W, T and R endorsements for special-type vehicles

If you drive a special-type vehicle that isn't a forklift on the road, you must have an W, T or R endorsement on your driver licence.

  • The R endorsement is for vehicles that run on rollers.
  • The T endorsement is for vehicles that run on self-laying tracks.
  • The W endorsement is for vehicles that run on wheels that aren't forklifts, passenger vehicles, tractors, fire engines, trade vehicles or vehicle recovery service vehicles.

In addition to holding the appropriate special-type vehicle endorsement, you must also hold the appropriate full class of licence that covers the weight of the special-type vehicle you want to drive (see table below).

If you're not sure whether you need an endorsement, phone your nearest NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) office.

 

Vehicle weight covered by licence class

Special-type vehicle Class 1 (full) Class 2 (full) Class 4 (full)
Runs on rollers or self-laying tracks Not more than 18,000 kg gross laden weight (GLW) More than 18,000 kg GLW
Runs on wheels – when driven on a road at a speed not exceeding 30 km/h Not more than 18,000 kg gross laden weight (GLW) More than 18,000 kg GLW
Runs on wheels - when driven on a road at a speed exceeding 30 km/h Not more than 4500 kg gross laden weight (GLW) More than 4500kg but not more than 18,000kg GLW More than 18,000 kg GLW

 

What's the definition of a 'road'?

The definition of a road, for the application of transport laws, is very broad. It includes not only streets and highways, but any place the public has access to – including bridges, culverts, beaches, riverbeds, reserve lands, wharves and road shoulders.

If you drive a special-type vehicle in any of these areas, the rules relating to registration, licensing and general driver behaviour all apply.

 

What do I need, to get an W, T or R endorsement?

  • If you wish to obtain an W, T or R endorsement, you must hold a full licence (other than a motorcycle licence).
  • You'll need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed an approved course that teaches specialist knowledge and skills relating to the safe operation of the special-type vehicle.

 

Applying for the endorsement

You can apply for an W, T or R endorsement at your nearest NZTA driver licensing agent – selected branches of the, Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) and Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ).

You need to bring:

  • a completed DL 19 application form
  • evidence of your identity (eg your current driver licence)
     
  • evidence of your name and current address, such as a recent bill or an account statement
  • a certificate showing you have successfully completed an appropriate and approved course
  • a cheque, cash or EFTPOS card to pay the application fee of $44 (per endorsement).

An W, T or R endorsement expires on the same date as your driver licence.

 

Eyesight requirements

You must prove that your eyesight meets the required standard. To do this you can:

  • present a satisfactory eyesight certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered optometrist (this certificate must be no more than 60 days old)
  • present a medical certificate issued by a New Zealand-registered medical practitioner (this certificate must be no more than 60 days old)
  • pass an eyesight screening check at a driver licensing agent.

Note: the 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 provide a certificate instead of taking a screening check.

 
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