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I endorsement for driving instructors

Information for people who want to teach others to drive for financial gain.

Who needs a driving instructor endorsement

If you teach people how to drive on a road for financial or commercial gain, you must have a current driving instructor endorsement on your driver licence. This is called an I endorsement.

If you are not sure whether you need an I endorsement, call our driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422.

Requirements for an I endorsement

You must have held a full licence for two years

To get an I 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 does not meet this requirement. 

You must also have held each class of 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.   

We will check if you are a fit and proper person

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. 

Further information about the fit and proper person criteria

You will need to complete a course

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

  • 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 are 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 will 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
Find out more about what will be covered in the course

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.

How to make your application

To get your I endorsement, you must apply at a driver licensing agent

You will need to:

You should allow six to eight weeks for your application to be processed (providing you have supplied all the necessary information and documentation). This is because we need to carry out a fit and proper person check.

If you give us your email address, we’ll send you updates on your application status. We’ll also email you a link so you can track your application’s progress online.

Choose the classes you will teach

When you make your application, you will 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).

You may need a work permit

If you're not a New Zealand citizen or don't hold a residence permit, you will need a work permit or some other temporary permit to show that you are allowed to work in New Zealand.

What’s involved in the course

The approved course is aligned with unit standards on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) framework. If you successfully complete a course you have the opportunity to have the unit standards you’ve achieved count towards a national certificate as well as a driver licence endorsement.

In the course you’ll be trained and assessed in the following unit standards:

  • 16646 – Develop and follow through on individual driver training plans.
  • 16647 – Describe implications for driver educators of factors that affect people’s learning.
  • 14511 – Describe knowledge required by driver educators of road transport legislation.
  • 14521 – Observe and analyse a person’s driving and determine optimal ways to achieve required performance.
  • 14523 – Carry out in-vehicle driver training.
  • 20179 – Describe light motor vehicle dynamics and handling characteristics.
  • 20180 – Demonstrate knowledge of hazard detection and responses.
  • 3466 – Apply risk reduction techniques and strategies while driving.

You’ll also have a driving assessment completed on your own driving skills. This assessment, along with all the practical driving on the course, will be conducted in a vehicle with a manual transmission. Note: The ‘I’ endorsement when granted will allow instruction to be given in vehicles with either manual or automatic transmissions.

View the unit standards mentioned above on the NZQA website (external link)  

You’ll be given a certificate when you successfully complete the course, which you will need to submit as part of your application.

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, 70 KB]