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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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getting a NZ drivers license

Hey,

me and my partner Nina are going to move to NZ in Aug/Sep. We plan on living there for about 1-2 Years.

Right now, she has no drivers license. I did some research about it and I think I have gathered enough info on rules and regulations. Car license is easy:

1. I get an international license in my home country based on my local license (german)
2. Go to NZ, get a NZ license based on that international license to be able to "supervise" her
3. Get a learners permit for Nina
4. Practice

I read the stuff for motorcyle licenses, too. I get it. Pass a basic handling skills test, become a learner on a restricted license. But here is what's not in the book: How do you normally learn the basic handling skills to pass that test?

Are there training courses or circuits? Or is it just driving an 8 with a scooter?
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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by SatanasOz View Post
Hey,

me and my partner Nina are going to move to NZ in Aug/Sep. We plan on living there for about 1-2 Years.

Right now, she has no drivers license. I did some research about it and I think I have gathered enough info on rules and regulations. Car license is easy:

1. I get an international license in my home country based on my local license (german)
2. Go to NZ, get a NZ license based on that international license to be able to "supervise" her
3. Get a learners permit for Nina
4. Practice

I read the stuff for motorcyle licenses, too. I get it. Pass a basic handling skills test, become a learner on a restricted license. But here is what's not in the book: How do you normally learn the basic handling skills to pass that test?

Are there training courses or circuits? Or is it just driving an 8 with a scooter?
Basic handling test is not much of a test ...
Basically you ride a bike around some cones in a carpark until the instructor is satisfied that you can ride ok without crashing into stationary objects.
They will make you ride slowly, slalom around cones and do an emergency stop.

I passed in about half an hour, having never ridden a motorbike before, but had bicycles and scooters most of my life.
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  #3  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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Some good learner info here, lots more bikes to choose from after 1 October 2012.
Approved motorcycles for learner and restricted riders | NZ Transport Agency

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  #4  
Old 11 Jun 2012
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thanks a lot, whynot ... (eh ... unintended rhyme )

The list looks really good - thank you. We might have gone out to buy the "wrong" bike. Now we might already watch for a small 400 cc travelling bike.

But, naaahh ... we will bring my Transalp with us. Unfortunately the new XL700 has more than 650cc ... all the older models will fall under the new regulation. Well, I think Nina would not want to learn on a 219 kg bike anyway

Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 18 Jun 2012
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My wife just passed the first part of her test, the handling skills. It's not especially hard, but it is a real test. She practiced in our quiet street (only 4 houses and dead-end), for about 6 hours total. I have helped a few people get through the handling skills test so I know what skills to work on. She did a lot of practice on the cone slalom, and was glad she did because that was quite tricky. The cones in each line are quite close and with a large off-set between the two lines. Her (and my) advice is to book the longer test where they run you thru a training session first. That's a 1 or 1 1/2 hour session. The test is 1/2 an hour, but if you do the training first, they train you specifically for the tests.

As for yourself, you can use your German license instead of an International one, if the relevant information about what classes of license you hold are in English on your license. You can use that license for up to one year, then to convert to an NZ one. You will have to sit the exam based on the New Zealand Road Code but no driving skills test. That's pretty easy because you can buy practice test papers and do them on line, in conjunction with the book in your hand. There is also a similar special test relating to motorcycle Road Code, if you want to have the NZ motorcycle endorsement. Once you have that NZ car license, you can sit beside a learner car driver to teach and supervise. There is no compulsory requirement to have paid lessons, but most of the people who do the driving examinations also do the training. It can be a good idea to get one or two lessons to target the skills that the examiners are really hot on. Either way, it will be a lot cheaper and easier than in Germany. I know of people who come to NZ, with one of their main aims to get a drivers license. It can help cover a large part of their travel expenses.

What part on NZ are you coming to?

Cheers bloke

Nigel in NZ
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Old 19 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Nigel Marx View Post
As for yourself, you can use your German license instead of an International one, if the relevant information about what classes of license you hold are in English on your license. You can use that license for up to one year, then to convert to an NZ one. You will have to sit the exam based on the New Zealand Road Code but no driving skills test. That's pretty easy because you can buy practice test papers and do them on line, in conjunction with the book in your hand. There is also a similar special test relating to motorcycle Road Code, if you want to have the NZ motorcycle endorsement. Once you have that NZ car license, you can sit beside a learner car driver to teach and supervise. There is no compulsory requirement to have paid lessons, but most of the people who do the driving examinations also do the training. It can be a good idea to get one or two lessons to target the skills that the examiners are really hot on. Either way, it will be a lot cheaper and easier than in Germany. I know of people who come to NZ, with one of their main aims to get a drivers license. It can help cover a large part of their travel expenses.
Yep, can confirm that, although it was ten years ago. They didn't accept the international driving permit though and I had to get an official translation from a company of their choice ($25). That was at the AA in Christchurch. They often come up with strange interpretations of the rules I have found out over the years and now avoid them :-) If you have the new EU license I think you should be good to go, because it has an English translation on it.

As far as the theoretical test goes, yes very easy. Just get the "road code" books for cars and motorcycles from the library and read it a couple of times. They have all the possible multiple choice questions in them. The rules are not that different from Germany, especially now that they have done away with the crazy give way rules. You do have to sit two separate tests for car and motorcycle (and pay for two!). You'll also have to do an eye test, same as you do in Germany. There is very little motorcycle specific stuff in the motorcycle test. For the most part it's the same as the car test.

All in all very easy to do, just a bit of money. The key is to not miss the one year deadline, otherwise you are in for the full program.

Cheers
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Old 19 Jun 2012
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As for yourself, you can use your German license instead of an International one, if the relevant information about what classes of license you hold are in English on your license. You can use that license for up to one year, then to convert to an NZ one. You will have to sit the exam based on the New Zealand Road Code but no driving skills test.
Thanks! I already figured that one out - but there is a bit of conflicting information on weather or not I need to sit the exam. Some people reported they only paid 45 $ and got their license converted. May it be as it is, after three german exams (Moped, motorcycle, car) I don't think that this will pose a real challenge

Quote:
Yep, can confirm that, although it was ten years ago. They didn't accept the international driving permit though and I had to get an official translation from a company of their choice ($25). That was at the AA in Christchurch. They often come up with strange interpretations of the rules I have found out over the years and now avoid them :-) If you have the new EU license I think you should be good to go, because it has an English translation on it.
Well, got my international driver's license by now. I get why they wouldn't accept it - there is practically nothing on it. But the "should" - it says so on the homepage of the NZ transport agency. We'll see.

And no - the EU driving licence is not enough. It is neither in English nor in German. There are only 3 words on it - "F├╝hrerschein - Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (driver's license - federal republic of Germany). The rest is numbers and pictograms. It is assumed that every policemen in the EU knows how to read them. That means you can't even translate them, because there is nothing to translate. I was thinking about bringing the English version of the explanatory EU document, just in case.

Quote:
What part on NZ are you coming to?
Wellington - Nina is researching and maybe even "co-"write her PHD at Victoria University. But there will definitely be some time to travel and explore the country. I'll make it so
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by SatanasOz View Post
And no - the EU driving license is not enough. It is neither in English nor in German. There are only 3 words on it - "F├╝hrerschein - Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (driver's license - federal republic of Germany). The rest is numbers and pictograms. It is assumed that every policemen in the EU knows how to read them. That means you can't even translate them, because there is nothing to translate. I was thinking about bringing the English version of the explanatory EU document, just in case.
Now that you mention that, I actually dug out my EU license (I usually use my NZ or US license) and you are right. Wow, millions of Euros well spent in committees :-) It does say when you got your "big" bike (= big bike picture) license though. With your idea of bringing the English version of the explanatory EU document it should work.

Honestly, the license people are not much different than their German counterparts. They are often just as lost in the rules and regulations as the next person. Some gentle nudging with rule book in hand usually does the trick.

If you want a refreshingly easy, albeit somewhat greedy, take on bike licenses, rent a scooter on Rarotonga. They will have you drive around the roundabout outside the police station and then print you a license for NZ$25 (if the ink jet printer works).
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by boarder View Post

If you want a refreshingly easy, albeit somewhat greedy, take on bike licenses, rent a scooter on Rarotonga. They will have you drive around the roundabout outside the police station and then print you a license for NZ$25 (if the ink jet printer works).
I know of people who have done that. As Boarder says, then come to NZ and convert that to an NZ license. Hmmm not really in the spirit of the law, but it works AND you get a tropical holiday to boot.

Cheers bloke

Nigel in NZ
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