Applying for a testing officer (O) endorsement

Current application processing times

To help minimise delays, please ensure you submit your application as early as possible.

Standard applications are more likely to be processed without delay, and meet the following criteria:

  • Application completed correctly
  • All required documents are attached
  • No fit and proper check issues
  • No prior Waka Kotahi concerns related to driving.

Check the table to see how long it will take us to process your application.

Who needs a testing officer endorsement?

To conduct practical driving tests you must be employed by or contracted to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, its testing agent, or the NZ Defence Force.

Before applying for the testing officer (O) endorsement you must have proof of employment with one of the above agencies.

If you’re not sure whether you need an O endorsement, please call us on 0800 822 422, or contact any Waka Kotahi office.

You must also have an O endorsement on your driver licence before you can start conducting tests.

What do I need?

How do I apply?

  1. Complete an Application for new V, I or O endorsement application form (DL20B) [PDF, 469 KB].
  2. Take the completed form and the above documents to a driver licensing agent.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. The agent will take your photo and signature. 

You must have held a full licence for two years

To get an O endorsement, you must have held a current full New Zealand driver licence for at least two years.

Holding an equivalent overseas licence doesn’t meet this requirement. If you’ve held an overseas licence, you may be able apply for an exemption to get your overseas driving experience recognised. 

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’ll check if you are a fit and proper person

Your application will be sent to Waka Kotahi 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

Medical certificate

Commercial drivers must be in good health. We want to make sure you won’t cause a crash 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.

If you need a medical certificate, you must provide it when you apply for your endorsement at the agent. If you don’t, your application will not be accepted.

Eyesight requirements

Good vision is essential to driving a vehicle safely. You’ll need to provide proof your vision meets the standards for safe driving. 

Testing officer (O) certification tests

You can start certification training once you’re employed.

It’s the responsibility of the testing agent to provide you with the testing officer’s manual and to train you to conduct tests properly and meet the standards required.

You’ll need to show your understanding of the driver testing requirements by successfully completing the certification testing administered by Waka Kotahi. This involves sitting and passing a range of theory and practical tests on procedures, conducting and marking practical tests. The testing agent will arrange for you to sit the tests when you’re ready.

Application options

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 10 working days).

If you’re 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’ll be sent a Notice of determination to let you know, and you can then do your certification training.

You can’t conduct tests 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 much does it cost?

You can choose to get your endorsement for 1 year or 5 years. The application fee is the same no matter which term you choose.  


Application fee

Vetting fee


Certification fee

1 year





5 years



What happens next?

Your application will be sent to Waka Kotahi for processing, and so we can do the fit and proper person check.

  • 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 an O endorsement will be sent to you. You must not conduct practical driving tests until you get your new licence.

If you don’t meet the fit and proper person 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.
Gathering information

We’re waiting for something.

For example, we could be waiting for vetting information from the police, 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.

  • If your endorsement is approved, we’ll send you a new photo driver licence within 15 days.

  • If your endorsement is declined, we’ll send you a letter explaining why, and what you can do.


Download Factsheet 48: O endorsements – how to become a testing officer [PDF, 237 KB]

Download Factsheet 66: Driver licensing courses for licence classes and endorsements [PDF, 237 KB]