These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with your city or an attorney.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
I’m planning to drive my guests to and from my Experience. Do I need a licence or registration to allow me to do this?
Yes – you would at a minimum need the usual licences and registrations required to drive on New Zealand roads. In addition, you may be classified as providing a passenger service, which requires additional licensing (see below).
Under the Land Transport Act 1998, a transport service is deemed to be a passenger service if it involves the carriage of passengers on any road for hire or reward by means of a motor vehicle. This includes where:
- there is a specific charge on passengers for transport (whether separately itemized or specifically included in the bundled price), including part payments to cover fuel and donations (which are expected as a condition of carriage); or
- the carriage of passengers is an integral part of, or reasonably necessary to provide, another service or activity (other than a transport service) for which payment is made.
This means that if you provide ground transportation services as part of a broader Experience package you can still be considered as providing a passenger service. As the scope of ‘passenger service’ is intended to be broad, unless your carriage of passengers is truly incidental, it is best to first speak to your local transport agency before you decide to offer transport to your guests.
There are some very limited exemptions from being classified as a passenger service, such as where you have a genuine cost-sharing arrangement with the guest. However, as these are unlikely to apply to most general situations, you are encouraged to seek clarification from your local transport agency as to whether these exemptions would apply to you.
Here is an example where you are likely to be providing a passenger service:
- I am a foodie and would like to bring guests on a food tour. As part of the food tour, I will be driving them to several food stops.
Here is an example where you are not likely to be providing a passenger service:
- I am conducting a yoga class for guests in my home. As an exception I offer to pick up a couple of guests from a nearby train station to my home for convenience. No separate fee will be charged for the ride.
If you provide a passenger service you must:
- hold a (P) endorsement driver licence which qualifies them to carry passengers in return for any type of reward;
- have and display a current driver identification card;
- have a current driver licence of the appropriate class for the type of vehicle they are driving;
- have and display a current certificate of fitness (‘CoF’) label;
- hold a passenger service licence (which includes a certificate you apply for declaring you know of all the required laws and practices relating to safe, efficient and proper operation of a transport service);
- adhere to the Land Transport Rule: Passenger Service Vehicles 1999. These rules cover a wide range of specifications from required safety design features to seating requirements;
- adhere to the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004. These rules cover the requirements road users must adhere to when using the road network; and
- adhere to the Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2007. These rules set out requirements for obtaining and retaining a passenger service licence. Section 3 of the rules sets out the general requirements for small passenger service vehicles, drivers, and services, including:
- the requirements for all small passenger service vehicles;
- driver identification requirements;
- duties and conduct of drivers, including duties of drivers relating to fares and luggage;
- rules relating to advertising materials placed on the outside or inside of a passenger service vehicle; and
- rules relating to the complaints register.
It is important to note that a passenger service licence cannot be assigned, transferred, or leased. Additionally, if you drive a shuttle or a large passenger service vehicle (a passenger service vehicle that can carry more than 12 persons), then you would also need to display a transport service licence (‘TSL’) label. Section 11.2 of the Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2007 sets out the requirements for large passenger service vehicles.
Useful resources include:
- Factsheet on passenger service vehicles
- Information on starting up a passenger service
- Applying for a passenger service licence, including application forms and checklist
- Applying for a (P) endorsement (application form)
What happens if I don’t get the licence(s) or registration(s) that I need?
If you carry on passenger services without a passenger service licence you will be committing an offence under the Land Transport Act 1998. There are considerable penalties if you are convicted of this offence and the penalties are much harsher if you commit a subsequent offence.
What about insurance? Will I need a special type of insurance?
There are no specific laws requiring passenger service licence holders to obtain insurance covers. Injuries caused by a vehicle accident in New Zealand will generally be covered by a no-fault cover called ACC. However it is a good idea for you to insure your vehicle and to first consult your insurance company. This is because most car insurance policies (for personal or business use) may not cover a vehicle used to provide passenger services. For example, many New Zealand standard comprehensive car insurance policies do not cover a vehicle used to carry fare paying passengers.
My experience involves going to a couple of separate venues, which are not walking distance from each other. I want to provide transportation between the two venues. I plan to order an Uber or licensed taxi or other licensed form of transportation. I do not plan to charge anything for the transportation. Do I need a specific licence to allow me to do this?
You would not need a licence in order to book and pay for transportation for your guests. However, you are encouraged to ensure that you only make bookings with licensed transport providers, and that you make it clear to your guests which transport provider the booking has been made with.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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