COVID-19 Service Update

Last updated: 27/05/2020 09:00am

As a result of seven weeks of us all staying home, staying safe and staying local, the time has come where a little bit more of normality creeps back into our everyday lives. Like you and your families, we’re proud of the achievement New Zealand has made in response in COVID-19 and are looking forward to being able to venture out safely and responsibly, spend time with friends and extended family and enjoy the many activities beyond our doorstep that we no longer take for granted.

Level 2 Services and Opening Hours
From Thursday 14 May VTNZ will be operating under COVID-19 Alert Level 2. This alert level enables us to open nearly all our VTNZ branches but we will still be under strict health and safety procedures and some branches may have slightly different hours.

The good news about Alert Level 2 is that we can offer all of our usual services including Warrant of Fitness (WoF), Certificate of Fitness (CoF), Heavy and Entry Certification, Vehicle Condition Assessment (VCA) inspections, Road User Charges, vehicle registration, driver licensing and other NZTA products or services.

To see which of our VTNZ branches are open in your area, their opening hours and the services they provide, please regularly visit our branch finder to ensure you have the most up to date information.

COVID-19 General Health and Safety
As it always has been during all COVID-19 Alert Levels, our main priority at VTNZ is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our team members and our customers. Operational changes are still in place at our open branches.

All of our staff will be observing social distancing practices, wearing gloves and masks where appropriate and washing their hands between each inspection. We ask you to help us by observing these practices as well. Our customer service team are now seated behind Perspex hygiene screens. This is added protection for them and for you.

In addition, it is important to note that currently we can only accept card (debit or credit) or on account as a form of payment for all transactions. We cannot accept cash or cheques.

COVID-19 Safety Procedures For Vehicle Inspections
When we move from COVID-19 Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 there will be no change in our health and safety procedures surrounding vehicle inspections.  Please ensure that you and your team are familiar with the process outlined below:

  1. Before visiting any VTNZ branch please ensure your vehicle is clutter free. To reduce the chance of infection, we will not be able to unload items from seats or boots to complete inspections.
  2. When arriving at a VTNZ branch please join the queue and stay in your vehicle. A VTNZ employee will come to you!
  3. We will ask for your name, address and contact phone number to put in our COVID-19 register should we need to contact you again.
  4. You will be asked a series of COVID-19 related questions.  Please do not be offended when we ask these questions as they are for the safety of everyone visiting our branches.
  5. If you are an account customer, the VTNZ employee will take your order number or other unique identifier to process the transaction. If you are not an account customer then you will need to make payment inside the Branch when directed to but please remember we can only accept card (debit or credit). We cannot accept cash or cheques.
  6. When you reach the front of the queue you will be given instructions by our Automotive Technician as to what they require you to do whilst the inspection is taking place. Please follow their instructions.

COVID-19 Safety Procedures For NZTA Products
Under Alert Level 2 we will once again be able to offer services through our front counter.  This will include Road User Charges, vehicle registration, driver licensing and other NZTA products or services.  Inside our branch reception areas we will also be following strict health and safety procedures so please make sure you and your team are familiar with the steps below:

  1. On arrival at the branch you may be met at the entrance by a staff member (if you are not then our front counter team member will talk to you about the next two steps).
  2. We will ask for your name, address and contact phone number to put in our COVID-19 register should we need to contact you again.
  3. You will be asked a series of COVID-19 related questions. Please do not be offended when we ask these questions as they are for the safety of everyone visiting our branches.
  4. We will have limited waiting room and queuing areas so please come into reception on your own.
  5. Please read all signage, use the provided hand sanitiser and maintain one metre distance from our staff and other customers at all times when in the branch.
  6. Please follow floor markings to ensure social distancing. If there is no room inside please wait outside until someone leaves before entering.
  7. It is preferable that you use your own pen for signing and completing any required paperwork. Please bring your own pen from your vehicle.
  8. As we have pointed out before it is important to note that currently we can only accept card (debit or credit) or on account as a form of payment. We cannot accept cash or cheques.

VTNZ Certified Repairer
All of our open VTNZ branches are drop-by for our WoF inspection services. We are managing our queues as efficiently as possible to ensure we get to our customers in a timely manner.

If you would rather book your vehicle in for a WoF inspection, now is the perfect time to try a VTNZ Certified Repairer near you. VTNZ Certified Repairers offer you the best of both worlds – an independent WoF assessment and the expertise of your local highly skilled mechanics all in one location.

If your WoF expired during lockdown, drop into your local VTNZ branch or book at a VTNZ Certified Repairer near you.

Extensions on Expired Inspections and Documents
As we outlined in previous updates, VTNZ and other inspection industry organisations are continuing to work with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to gain clarification surrounding extensions on expired WoFs, CoFs and other inspections and documents.

Because the industry was unable to provide services to non-essential service vehicles during COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown the NZTA announced a legislative change (effective 10 April) that provides temporary extensions to the following expired inspections and documents:

  • Warrants of Fitness (WoFs) and Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), driver licences, and vehicle certifications issued under the Vehicle Standards Compliance Rule that expired on or after 1 January 2020.
  • endorsements (including drivers of passenger services and dangerous good endorsements held by some truck drivers) that expired on or after 1 March 2020.
  • It also provides a temporary suspension of the requirement to have a current vehicle licence (rego), if the vehicle licence expired on or after 1 January 2020.

This means that if the above have expired on or after the dates stated there is currently an extension in place (which could be up until 10 October 2020).

At the current time, the NZTA is still assessing how and when new expiry dates will be applied and how long these extensions will be given the Government priorities as we move through the different COVID-19 Alert Levels. As the Agency knows more, they will clearly communicate with both the industry and the public.

As information becomes available the NZTA will be updating their website. All up to date information and further details can be found on the NZTA FAQ page.

In addition, we have also had questions relating to vehicle insurance and expired Warrants of Fitness.  The New Zealand Insurance Council has put out an advisory on this which can be found on their site https://www.icnz.org.nz/media-resources/media-releases/single/item/covid-19-insurance-advisory-your-car-insurance-and-wof-during-alert-level-4/

Driver Testing During COVID-19 Alert Level 2
During COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4 all driver testing services were closed.  Under Alert Level 2 we will be able to resume driver testing services.

For those that had a test booked to take place during Alert Level 3 and 4 NZTA and VTNZ are currently working together on rebooking all those appointments.  Within the next few days you will receive a text message and/or an email with your new appointment details.  Please wait for these messages.  If you are unable to make the appointment time you have been allocated there will be details in these messages on how you can rebook.

Once we have been able to rebook all of these appointments NZTA will start to take bookings for new driver tests.

We will be adhering to strict health and safety procedures whilst conducting driver tests.  All Driver Testing Officers will be wearing face masks.  It is important to note that due to social distancing recommendations translators and support people will not be able to come on driving tests during Alert Level 2.  There will be a restriction to only two people in the vehicle.

For more information on the health and safety procedures that you will need to adhere so your driving test can be conducted please visit our Driver Testing under COVID-19 page.

Road User Charges Refund
To support owners/operators during COVID-19, the NZTA may be able to issue a RUC refund for excess distance remaining.

To qualify, the vehicle must be a:

  • heavy motor vehicle or trailer that is more than 3500kg, that
  • has more than $500 worth of RUC remaining on the vehicle

If you meet this criteria and would like to request a refund, please email rucassessments@nzta.govt.nz.  Please ensure you include your registration plate number/s, current hubodometer reading and a contact number.

Please be aware VTNZ is unable to issue any refunds, these need to be done through the NZTA.  For additional information please visit nzta.govt.nz.

We’re committed to keeping you up to date with any changes that we need to make during this time and will post updates on our website, our social media channels and send further emails.  We ask that you regularly check vtnz.co.nz for information as this will be where we will post information first.

From everyone at VTNZ please take care of yourselves, your family and all of those around you.

28 day recheck period
The NZTA has applied a ‘stop clock’ system to extend recheck periods for WoF, CoF and entry certification inspections. If your vehicle had seven days left for a recheck on 23 March 2020 (first day of Alert Level 4) when the clock stopped, you will have seven days to represent it from 14 May 2020 (first day of Alert Level 2). For more information on rechecks visit nzta.govt.nz

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