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Buses and taxis

Updated: 11 December 2014

Whether it’s a bus, shuttle, taxi or another vehicle, if you carry passengers for some type of fee, your driver licence must include a current passenger (P) endorsement.  This simply verifies that you have the proven skills to provide this service safely.

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Where passenger endorsement requirements apply

Passenger endorsement requirements apply to:

  • small passenger services - vehicles with up to maximum of 12 seats (including the driver)
  • large passenger services – vehicles with over 12 seats.

You also need a P endorsement where a passenger owns the vehicle but you receive some kind of reward to drive it, such as with a dial-a-driver operation.

Exceptions

If you’re a volunteer driver, driving for a charity or you’re car pooling you may not need a P endorsement. Check the exceptions.

A passenger endorsement may not be required if all of the following applies:

  • The vehicle has no more than 12 seats.
  • The driver is not employed primarily as a driver (ie driving is a minor or incidental part of the driver’s duties).
  • The driver receives no extra wages or allowances for driving.
  • The passengers are not paying a fare.
  • The passengers are not paying an activity levy to cover transport costs.

If you are unsure if your situation complies with all of these requirements, you should seek independent legal advice.

Getting a P endorsement

  • You must have held a full New Zealand driver licence for at least two years (not a motorcycle licence).
  • You must hold a current full driver licence for the type of passenger vehicle you’ll be driving.
  • You must pass the full car (Class 1) licence test - unless you have passed this test within the last 5 years
  • You need to successfully complete an approved P endorsement course.

As part of the P endorsement application process, you’ll also have to undergo a 'fit and proper person' check, where we check for and consider aspects such as any transport-related offences, complaints and serious convictions. Find out more about the check and other requirements of the P endorsement application process.

You have overseas experience or have spent time overseas?

Please check the requirements for a 'fit and proper person' check, and the information that must be provided from overseas jurisdictions you have lived in or have visited.

Other requirements for carrying passengers

Anyone operating a passenger transport service must meet a range of other requirements.