Motorists whose suspension or disqualification from driving ended during the Covid-19 lockdown may have to wait till the country goes down to level 2 to get their licence reinstated.
Earlier last month, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that all driver licences, warrants of fitness (WOFs) and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after January 1, 2020 will be valid for up to six months from April 10, 2020.
He said that people with expired vehicle-related documentation resulting from the national lockdown need not worry about penalties until later this year.
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However, disqualified and suspended drivers who were meant to have their licence reinstated during the lockdown have been unable to do so as driver licensing agents remain closed.
An anonymous disgruntled Kiwi, who has had her licence disqualified, told the Herald that many people in the same situation as herself are angered that they can't get their licence during lockdown.
She said that she believed licensing is essential and that all she needs to do is hand in some forms.
However, a Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency spokesperson told the Herald that the processes for these types of applications can not be easily performed under alert level 3.
"As part of its wide-ranging response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Waka Kotahi has been looking at ways for these applications to be processed while driver licensing agents are closed," they said.
"As with all our driver licence applications, the legislation, systems and processes are all designed around a face-to-face counter-based transaction.
"The processes required for a licence reinstatement include eyesight checks, image and signature capture and in some instances, also require theory and practical testing, which cannot be performed under alert level 3.
"The restrictions at alert level 2 will allow applications to be submitted when driver licensing agent services resume."
Meanwhile, Waka Kotahi have been focused on the need for drivers to retain valid driver licences and have been looking at alternatives that would still comply with their legal requirements, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also warned suspended and disqualified drivers that it is illegal for them to drive without a licence.
"At the end of a disqualification or suspension (other than 28-day roadside suspensions) or when a zero alcohol licence expires, a driver will be considered unlicensed and not entitled to drive," they said.
"If you drive after your suspension or disqualification has ended, but before your licence has been reinstated, you could be fined and forbidden to drive."