Grace period for expired WOFs ends, but licences extended

Source: 1News

At 11.59pm on Tuesday, the grace period for those with an expired Warrant of Fitness (WOF) or Certificate of Fitness (COF) will come to an end.

A mechanic checking a vehicle's oil.

Since September 16, people whose vehicle's WOF or COF expired between July and November had an extra two months to get it renewed due to the current Covid-19 outbreak.

This also applied to vehicle certifications, driver endorsements, vehicle registration and licences.

The grace period for licences has been extended until May 31, 2022.

"This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that the Covid-19 restrictions, especially in Auckland, have impacted people’s ability to get their licence renewed," Transport Minister Michael Wood said.

"The impact of Covid-19 and extended lockdowns has been hard on everyone, and this is one small thing that we can take off peoples’ to do list until next year.

"The extension doesn’t change the responsibility of drivers to be medically fit to drive, comply with relevant restrictions and conditions on their licence and obey all road rules. Any licence suspensions and disqualifications will also continue to apply,"

The same decision was not taken for WoFs and COFs due to the risk of fatal and serious accidents over the summer period, the Motor Trade Association (MTA) said.

By world standards, New Zealand has an old vehicle fleet — the average age of vehicles on the roads is almost 15 years old.

"Combine this with a 40 per cent first time WOF failure rate and a high road toll, and any extension to the WOF requirements over the summer months would have been a recipe for disaster,” MTA's Graeme Swan said.

People have also been able to get their WOFs, COFs and renew their vehicle registration under the alert level system.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said a total of 1,795,061 vehicles had been covered by the extension.

Seventy-two per cent (1,300,457) of these vehicles have now had a WOF or COF inspection, with 28 per cent (494,664) yet to be inspected.

Auckland accounts for 34 per cent of all inspections remaining, the NZTA said.