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Find out who needs an endorsement to carry passengers and how to get one.
If you carry passengers for hire or reward you need a passenger (P) endorsement.
You also need a P endorsement if you drive a large passenger service vehicle, even if you're not being paid for it.
Volunteers and some other people may be exempt from holding a P endorsement. See Volunteer drivers and exempt passenger services to check if that’s you.
A small passenger service vehicle has 12 seats or less, including the driver.
For example, taxi, shuttle, app-based service, private hire service. You also need a P endorsement if you drive for a dial-a-driver service and are driving the customer’s vehicle.
To drive a small passenger service vehicle you need:
A large passenger service vehicle has more than 12 seats.
To drive a large passenger service vehicle you need:
a current P endorsement, and
a current licence for the type of vehicle you’re driving (for example, if you’re driving a bus with a gross vehicle mass of 10,000kg, you’ll need a class 2 licence), and
You don't need to have an ID card to drive large passenger service vehicles.
The public need to know they are safe when using a passenger service. The Transport Agency checks the background of anyone applying to be endorsed to carry passengers, including criminal history, traffic offences and medical health.
You must have held a full New Zealand car licence (class 1) for at least two years
If you’ve lived outside New Zealand, you’ll need to provide foreign documentation
You’ll need a medical certificate (unless you’ve provided one to the Transport Agency in the last five years)
If you’re not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, you’ll need a work permit or visa approving work in New Zealand in the appropriate field
You’ll need a current passport or New Zealand driver licence, or another form of acceptable evidence of identity.
|Small vehicle||Large vehicle|
|1 year||5 years||1 year||5 years|
* If you only drive a large passenger vehicle, the police check is done once every five years.
Your application will be sent to the NZ Transport Agency to be processed, and for the fit and proper person check to be performed.
If you’ve provided all the necessary information with your application and all the endorsement requirements have been met, please allow 20 working days for your application to be processed.
If some information hasn’t been provided yet, or if some requirements haven’t been met, your application will take longer to process.
If you're cleared and your application is granted, your endorsement will be approved and your new licence will be made and sent to you.
If you’re not cleared, you’ll receive a letter explaining this and the process you may take to appeal the decision in the district court.
Use our online tracking tool(external link) to view your application status:
|Status||What does this mean?|
|Received||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, more information from a foreign country, or reviewing your medical certificate.
We’ll contact you if we need more information from you.
|Processing||We’ve got all the information we need, and we’re now assessing your application.|
We’ve finished processing your application.
To get a P endorsement, you must have a current New Zealand full car licence (class 1) that you’ve held for at least two years.
Holding 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.
If you’re planning to drive a heavy vehicle as a passenger service vehicle, make sure you have the right class of driver licence.
Your application will be sent to the NZ Transport Agency so that a fit and proper person check can be done. This will check on things like transport-related offences, criminal convictions and past complaints about you. Serious criminal convictions may prevent you ever receiving a passenger endorsement.
If you’ve lived overseas for more than 12 months after the age of 14, or since your last application, you’ll need to have police and traffic documentation from those countries too.
If you’re not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, your work permit or visa must approve work in the appropriate industry before a passenger endorsement can be granted.
Please provide a copy of your work permit or visa with your application.
It’s important that commercial drivers are in good health. We want to ensure that you won’t cause an accident through a health-related incident when you’re responsible for the lives of passengers or driving large vehicles on public roads.
Ask your doctor to complete a Transport Agency medical certificate for you.
Good vision is essential to driving a vehicle safely. You’ll need to provide proof your vision meets the standards for safe driving.
You must choose whether you want your endorsement to last for one year or five years.
When the term of your endorsement has finished, you must renew the endorsement again.
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