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Getting your driver licence

Whether you want to drive a car, motorcycle, truck or other heavy vehicle, you need a licence to be on the road. To drive vehicles such as buses, taxis, tow trucks or forklifts you’ll also need a licence endorsement to show that you have the skills to drive these vehicles.

Licence endorsements are also needed by driving instructors and testing officers, and for drivers transporting dangerous and hazardous goods.

This section sets out the steps involved in getting your driver licence and endorsements, and explains the conditions that may apply.

New practical driver testing provider

On 1 May 2015 VTNZ took over as the Transport Agency's provider for all practical driver testing services.  For more information on the change click here.

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Applying for your car driver licence involves a three-step process. Learn what you need to do to gain your learner, restricted and full driver licence.

Trucks and other heavy vehicles

There are four classes of heavy vehicle driver licences covering the different heavy vehicle types and weights. To drive the ‘heavier’ classes you first need to gain a licence in ‘lighter’ classes, but you can accelerate your progress.

Driving instructors and testing officers

Work as a driving instructor? You need an endorsement on your licence to verify you have the skills to offer this service. Testing officers also need a licence endorsement.

Forklifts, bulldozers, trams and other special-type vehicles

Special-type vehicles require special skills to operate them. If you want to drive vehicles such as forklifts, trams, traction engines and bulldozers, you will need an endorsement on your driver licence or additional qualifications.

Where to go for a licence or endorsement

Find out where you can apply for, renew or replace your driver licence or licence endorsement.


Before you even start learning to ride on the road, you need to pass a basic handling skills test. See what else is involved in getting your learner, restricted and full motorcycle licence.

Buses and taxis

You need a passenger endorsement on your driver licence if you carry passengers for a fee. You’ll also need to meet a range of other requirements.

Tow trucks

If you drive any kind of vehicle involved in a vehicle recovery service – like a tow truck – you need a licence endorsement to verify you have the skills to offer the service.

Transporting dangerous or hazardous goods

You may need a licence endorsement to carry goods that have explosive, flammable, toxic, infectious or corrosive properties. It depends on what and how much you’re transporting.

Approved course providers

Find out where you can attend an approved course to gain your licence endorsement or to accelerate your progress through the licence classes.