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 Table 1-1-1. Location of New Zealand VIN numbers, 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) (Note 3).
2. A vehicle first registered or re-registered in New Zealand from 1 April 1994 does not have a VIN number (Note 1) (Note 3).
3. A VIN number is not valid (Note 1) (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.
The vehicle inspector must notify the Police and the NZTA using the vehicle report form if there is reason to believe that the VIN or chassis number has been tampered with in any way .
The vehicle inspector must not issue a WoF/CoF/permit until approved by NZTA. Approval will usually include the issue or re-issue of a new VIN plate .
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.
If the vehicle is failed because the VIN/chassis is missing or unreadable, then 'not found' must be recorded in place of the VIN number on the check sheet.
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:
Figure 1-1-1. Structure of a VIN issued by the NZ Transport Agency
Pre-29 November 2009
Post-29 November 2009
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.
Page amended 1 June 2018 (see amendment details).
- General vehicles
- Heavy vehicles
- 1 Vehicle identification
- 2 Vehicle exterior
- 3 Vehicle structure
- 4 Lighting
- 5 Vision
- 6 Entrance and exit
- 7 Vehicle interior
- 8 Brakes
- 9 Steering and suspension
- 10 Tyres, wheels and hubs
- 11 Exhaust
- 12 Towing connections
- 13 Miscellaneous items
- 14 Load restraints
- 15 Certificate of loading
- 16 Transport service licence
- Light PSVs
- Heavy PSVs
- General trailers
- Heavy trailers
- Unclassified vehicles
- Technical bulletins (general)
- Technical bulletins (CoF)
- Interim amendments