The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Document Authentication - Category A

Important Authentication Information

How long does it take

Applications are currently taking up to 7 working days to issue from the date received.
We then pass them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the next step in the authentication process.


Our office DOES NOT accept Justice of the Peace or Solicitor certified documents.

Please arrange notarisation from before submitting your
non-Government issued documents to our office for processing.
Further details are listed below in our requirements section.

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.

Please ensure that you have confirmed application details with the relevant Foreign Embassy or Authority that you are submitting the document to.
Many countries or authorities have specific requirements about translations and processing the documents individually or as sets.
Please view the Translation Service webpage for fees and further details.

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 7 working days. 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.

Document Requirements:

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

*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).

NZ Passport
We cannot authenticate an original NZ Passport.
Option 1: Send a copy of the NZ Passport which has been notarised by a NZ Notary Public & the ‘Request for Authentication or Apostille of Document’ form.

Option 2: Courier the following to The Authentication unit:
  1. Your NZ Passport.
  2. ‘Request for Authentication or Apostille of Document’ form.
  3. Tick on the form you want your documents returned by courier (fee applies).
  4. In the comments field request your passport be certified as a true copy and then Authenticated.
The Authentication Unit will arrange to have your NZ Passport certified as a true copy by the Passport Office (this can take up to 5 days plus the time to Authenticate the document).
There is no fee to have the Passport certified as a true copy but fees apply to have the copy Authenticated.

NZ Drivers Licence
We cannot authenticate an original NZ Driver Licence. You must provide a copy that has been certified by the issuing office or notarised by a NZ Notary Public.

Criminal Conviction Letters from the Ministry of Justice:
When you apply for the letter, you choose if it is emailed or posted to you. Ministry of Justice will not send the letter directly to the Authentication Unit.
If you choose to have the letter emailed to you: On receipt forward the email you receive plus the Authentication Application form to
If you choose to have the letter posted to you: On receipt post the letter you received plus the Authentication Application form. Please do not scan these to us.
Order your Criminal Conviction Letter here: Ministry of Justice

Companies Office documents:
The Companies Offices generates Certificates of Incorporation, Certificates of Registration and Company Extracts for Limited companies which you can receive by 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.
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.

Please note we will immediately return your unprocessed documents to you if you submit solicitor or Justice of the Peace certified or signed documents.

How to obtain an authentication:

Click here for our Application Form (.pdf) 73k*

*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.

in person:
Authentication Unit, Level 5, 120 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Counter hours: 9am - 4pm, Monday to Friday

by courier:
Authentication Unit, c/- Level 1, 120 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

or by post:
Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington 6140

Other contact details:
Phone: (+64) 4 460 2221 | Freephone: 0800 872 675

Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm

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.


$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.


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 frequent New Zealand based corporate customers; or
  • Cash or EFTPOS - if you visit our office.

Return of documents

  • We will arrange for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to 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.
  • International courier fees are: $15 to Australia and Asia-Pacific countries | $20 to the United States (not Canada) | $25 to European countries (including UK) | $30 Rest of World

Links to further information