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Find out how to get a V endorsement.
Tow truck and car transporter drivers are the most common drivers who need an endorsement for vehicle recovery. If you operate a vehicle recovery service of any kind, you’ll also need a V endorsement.
If you're not sure whether you need a V endorsement, please call us on 0800 822 422.
A vehicle recovery service is the towing or carrying, on any road, of a motor vehicle.
The size or design of the towing or carrying vehicle doesn't matter, nor whether the towing or carrying of the vehicle is carried out by a person intending to repair the vehicle.
You don't need a V endorsement for:
towing or carrying your own vehicle
towing or carrying a motorcycle or moped
the towing or carrying of one motor vehicle by another when not directly or indirectly for reward, and when the towing or carrying vehicle is not designed or adapted for towing or carrying motor vehicles
towing of disabled vehicles using a rope or flat tow by:
a person employed or contracted by a motoring association or an insurance company where the towing or carrying is limited to the removal of a vehicle to a place of safety, or
the owner or employee of a garage or workshop who intends to repair the vehicle
when Waka Kotahi has notified the operator of the service that the vehicles carried can be considered goods
the removal of vehicles by the NZ Defence Force tow trucks at the request of an enforcement officer
routine towing services operated by NZ Defence Force personnel in areas where there is no suitable and available commercial towing service nearby
any service specified as an exempt vehicle recovery service.
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.
|Term||Application fee||Vetting fee||Total||Test fee 1|
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 is sent to Waka Kotahi for processing. We'll also do the fit and proper person check.
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.
If your application is granted, your new licence showing you hold a V endorsement will be sent to you. You must not tow or carry vehicles until you get your new licence.
If you don’t meet the fit and proper 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.
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, 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 V endorsement, you must have held a current New Zealand full licence (class 1) 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. You’ll still need to sit a practical driving test (see below).
If you're planning to drive a heavy vehicle in a vehicle recovery service, make sure you have the right class of driver licence.
You’ll need to choose a unique identifier for your driver ID card. This should be a name that's easy to remember, with up to eight alphabetic characters.
Before a V endorsement is granted you must demonstrate your ability to drive safely. This means you’ll need to sit a full licence test unless you’ve already passed one in the last five years.
Your application will be sent to Waka Kotahi 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.
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 you've successfully completed an approved V endorsement course. This course will make sure you know the legal requirements for vehicle recovery services and how to manage and log your time spent driving.
When you apply, you can either:
Having a course certificate doesn’t mean you can drive a vehicle recovery service vehicle on the road. You must also successfully apply and get the V endorsement on your driver licence.