints

iv. the public interest such as relevant warnings, penalties and disciplinary actions imposed, and

f) have a current driver licence for the class(es) of vehicles they will inspect (Note 2).

Applications must be made to:

Licensing Assessments - Vehicle Inspectors
NZ Transport Agency
Private Bag 11 777
Palmerston North 4442

Phone 0800 587 287

Note 1

Inspectors operating in a high volume inspection environment who can demonstrate sufficient experience can apply to be a light vehicle used entry certifier and seek waiver of the six month period. This would be on the proviso that the inspector has met all the other requirements (ie the structural course and theory and practical tests.)

Note 2

Vehicle inspectors with a learner motorcycle licence can only inspect and certify motorcycles that are LAMS approved. The approved list of LAMS motorcycles can be found at the Transport Agency website.

9 Definitions and abbreviations

All-terrain vehicle

means a vehicle, with or without motorcycle controls and equipment, that:

a) is principally designed for off-road use, and

b) has three or more wheels, and

c) has an engine capacity exceeding 50 cc, and

d) has a gross laden weight of less than 1000kg.

Agricultural motor vehicle a) means a motor vehicle that is designed, constructed or adapted for agricultural purposes, and includes:

i) an agricultural trailer, and

ii) an agricultural tractor, but

b) does not include any vehicle that is:

i) of a class specified in section 5-5 of the Introduction, and

ii) designed or constructed for general road use.

Agricultural purpose includes:

a) land cultivation

b) growing and harvesting crops (including horticulture and viticulture)

c) rearing livestock

d) any land management operation undertaken in connection with the operation or management of a farm.

  • Agricultural purpose does not include forestry, or any land management operation not referred to in (a) to (d) above.
Agricultural tractor means a vehicle that is designed and constructed principally for the purposes of:

a) towing an agricultural trailer, or

b) drawing, or powering, an implement ordinarily used for an agricultural purpose.

Agricultural trailer

means:

a) a trailer that is used exclusively for agricultural purposes, and

b) includes a wheeled agricultural implement, the wheels of which are in contact with the road when the implement is being towed; but

c) does not include a trailer that is

i. designed for the carriage of goods operated at a speed exceeding 40km/h, or

ii. a logging trailer.

Annex B conditional permit

means an inspection and certification document that confirms that the vehicle operator has inspected the vehicle and determined that it is safe to be operated under specified conditions.

Annex C conditional permit

means an inspection and certification document that confirms that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has inspected the vehicle and determined that it is safe to be operated under specified conditions.

Applicable requirement

means any requirement specified or incorporated in an act, regulation, code or rule that applies to the design, construction, condition, equipment, modification, repair or maintenance of a specific vehicle. All applicable requirements for entry inspection and certification are contained in this manual and the Vehicle inspection requirements manual: In-service certification.

Bus

means omnibus

Certificate of loading (CoL)

means a certificate issued to a vehicle that requires verification of its loading and weight limits.

Certify

means:

a) in relation to a vehicle or specific aspect of a vehicle, to make a record of determination that confirms that the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has determined that the vehicle or specific aspect of the vehicle complies with applicable requirements, or

b) in relation to a vehicle’s loading and weight limits, to make a record of a vehicle’s loading and weight limits.

Child safety lock

means a safety device installed during the manufacture of the vehicle to prevent a door from being opened from the inside of the vehicle.

Class

in relation to vehicles means a category of vehicle of one of the groups A, L, M, N and T, as specified under section 6 of the Introduction of this manual.

Compliance label

means an attachment to a vehicle in the form of a label that confirms compliance of the vehicle or a specific aspect of the vehicle with requirements in Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002.

Compliance plate

means an attachment to a vehicle in the form of a plate that confirms compliance of the vehicle or a specific aspect of the vehicle with requirements in Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002.

Conditional permit

means an inspection and certification document that confirms that a determination has been made that the vehicle is safe to be operated under specified conditions.

Corrosion damage

is where the metal has been eaten away, which is evident by pitting. The outward signs of such corrosion damage are typically displayed by the swelling of a panel between spot welds, or lifting or bubbling of paint. In extreme cases, the area affected by the corrosion damage will fall out and leave a hole. For the purposes of entry-level inspection, this includes any signs of rust bleed.

Cosmetic lamp

means a lamp that is not a headlamp, stop lamp, direction-indicator lamp, position lamp, rear registration plate illumination lamp, reflector, fog lamp, daytime running lamp, cornering lamp, reversing lamp, reflective material, interior lamp, work lamp, flashing or revolving beacon or illuminated vehicle-mounted sign.

Dedicated wheelchair position

means a seating position for transporting a wheelchair and its occupant that is unavailable for other passengers when it is not occupied by a wheelchair.

De-registered

means that a vehicle’s New Zealand registration has been cancelled in accordance with Part 17 of the Land Transport Act 1998.

Determination

means a record, in paper or electronic form, that a vehicle or specific aspect of a vehicle complies or does not comply with applicable requirements.

Electronic stability control (ESC)

means a system that electronically regulates the stability of a motor vehicle and, as a minimum, has the following attributes:

a) improves vehicle directional stability by at least having the ability to automatically control individually the braking torques of the left and right wheels on each axle, or an axle of each axle group, to induce a correcting yaw moment based on the evaluation of actual vehicle behaviour in comparison with a determination of vehicle behaviour demanded by the driver, and

b)is computer-controlled, with the computer using a closed-loop algorithm to limit vehicle oversteer and to limit vehicle understeer based on the evaluation of actual vehicle behaviour in comparison with a determination of vehicle behaviour demanded by the driver, and

c) has a means to determine directly the value of the vehicle’s yaw rate and to estimate its side slip or side slip derivative with respect to time, and

d)has a means to monitor driver steering inputs.

Enter service

in relation to a vehicle means to begin to be operated in-service on the road in New Zealand for the first time, in compliance with registration requirements set out in the Transport (Vehicle and Driver Registration and Licensing) Act 1986.

Enter service as a passenger service vehicle

means the most recent occasion of the vehicle entering service as a passenger service vehicle.

Evidence of vehicle inspection

in relation to a vehicle means any certificate, label or document issued as evidence of the completion of the periodic vehicle inspection requirements in respect of that vehicle.

Gross vehicle mass

means either:

a) the maximum permitted mass of the vehicle, which includes the mass of the accessories, the crew, the passengers and load, and is, unless (b) applies, the gross vehicle mass specified (subsequent to the latest modification, if any) by the manufacturer of the vehicle, or

b) if a person, approved by the NZTA for this purpose, determines that the gross vehicle mass should differ from that specified by the manufacturer, taking into account evidence on the capability of the systems and components of the vehicle or the effects of any modification, the mass as determined by that person.

Heavy vehicle

means a vehicle that is either:

a) of class MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC or TD, or

b) a vehicle not listed under section 5-5 of the Introduction with a gross vehicle mass that exceeds 3500kg.

Heavy vehicle specialist inspection and certification

means specialist inspection and certification of specific aspects of a heavy vehicle.

Inspecting organisation

means a person or organisation appointed by the NZTA who is responsible for inspection and certification outcomes.

Inspection and certification

means the performance of two or more of the following, for the purposes of determining compliance with applicable requirements:

a) examining vehicles

b) determining whether or not a vehicle or specific aspect of a vehicle complies with applicable requirements

c) issuing evidence of vehicle inspection, a conditional permit or a certificate of loading

d) recording and making available information about vehicles (including their systems, components, devices, fittings and equipment).

Inspection and certification document

means a document required, produced or issued in the inspection and certification process, including a plate, a label, an electronic record, or a checksheet.

Inspection and certification outcome

in relation to a vehicle means:

a) production of a record of determination as appropriate to the inspection and certification activity, or

b) provision of other records and information about the vehicle to the director or other persons, or

c) production of evidence of vehicle inspection, conditional permits or certificates of loading.

KSDP means key service delivery partner. They are defined as organisations that are contracted or appointed by the Transport Agency to delivery regulatory products or services and who have sufficient market share and/or are of sufficient size and standing within an industry segment to be able to represent and influence the customer expectation of that industry segment.

LANDATA

means the NZ Transport Agency computer system.

Light vehicle

means a motor vehicle that is:

a) of group A or L, or of class MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA, TA or TB, or

b) a vehicle not listed in section 5-5 of the Introduction with a gross vehicle mass of 3500kg or less.

Light vehicle repair specialist certification

means specialist inspection and certification of repairs to significant damage or deterioration to the structure, chassis, body-to-chassis attachment, suspension, or occupant protection system of a light vehicle.

Low volume vehicle

means a vehicle of a class other than class MD3, MD4, ME, NB, NC, TC or TD, that is:

a) manufactured, assembled or scratch-built in quantities of 500 or less in any one year, and where the construction of the vehicle may directly or indirectly affect the compliance of the vehicle with any of the vehicle standards prescribed by New Zealand law, or

b) modified uniquely, or in quantities of 500 in any one year, in such a way that the compliance of the vehicle, its structure, systems, components or equipment with a legal requirement relating to safety performance applicable at the time of the modification may be affected.

Low volume vehicle plate or authority card

means a plate or authority card issued in accordance with the Low Volume Vehicle Code.

Low volume vehicle specialist inspection and certification

means specialist inspection and certification of a light vehicle as specified in the Low Volume Vehicle Code.

Manufacturer’s operating limits

means:

a) in relation to a vehicle, the allowance provided by the vehicle manufacturer in terms of performance capability and dimensions, relative to deterioration, malfunction or damage beyond which the safe performance of the vehicle, as defined by the vehicle manufacturer, is compromised, and

b) in relation to a system, component or item of equipment, incorporated in or attached to a vehicle, the allowance provided by the system, component or equipment manufacturer on terms of performance capability and dimensions, relative to the deterioration, malfunction or damage, beyond which the safe performance of a system, component or equipment, is compromised but does not include repair.

Modify

in relation to a vehicle means to change the vehicle from its original state by altering, substituting, adding or removing any structure , system, component or equipment, but does not include repair.

Motorhome means a motor vehicle, other than a trailer, that is permanently equipped with features intended to make the vehicle suitable as a dwelling place, and must include at least one sleeping berth and one table, both of which may be of a design that allows them to be retracted or folded away.

Motor vehicle

means a vehicle drawn or propelled by mechanical power, and includes a trailer but does not include:

a) a vehicle running on rails

b) an invalid carriage

c) a trailer (other than a trailer designed solely for the carriage of goods) that is designed and used exclusively as part of the armament of the New Zealand Defence Force

d) a trailer running on one wheel and designed exclusively as a speed measuring device or for testing the wear of vehicle tyres

e) a vehicle designed for amusement purposes and used exclusively within a place of recreation, amusement, or entertainment to which the public does not have access with motor vehicles

f) a pedestrian-controlled machine.

NZTA

means the NZ Transport Agency.

Original equipment (OE)

(unless stated otherwise elsewhere in this manual) means equipment that is fitted by the vehicle manufacturer when the vehicle is manufactured, or equipment that is approved by the vehicle manufacturer for use in a specific vehicle type for a specific purpose or as a replacement for the original equipment

Omnibus

A passenger vehicle that has more than nine seating positions (including the driver’s seating position).

An omnibus comprising two or more non-separable but articulated units shall be considered to be a single vehicle.

Operate

in relation to a vehicle means to drive or use the vehicle on a road, or to cause or permit the vehicle to be on a road or to be driven on a road, whether or not the person is present with the vehicle.

Operation in service

in relation to a vehicle means to be operated on the road in New Zealand after having been registered in compliance with the requirements in Part 17 of the Land Transport Act 1998.

Passenger service vehicle (PSV)

means:

(a) a motor vehicle used or available for use in a passenger service for the carriage of passengers, or

(b) a motor vehicle with more than 12 seating positions, or

(c) a heavy motor vehicle with more than nine seating positions.

Note 1

The following vehicles are not required to comply with the Passenger Service Vehicles Rule requirements contained in the light PSV and heavy PSV VIRM pages:

(a) vehicles exempted from the transport service licensing requirements

(b) ambulances designed to carry recumbent patients

(c) vehicles designed or modified for lawfully-detained persons

(d) NZ Defence Force dual purpose trucks with removable seating (eg some NZ Army Pinzgauers)

(e) NZ Defence Force armoured vehicles

(f) Vehicles registered under the Amusement Devices Regulations 1978 that are either used in venture tourism or that are trailers designed, constructed and permitted to be drawn at a maximum speed of 50km/h or less

(g) Motorcycles and motorcycles with side cars.

Note 2

See also Omnibus above.

PRS manual

means the NZ Transport Agency Performance review system manual.

Re-enter service

in relation to a vehicle previously certified for entry into service on the road in New Zealand that has been de-registered, means to begin to be operated in service again.

Repair

means to restore a damaged or worn vehicle, its structure, systems, components or equipment, and includes the replacement of damaged or worn structures, systems, components or equipment.

Safe tolerance

means the tolerance within which the safe performance of the vehicle, its structure, systems, components or equipment is not compromised, having regard to any manufacturer’s operating limits.

Sleeping berth

means a position suitable for one person to sleep in a vehicle and need not be a dedicated space (eg a dining table may lower to form the berth’s base). The number of berths in the vehicle is generally readily-available from the vehicle manufacturer’s website.

As an indication (only in the absence of information from the manufacturer), the size of a single berth generally varies from at least 0.6 metres wide by approximately 1.8 metres long while a double berth generally varies from at least 1.2 metres wide by approximately 1.8 metres long. Note: the berth’s shape need not be completely rectangular (to accommodate vehicle shape) and luxury motorhomes will likely have wider berths than compact motorhomes.

Scratch-built vehicle

means a vehicle that is either:

a) assembled from previously unrelated components and construction materials that have not been predominantly sourced from donors of a single make or model and that, in its completed form, never previously existed as a mass-produced vehicle, although the external appearance may resemble or replicate an existing vehicle, or

b) a modified production vehicle that contains less than the following componentry from a mass-produced vehicle of a single make and model:

i. 40% of the chassis rails and 50% of the cross-members, or alternatively 40% of a spaceframe, or 40% of the floorpan of a unitary constructed body, whichever is appropriate, and

ii. for light vehicles, 40% of the bodywork (based on surface area of body panels but not including the floorpan, internal bracing, sub-panels, bulkheads or firewall).

Small passenger service vehicle

means a vehicle, used or available for use in a passenger service for the carriage of passengers, that is designed or adapted to carry 12 or fewer persons (including the driver).

Specialist inspection and certification

means inspection and certification of a specific aspect of a vehicle.

Tractor

means a motor vehicle (not being a traction engine) designed exclusively for traction at speeds not exceeding 50km/h (Note: See also definition for agricultural tractor).

Used light vehicle

means a light vehicle, including a light vehicle that has been used for the purpose of demonstration in connection with the sale of a similar vehicle that has, at any time, before being offered or displayed for sale been:

a) registered under:

i. the Transport Act 1962, or

ii. Part 17 of the Land Transport Act 1998, or

iii. any corresponding legislation in any other country, or

b) used for a purpose not connected with its manufacture or sale.

Vehicle identification number (VIN)

means a group of letters and numbers consisting of 17 characters that:

a) is affixed to a vehicle in accordance with the relevant standard prescribed under the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, and

b) is capable of being decoded to provide identifying information about that vehicle.

Vehicle inspector

means a person appointed by the NZTA to carry out inspection and certification activities in accordance with requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA.

Water damage

in relation to a vehicle, means damage to a vehicle’s critical safety system as a result of exposure to water.

Page amended 1 March 2016 (see amendment details).

Page amended 1 June 2019 (see amendment details).