Exemptions from the Graduated Driver Licensing System
Exemptions from the Graduated Driver Licensing System are assessed on a case by case
basis. When assessing exemptions from the Graduated Driver Licensing System, section 166
of the Land Transport act 1998 is taken into consideration.
166 Agency may grant exemptions
• (1) The Agency may, if the Agency considers it appropriate and upon such
conditions as the Agency considers appropriate, exempt a person, vehicle,
rail vehicle, or land transport related service from a specified requirement
in a rule made under this Part.
(2) Before granting an exemption under this section, the Agency must be
satisfied in the circumstances of each case that the risk to safety will not be
significantly increased by the granting of the exemption and that—
• (a) the requirement has been substantially complied with and that
further compliance is unnecessary; or
• (b) the action taken or provision made in respect of the matter to
which the requirement relates is as effective or more effective than
actual compliance with the requirement; or
• (c) the prescribed requirements are clearly unreasonable or
inappropriate in the particular case; or
(d) events have occurred that make the prescribed requirements
unnecessary or inappropriate in the particular case.
(3) The number and nature of exemptions granted under subsection (1)
must be notified in the Gazette
at intervals not longer than 3 months.
(4) Nothing in this section applies in a case where a rule specifically
provides that no exemptions are to be granted, but in other cases nothing
in the rules limits or affects the Agency’s powers under this section.
While taking into consideration the above legislation, the New Zealand Transport Agency will
look at the below factors when assessing an exemption application as all of the below can
help determine if there will be a risk to road safety to the applicant and other road users
when considering the granting of an exemption.
• The timeframe the applicant has held their current class of licence for, for example,
if the applicant has only held a class of licence for less than 3 months, the NZTA may
not be satisfied that enough on road experience has been gained to allow them to
travel outside of the conditions of their licence, in this instance, a defensive driving
course or a driving assessment may be requested if it is deemed appropriate.
• Any traffic offences that have been incurred on the applicants licence within the last
• Any previous licence tests that have either been stopped by a Testing Officer or
where an applicant has failed a test.
• The distance requested for travel and if fatigue could be a factor if requesting to
drive between 10pm – 5am.