How to search the register

Find out about the different ways you can search the Motor Vehicle Traders Register (MVTR), and how to understand your search results.

Search criteria

There are three ways you can search:

1. By trader

If you know a motor vehicle trader’s trader number you can search using that. The trader number is a 6-digit number prefixed with an M — for example, M123456.

You can also search using the motor vehicle trader's trading name.

2. By company

If the motor vehicle trader is a registered company you can search using their registered company number, registered company name, or the company’s registered office address.

You can't search by NZBN (New Zealand Business Number) at this stage.

3. By individual

If the motor vehicle trader is registered as an individual, rather than a company, you can search using their name — for example, John Adam Doe — or their residential address.

Search example

To get accurate search results you need to enter the name exactly as it appears on the Register — including any spaces, full stops and special characters. You might need to try a few variations to find what you're looking for.

For example, if you're searching for ABC Motors Limited but you're not sure exactly how this name appears on the Register, you could try searching for:

  • ABC Motors Ltd
  • ABC Motors Limited
  • A B C Motors Ltd
  • A B C Motors Limited
  • A.B.C Motors Ltd
  • A.B.C Motors Limited

Understanding your search results

Results screen

When you carry out a search you are taken to a results screen. This displays the trader number, company or individual name and the trading name (if any). To view further details of a registration, select the trader number.

Details of a registration

The details screen contains information on the trader you have selected, such as:

  • registration status — explained more below
  • trader number
  • trader name

If the trader is a company registered with the New Zealand Companies Office it also shows:

  • company number, name and address
  • registration history
  • names and addresses of the company's directors.

Registration status

A trader's registration status is shown at the top right-hand side of the screen in bold. This is how you check whether a trader is currently registered and therefore legally allowed to trade. There are four possible registration statuses:

  1. Registered: The trader is currently registered under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act and therefore legally able to trade.
  2. Expired: Traders are required to renew their motor vehicle trader registration every year. If the trader is showing as expired, it means they have failed to renew their registration and are no longer legally able to trade.
  3. Surrendered: The trader has decided they no longer wish to be involved in the business of motor vehicle trading and have surrendered their registration. If the trader is showing as surrendered, they are no longer legally able to trade.
  4. Cancelled: The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Traders has cancelled the trader’s registration. If a trader is showing as cancelled, they are no longer legally able to trade.

Tip Icon Violet2 Note

If a trader has expired and subsequently re-registered they will have a different trader number. Always check the latest (highest) trader number in the search results, as the trader you're searching for could have multiple records.

Search the Motor Vehicle Traders Register

Searching the Motor Vehicle Traders Register is free, and you can carry out as many searches as you need to.

Search the Motor Vehicle Traders Register(external link)