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Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Get a Birth Certificate
- Return to Births, Deaths and Marriages home page
- What is a Birth certificate?
- Is my pre-1998 birth certificate valid? (9 August 2011)
- Decorative Birth certificates
- How to apply
- How long will it take?
- What happens if we cannot find the birth?
- How do I apply for a pre-adoptive Birth certificate?
- Non-disclosure direction
- Frequently asked questions about certificates
- Access Register
What is a Birth certificate?A birth certificate is an official document containing registered information about a person's birth. You may obtain a certificate by providing the required details and paying the certificate fee.
Certificates can be used for purposes such as:
- getting a driver's licence;
- enrolling at school;
- applying for welfare benefits.
Is my pre-1998 Birth certificate valid?Yes. But some agencies may ask for a post-1998 birth certificate to help protect you and other New Zealanders from identity fraud. Here are the facts... read more
Decorative Birth certificatesThe birth of a child is a major event in any family’s life. Celebrate this by turning their official record of birth into a treasured keepsake. To record this special event we offer a choice of two decorative birth certificates, each uniquely New Zealand. Buy separately or as a package with a standard birth certificate. See the order form for details.
Forest decorativeNew life unfolds from the koru and brings richness and abundance to the great forests. The harakeke (flax) reflects the strength and endurance of the whanau (family) as each new leaf grows from the mother and is supported by the father.
Beach decorative A mother nurtures her new baby as the warmth of the day provides nourishment and strength for life’s wonderful journey ahead.
How to applyPhone us first as you may be able to order your certificate over the phone.
- In New Zealand Freephone 0800 22 77 77
- Outside New Zealand (+64 4) 463 9362
If you are advised that you can order the certificate over the phone but you do not have a Visa, American Express, or Mastercard credit/debit card, you may wish to purchase a Prezzy Card from your local NZ PostShop and call us again. Ordering by phone reduces the time it takes for us to start working on your order.
Please note that we cannot confirm if you are able to order by phone until we have talked with you.
Online If the certificate or printout is for a record that is “historical” you may wish to use Births, Deaths and Marriages Online to search historical records and order certificates and printouts on the Internet.
If the certificate or printout is for a record that is “non-historical” you may wish to use Births, Deaths and Marriages Online to order certificates and printouts on the Internet (this requires an igovt ID). Please note that you cannot search “non-historical” records.
Post your application form or visit one of Births, Deaths and Marriages offices You may post your completed application form with payment to Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Or if you prefer you may visit one of Births, Deaths and Marriages offices, complete the appropriate Request for a Birth Certificate or Printout (BDM 93B) form, and make payment.
Tips for ordering certificates using the order form
If the record is “non-historical” the “Declarations” part of the form must be completed. The referee that signs the form may be any person aged 16 years of age or older.
If you order many certificates at once, fully complete the first form and then only complete “The certificate I want” on all the other forms. Staple all the forms securely together with the fully completed form on top.
If you are applying on behalf of a company or organisation, enter your name, email address and phone number in “My Details”. You do not need to provide your place of birth nor date of birth, though you must attach a request on your company or organisation letterhead to the order form and complete the "Declarations" part of the form.
How long will it take?The certificate or printout will usually be issued within 8 working days of receiving your order (plus delivery time). Certificates and printouts cannot be issued until the birth has been registered.
What happens if we cannot find the birth?It is important the information you provide with your certificate request is as accurate as possible. It may be an idea to ask other family members for information before making your request.
The certificate fee is the cost for the product. If we cannot locate the record with the information provided, we still start charging you search fees. Prior to contacting you, we will have searched a 3-year period and a fee of NZ$15.30 will have been charged.
For example, if the year you quote is 1992 we undertake a search in the year given plus a year either side. If we cannot find the birth in those years we will contact you to ask if you would like us to search additional years at NZ$1.00 for each additional year. If you agree and request us to search 1994 and 1995 then we will charge you an extra NZ$2.00:
- if we find the birth in 1995 and you wish to have a certificate then the total fee for the certificate is NZ$43.80 (NZ$26.50 plus the NZ$17.30 search cost); or
- if we cannot find the birth the total fee will be NZ$17.30 (NZ$15.30 plus NZ$2.00 search cost) and you will not receive a certificate. However, you can request more years to be searched or we can refund the amount remaining to you.
How do I apply for a pre-adoptive Birth certificate?When a person has been legally adopted, the birth certificate that we will issue is the post-adoptive birth certificate, showing the details of the adoptive parents. If you are adopted, you may wish to apply for a copy of your original, pre-adoptive birth certificate, showing the details of your birth before you were adopted. Under New Zealand law, you can do this once you turn 20 years old. Please see 'Birth Certificates and Adoption' for information about how to apply.
Non-disclosure directionA non-disclosure direction may be placed on a person’s records if the person, or his or her personal representative (e.g. person’s parents or other person authorised in writing), reasonably believes that disclosure of the registered information, or any part of the registered information, would be prejudicial to the personal safety of that person or his or her family. A non-disclosure direction expires after 5 years unless it is reinstated or withdrawn.
If a non-disclosure direction is in place on a person’s record(s), generally only the person who is the subject of the information (or a parent if the person is under 18), or any other person authorised by the subject of the information may request a certificate or printout of that record. If any other person attempts to access registered information when a non-disclosure direction is in place he or she will be advised that the information exists but that the information cannot be provided.
Please contact us for further information.