The New Zealand driver licensing system makes sure everyone driving on our roads has the skills and knowledge needed to be a safe driver. The safer drivers are, the safer our roads will be.
A licence to drive a motor vehicle is only given to people who pass the driver licence tests and show an understanding of the rights and safety of others.
Photo driver licences help identify drivers. The police can check that people on learner and restricted licences are following the conditions of their licence and they also help catch unlicensed and disqualified drivers.
You must always have your driver licence with you when driving.
You must by law show your driver licence to an enforcement officer when asked.
If your licence is issued with conditions on it, you must follow them when you drive, otherwise you could get a ticket, demerit points and a fine.
Common conditions include always wearing correcting lenses, such as glasses, when driving, only driving automatic vehicles, or only driving specially adapted vehicles. A condition can apply to all or some of the classes and endorsements you hold.
Note: learner and restricted licence conditions aren’t on your licence.
There are 6 classes of driver licence in Aotearoa New Zealand. Each class covers different types and weights of vehicle because the skills you need to drive a heavy vehicle or motorcycle are different from driving a car.
To drive a car, you’ll need a class 1 licence.
Class 1 learner or restricted licence holders can drive:
Class 1 restricted licence holders can also drive:
Class 1 full licence holders can drive:
*You also need an endorsement to drive these vehicles.
Note: if you drive a tractor, you’ll need to hold the right class of licence for the weight of the tractor, but you won’t need a special-type endorsement.
Classes 2 to 5 cover trucks and other heavy vehicles.
Class 6 covers motorcycles.
To safely drive some vehicles or provide certain services, you need to have special knowledge or training. A licence endorsement on your driver licence shows that you've completed the courses or qualifications you need for that endorsement.
These are the types of endorsement you can get and what they allow you to do:
Allows you to:
|D||drive a vehicle carrying dangerous goods|
|F||drive a forklift|
|I||be a driving instructor|
|O||be a driver testing officer|
|P||drive a passenger service vehicle, for example, a bus, taxi, Uber or Ola|
|R||drive a special-type vehicle that runs on rollers|
|T||drive a special-type vehicle that runs on tracks|
|V||drive a tow truck|
|W||drive a special-type vehicle that runs on wheels|