V endorsements for vehicle recovery services

To get a V endorsement you must hold, and have held for at least two years, a full class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 driver licence. (Note that holding an equivalent overseas licence will not meet this requirement.)

You need to fill out application form DL20. You can get this from an NZTA office.

The form will ask you to provide a unique identifier for your driver ID card. A unique identifier is a 'password' of up to eight characters that can be easily remembered.

Completing an approved course

You'll need to provide a certificate showing that you have successfully completed an approved vehicle recovery endorsement course.

What else do I have to do?

You can't drive a vehicle recovery service vehicle on the road just because you've got the course certificate. You must successfully complete the application process and get the V endorsement on your driver licence.

Putting in your application

You can apply for a V endorsement at an NZTA driver licensing agent.

You'll need:

  • a completed DL20 application form
  • your current driver licence (this is your evidence of identity)
  • evidence of your name and address, such as your New Zealand driver licence and a bill or an account statement (see Factsheet 20, Identification for driver licensing for more information)
  • a medical certificate (if applicable)
  • a certificate showing you've successfully completed an approved vehicle recovery endorsement course (or you can complete the course after you put your application in)
  • a Notice of Determination (see 'fit and proper person' check)
  • a cheque, EFTPOS card or cash to pay the fees.

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

Every applicant for a V endorsement is subject to a 'fit and proper person' check. You may not want to complete the required course until you're more certain that your application will be approved (ie you've passed the check). 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.

Questions and answers

Do I need a medical certificate?

You need to present a medical certificate for a V 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.

What is the eyesight screening check?

You'll be asked to have an eyesight screening check when you put in your application. You must pass this check, or present a satisfactory eyesight certificate from a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner or New Zealand-registered optometrist. An eyesight certificate must not be more than 60 days old.

Do I have to sit the practical driving test?

As part of gaining your V endorsement you must sit the full practical licence driving test. It is a one-hour, on-road driving test and is used to assess how safely you drive.

You don't have to sit the full practical licence test if you've passed a full licence test for Class 1 (light motor vehicles) in the five years prior to applying.

What is the 'fit and proper person' check?

After you put in your application, it will be sent to the nearest NZTA 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 may have 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.

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

If you have any concerns about the check, contact a compliance officer at your nearest NZTA office.

Not cleared

If you're not cleared in the 'fit and proper person' check, you'll be sent a letter explaining why and of your right of appeal to a district court.


If you meet the 'fit and proper person' requirements 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 the contact centre or your nearest office.)

What fees do I have to pay for a V endorsement?

The table below sets out the fees for a V endorsement.

You can get a V endorsement for one or five years.

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

The fees only apply to new endorsements.

Course fees vary between providers and aren't included in the table.

  Application ID card Vetting Full licence test* Total
1 year $70.10 $8.50 $28.20 $70.80 $177.60
5 years $272.70 $8.50 $141.00 $70.80 $493.00

* The full licence test isn't required if you've passed a Class 1 full licence test in the last five year. 


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