Current application processing times
To help minimise delays, please ensure you submit your application as early as possible.
Teaching people to drive for your business, or any kind of payment, requires you to have a driving instructor (I) endorsement on your licence.
Any space the public can access, even if they aren’t supposed to, can be considered a road. This includes parking, fields and beaches if the public could drive there.
If you’re not sure whether you need an I endorsement, please call us on 0800 822 422.
You must have held a full New Zealand licence for at least two years
You’ll need a medical certificate – unless you’ve provided one to us in the last five years
You’ll need a current passport or New Zealand driver licence, or another form of acceptable evidence of identity.
You can choose to get your endorsement for 1 year or 5 years. The application fee is the same no matter which term you choose.
1 The full licence test isn’t required if you’ve passed a class 1 full licence test in the last 5 years. This is a one-off fee you pay when you book the test for the first time, there are no fees for changing, cancelling or rebooking a test.
Your application will be sent to Waka Kotahi for processing and for the fit and proper person check to be done.
If you’ve given us all the information we need and you meet all the endorsement requirements, your application will be processed within 15 working days.
If you haven’t given us everything we need, or you haven’t met some requirements, your application will take longer to process.
Use our online tracking tool(external link) to view your application status:
|What does this mean?
|We’ve got your application, but we haven’t started working on it yet. We’ll send you an email to let you know it’s been received.
We’re waiting for something.
For example, we could be waiting for vetting information from the police or reviewing your medical certificate.
We’ll contact you if we need more information from you.
|We’ve got all the information we need, and we’re now assessing your application.
We’ve finished processing your application.
You must have held a current New Zealand full licence for at least two years.
An equivalent overseas licence doesn’t meet this requirement. If you’ve held an overseas licence, you may be able apply for an exemption to get your overseas driving experience recognised. You'll still need to sit a practical driving test (see below).
You’ll also need to get an I endorsement for each class of driver licence you want to teach. For example, you’ll need an I(1) endorsement to teach people how to drive light motor vehicles (class 1), and you’ll need an I(6) endorsement to teach people how to ride motorcycles (class 6).
You must have held a full New Zealand driver licence for each class you want to teach for at least two years.
As part of getting your I endorsement, you’ll need to sit a full licence test, unless you’ve already passed one in the last five years.
To ensure people are safe while under your supervision, we'll do a fit and proper person check. This looks for things like transport-related offences, criminal convictions and past complaints about you.
Once you have your endorsement, we use real-time data to make sure you continue to meet our fit and proper person criteria.
Commercial drivers must be in good health. We want to make sure you won’t cause a crash through health-related issues when you’re responsible for the lives of passengers or driving large vehicles on public roads.
Ask your doctor to complete a Waka Kotahi medical certificate for you.
If you need a medical certificate, you must provide it when you apply for your endorsement at the agent. If you don’t, your application will not be accepted.
Good vision is essential to driving a vehicle safely. You’ll need to provide proof your vision meets the standards for safe driving.
You'll need to provide a certificate showing that you've successfully completed an approved I endorsement course.
Approved courses cover the specialist knowledge and skills that driving instructors need. You also need to show that you’re a safe and responsible driver.
Everyone who applies for an I endorsement must meet the fit and proper person requirements. You may want to make sure you meet the fit and proper person criteria before doing the required course.
When you apply, you can either:
Having a course certificate doesn’t mean you can work as a driving instructor. You must also successfully apply and get the I endorsement on your driver licence.
If you don’t meet the fit and proper person requirements, we’ll tell you in writing and give you a chance to explain before we make the final decision. If we decide to decline your application you can appeal our decision to the District Court.
If you meet the fit and proper person requirements, and you’ve already completed the course and passed the practical test, we’ll approve your application and send your new licence to you.
If you’re waiting for the fit and proper result and haven’t completed the tests or course yet, we’ll send you a Notice of determination which is valid for 90 days. You can then complete your course and go back to the agent to book your practical driving test. If the notice expires before you finish the relevant courses or tests, call us on 0800 822 422.
Instructors are responsible for making sure people become safe and confident drivers. Your students have the right to expect high-quality training and service.
Waka Kotahi may audit you at any time to check you’re delivering a suitable service. You must also keep records of any driving instruction you’ve done for at least 12 months after the training is completed.