The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Services › Births Deaths and Marriages › Register a Birth, Death, Marriage,Civil Union or Name Change

Births, Deaths and Marriages registers and maintains New Zealand birth, death, marriage and civil union information and provides access to that information by issuing certificates and electronic printouts.

Registering a Birth

By law, both parents of a child born in New Zealand must jointly notify Births, Deaths and Marriages, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the birth (deemed by the Registrar-General as generally being within two months of the birth). Once registered and on payment of the fee, a birth certificate is available. Birth registration is free.

How to Register
A 'Notification of Birth for Registration' form is generally provided to the parent(s) shortly after the birth. If you have not received a form directly after the birth of your child, or you have any difficulty completing the form you have been given, please contact us.

When you have completed the form, please return it to:

Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 31203
Lower Hutt 5040
New Zealand

Birth Certificates
If you would like a birth certificate for your child you can request one when you send us the registration form, or at any time after the birth has been registered. If you would like to order the certificate with the registration, please complete the order section of the registration form, and include the certificate fee.

See Get a Birth Certificate for information on applying for a certificate after registration.
Back to top

Registering a Death

The law requires that all deaths in New Zealand are notified to Births, Deaths and Marriages within three working days after the burial or cremation of the body. There is no charge for registering the death.

If a funeral director is in charge of funeral arrangements, he or she will collect all of the information required and forward it to Births, Deaths and Marriages for registration.

Where a funeral director is not involved, the person in charge of the funeral arrangements is responsible for notifying Births, Deaths and Marriages of the death. The Before Burial or Cremation pamphlet explains how to register a death and what must be done before a body can be buried or cremated.

How to Register
Within three working days after the burial or cremation the Notification of Death for Registration form must be sent to us.

You can contact us to arrange to have a Notification of Death for Registration (BDM 28) form sent to you.

The address to send the form to is:

Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 31203
Lower Hutt 5040
New Zealand

Death Certificates
A death certificate can be ordered when the death is registered by completing the order section of the Notification of Death for Registration (BDM 28) form and including the certificate fee.

Once the death has been registered, a death certificate can be issued. See Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Name Change Certificate.
Back to top

Registering a Marriage

At your wedding, you will sign two copies of a form called 'Copy of Particulars of Marriage'. One copy will be returned by the marriage celebrant to the Registrar of Marriages who issued your marriage licence so that the marriage can be registered. The other copy will be given to you as a record of your marriage.

Marriage Certificates
After your marriage you may need a formal document to confirm the details and legal validity of your marriage. You may use the 'Copy of Particulars of Marriage' for this purpose. However, as the 'Copy of Particulars of Marriage' is a unique record of the wedding day, with the signatures of the bride and groom on it, many couples prefer to purchase a marriage certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages for general use. See Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union Certificate or Name Change Certificate.

For further information about getting married see How To Get A Marriage Licence.


Registering a Civil Union

At your civil union ceremony, you will sign two copies of a form called 'Copy of Particulars of Civil Union'. One copy will be returned by the Civil Union Celebrant to the Registrar of Civil Unions who issued your civil union licence so that the civil union can be registered. The other copy will be given to you as a record of your civil union.

Civil Union Certificates
After your civil union ceremony you may need a formal document to confirm the details and legal validity of your civil union. You may use the 'Copy of Particulars of Civil Union' for this purpose. However, as the 'Copy of the Particulars of Civil Union' is a unique record from the day of the ceremony, with the signatures of both partners on it, you may prefer to purchase a civil union certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages for general use. See Get a Death, Marriage, Civil Union Certificate or Name Change Certificate.

For further information about entering into a civil union see Civil Union.


Registering a Name Change

A name change may be registered if your birth is registered in New Zealand or you are a New Zealand citizen or entitled to reside in New Zealand permanently. You must complete a Name Change form and pay the fee.

Name Change Certificates
A name change certificate will be issued only to those people:
  • Whose birth is not registered in New Zealand; and
  • Who were New Zealand citizens or entitled to reside in New Zealand permanently when their name change was lodged; and
  • Who have lodged a Change of Name by Statutory Declaration, with the prescribed fee on or after 25 January 2009; and
  • Who have paid the fee for a name change certificate.
If your birth is registered in New Zealand, your name change will be added to your birth information and will be shown on any subsequent birth certificates issued (which is the same process as has applied for many years).

For further information see Name Change.
Back to top