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Find out who needs an endorsement to carry passengers and how to get one.
If you carry passengers for hire or reward you need a passenger (P) endorsement.
You also need a P endorsement if you drive a large passenger service vehicle – even if you're not being paid for it.
Volunteers and some others may not need a P endorsement. See Volunteer drivers and exempt passenger services to check if that’s you.
A small passenger service vehicle has 12 seats or less, including the driver.
For example, taxi, shuttle, app-based service, private hire service. You also need a P endorsement if you're a dial-a-driver and drive the customer’s vehicle.
To drive a small passenger service vehicle you need:
You’ll need to choose a unique identifier for your driver ID card. This should be an easy to remember name, with up to eight alphabetic characters.
A large passenger service vehicle has more than 12 seats.
To drive a large passenger service vehicle you need:
You don't need to have an ID card to drive large passenger service vehicles.
To make sure people are safe when using a passenger service, Waka Kotahi checks the background of anyone applying for an endorsement to carry passengers, including criminal history, traffic offences, and medical health.
|Small vehicle||Large vehicle|
|1 year||5 years||1 year||5 years|
* Drivers of only large passenger service vehicles pay the vetting fee once every five years.
If you’ve given us all the information we need and you meet all the endorsement requirements, your application will be processed within 15 working days.
If you haven’t given us everything we need, or you haven’t met some requirements, your application will take longer to process.
If your application is granted, your new licence showing you hold a P endorsement will be sent to you. You must not carry passengers until you get your new licence.
If you don’t meet the fit and proper requirements, we’ll tell you in writing and give you a chance to explain before we make the final decision. If we decide to decline your application you can appeal our decision to the District Court.
Use our online tracking tool(external link) to view your application status:
|Status||What does this mean?|
|Received||We’ve got your application, but we haven’t started working on it yet. We’ll send you an email to let you know it’s been received.|
We’re waiting for something.
For example, we could be waiting for vetting information from the police, more information from a foreign country, or reviewing your medical certificate.
We’ll contact you if we need more information from you.
|Processing||We’ve got all the information we need, and we’re now assessing your application.|
We’ve finished processing your application.
You must have held a current New Zealand full car licence (class 1) for at least two years to get a P endorsement.
Holding an equivalent overseas licence doesn’t meet this requirement, but you may be able to apply for an exemption to get your overseas driving experience recognised.
If you’re planning to drive a heavy vehicle as a passenger service vehicle, make sure you have the right class of driver licence.
To make sure people are safe while using passenger services in New Zealand, a fit and proper person check will be done. This will check on things like transport-related offences, criminal convictions, and past complaints about you. Serious criminal convictions may prevent you from ever receiving a passenger endorsement.
Once you have your endorsement, we use real-time data to make sure you continue to meet our fit and proper person criteria.
If you’ve lived overseas for more than 12 months after the age of 14, or since your last application, you’ll need to have police and traffic documentation from those countries too.
You don’t need to provide evidence of your immigration status to Waka Kotahi.
Go to www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas(external link) for more information about working in New Zealand.
Commercial drivers must be in good health. We want to make sure that you won’t cause an accident through health-related issues when you’re responsible for the lives of passengers or driving large vehicles on public roads.
Ask your doctor to complete a Waka Kotahi medical certificate for you.
Good vision is essential to driving a vehicle safely. You’ll need to provide proof your vision meets the standards for safe driving.
You can choose whether you want your endorsement to last for one year or five years.
When the term of your endorsement has ended, you must renew the endorsement if you want to keep working as a passenger service driver.