Driving tests

Can you drive a forklift on a private road without an F endorsement?

To operate a forklift on a public road (see the definition of a road) a forklift operator must have an F endorsement. The forklift must have a current warrant of fitness and registration, lights and indicators.

However, there is an exemption for motor vehicles used on private roads – they don’t need to be registered or have a warrant of fitness (although they still must be in good operating condition). In Part 3: Exemptions of the Land Transport (Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing Regulations 2011, it states:

19(2) Motor vehicles used on a private road are exempt from the requirement to be registered and licensed.

19(3) For the purposes of subclause (2), private road means a road, place, or arcade laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land.

Does a forklift have to be continually licenced?

Under the same Act, a number of motor vehicles are exempt from continuous licencing, as explained in Part 1: Motor vehicles exempt from continuous licensing requirement, clause 3 (a forklift).

In the forklift section of NZTA’s Vehicle Inspection Requirements Manual (VIRM) for In-Service Certification, it specifically states that:

A forklift that is operated on the road, ie that is registered, requires a WoF. Therefore, the vehicle inspector may inspect a forklift only if it has a registration plate attached to it.

Note: A forklift used solely on a road that is a private road is not required to be registered (so no registration plate attached), and therefore a WoF cannot and must not be issued. Private road means a road, place or arcade laid out or formed on private land by the owner of that land. A forklift operated on a private road must still be safe and, if operated at night, must be fitted with headlamps or work lamps and rear position lamps.

A forklift must comply with WoF requirements as far as is practicable for their design and type. Even if the forklift is ‘heavy’, i.e. more than 3500kg, it doesn’t require a certificate of fitness like a truck does, just a warrant of fitness.

Darren has written over 3000 articles about driving and vehicles, plus almost 500 vehicle reviews and numerous driving courses. Connect with him on LinkedIn by clicking the name above

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