Passenger Licences & Endorsements

Who needs a Passenger Licence Endorsement?

People who hold a Passenger (P) licence endorsement usually drive buses, shuttles or taxis, but some other drivers need a P endorsement too.

You need a P endorsement if you drive a small or large passenger service vehicle where passengers are carried for hire or reward.

A small passenger service vehicle has a maximum of 12 seats (including the driver). A large passenger service vehicle has more than 12 seats.

To drive a small passenger service vehicle you need:

  • a current P endorsement, and
  • a current driver identification card, and
  • a current licence of the appropriate class for the weight/type of the vehicle being used (e.g. a class 1 licence if driving a car or van)

To drive a large passenger service vehicle you need:

  • a current P endorsement, and
  • a current licence of the appropriate class for the weight of the vehicle being used (i.e. a class 1 licence if driving a bus with a GLW of no more than 6000kg, class 2 if the GLW is more than 6000kg but not more than 18,000kg, or class 4 if the GLW is more than 18,000kg)

This means the holder of a P endorsement and an ID card can also drive large passenger service vehicles, provided they also hold the correct class of licence e.g. class 2 or 4.

More detailed information on the correct class of licence required is available on the NZTA website here.

You do not need a P endorsement if you drive in an exempt passenger service or are exempt by the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999. More Info

How to get a P endorsement?

  1. To get a P endorsement, you must hold, and have held for at least two years, a full New Zealand Class 1 driver licence. Holding an equivalent overseas licence will not meet this requirement.
  2. The application form for a P endorsement is DL20. If you're going to be driving a small passenger service vehicle, the form will ask you to provide a unique identifier for your driver ID card.
  3. Completing a course. You'll need to provide a certificate showing that you've successfully completed an approved P endorsement course. AMS Group can help with this.
  4. As part of gaining your P endorsement, you must sit the Class 1 full licence practical driving test. Note: This isn't required if you've passed the test in the last five years.
  5. To drive a taxi, you may also need to hold an area knowledge certificate, depending on where you drive. http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/factsheets/04/index.html
  6. You can't drive a passenger service vehicle on the road just because you've got the necessary certificates. You must successfully complete the application process, which includes a 'fit and proper person' check, and get the P endorsement on your driver licence.

Once you have completed the above, you can apply for a P endorsement at any NZTA driver licensing agent.