Information about vehicle recovery endorsements – who needs one, how to get one, and what you can drive with one.
You need a vehicle recovery (V) endorsement to drive a vehicle in a vehicle recovery service.
The most common types of vehicle used in vehicle recovery services are tow trucks and car transporters.
If you're not sure whether you need a V endorsement, call our contact centre on 0800 822 422.
A vehicle recovery service is the towing or carrying, on any road, of a motor vehicle.
The size or design of the towing or carrying vehicle doesn't matter, or whether or not the towing or carrying of the vehicle is carried out by a person intending to repair the vehicle.
It does not include the following activities:
To get a V 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.
If you're planning to drive a heavy vehicle in a vehicle recovery service, make sure you have the right class of driver licence
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.
You'll need to provide a certificate showing that you've successfully completed an approved V endorsement course.
You can’t drive a vehicle recovery service vehicle on the road just because you’ve got the necessary certificates. You must successfully complete the application process and get the V endorsement added to your driver licence first.
To get your V endorsement, you must apply at a driver licensing agent.
You will need to:
fill out an application form [PDF, 256 KB]
present evidence of your identity
prove your eyesight meets the required standard
provide a medical certificate (if applicable)
let the agent take your photo and signature
book a time to sit a full licence test (unless you have passed one in the last five years)
present an approved V endorsement course certificate (unless you have chosen to present it later).
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 will need to choose a 'unique identifier' for your unique identification (ID) card when you make your application. You must always have your ID card with you when operating a vehicle recovery service vehicle.
A unique identifier is a name made up of a combination of letters that could be easily recalled by users of the service. If you choose a unique identifier that somebody else already has, the Transport Agency will assign numbers to the chosen name to avoid duplication.
If your identifier can’t be easily remembered by your passengers, the Transport Agency will ask you to select another one.
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.