Getting a heavy vehicle licence

New Zealand has a graduated driver licensing system. This is designed to help you progressively build your driving and road safety skills as you move through the system.

First time applicants wishing to obtain a heavy trade licence (Class 2 and above) must first obtain a Class 1 (light motor vehicle) licence.

You need to have held a full Class 1 licence for at least six months before you can apply for and obtain a learner licence for Class 2 vehicles and above. You also need to pay the appropriate licence application and test fees.


 

Heavy vehicle driver licence classes

Heavy vehicle driver licences are needed to drive a wide range of vehicles including trucks and trailers, buses, large mobile homes, mobile cranes, fire engines, forklifts, heavy tractors, self-powered agricultural and construction machines and vehicles with pivot steering.

There are four different heavy vehicle driver licences (Classes 2-5), each based on the type of vehicle (rigid or combination) and the weight of the vehicle:

  • Class 2 and 2L - Medium rigid vehicles
  • Class 3 and 3L - Medium combination vehicles
  • Class 4 and 4L - Heavy rigid vehicles
  • Class 5 and 5L - Heavy combination vehicles.

Getting a Class 2 licence

You must first get a Class 2 learner licence. To do this, you must:

  • hold a full Class 1 licence for at least six months
  • present a medical certificate
  • pass a theory test.

To get a full Class 2 licence, you must:

  • present a medical certificate
  • hold a Class 2 learner licence for at least six months and then pass a practical test in a Class 2 vehicle, or
  • hold a Class 2 learner licence and then pass the approved training course for progression to a Class 2 full licence.

Getting a Class 3 licence

You must first get a Class 3 learner licence. To do this, you must:

  • hold a full Class 2 licence for at least six months (or for at least three months, if you are aged 25 or over)
  • present a medical certificate
  • pass a theory test.

Note: if you are aged 25 or over and you successfully complete the approved 25 Class 3L course, you can apply for a Class 3 learner licence with no minimum time on a full Class 2 licence. See below for more information.

To get a full Class 3 licence, you must:

  • present a medical certificate
  • hold a Class 3 learner licence for at least six months and then pass a practical test in a Class 3 combination vehicle, or
  • hold a Class 3 learner licence and then pass the approved course for progression to a Class 3 full licence.

Getting a Class 4 licence

You must first get a Class 4 learner licence. To do this, you must:

  • hold a full Class 2 licence for at least six months (or for at least three months, if you are aged 25 or over)
  • present a medical certificate.

You do not need to pass a theory test, as you will have passed this when obtaining your Class 2 licence.

Note: if you are aged 25 or over and you successfully complete the approved over 25 Class 4L course, you can apply for a Class 4 learner licence with no minimum time on a full Class 2 licence.

To get a full Class 4 licence, you must:

  • present a medical certificate
  • hold a Class 4 learner licence for at least six months and then pass a practical test in a Class 4 vehicle,
    or
  • hold a Class 4 learner licence and then pass the approved course for progression to a Class 4 full licence.

Getting a Class 5 licence

You must first get a Class 5 learner licence. To do this, you must:

  • hold a full Class 4 licence for at least six months (or for at least three months, if you are aged 25 or over)
  • present a medical certificate
  • pass a theory test (unless you have previously passed a theory test for a Class 3 licence).

Note: If you are aged 25 or over and you successfully complete the approved over 25 Class 5L course, you can apply for a Class 5 learner licence with no minimum time on a full Class 4 licence.

To get a full Class 5 licence you must:

  • present a medical certificate
  • hold a Class 5 learner licence for at least six months and then pass a practical test in a Class 5 combination vehicle,
    or
  • hold a Class 5 learner licence and then pass the approved course for progression to a Class 5 full licence.

Medical certificates

Medical certificates are usually required every time you apply for (or renew) a heavy vehicle driver licence. However, you may not have to present a medical certificate if you have already presented one for a class 2, 3, 4 or 5 application, or a P, V, I or O endorsement application, within the last five years, and you sign a declaration. The declaration will require you to confirm that any condition that you may have had hasn't worsened and you haven't been diagnosed with any other condition since you presented that medical certificate.

Medical certificates must:

  • be the original
  • be from a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner
  • be not more than 60 days old
  • state that you are safe to drive, or set out the conditions under which you can drive.

Eyesight requirements

You must prove that your eyesight meets the required standard each time you apply for a new licence class or endorsement or renew your licence. To do this you can:

  • present a certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered optometrist (this certificate must not be more than 60 days old)
  • present a satisfactory medical certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner (this certificate must not be more than 60 days old and must specifically cover eyesight)
  • pass an eyesight screening check at a driver licensing agent.

Note: the agents' eyesight screening machines eliminate the need for many drivers to be tested by an optometrist or medical practitioner. However, if you don't pass the screening check, then you must provide one of the certificates listed before your application can proceed. Some drivers choose to supply a certificate instead of taking a screening check. If you have vision in only one eye, you must present an eye certificate from a doctor or optometrist.

Licence application and test fee for a new class of licence

For a new class of licence, the following fees apply:

Learner licence application $39.30
Learner licence theory test $39.70
Full licence application $44.30
Full licence test for Classes 2, 3, 4, 5 $48.90

 

Penalties you may incur

Penalty for not carrying your licence

You must carry your licence with you at all times when you're driving on public roads.

If you're found driving without your licence, you could be ticketed and face an infringment fee of $55.

Penalties for not keeping to your licence conditions

It's important that new drivers develop driving skills in a safe environment - safe for themselves and others. As a result, you'll face fines and demerit points if you break the conditions of your learner licence. (These measures are designed to encourage new drivers to drive by the rules at all times.)

If you break the conditions of your learner licence, you'll face:

  • a $400 infringement fine
  • a penalty of 25 demerit points.

 

 

Professional Driver Training For New Zealand Drivers

 

How do our students fare? Most people who take our Package lessons pass their driver's license test(updated 2014):

Type of Licence

Pass Rate

Full standard 99%
Overseas conversion 97%
Restricted license 96%
Heavy vehicle 100%
Motorbike 100%
 

 

 
 
 

 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 

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