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Applying for a testing officer (O) endorsement

From 1 July 2017 the vetting fee will change from $28.80 to $9.70 per year. 

Who needs a testing officer endorsement?

To conduct practical driving tests, you must be employed by the NZ Transport Agency, a testing agent contracted to the Transport Agency or the NZ Defence Force.

Before applying for the testing officer (O) endorsement you must have proof of employment with one of the above agencies.

If you’re not sure whether you need an O endorsement or if you require the name of the current agent, please call us on 0800 822 422, email or contact any Transport Agency office.

You must also have an O endorsement on your driver licence before you can start conducting tests.

Getting an endorsement

You must have held a full licence for two years

To get an O endorsement, you must hold, and have held for at least two years, a full New Zealand class 1 driver licence.

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 must also hold each class of licence that you want to conduct tests for. For example, if you want to conduct class 2 tests, you must have a class 2 on your driver licence.  

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

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.

Further information about the fit and proper person criteria

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. (hyperlink)

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. 

Testing officer (O) certification tests

Once you’re employed with the testing agent you can then start certification training.

It’s the responsibility of the testing agent to provide you with the testing officer’s manual and to train you to conduct tests appropriately to meet the standards required.

You’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding of the requirements of driver testing by successfully completing the certification testing administered by the Transport Agency. This involves sitting and passing a range of theory and practical tests about testing procedures as well as conducting and marking practical tests. The testing agent will arrange for you to sit the tests when you’re ready.

Application options

If you want to, you can make your application before starting the certification training. You can then do the training 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 certification training.

You can’t conduct tests until you have the endorsement on your licence

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

How much does it cost to apply?


1 year

5 years

Endorsement application



Vetting fee



Certification tests



Total cost




Download Factsheet 48: O endorsements – how to become a testing officer (external link)

Download Factsheet 66: Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements (external link)


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