Driving tests

How do I get my class 4 truck licence?

To get a class 4 truck licence so you can drive a large rigid vehicle you will first need to have held a full class 2 licence for at least 6 months (or 3 months if you are 25 or older) then apply for your class 4 learner licence.

How much does a class 4 licence cost?

There is no learner licence theory test as it’s the same theory as class 2.

The full licence application fee is $49.60 and the test fee is $59.90.

You can do an accelerated course which usually costs between $800-1000+GST. Note that you will need to do unit standard 24089 (logbooks and worktime) if you can’t provide evidence you have completed this recently. If you need to do a refresher, the cheapest way is this logbook refresher course.

You may need to rent a class 4 truck, or there will be an additional fee if you can’t supply your own.

There may be fees if you cancel your test or don’t turn up.

What sort of vehicles can you drive on a class 4 licence?

Large dump trucks weighing over 18000kg with 3 or more axles

Large rigid trucks of three or more axles with a gross laden weight of more than 18000kg

Large coaches and buses with 3 axles

What vehicles are not permitted to be driven with a class 4 licence?

You can’t drive a class 3 or class 5 combination vehicle with a class 4 licence, although you can tow a light trailer with a class 4 vehicle.

Getting a class 4 learner licence

You must have had a full class 2 (medium rigid vehicle licence) for at least 6 months (or 3 months if you are over 25 years old) before applying for the 4L (class 4 learner licence) at a driver licencing agent:

Getting a class 4 full licence

You must have had a class 4 learner licence for at least 6 months or pass an approved course.

Apply at a driver licensing agent.

Then either pass a class 4 practical test in a class 4 vehicle or provide the approved course certificate from a heavy vehicle training company.

Taking the practical test

The full licence test is 30 minutes including 20 minutes of driving.

If you fail the test, or do not show up, you will have to pay the testing fee again.

Can I convert my overseas heavy vehicle licence to a class 4 licence?

All drivers of heavy vehicles must take and pass a heavy vehicle theory test to change their valid overseas heavy vehicle licence to a New Zealand heavy vehicle licence.

If your licence is from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK or USA then you don’t need to take a practical test as long as you have held your licence for more than two years.

You may be able to convert an overseas heavy vehicle licence directly to class 4 if the weight limits are similar. Australian drivers with an HR licence should check with NZTA whether the increased weight limit of a class 4 is comparable.

Proposals for class 4 licences

Current proposals are that:

  • class 4 learner licences will be removed
  • class 2 full licence holders will be able to drive class 4 vehicles with a supervisor
  • class 4 full licence holders will be able to drive class 5 vehicles with a supervisor
  • class 2 full licence holders that are under 25 years old will have to wait 6 months from getting a class 2 full licence to getting a class 4 full licence; for drivers over 25 years old, there’s no wait time.
  • courses and practical tests will be made more difficult.
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Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

Posted in Driver licence
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