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Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements (Factsheet 66)

Published: 10 2012

This factsheet relates to driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements.

Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements

This factsheet provides information on approved driver licensing courses for all licence classes and licence endorsements.

Car (Class 1) courses

If you're under 25 years old, you can reduce the minimum time you have to spend on a restricted licence from 18 months to 12 months by completing an approved advanced driving skills course. If you’re over 25, the minimum time can be reduced from six months to three months.

In addition to completing an approved advanced driving skills course, you'll still be required to pass the full licence test (practical test) to obtain a full licence.

Further information about the full licence test can be found on our website or in the Official New Zealand road code.

Which courses are approved?

There are two approved advanced driving skills courses:

  1. Street Talk.
  2. Defensive Driving.

How to find information about courses and course providers

You can also get information about courses and course providers by:

Motorcycle (Class 6) courses

Competency Based Training Assessment (CBTA)

The NZTA is currently developing a competency based training assessment (CBTA) option as an alternative path to progress through the restricted and full licensing stages. Once developed, applicants who successfully complete a CBTA course will be able to provide a CBTA certificate at the agent in lieu of some graduated licensing system requirements.

A restricted licence applicant who presents a CBTA certificate at a driver licensing agent will not be required to:

  • complete the learner licence minimum time period
  • sit and pass a practical test at the agent
  • pay the restricted practical test fee.

A full licence applicant who presents a CBTA certificate at a driver licensing agent can reduce the minimum class age from 18 years to 17½ years and will not be required to:

  • complete the restricted licence minimum time period
  • sit and pass a practical test at the agent
  • pay the full practical test fee.

Approved advance driving skills course (Street Talk or Defensive Driving)

From 1 October 2012, you can no longer complete an approved advanced driving skills course to reduce the minimum time you have to spend on a restricted licence. However, if you completed an approved course prior to 1 October 2012 you may be eligible for an exemption to reduce the minimum period to less than 18 months. See the DL4 exemption form for further information.

Heavy vehicle courses (classes 2-5)

If you want to drive heavy vehicles, you have to obtain the appropriate learner licence (class 2, 3, 4 or 5) before driving. The licence class you need to obtain depends on the weight of the vehicle you want to drive. When you apply for the learner licence you may also need to provide a medical certificate (see factsheet 70 Heavy vehicle driver licences).

To progress to a full licence, you've got two options:

  1. Practice driving under supervision for at least six months before applying for a full licence and sitting a practical test in a vehicle covered by that class
  2. Complete an approved industry-based course for that class. You can take the course any time after you gain your learner licence. When you've completed the course, take your course certificate to an NZTA driver licensing agent and apply for a full licence. You don't need to sit a practical test.

Heavy vehicle courses (classes 2–5)

The approved courses for heavy vehicle classes are aligned with unit standards on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) framework. If you successfully complete a course, you have the opportunity to have the unit standard you've achieved count towards a national certificate as well as a driver licence.

The relevant course unit standards are:

Course Unit standards
Class 2 17574 (Class 2) and 24089* (fatigue management, work time and logbooks)
Class 3 17575 (Class 3) and 24089*
Class 4 17576 (Class 4) and 24089*
Class 5 17577 (Class 5) and 24089*

* Required unless successfully completed with an approved driver licensing course provider either:

  • within the previous 12 months, or
  • more than 12 months ago and the course provider is able to confirm that you have retained the necessary knowledge and skills.

You can view these unit standards on the NZQA website.

Licence endorsement courses

The approved courses for licence endorsements are aligned with unit standards on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) framework. If you successfully complete a course, you have the opportunity to have the unit standards you've achieved count towards a national certificate as well as a driver licence.

Successfully completing the course is only one requirement in obtaining the endorsement on your driver licence. Please refer to the relevant factsheet (shown in the table below) for details about the full requirements for each endorsement type.

Endorsement type Course unit standards Factsheet
Passenger (P) 17579 and 24089* 42
Vehicle recovery (V) 17580 and 24089* 46
Dangerous goods (D) 16718 37
Forklift (F) 18496 10
Rollers (R) 16702 40
Tracks (T) 16703 40
Wheels (W) 16701 40
Driving instructor ('I') 16646, 16647, 14511, 14521, 14523, 20179, 20180, 3466 5

* Required unless successfully completed within the previous 12 months with an approved driver licensing course provider.

You can view these unit standards on the NZQA website.

How to find information about course providers

To find details of course providers for classes 2-5 and licence endorsements:

Becoming a course provider

If you're interested in providing approved driver licensing courses for licence classes or endorsements, you must be a registered assessor with the appropriate industry training organisation (see below) for the relevant course unit standards.

For all course types (except tracks, wheels, or rollers), contact:

For tracks, wheels, and rollers endorsement courses, contact:

In addition to becoming a registered assessor:

  • You must also satisfy the NZTA that you have sufficient relevant industry experience in relation to the course type for which approval is sought. This experience must be within the past five years in either an operational or training setting. If you are unsure whether you have sufficient experience, you should contact the driver licensing auditor at your local NZTA office.
  • If you are conducting approved courses for classes 2, 3, 4, or 5, you must also hold a driving instructor endorsement for the appropriate class of vehicle. (See factsheet 5, I endorsements for more information).
  • Where the application is for approval to conduct any of the class 2-5, P, or V endorsement courses, the applicant must provide evidence of having successfully completed either of the following unit standards:
    • 7097 (Facilitate interactive learning sessions for adults); or
    • 17975 (Plan, conduct, and review interactive group learning for trainee drivers).
  • Where application is for the Forklift endorsement course, must provide evidence of holding a current OSH operators or trainers certificate.
  • Complete the NZTA course provider approval application form and pay the applicable fee ($38.80 for each course type applied for)

Where you can find out more

  • Call our driver licensing contact centre: 0800 822 422.
  • Email us: info@nzta.govt.nz.
  • 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.