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Government Limits Free Driver Licence Test Re-Sits

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Starting July 8, driver licence test applicants in New Zealand will only get one free re-sit as the government aims to reduce long waiting times for tests. This change affects both theory and practical tests for class one driver licences. Any additional tests will require a fee.

Previously, all re-sit fees were removed by the Labour government to encourage more people to progress through the licensing system. However, this led to increased demand and long wait times for test slots.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced the policy change to address these delays. He stated that the new rules would reduce no-shows and encourage better preparation among applicants. Overseas driver licence conversions will also no longer be eligible for free re-sits.

From the third test onward, fees will be as follows:

$47.48 for a class one learner licence re-sit
$89.39 for a restricted licence re-sit
$62.52 for a full licence re-sit
Labour has criticized the reversal, arguing it will strain budgets, especially since around half of drivers typically need to re-sit their tests. However, Brown emphasized that the new approach aims to make the process more efficient while still supporting learners.

The government has also introduced measures to increase test capacity, such as hiring more testing officers, expanding test hours, and implementing text alerts to reduce no-shows.

Despite the criticism, Brown insists that the changes are necessary to manage demand and ensure that people can book their driver licence tests in a timely manner.

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