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Applying for a driving instructor (I) endorsement

Who needs a driving instructor endorsement?

Teaching people to drive for your business, or any kind of payment, requires you to have a driving instructor (I) endorsement on your licence. Be aware that 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.

What do I need to apply?

  • You must have held a full New Zealand car licence (class 1) for at least two years

  • You'll need to complete an approved course
  • 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.

How do I apply?

  1. Complete an Application for new V, I or O endorsement application form (DL20B) [PDF, 565 KB].
  2. Take the completed form and the above documents to a driver licensing agent.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. The agent will take your photo and signature. 

How much does it cost to apply?

  1 year 5 years
Endorsement application $64.40 $246.30
Vetting fee $9.70 $48.50
Full licence test* $59.90 $59.90
Total cost $134 $354.70

* If you’ve passed a class 1 full licence in the last five years, you don’t need this again.

What happens next?

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.
Gathering information

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.
Completed

We’ve finished processing your application.

  • If your endorsement is approved, we’ll send you a new photo driver licence within 7-10 days.

  • If your endorsement is declined, we’ll send you a letter explaining why, and what you can do.

Requirements for an I endorsement

You must have held a full licence for two years

You must have a current New Zealand full licence (class 1), which 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. You will still need to sit a practical driving test (see below).

You must also have held each class of driver licence that you want to teach for at least two years. For example, if you want to teach both class 1 (car) and class 6 (motorcycles), you must have held each of those classes for at least two years.  

Choose the classes you will teach

When you make your application, you’ll need to choose the classes that you want to teach. You must have an I endorsement for each class.

For example, if you say on your form that you want to teach classes 1, 2, 4 and 6, you will have an I1, I2, I4 and I6 on your driver licence (if you have held each class for long enough).

Practical driving test

Before an I 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.

We’ll check if you’re a fit and proper person

To ensure that the New Zealand public are safe while under your supervision, 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.

Medical certificate

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.

Eyesight requirements

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 complete a course

You'll need to provide a certificate showing that you've successfully completed an approved I endorsement course.

This course ensures you’re equipped with the knowledge required to effectively train people to be safe drivers on New Zealand roads. You also need to show that you’re a safe and responsible driver.

  • If you want to, you can make your application before sitting the I endorsement course. You can then do the course while the application is being processed (it can take up to eight weeks).
  • If you’re not sure whether you might pass the fit and proper person check, you can choose to make your application and have the check done first. If you pass the check, you’ll be sent a Notice of determination to let you know, and you can then do your course.

Find an approved course provider in your area

You can't teach until you have the endorsement on your licence

You can’t start instructing just because you’ve got the necessary certificates. You must successfully complete the application process and get the I endorsement added to your driver licence first.

After you’ve got the endorsement on your licence

Instructors are responsible for making sure people become safe and confident drivers. Your pupils have the right to expect high quality training and service.

The Transport Agency 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 has been completed.

Download Factsheet 5: I endorsements – how to become a driving instructor [PDF, 71 KB]

Download Factsheet 66: Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements [PDF, 68 KB]

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