- Births, Deaths and Marriages - Whanautanga, Matenga, Marenatanga
- Forms, Fees and Information Brochures
- Civil Unions
- Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate
- Get a Birth Certificate
- Name Change
- Family History Records
- Births, Deaths & Marriages Online
- How to Contact Us
Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › 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:
A birth certificate is an official document containing registered information about a person's birth. All birth certificates issued before 1 January 1998 are valid.
The Department of Internal Affairs is always looking to improve the management of identity-related records and the security of documents to reduce the possibility of fraud.
Post 1 January 1998 birth certificates have a unique identifier number which links the certificate to the birth registration. The addition of the identifier number from 1998 helps to prevent fraud and identity misuse by explicitly linking the certificate to the registration of the birth.
A birth certificate is simply proof of an event - that is, that a particular birth was registered. This is stated on birth certificates. The birth certificate states the fact of birth, the place and date of that birth, the name or names registered for the child, and establishes a link between a child and its parents. Birth certificates contain a warning to the effect that "this certificate is not evidence of the identity of the person presenting it".
It is up to each government agency to determine what is required to establish or confirm a customer’s identity. If customers don’t have the required documentation, and there is no alternative process, then there may be a cost. The fee for a new birth certificate is $26.50, which reflects the cost of producing the certificate and is a regulated fee. Each birth certificate is an ‘original’ document. The later the version of the birth certificate the better it contributes to the evidence of identity process for a particular service.
Media reports on this issue may have given the impression that birth certificates issued before 1998 may not be 'valid' or have 'expired'. Birth certificates never 'expire'. There is no need to seek a new birth certificate unless an agency requires one for a higher standard of evidence.
Return to: Get a Birth Certificate