The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

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Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Changing a Name


Who may register a name change in New Zealand

To register a name change in New Zealand on or after 25 January 2009, the person whose name is being changed:
  • Birth must be registered in New Zealand; or
  • Must be a New Zealand citizen or entitled, under the Immigration Act 2009, to be in New Zealand indefinitely.

Name change

To have a name change for yourself or your child officially recognised, you need to register it with Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is done by making a Statutory Declaration (an officially signed and witnessed statement) on a Name Change form.

If the new name is accepted for registration, it is then recorded by Births, Deaths and Marriages.

If the person whose name is being changed birth is registered in New Zealand then any New Zealand Birth Certificate issued after the new name has been registered will show both the name registered at birth and all name changes for that person.

If the person whose name is being changed birth is registered outside New Zealand then any Name Change Certificate (relating to overseas-born people) issued after the new name has been registered will show all names and name changes for that person registered by Births, Deaths and Marriages on or after 25 January 2009.


Changing Your Own Name

If you are 18 years or over, or you are or have been married, in a civil union or de facto relationship, you may apply to change your own name by completing a Name Change by Statutory Declaration (BDM 120) application form.

Together with the form you must send:

If your birth is registered in New Zealand If your birth is registered outside New Zealand If you are married or in a civil union, you may have your change of name recorded on that registration. Please complete all questions in the ' If your marriage or civil union is registered in New Zealand ' section of the form. There is an additional charge of NZ$46.00 for this service. This can only be done if the marriage or civil union took place in New Zealand.
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Changing the Name of a Child Under 18 Years of Age

In most circumstances a change of name for a child must be made by the guardians of the child. This is usually both parents, even if they are not married, in a civil union, de facto relationship or living together. Even if only one parent has the parenting order, both parents must still sign the form. If any other guardians have been appointed, they must also sign the statutory declaration.

Together with the form you must send: If a guardian is not able to sign, the reason why one guardian is acting alone must be described on the Statutory Declaration. This may be for reasons as, he/she:
  • Is missing;
  • Is dead;
  • Is unknown; or
  • Is of unsound mind or unable to act because of a medical condition.
There are some circumstances, other than those described above, in which the Family Court may allow one guardian to act alone to change the child's name. You will need papers issued by the court to support the change of name. These papers need to be included with the application form, fee and birth certificate.

If no guardians are available, a change of name form may be completed by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development.

If the child is under 2 years old, and born in New Zealand
If the child is under 2 years old, and born in New Zealand the guardian(s) can change the child's name by jointly signing a letter asking for this change, or by completing a Request for a Name Change Within 2 Years of Birth (BDM 36). The fee for this service is NZ$51.10.

If the child is over 2 but under 18 years old, or under 2 years old and born outside of New Zealand
If the child is over 2 but under 18 years old, or under 2 years old and born outside of New Zealand the guardian(s) of the child must complete a Name Change by Statutory Declaration (of person aged under 18 who has not been married, in a civil union or de facto relationship (BDM 122) . The fee for this service is NZ$127.70 whether the birth is registered in New Zealand, or overseas.

If the person is aged 16 or 17 years old, and has never married, in a civil union or de facto relationship, he or she must also agree to the change of name. This agreement needs to be recorded on the form and signed in the new name, along with the consent of guardian(s).
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Document(s) Required

The documentation that is required to be sent with an application for a name change depends on the form that is being completed.

Name change by Statutory Declaration of person aged under 18 who has not been married, in a civil union or de facto relationship (BDM122):

If the person’s birth is registered in New Zealand, you do not need to attach any supporting documents to this application. However, if we cannot find the person’s birth record from the information included in this form, we will contact you for further information.

If the person's birth is registered outside of New Zealand, you must provide a certified true copy or an original of one or more document(s) providing evidence of the date and place of the person's birth, and of the person's status as a New Zealand citizen or person who is entitled, under the Immigration Act 1987, to be in New Zealand indefinitely. Please also include an official English translation of any document that is not in the English language. The following documents are acceptable for this purpose:
  • New Zealand Passport (a certified copy of the biodata page is sufficient) and a Birth Certificate that includes parent(s) names; or
  • New Zealand Citizenship Certificate and a Birth Certificate that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Australian Passport or some other evidence of Australian citizenship and a Birth Certificate that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau Birth Certificate that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Overseas Passport including a residence permit or resident visa issued by Immigration New Zealand that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence (if the letter states the person's name, date of birth, place of birth and parent(s) names); or
  • Overseas Birth Certificate that includes parent(s) names together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence; or
  • Notorial Certificate (China) that includes parent(s) names together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence; or
  • Household/Family Census Register that includes parent(s) names from an Asian country together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming permanent residence.
Name change by Statutory Declaration (BDM120):

If your birth is registered in New Zealand, you do not need to attach any supporting documents to this application. However, if we cannot find your birth record from the information included in this form, we will contact you for further information.

If your birth is registered outside of New Zealand, you must provide a certified true copy or an original of one or more documents providing evidence of the date and place of your birth, and of your status as a New Zealand citizen or person who is entitled, under the Immigration Act 1987, to be in New Zealand indefinitely. Please also include an official English translation of any document that is not in the English language. The following documents are acceptable evidence for this purpose:
  • New Zealand Citizenship Certificate; or
  • New Zealand Passport (a certified copy of the biodata page is sufficient); or
  • New Zealand Certificate of Identity issued under the Passports Act 1992 with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming permanent residence status; or
  • Australian Passport or some other evidence of Australian citizenship; or
  • Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau Birth Certificate; or
  • Overseas Passport including a residence permit or resident visa issued by Immigration New Zealand; or
  • Letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence (if the letter states your name, date and place of birth); or
  • Overseas Birth Certificate together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence; or
  • Notorial Certificate (China) together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming residence; or
  • Household / Family Census Register from an Asian country together with a letter/permit/visa from Immigration New Zealand confirming permanent residence.
The document(s) must be an original or a certified true copy. If your document has been translated by an official translator, you must send both the original or a certified true copy and the translated documents.

Request for Name Change Within 2 Years of Birth (BDM36):

Documents are not required for a child under 2 years of age and who was born in New Zealand.
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Name Change Forms and Fees

The name change form and required fee depends on your situation. See Forms, Fees and Information Brochures for further details on which form to complete and fee to pay.


To Get a Record of the New Name

When you have changed your name Births, Deaths and Marriages provides a process where you can obtain an official document establishing your new name. If you were born outside New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages does not currently notify the country where you have been born of the name change.
  • If your birth is registered in New Zealand, the birth certificate that is issued after your name change request has been processed will show your new name along with all previous names. The fee for a birth certificate is NZ$26.50 or NZ$39.80 for a package (1 pictorial and 1 standard certificate for the same person)
  • If your birth is registered outside New Zealand, a name change certificate can be issued after your name change has been processed, and will show the new name as well as all previous names registered in New Zealand on or after 25 January 2009. The fee for a name change certificate is NZ$26.50.
  • If the name change was registered before 25 January 2009 you can apply for a copy of the statutory declaration document. The fee for this is NZ$20.40.
  • If your name was changed by deed poll prior to September 1995, you can apply for a certified copy of the deed poll. The cost of a deed poll record is NZ$20.40.
You can apply to have any of these documents when you apply for your name change, or they can be obtained later. If you apply for one at the same time as lodging your Name Change form, we will issue the document after your change of name has been processed.

If you were married or have entered into a civil union in New Zealand and have asked to have your new name applied to your marriage or civil union registration, you may also wish to buy a new marriage or civil union certificate. The fee for a certificate is NZ$26.50.

For information about getting a certificate after you lodge your Name Change application please see Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate.
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