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.
It doesn’t include the following activities:
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 the NZ Transport agency 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 must have held a full New Zealand car licence (class 1) for at least two years
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.
|1 year||5 years|
|Full licence test*||$59.90||$59.90|
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 10 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, 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 a current New Zealand full licence (class 1) that you have 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. 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.
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 or show that you’ve passed one in the last five years.
Your application will be sent to the 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.
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'll need to provide a certificate showing you've successfully completed an approved V endorsement course. This course will ensure you know the legal requirements for vehicle recovery services and how to manage and log your time spent driving.
Passing the endorsement course doesn’t guarantee the approval of your application for a V endorsement. It is only one of the necessary steps.
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