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Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Certificate and Printout: Frequently Asked Questions
- Return to Births, Deaths and Marriages home page
- How do I apply for a certificate or printout?
- What is the difference between a certificate and a printout?
- How much does it cost?
- How can I pay?
- Historical records defined
- What is the information you need?
- What if I don't know the year of the event?
- How long will it take?
- Printouts by email
- What information will the certificate or printout have on it?
- How do I find out my time of birth?
- Why is my birth certificate bilingual?
- Why does the certificate carry the warning 'This certificate is not evidence of the identity of the person presenting it'?
- How do I apply for a certificate where the event occurred overseas?
- Non-disclosure direction
How do I apply for a certificate or printout?Historical records
You can search for historical birth, death and marriage records and order associated certificates and printouts on our website Birth, Death and Marriages Online.
You can also apply for an historic certificate or printout by phone, email, post, and fax or in person at one of the Births, Deaths and Marriages offices.
You can order non-historical birth, death, marriage, civil union and name change certificates and printouts on our website Birth, Death and Marriages Online website (this requires an igovt ID).
Please note: That you cannot search non-historic records on our website. You may be able to make your request by phone, post or in person at one of the Births, Deaths and Marriages offices.
What is the difference between a certificate and a printout?Both a certificate and a printout contain registered information about a person's birth, death, marriage, civil union or name change.
- A printout is a copy of the information from the registration. The printout is not a legal document and is usually used for genealogical information purposes.
- A certificate is an official document.
How much does it cost?Birth Certificates
A birth certificate costs NZ$26.50 or you may request a birth certificate and a decorative birth certificate for the same birth in the same application, which costs NZ$39.80.
Death, Marriage, Civil Union and Name Change certificates
A death, marriage, civil union or name change certificate costs NZ$26.50.
These are official documents.
If you only require the information, rather than an official document, you may wish to apply for a printout which costs NZ$26.50 if the event took place from 1848 to 1874, or NZ$20.40 if the event took place after 1874.
These copies are often requested for genealogical information purposes.
How can I pay?You can find further information about how to make your payment through:
- Get a Birth Certificate
- Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate or
- Births, Deaths and Marriages Online website
Historical records defined
What is the information you need?The minimum information to provide (with payment) is:
- the type of certificate or printout;
- the person's full name (both parties’ full names if a marriage or civil union); and
- the year of the event and the place of the event.
What if I don't know the year of the event?If you cannot supply the exact year, you have several options:
- we can search our records for you for an additional fee.
- you may be able to find the year using other family members' records.
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 cannot be produced until the birth has been registered.
If you order a certificate and a printout together, they will be sent separately. This is due to the different processes involved to produce a certificate and printout.
Printouts by emailIf you provide your email address we will email your printouts to you. Certificates will continue to be sent by mail.
What information will the certificate or printout have on it?The certificate or printout will reflect the information that was provided at the time the event was registered. The information required for registration has changed throughout the years. For example, parents only used to record their age at the time of their child's birth, whereas now we record the parents' actual dates of birth.
If your certificate shows 'Not Recorded' this means that the information was mandatory but was not supplied. If the certificate shows a dash (-) this means that the information was not applicable to the registration. For further information, view, download or print out Family Record Research: a guide to tracing your family history.
How do I find out my time of birth?The time of birth is not recorded on the birth certificate or printout. The hospital where your birth occurred may be able to assist you further.
Why is my birth certificate bilingual?From 1 March 2004 the Department of Internal Affairs has included a bilingual component, a Te Reo Maori translation of the key field names, in all birth and name change certificates.
The Department of Internal Affairs is committed to supporting the Government's strategy for Te Reo Maori.
There are plans to issue bilingual marriage, civil union and death certificates at a later stage.
Why does the certificate carry the warning 'This certificate is not evidence of the identity of the person presenting it'?In New Zealand, birth, death, marriage, civil union and name change records (with the exception of pre-adoptive records) are public records. A certificate is a document that supports someone's identity along with other evidence, rather than a document that proves someone's identity.
How do I apply for a certificate where the event occurred overseas?New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages issues certificates for events that are registered in New Zealand. If your birth is registered outside of New Zealand please contact the relevant Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in New Zealand.
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 the 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.