Learner and restricted drivers will no longer be able to put
off their graduation to a full licence after the Government
announced plans to set a five-year time limit.
Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges said too many
novice drivers were failing to show they were capable drivers
and progress to a full licence.
" ... What these drivers need to do is demonstrate their
skills and competence and graduate to a full licence in a
A third of learner drivers had held their licence for more
than six years. More than half of restricted drivers had held
their licence for three years, and 32 per cent had not
progressed to their full after more than six years.
Mr Bridges said motorists who lingered on their learner or
restricted licences were responsible for a large proportion
of driving infringements, such as carrying unauthorised
passengers, driving alone at night or failing to display "L"
About 70 per cent of learner licence breaches were from
drivers who had held their licence for more than two years.
"This level of offending indicates a lack of respect for the
conditions of learner and restricted licences. It is
important that these conditions are not seen as optional and
we need to reinforce the message that compliance with licence
conditions reduces risk."
The Ministry of Transport planned to introduce a five-year
time limit on both licences. The ministry said this allowed
enough time for drivers to improve their skills while not
forcing drivers to apply for a new licence before they were
After the five-year threshold, drivers will not only have to
pay a renewal fee but will also have to do a driving theory
At present, all licences must be renewed after 10 years but
there is no requirement to show driving competency or skills.
The rule change would come into force within two years.
Slow to progress
70 per cent of learner licences held for more than 2 years
37 per cent of learner licences held for more than 6 years
56 per cent of restricted licences held for more than 3 years
32 per cent of restricted licences held for more than 6 years
- by Isaac Davison of the NZ Herald