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4 Technical bulletins

19 Seatbelt exemptions

Vehicle inspection requirements manual references

This bulletin gives guidance to vehicle inspectors in applying the following requirements:


This document applies to all vehicles undergoing entry-level certification in New Zealand that are required to have seatbelts fitted.

Seatbelt exemptions

Under Land Transport Rule: Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchorages 2002 and the New Zealand Gazette notice au2141 (dated 29 March 2001, page 781), vehicles fitted with certain occupant safety protection systems may be exempt from the requirement to have approved seatbelts of a specified type fitted, as defined in Land Transport Rule: Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchorages 2002.

This exemption may apply to a vehicle that:

  • complies with an approved frontal impact standard, or
  • is fitted with airbags that are the manufacturer’s OE specifications, or
  • has seatbelt features such as pretensioners or load limiters specifically designed to operate in conjunction with other parts of an integrated occupant protection system.

The exemption only applies to seatbelts fitted as part of the vehicle manufacturer’s OE specifications.

A list of specific seatbelt exemptions is available in the VIRM: In-service certification in Table 7-5-5. The VIRM: In-service certification also lists vehicles that may be exempt from specified seatbelt requirements, provided the vehicle was first registered in New Zealand before 1 January 1991.


The inspecting organisation must retain a paper record of the exemption. This may be a note on the vehicle checksheet, or a paper exemption declaration.

A note must be recorded against the vehicle record in LANDATA stating that a single-sensitive seatbelt exemption has been issued.

Evidence of exemption

An entry certifier is required to provide the vehicle owner with evidence that the identified vehicle has been inspected and meets the criteria for a single-sensitive seatbelt exemption. This evidence may be a paper exemption (declaration) or a single-sensitive seatbelt exemption plate.

Paper exemptions

The declaration must be printed on the reverse of a copy of the New Zealand Gazette exemption notice au986. It must also contain the following information:

a) vehicle make, model, year of manufacture and VIN or chassis number, and

b) part numbers or identification numbers of the seatbelts in each sitting position, and

c) a statement declaring that the vehicle qualifies for and meets the conditions of the exemption, and

d) the date of issue, and

e) the vehicle inspector’s name, signature and contact details.

Sample seatbelt exemption declarations are shown in Reference materials 39 and 40.

Single-sensitive seatbelt exemption plate

A vehicle identification number (VIN) plate embossed with the text ‘SSBELTSOK’ followed by the last five digits of the VIN (see Figure 19-1-1) may be affixed to the front face of the right-hand B-pillar.

Example of plate fitted to a vehicle that may retain single-sensitive front seatbelts
Figure 19-1-1 . Example of a single-sensitive seatbelt exemption plate

Both a plate and a paper exemption may be supplied if requested by the vehicle owner.

Note 1

1997 and 1998 Toyota Cavalier vehicles exempt from frontal impact system requirements are also eligible for a seatbelt exemption, provided an SSBELTSOK plate is fitted on the right-hand B-pillar.