On 1 October 2017 changes to the way the passenger service sector is regulated were introduced. You need to be aware of these changes if:

  • you drive a vehicle available for passenger hire (or you operate a business providing this service), and
  • your passenger service vehicle has 12 seats or less, including the driver.

This includes taxis, shuttles, private hire vehicles and app-based passenger services – known collectively as ‘small passenger services’.

There were also specific changes for dial-a-driver and third party facilitated carpool operations and for large passenger services (vehicles with 13 seats or more, including the driver).

Please note: a number of passenger service situations were exempt from the changes, including traditional carpooling and local authority carpooling schemes.

Changes to legislation

On 3 August 2017, Parliament passed the Land Transport Amendment Act 2017(external link) that included changes for the small passenger service sector. These changes came into force on 1 October 2017. In addition, three related Land Transport Rules (Operator Licensing 2017, Work Time and Logbooks 2007 and Driver Licensing 1999(external link)) have been updated and came into force at the same time as the Act.

With new technologies now available, the changes are designed to enable the sector to be responsive to customer needs, encourage competition, allow for new technology and maintain safety for participants. This creates a level playing field for all, with similar rules applying across a range of small passenger services.

You can find out more about the background to the changes on the Ministry of Transport’s website(external link).

Safety first

The safety of passengers, drivers and vehicles is an important priority. This is managed by:

  • requiring all drivers carrying fare paying passengers to pass a check of their criminal and driving history, and medical fitness, and to have a valid driver licence with a passenger ‘P’ endorsement
  • requiring drivers to display their driver identification card
  • making sure passenger service vehicles have a current Certificate of Fitness (CoF), and display a relevant transport service licence card (commonly referred to as a label), such as a Small Passenger Service Licence
  • ensuring that all vehicles comply with the approved in-vehicle cameras requirements (or only carry registered passengers or are otherwise specifically excepted from these obligations) 
  • ensuring drivers are managing their hours correctly.

Passengers and drivers can also find tips on these pages to help you play your part in ensuring your own safety.

Helpful information