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O endorsement for testing officers

Information for people who want to conduct practical driving tests.

Who needs a testing officer endorsement

Practical driving tests may only be conducted by testing officers who are employed by or contracted to the NZ Transport Agency, its testing agent or the NZ Defence Force.

You must also have a testing officer (O) endorsement on your driver licence before you can start conducting tests.

Requirements for an O 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 does not meet this requirement. 

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 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 certification training

Once you have gained employment with the testing agent you can then commence certification training.

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

You will 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 are ready.

  • 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 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 certification training. 

You can’t teach 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 to make your application

To get your O 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 everything required), because of the time it takes to do the fit and proper person check.

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

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.

Download Factsheet 48: O endorsements – how to become a testing officer [PDF, 59 KB]

Download Factsheet 66: Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements [PDF, 70 KB]