NZTA Endorsement F

The revised NZTA (Driver Licensing) rule 1999 contains the requirements for driver to be licensed to hold an endorsement F.

If you drive a forklift on the road you must have an endorsement F on your driver licence.

If you wish to operate a forklift on the road you are required to have a current OSH certificate.

To help our clients comply with the new legislation we shall summarise here the statutory requirements applicable to forklift operation. We should stress that the long-standing legal distinction between on-road and off-road operations has not changed. As before these are two quite separate jurisdictions.

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, wharfs and road shoulders (whether as of right or not).

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

Off-Road Operations:

If a forklift is used solely within the confines of company premises and not driven on a public road, the company and staff must comply with the provisions of the Health and Safety Employment Act 1992, specifically section 13 (Training and Supervision) which required the employees to be adequately trained in the safe use of the machinery they operate. In addition the companies must also comply with the department of Labour's Code of Practice for Training of Powered Industrial Lift Trucks (Forklifts). In brief this code of practice prescribes that operators be certified as professionally trained and properly tested in safe operation of forklifts to the standards laid down by the Department of Labour.

On-Road Operations:

If a forklift is at anytime driven on a road it has to be registered as a vehicle like other road vehicles, display a WOF sticker and the driver must satisfy two legal requirements.

  1. Be a licensed driver, and
  2. Have a forklift endorsement known as "Endorsement F" on his/her driver licence.


The minimum requirement to obtain this endorsement is full class one licence. Please note that the licence endorsement and licence class systems work together. Your licence has to cover both the type of vehicle and its weight.

A Class 1 driver licence (with an F endorsement) covers forklifts with a gross laden weight of up to 18,000kg

A Class 2 driver licence (with an F endorsement) covers forklifts with a gross laden weight exceeding 18,000kg.

If you're not sure whether you need an F endorsement please call us.

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FTC South (NZ) Limited - Lifting the Standards