I endorsements:

How to become a driving instructor

You'll need to get an I endorsement for each class of driver licence you want to teach. For example, you'll need a different I endorsement for teaching people how to drive light motor vehicles (Class 1 driver licence) from the I endorsement you'll need to teach people how to ride motorcycles (Class 6 driver licence).

Before you can apply for an I endorsement, you must have held a full New Zealand driver licence of the class or classes you want to teach for at least two years. For example, if you want to teach Class 1 and Class 3, you must have held a full New Zealand licence for both Class 1 and Class 3 for two years or more.

You'll need to:

  • successfully complete an approved driving instructor course
  • complete and submit an application form
  • prove your eyesight meets the required standard
  • pass the 'fit and proper person' check
  • sit and pass a practical driving test
  • pay the application, vetting and practical driving test fees.

You may also need to provide a medical certificate.

Completing a course

You'll need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed an approved driving instructor course. (Approved courses cover the specialist knowledge and skills that driving instructors need.)

You may complete the course before or after you put your application in.

What will the course cover?

In the course, you'll learn about:

  • road transport legislation
  • individual driver training plans
  • factors affecting people's learning
  • motor vehicle design and handling
  • observation and vision in a vehicle.

You'll have to successfully complete an advanced assessment drive with an approved assessor.

You'll also have to complete two practical modules:

  • observe and analyse
  • vehicle driver training session.

You'll be given a certificate when you successfully complete the course. You'll need to submit this as part of your application.

Where can I find out about courses?

  • Contact your nearest NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) office.
  • Call the NZTA driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422.

What else do I have to do?

You can't work as a driving instructor just because you've successfully completed the course. You must complete the process set out in this factsheet to get the I endorsement on your driver licence.

Putting your application in

Submit your application at an NZTA driver licensing agent.

You'll need:

  • a completed application form (the forms are available from driver licensing agents)
  • evidence of your identity (eg your current New Zealand driver licence), 
  • evidence of your name and address (eg a bill or account statement),
  • a medical certificate (if applicable)
  • the certificate showing you've successfully completed an approved driving instructor course (or you can complete the course after you put your application in - see the note below)
  • a means of paying the application, vetting and full licence practical test fees (cheque, cash or EFTPOS).

Should I do the driver instructor course before or after I put in my application?

Every applicant for an I endorsement is subject to a 'fit and proper person' check (see below). You may not want to complete the driving instructor course until you're certain that you meet the 'fit and proper person' criteria.

When you put your application in, you can either:

  • provide a certificate showing you've successfully completed an approved course (and book your practical driving test), or
  • submit your application without having completed an approved course and either
    • wait for the result of the 'fit and proper person' check before doing a course (and booking the practical driving test), or
    • complete an approved course (and book your practical driving test) while you wait for the result of the 'fit and proper person' check.

Medical certificate

You need to present a medical certificate for an I endorsement if:

  • you haven't submitted a medical certificate for classes 2 to 5 or endorsements P, V, I or O in the last five years
  • you've developed a medical condition that could adversely affect your ability to drive safely, or a condition has worsened
  • you're requested to by the NZTA (regardless of when you last presented a medical certificate).

A medical certificate must be from a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner and dated no more than 60 days before the date of your application.

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 satisfactory eyesight 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.

Practical driving test

As part of gaining your I endorsement, you must sit the Class 1 full licence test (unless you have successfully completed this test within the past five years). This test is in addition to the advanced assessment drive that you must complete as part of your driving instructor course.

The test is a one-hour, practical driving test.

'Fit and proper person' check

After you put in your application, it will be sent to the nearest NZ Transport Agency office for a 'fit and proper person' check to be undertaken. The person who carries out the check considers any:

  • criminal convictions, including any charges or convictions relating to violent or sexual offences, drug or firearm offences, or offences involving organised criminal activity
  • transport-related offences, especially relating to safety
  • history of mental health or behavioural problems
  • past complaints about a transport service you've operated
  • history of persistent failure to pay fines for transport-related offences.

Any other information in the interests of public safety can also be taken into account.

Please note that if you are applying for an I endorsement to teach any class of heavy vehicle or motorcycle (classes 2-6), this check will also include verification of relevant experience within the past five years in relation to the class of vehicle for which the endorsement is sought. This means that, with your application, you will need to provide the appropriate evidence (eg for heavy vehicles a curriculum vitae/appropriate industry references, or for motorcycle a resume of riding experience).

If you're not a New Zealand citizen or don't hold a resident's permit, then you may need a work permit or some other temporary permit to show that you can work here.

If you have any concerns about the check, contact your nearest NZTA office.

Not cleared

If you're not cleared by the 'fit and proper person' check, you'll be sent a letter explaining why. If you're not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal to a district court (under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998).


If you meet the 'fit and proper person' requirements, and all other relevant tests have been completed, your application will be approved and the new licence will be mailed to you. Where you have elected to have the 'fit and proper person check' completed before the other tests are done, you'll be sent a Notice of determination (valid for 90 days). Show the notice to the driver licensing agent when you go to complete your application. (If the notice expires before you finish the relevant courses or tests, call our driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422 or contact your nearest NZ Transport Agency office.)

Fee for the 'fit and proper person' check

The fee for the 'fit and proper person' check is called a vetting fee. If you've already been through the 'fit and proper person' check (eg you hold a current P endorsement and ID card, or hold a V or O endorsement), you won't be charged for it again until you renew your endorsement(s).

What fees do I have to pay for the I endorsement?

The table below sets out the fees for the I endorsement. These include the application fee, the vetting ('fit and proper person') fee and the practical driving test fee.

If you already hold a P, V or O endorsement, some of the fees may not apply to you.

The fees only apply to new endorsements.

Fees for approved driving instructor courses aren't included.

Note that you can get an I endorsement for one or five years.

  One year Five years
Application $72.60 $276.75
Vetting $28.20 $141.00
Test $70.80 $70.80
Total $171.60 $488.55


When can I start teaching?

If your application is successful, your endorsement will start when your new photo driver licence is issued with the I endorsement on it.

After you've got the endorsement ...

After you get your I endorsement, you must undertake to provide the highest quality training and service.

The NZ Transport Agency may audit you at any time to check that you're delivering a suitable service. You must keep records of all driving instruction that you've provided for at least 12 months after you've carried out the training.

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