Upgrades to the New Zealand Passports system

In March 2024, Te Tari Taiwhenua – Department of Internal Affairs is completing a significant upgrade to the New Zealand Passports system, which will add new online functionality and provide a better experience for passport customers.

This includes:

1. Better experience for groups – Groups will be able to use one online portal to apply for all passport application types (renewal and first-time passports), including mixed groups (adults and children).

2. Simplified website experience – The website will automatically identify the appropriate application type, removing the need for customers to answer several questions before they start their application.

3. Ability to update gender on passport – Applicants will be able to confirm their gender when applying online, even if it is different from their previous passport.

4. Reducing some obstacles – Applicants will no longer need to provide their previous passport number when applying to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport.

5. Co-apply for RealMe Verified – Adult applicants will be able to apply for a RealMe Verified Identity for themselves at the same as they apply for their passport.

6. Apply online with endorsements – Customers will be able to apply online with an endorsement on their passport (e.g. if they wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons, or they are unable to sign their passport) without needing a statutory declaration. 

Outages to passports and citizenship by grant application services

Please be aware that there will be planned outages to our passport service while we complete this significant upgrade. Our online citizenship by grant application service will also be unavailable during these times. This means customers will be unable to apply for a passport or for citizenship by grant online and we are also unable to process applications during the following times. Please note we have also included times for our customers in the UK and Australia.

  • 5pm, Thursday 7 March to 8am, Monday 11 March 2024 (NZDT)
  • 4am, Thursday 7 March to 7pm, Sunday 10 March 2024 (GMT)
  • 3pm, Thursday 7 March to 6am, Monday 11 March 2024 (AEDT)

Have you started a passport application?

As part of this upgrade, we will be deleting draft passport applications that have been saved but not paid for and not submitted to the passport office. This will be done in two stages, starting from 12pm on Thursday 7 March.

  • If you start your application before 5pm, Tuesday 5 March, you must submit and pay for it by 12noon, Thursday 7 March.
  • If you start an application between 12pm, Tuesday 5 March and 5pm, Thursday 7 March, you will need to submit and pay for it before 5pm, Thursday 7 March.

If you have an unsubmitted draft application and you still wish to apply for a passport, please ensure that you submit and pay your application before these times. If you do not, you will need to start again after the upgrade is complete.

All times are New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT).

You can read the terms for using our online passport application service on our website (Passports website).