Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Licence issued 'in error' to man who failed driving test

A man was accidentally told he had passed his full driver's licence, only to be told two weeks later he failed.

Ravinder Singh, 24, had taken his test with an instructor from Vehicle Testing NZ (VTNZ) in Pukekohe last month. Afterwards, the counter staff issued him with a temporary driver's licence and he was told a photo driver's licence would be sent to him in the mail.

But when the licence didn't arrive and after driving for more than two weeks thinking he had a full licence, Singh called VTNZ.

VTNZ told him that the licence issued was a "mistake" and that he had in fact failed his test.

"I was totally shocked because I have in my hands the temporary licence that is proof that I passed," Singh said. "On the day of my practical test, even the driving test officer congratulated me so I cannot believe what I am hearing."

Singh said he was thrilled that he passed also because he was facing a $400 police infringement notice for driving on a restricted licence.

A restricted licence holder cannot carry passengers unless they had a supervisor, but Singh was caught driving with passengers on August 31 in Mangere.

"I had to clear my test within 28 days for my fine to be waived, so I was really excited when I was given my temporary licence," said Singh.

The temporary licence stated that he was allowed to "legally drive a motor vehicle" while the photo licence was being manufactured.

VTNZ has offered a free resit of the test but Singh said that was "not good enough".

He is demanding that he gets his full licence or for VTNZ to at least pay his fine for breaking the restricted licence conditions.

"It is their mistake and I still have to pay my $400 fine, where is the justice in that," Singh said.

"As far as I am concerned, the temporary licence was given to me and that is proof that I don't need to resit for any test."

Singh said he was told that he would be given a definitive response today about whether VTNZ will pay the $400 fine.

Robyn Elston, NZ Transport Agency National Manager Delivery Access and Use, said VTNZ would contact Singh directly to apologise and organise a free resit.

"VTNZ has advised that its investigations have confirmed that while Mr Singh's test was correctly recorded as a failure, he was issued with a temporary licence by VTNZ in error," Elston said.

"The agency is disappointed with the way that Mr Singh's case has been handled and we have made it clear to VTNZ that it falls short of the high standards which we expect."

- NZ Herald

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