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F endorsements for driving forklifts (Factsheet 10)

Published: 11 2013

This factsheet advises when you need to have a forklift endorsement on your driver licence and provides information on how to get one.

F endorsements for driving forklifts

If you drive a forklift on the road, you must have an F endorsement on your driver licence.

Please note that the licence endorsement and licence class systems work together. Your licence has to cover both the type of vehicle and its weight.

A Class 1 driver licence (with an F endorsement) covers forklifts with a gross laden weight of up to 18,000kg.

A Class 2 driver licence (with an F endorsement) covers forklifts with a gross laden weight exceeding 18,000kg.

If you're not sure whether you need an F endorsement, phone our contact centre on 0800 822 422 or contact your nearest NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) office.

What is the definition of a 'road'?

The definition of a road, for the application of transport laws, is very broad. It includes not only streets and highways, but also any place the public has access to – including bridges, culverts, beaches, riverbeds, reserve lands, wharves and road shoulders.

If you drive a forklift in any of these areas, the rules relating to registration, licensing and general driver behaviour all apply.

What do I need to have and do?

If you wish to obtain an F endorsement, you must hold a full licence (other than a motorcycle licence).

You'll need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed an approved course that teaches specialist knowledge and skills relating to driving a forklift safely on a road.

Note: The approved course will cover driver licensing requirements only. Your employer may require you to attend occupational safety and health (OSH) courses as well as having the F endorsement on your driver licence.

Finding a course provider

You can find a list of course providers here or call our contact centre on 0800 822 422.

Please note that you can't drive a forklift on the road just because you've got the course certificate. The endorsement must be on your driver licence.

Applying for the endorsement

You can apply for an F endorsement at your nearest driver licensing agent (participating offices of the Automobile Association, Vehicle Testing New Zealand and Vehicle Inspection New Zealand).

You need to:

  • complete a DL19 application form (you can download one online here)
  • provide evidence of your identity, eg your current driver licence (see Factsheet 20 Identification for driver licensing for
    a full list)
  • provide evidence of your name and current address, eg a recent bill or an account statement (see Factsheet 20 for a full list)
  • provide a certificate showing you have successfully completed an approved forklift endorsement course
  • pay the application fee of $44.

Note: Your F endorsement will expire on the same date as your driver licence.

Eyesight screening check

You must prove that your eyesight meets the required standard each time you apply for a new licence class or endorsement or renew your licence. To do this you can:

  • present a satisfactory eyesight certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered optometrist (Note: This certificate must be no more than 60 days old)
  • present a satisfactory medical certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner (Note: This certificate must be no more than 60 days old and must specifically cover eyesight)
  • pass an eyesight screening check at a driver licensing agent.

Note: The agents' eyesight screening machines eliminate the need for many drivers to be tested by an optometrist or medical practitioner. However, if you don't pass the screening check then you must provide one of the certificates listed before your application can be completed and you can be issued with your new licence. Some drivers choose to supply a certificate instead of taking a screening check. If you have vision in only one eye you must present an eye certificate from a doctor or optometrist.

Where you can find out more

For more information, contact the NZ Transport Agency:

  • Email info@nzta.govt.nz.
  • Call our contact centre on 0800 822 422.
  • Write to us: NZ Transport Agency, Private Bag 11777, Palmerston North 4442.

About factsheets

The information in this factsheet is a general guide only. It is not the source of the law.