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Certificate of knowledge of law and practice

One of the requirements for getting a large passenger, goods or vehicle recovery service licence is that either the licence holder or a person in control of the service needs to hold a certificate of knowledge of law and practice in the relevant module for the transport service licence.

This shows that the holder of the certificate has the required knowledge of the laws and practices relating to the safe, efficient and proper operation of a transport service.

How do I get the certificate?

To get a certificate of knowledge of law and practice, you have to pass a test run by Aspeq(external link)

The test covers the rules relating to the type of service you will be operating and specific knowledge relating to the requirements and responsibilities of a transport service licence holder. There is an individual handbook for each type of service. TSL handbooks are available from Aspeq(external link).

What are the costs?

Handbook and test Current price as at 1 June 2022 (incl. GST)
TSL handbook – Knowledge of law and practice (includes postage & packaging) $54.60
Goods, large passenger or vehicle recovery
Optional extras
Reader assisted $515.50
On-demand examination $408.50
Interpreter exam $969.00

Who might be exempt from holding a certificate?

The requirement to obtain and hold a certificate of knowledge of law and practice doesn’t apply to operators of small passenger services and rental services. However, you must still hold the appropriate transport service licence.

In special circumstances, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency may waive the requirement for other transport service operators to hold the certificate where the service is limited or infrequent. An example is a truck that’s used to carry apples in the picking season, but that only carries bits and pieces around the orchard for most of the year. Generally, exemptions are granted for operators who are carrying their own goods and not for hire or reward.

If you think you might be eligible for a waiver, take a completed Application for waiver (TL03) form [PDF, 49 KB] with you when you make your transport service licence application at an agent.

If you already have a transport service licence but your circumstances have changed and you think you might now be eligible for a waiver, you can apply for a waiver online.

About the tests

The Aspeq website has information on the test, including sample test questions.

The test questions are based on the Knowledge of law and practice handbook. You can buy the handbook online from Aspeq.

The test, which is computer based, is ‘open book’, which means you may take the handbook into the test with you. Handbooks are not supplied by Aspeq at the test venue. 

An example of how the computer based test works can be found on the Aspeq website.

You have two to two-and-a-half hours to complete the test and you must score 80 percent or higher to pass the test.

Test standards are set and audited by Waka Kotahi.

Visit the Aspeq website(external link)

What identification do I need to bring to the tests?

On the day of the test, you'll need to show identification that has both your photograph and signature on it (eg your driver licence or passport). If you don't present acceptable identification, you won't be able to sit the test.

When does the test take place?

Aspeq has timetables for when the test takes place in different areas. 

Check the Aspeq website for the exam timetable for your area(external link)

Aspeq also offers an 'on demand' option, which reduces the waiting period but costs more.

How do I apply to sit the tests?

You can book your exam up to 24 hours before the exam starts, subject to availability.

Existing candidates who have a current ASL/Aspeq client number

Go to the Aspeq website(external link) and click on Log In in the banner near the top of the page. Enter your username and password and follow the prompts. Then click on Book Exam on the left hand side menu.

If it is your first time with ASL

If you’re a new candidate who doesn’t hold a current Aspeq client number, you’ll need proof of identity (driver licence) when you register for the first time. Go to the Aspeq website(external link) and click on Register in the banner near the top of the page. Follow the instructions displayed underneath.

Once Aspeq has validated your account you’ll be able to log in and book an exam through the Bookings dropdown menu at the top of the page.

If you have any issues with your booking, have a look at the Aspeq site guide(external link).

For information on transfers to different test dates, cancellations or refunds go to the Aspeq website(external link).