Services › Document Authentication - Category A
Nicaragua will accept Apostilles from 14 May. The process on this page will no longer apply to Nicaragua.
Before certain New Zealand documents can be used overseas, document authentication may be necessary. It is required where overseas officials are not able to determine on sight the authenticity of New Zealand documents. To check you are following the correct process for the country you are using your documents in please click on the Document Authentication Homepage to the left.
The Category A process is as follows:
The Authentication Unit authenticates the signature and seal of the approved Government agency or Notary Public on your documents. This takes up to five working days. Please advise the Authentication Unit if urgent processing, or a translation is required. Once we have authenticated your documents we will pass them on to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the next step in the authentication process. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade verifies the signature and seal of the Department of Internal Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will return the documents to you for you to forward to the foreign country’s diplomatic mission for further verification.
To arrange verification by the foreign country’s diplomatic mission, contact the foreign diplomatic mission to enquire about their processing requirements, including fees and return of the documents. Foreign Embassy contact details are available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
- Click here for Application Form (.pdf) 38k*
*This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.
$65 NZD (incl. GST) for one authentication certificate (we can attach any number of documents to one certificate)
$31 NZD for each additional authentication certificate submitted at the same time.
1 authentication certificate = $65
2 authentication certificates = $96
3 authentication certificates = $127
4 authentication certificates = $158
5 authentication certificates = $189
All fees are paid to the Department of Internal Affairs.
The fee includes payment for both Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
HOW TO PAY:
You can pay by:
- One cheque or money order made out to The Department of Internal Affairs; or
- VISA, Mastercard or American Express details (card number, expiry date and name of cardholder); or
- Invoice - available for New Zealand based corporate customers; or
- Cash or EFTPOS - if you visit our office.
We will send your documents to you by standard post unless you provide a prepaid self-addressed courier bag or buy a return courier bag from us.
Courier bags for delivery within NZ cost $5.
Please contact us to find out international courier fees.
Send us your documents for authentication:
Authentication Unit, Level 13, Prime Property Tower, 86-90 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011
Or by post:
Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington 6140
Other contact details:
Phone: (04) 470-2928 Freephone: 0800 872 675 Fax: (04) 470-2921
Make sure you have enclosed:
The document/s to authenticate. If you have more than one document to authenticate, you may need to check with the end-user whether the documents can be processed as a set or authenticated separately. Documents in a set will be joined together. Documents with different seals from different issuing authorities can be authenticated as one set.
Please indicate clearly which documents belong together, and the order of each set, when you submit more than one set of documents.
You should paper clip or staple each set together.
Your documents need to meet certain requirements before you send them to us:
1. We accept original birth, death, marriage*, and change of name certificates issued in New Zealand as long as:
they have the round seal of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages (or the Registrar-General).
Some older certificates do not have a seal and so new certificates need to be ordered from Births Deaths and Marriages. You can call them on 0800 22 52 52 (from overseas +64 4 463 9362) or download their application forms at www.bdm.govt.nz
*We do not accept the marriage document that you signed on your wedding day (the Copy of Particulars of Marriage). We can only accept an official marriage certificate that you ordered after your wedding.
2. We accept documents bearing the seal and/or signature of an approved GOVERNMENT agency
such as a Court, a Police station, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), or a New Zealand Embassy or Consulate overseas.
We cannot authenticate an original Passport or Driver Licence. You must provide a copy that has been certified by the issuing office or notarised by a Notary Public.
Criminal Conviction Letters from the Ministry of Justice:
When ordering these please ask the Ministry of Justice to print the Criminal Conviction Letter on their blue logo paper with an ink signature. We cannot authenticate black and white letters. Please follow the instructions on their website (these apply for all countries):
Companies Office documents:
The Companies Offices generates Certificates of Incorporation, Certificates of Registration and Company Extracts which you can download or email from their website. You can send these to us by email or in hardcopy.
To order these documents please go to:
3. We do NOT accept documents that have not been issued by the government unless:
they are notarised by a Notary Public here in New Zealand.
If you are overseas you may be able to obtain a certified copy of your document from a New Zealand Embassy or Consulate, which you can then send to us.
Non-government issued documents such as school reports or university certificates, powers of attorney, contracts, employment references, bank statements, Chamber of Commerce certificates and any other document written by a company, non-government agency or individual need to be notarised by a Notary Public in New Zealand before you send it to our office. The Notary Public will sign the document and affix his/her seal to it. They may sign and seal a copy of the document. You can find a list of Notaries in your area on their website here or in the Yellow Pages telephone book. The Notary Public will charge a fee.
We cannot authenticate documents certified by a solicitor or a Justice of the Peace.
Links to further information
- The Translation Service - the Department of Internal Affairs translation service.