P endorsement training is not required to drive a passenger service vehicle (i.e. a vehicle that takes paying passengers e.g. taxi, bus, coach, etc).
You are still required to hold a P endorsement, though. Drivers must have held a full New Zealand driver’s licence for at least two years before they can be granted a P endorsement.
Drivers can get a Small Passenger Service Licence (SPSL) or a Large Passenger Service Licence (LPSL) or both.
A small passenger service includes taxis, shuttles, private hire, dial-a-driver and app-based services. These can be driven with a class 1 licence. You will get an ID card when you get a SPSL.
A large passenger service deals with passenger vehicles with 13 or more seats, including the driver, for example, single- and double-decker buses, coaches, and minibuses. These will usually require a class 2 or class 4 licence. You won’t get an ID card with an LPSL
Companies need to apply for an LPSL.
Do taxi drivers need to have P endorsements and additional training?
A P endorsement is required, but additional training is optional. They will also need to undergo a fit and proper person test. Cameras are required in taxis, but not in application-based services such as Uber because the journey is tracked the whole way.
Taxi drivers tend to have more comprehensive training in customer service because they operate as part of a larger business that has risks under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Do you need a passenger licence or P endorsement to hire a minivan or small bus?
If you are transporting your friends or relatives, your band or sports team, you do not need a P endorsement, SPSL or LPSL if the passengers are not paying a fare for the journey. You will need to hold the correct class of licence to drive the vehicle, though.
Can you carpool without a passenger licence?
Carpooling is allowed without a passenger licence, as are a number of exempt services such as charities, district health boards, and home or community support services.
Are there costs for a P endorsement?
Yes. You can apply for the endorsement for either 1 year or 5 years. It’s cheaper per year when you apply for a 5-year P endorsment.
How to apply
To apply for a P endorsement, visit NZTA’s website. It can take 30 working days to be approved!