I endorsements: How to become a driving instructor
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If you teach people how to drive on a road for financial or commercial gain, you must have a current driving instructor endorsement on your driver licence. This is called an I endorsement.
If you are not sure whether you need an I endorsement, call our driver licensing contact centre on 0800 822 422.
How do I get an I endorsement?
You'll need to get an I endorsement for each class of driver licence you want to teach. For example, you'll need an I(1) endorsement to teach people how to drive light motor vehicles (Class 1 driver licence), but you'll need an I(6) endorsement 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 at least two years.
You'll need to:
You may also need to provide a medical certificate.
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.
What will the course cover?
The approved course for the driving instructor endorsement (I) is aligned with unit standards on the New Zealand Qualifications (NZQA) framework. If you successfully complete a course you have the opportunity to have the unit standards you've achieved count towards a national certificate as well as a driver licence endorsement.
In the course you'll be trained and assessed in the following unit standards:
You'll also have a driving assessment completed on your own driving skills.
You can view the unit standards mentioned above on the NZQA website.
You'll be given a certificate when you successfully complete the course, which you will need to submit as part of your application.
Where can I find out about courses?
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.
You can apply for an I endorsement at any NZTA driver licensing agent.
You'll need to bring:
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:
You need to present a medical certificate for an I endorsement if:
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.
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:
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.
As part of gaining an 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.
After you put in your application, it will be sent to the NZTA so that a 'fit and proper person' check can be undertaken.
Some of the factors that may be taken into account are any:
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, phone our contact centre on 0800 822 422.
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.
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).
The table below sets out the fees for an 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.
Fees for approved driving instructor courses aren't included.
Note that you can get an I endorsement for one or five years.
If you have booked a practical driving test and can't make the appointment, please contact your driver licensing agent.
Changing or cancelling your test
If you want to change or cancel your test, you will have to pay a further fee.
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 the I endorsement, you must undertake to provide the highest quality training and service.
The NZTA 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.
Where can I find out more?
The information in this factsheet is a general guide only. It is not the source of the law.