Correct as at 24th August 2019. It may be superseded at any time.
Extract taken from: NZTA Vehicle Portal > VIRMs > Heavy vehicle specialist certification > Vehicle Identification
1 Vehicle Identification
1-1 VIN and chassis number
Important Ensure that the VIN or chassis number is recorded in full on the checksheet.
This number must be:
Also refer to Figure 1-1-1. Structure of a VIN issued by the NZ Transport Agency and Figure 1-1-2. Structure of a VIN issued by the vehicle manufacturer.
Reasons for rejection
1. A vehicle first registered or re-registered in New Zealand before 1 April 1994 does not have a VIN or chassis number (Note 1).
2. A vehicle first registered or re-registered in New Zealand from 1 April 1994 does not have a VIN number (Note 1).
3. A VIN number is not valid (Note 2).
4. A VIN or chassis number has been (Note 1) (Note 3):
a) removed, or
b) erased, or
c) altered, or
d) defaced, or
e) obscured, or
f) destroyed, or
g) obliterated, or
h) affixed unlawfully or by unauthorised persons (Note 3).
a) the vehicle does not have a VIN or chassis number, or
b) the VIN or chassis number has become illegible.
A valid VIN is a unique number that has been assigned to the vehicle in the vehicle’s country of origin or by a person appointed by the NZTA. It consists of 17 characters that never contain the letters I, O or Q, and that is capable of being decoded to provide identifying information about the vehicle.
The vehicle inspector must advise the local police if there is reason to believe that the VIN or chassis number has been tampered with in any way.
Table 1-1-1. Location of New Zealand VIN numbers
Permitted VIN locations
Vehicles that are not forward controlled (passenger cars and off-road passenger vehicles)
Goods vehicles and light omnibuses
Vehicle with a separate chassis:
Vehicle without a separate chassis:
If the vehicle is unfamiliar, and the VIN or chassis number cannot be located, the vehicle inspector should contact the manufacturer’s agent or the local VIN issuing agent.
Figure 1-1-1. Structure of a VIN issued by the NZTA
Figure 1-1-2. Structure of a VIN issued by the vehicle manufacturer
Summary of legislation
1. A vehicle first registered or re-registered in New Zealand before 1 April 1994 must have a chassis number or VIN.
2. A vehicle first registered or re-registered in New Zealand from 1 April 1994 must have a VIN.
3. A VIN or chassis number must not have been removed, erased, altered, defaced, obscured, destroyed, obliterated or affixed unlawfully, or be unauthorised.