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- Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate
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Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate
- Return to Births, Deaths and Marriages home page
- How to apply
- What is a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change certificate?
- How long will it take?
- What happens if we cannot find the event?
- Non-disclosure direction
- Frequently asked questions about certificates
- Access Register
What is a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change certificate?A death, marriage, civil union or name change certificate is an official document containing registered information about a person's death, marriage, civil union or name change. You may obtain a certificate by providing the required details and paying the certificate fee. You can provide these details by downloading, completing and sending the appropriate form.
Name Change certificates have been available since 25 January 2009. These can be obtained if the name change was registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages on or after 25 January 2009 and the subject of the name changes birth is registered overseas. If the subject's birth is registered in New Zealand, the birth certificate that is issued after the subject's name change has been registered will show the new name along with all previous names.
Certificates can be used for purposes such as:
- getting a driver's licence;
- enrolling at school;
- applying for welfare benefits;
- winding up / administering estates.
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.
OnlineIf 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 officesYou 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 Certificate (BDM 93 D, M, C or N) 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 death, marriage, civil union or name change has been registered.
To avoid any delays, please make sure that:
- you have addressed your application to Births, Deaths and Marriages;
- the declaration section has been completed and signed (if applicable);
- you have given the correct information (e.g. date, spelling of names) in your application;
- you have included correct certificate fee(s);
- if you are paying by credit card, all your credit card details are correctly supplied; and
- you have included your return address.
What happens if we cannot find the event?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 event 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 event 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 event 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.
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.