Buses and taxis

Buses and taxis (including shuttles), that carry passengers for hire or reward, must meet all the vehicle standards required of them. There are added safety requirements because they provide public transport.

Standards for buses and taxis

Light buses are defined as buses that carry more than 9 people but are still light vehicles, meaning they weigh up to 3500kg when fully loaded.

Heavy buses have a gross vehicle mass (GVM) over 3500kg.

Small passenger service vehicles (like taxis) must meet the usual standards for light vehicles.

Check the vehicle standards that apply for:

Requirements for passenger service vehicles

The Land Transport Rule: Passenger Service Vehicles 1999 sets out:

  • legal requirements which are checked when the vehicle is entry-inspected
  • best practice approaches that drivers can voluntarily follow, for example:
    • getting wheelchair anchorages, ramps and hoists checked and certified for vehicles transporting people with special needs
    • having the towing connections checked and certified for when towing a light trailer.

See the additional licence requirements for drivers of passenger service vehicles.

Find out more about passenger service vehicle requirements

Read Is your passenger service vehicle compliant? 

Driving a school bus

The Ministry of Education(external link) manages school bus contracts and has particular requirements to ensure school bus safety.