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What is TORO (Transport Operator Register Online)

Transport operators have a legal obligation and an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure that their drivers are licensed and competent to drive. It’s possible that a driver could lose their licence, not tell their employer, and continue to drive unlicensed which would jeopardise the company’s vehicle insurance.

It’s not possible for a company to check a driver’s licence every time they drive. TORO fills this need. For drivers with a transport service licence, the rules state that only licenced drivers are permitted to drive company vehicles. TORO monitors licences for drivers registered with the company and sends an alert if the licence is disqualified, revoked or suspended.

But to register a driver isn’t as simple as entering their driver licence number. To get a TORO account, you need to enter into an agreement with NZTA. Every driver you employ must consent to their data being available to your TORO account – if they don’t want to provide their consent, then you will not be able to monitor them. A company must keep a driver’s consent form for six months after they leave in case they are audited by NZTA.

Information provided in TORO:

  • What licence classes and endorsements they hold
  • Whether there are any conditions on their licence
  • The status of their licence (e.g. whether they have been disqualified or suspended from driving, whether their licence has been revoked or has expired)
  • If a warning letter has been issued because they have exceeded 50 demerit points
  • If a suspension letter has been issued because they have exceeded 100 demerit points
  • If their passenger endorsement is due to expire soon
  • If a medical condition has been added, or existing medical condition has changed.

TORO’s alerts show licence statuses:

  • Current: your driver has a valid driver licence
  • Cancelled: the driver is not legally allowed to drive because the licence has been cancelled
  • Surrendered: the driver has surrendered their licence because they either no longer want to continue driving or they have been told to surrender it for a specific purpose
  • Revoked: the driver is unlicensed and not legally allowed to drive as the licence has been revoked for a specific reason, e.g. medical
  • Disqualified: the driver has been to court for a driving offence and has been disqualified. They are not permitted to drive
  • Suspended: the driver’s licence has been temporarily suspended and they must not drive. This is most commonly due to exceeding the maximum number of demerit points (3 months) or getting a 28-day roadside suspension for breaking the law (e.g. dangerous speeding, excess breath alcohol, etc)
  • Reinstate: the driver has been through a short suspension or a disqualification shorter than 12 months and needs to fill out a reinstatement application
  • Limited: the driver has specific, court-imposed conditions outlined on their licence and must drive according to those conditions, e.g. must only drive between home and work
  • Requalify: the driver is unlicensed and must resit tests to make their licence current.

Notifications are sent once the change happens in the Driver Licence Register. This means that a driver could be suspended in a roadside check, but the company won’t be notified until this is updated centrally, which can take several days.

Do I still use Driver Check?

Driver Check is similar to TORO, but doesn’t supply as much information and costs every time you want to use it. When you add a driver to TORO, you will need to run a driver check at the same time to get the current status. TORO only reports on a change in status, so if you don’t register their status, you won’t get a notification when it changes.

You can register for TORO here.

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Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

Posted in Advice
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