The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Updates to online passports system makes it easier for kiwis to apply

7 November 2018

The Department of Internal Affairs have updated their online passport system, making it easier for kiwis to take and submit their own passport photos.

Jeff Montgomery, Registrar General and Internal Affairs General Manager for Services and Access, says the Department received feedback about the system, and acted on it.

“We’re one of the few countries in the world where you can apply for a passport online, and we want to make it easier for New Zealanders to do that. These adjustments mean people are more likely to get it right the first time.”

Changes to the Online Photo Checker, which went live on 24 October 2018, encourage customers to submit better quality photos. Passport applicants can now see the photo they’ve uploaded and compare it to reference images, meaning they’re able to better self-assess their picture before sending it in.

“Passport photos need to meet specific requirements and we know that this is a bit of a bug-bear for some people,” says Mr Montgomery.

“These system updates communicate those criteria more effectively, which will hopefully result in kiwis experiencing a much smoother passport photo application process.”

The online passport system, which went live in 2012, means there’s no need to complete paper forms, reducing the time it takes to apply. It’s one of several Internal Affairs services available online, alongside birth certificates, birth registrations, and marriage licences.

For more information and to apply for your passport online, visit