You have to confirm that you are medically fit each time you apply for, renew or replace your driver licence. This may simply involve signing the declaration on the licence application form. But you may need to present a medical or eyesight certificate.
You must declare any medical conditions
You have to complete a medical declaration when you complete any driver licence application form. This asks you to declare any conditions that may affect your ability to drive safely, including:
If you answer 'yes' to any of these you may need to provide a medical or eyesight certificate.
You may need to present a medical certificate
You'll need to present a medical certificate when:
- applying for or renewing a heavy vehicle licence (class 2,3,4,5), unless you've provided a certificate within the last five years*
- applying for or renewing endorsements for passengers (P), vehicle recovery services (V), driving instruction (I) or testing officer (O) unless you've provided a certificate within the last five years*
- you have a medical condition that may affect your ability to drive safely
- you're an older driver obtaining or renewing any licence class or endorsement beyond your 75th birthday
- we ask you to provide one.
*The medical certificate must have been provided for the same medical standard that you are now applying for:
- Private classes: class 1 or 6 licence and D, F, R, T or W endorsements have the same medical standards
- Commercial classes: classes 2, 3, 4, 5 and P, V, I and O endorsements have the same medical standards.
The medical certificate must meet certain requirements
A New Zealand-registered health practitioner must complete your medical certificate. This could be your usual doctor (GP), a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or a specialist if appropriate.
Ask your health practitioner to complete a Transport Agency medical certificate for you. Your practitioner will have copies.
- must be no more than 60 days old
- either state that you are safe to drive, or set out the conditions under which you can drive safely.
You are responsible for the cost of getting your certificate. The cost varies between medical centres.
Medical certificates for commercial drivers
We want to ensure 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. It's important to recognise you're also on the road for longer than the average Kiwi driver. If you need a heavy vehicle licence (classes 2, 3, 4 or 5), or a P, V, I or O endorsement, this applies to you.
Most commercial drivers must provide a medical certificate
To show that you're in good health you must:
provide an original medical certificate (not older than 60 days) that has been completed by a New Zealand-registered health practitioner, or
have previously provided a medical certificate for a P, V, I or O endorsement, or a truck licence, within the last five years.
However, if you've developed a medical condition that could affect your driving, or have a medical condition that has worsened since presenting your last certificate, you'll need to provide a new medical certificate regardless.
Getting a medical certificate
Ask your health practitioner to complete a Transport Agency medical certificate for you. The certificate will either state that you're safe to drive, or set out the conditions under which you can drive safely.
Your health practitioner will have copies of the form. The Transport Agency have issued guidelines so it's clear which medical conditions are and are not acceptable.
You're responsible for the cost of getting your certificate. The cost varies between medical centres.
Sometimes an occupational therapist check is required
Where a health practitioner has concerns over whether you're medically fit to drive the classes or endorsements you're applying for, they commonly seek a second opinion. They may refer you to an occupational therapist for a driving assessment.
This assessment involves an approximately two-hour off-road assessment, which may be followed by a 50–60-minute on-road assessment.
See what's involved in an occupational therapy assessment
The therapist then sends a report back to your health practitioner. When issuing your medical certificate, your practitioner will take the therapist's report into consideration – for example they may recommend you only drive vehicles with an automatic transmission.
More information for health practitioners