Order a birth certificate
New Zealand birth certificates are a record of birth. You can order a birth certificate online, by phone, by post or in person. Prices start at $33 for a standard certificate.
You can order a birth certificate for anyone born in New Zealand. You need to know the person's:
- first names and surname
- date of birth.
Order a birth certificate
You can order a birth certificate online if you have a verified RealMe account. RealMe is the secure way to prove who you are online.
You can get a verified RealMe account by going to a PostShop and having your photo taken.
Order by phone
Order by post using the paper application form
You’ll need a referee to sign the form — they must be over 16, and have either known you for at least 6 months or seen your official ID, for example a NZ passport.
Post the completed form to:
Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 10526
Order in person
Costs and types of certificates
You can choose to order a standard and/or a decorative certificate which has an image on it.
- $33 for a standard birth certificate
- $35 for a decorative birth certificate
- $55 for a pack with a standard and a decorative birth certificate
- $25 for a copy of the record, also known as a printout. A printout is not a certificate or a legal document and is usually used when you're researching family history. Depending on the age or type of record, either a typed copy or a scan of the handwritten entry is provided.
If you need a birth certificate to apply for a government benefit and you can't afford the cost, talk to Work and Income as they may be able to pay for the certificate for you.
When you'll get it
You’ll get your certificate in the post in approximately 8 working days. Allow extra time for delivery.
If you ordered a certificate more than 2 weeks ago and you haven't received it, please contact BDM.
Reasons you might order a birth certificate
If you've lost your birth certificate
If you've lost your birth certificate you need to order a new one. You can do this online.
If there's a mistake on your birth certificate
If you want a birth certificate for your new baby
If you're adopted
Once you’re 20 you can get a copy of your pre-adoptive birth certificate which shows the details of your birth before your adoption. This could include your parents' names, and dates and places of birth.
If you want to use your birth certificate outside New Zealand
When you need to use a New Zealand birth certificate in another country, you might be asked to get the document apostilled or authenticated. Some countries call this legalisation.
An apostille or authentication is an official government certificate that proves the signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine.
You can make a request to get your birth certificate apostilled or authenticated by phone or post.
You might be asked to get your birth certificate translated into another language.
Checking the surname on your birth certificate
To check the surname used on your birth certificate, you have to apply and pay for the birth certificate.
If you were born before 1972
Children born before 1972 were not registered with surnames. Records were updated in 1995 to assign the mother’s surname if the parents were not married, and the father’s name if they were.
Most people will not be affected, but some people may find their record is not in their preferred surname and needs to be amended.
The amendment is free of charge.
If there’s a record of your parents’ marriage
You need to write and ask for your surname to be amended.
If there’s not a record of your parents’ marriage
You need to write and ask for your surname to be amended and provide two types of evidence:
- something recent, and
- something from as early in life as possible.
Types of evidence you can use:
- Bank statements
- Baptismal record
- Community Services Card
- Educational certificate or school report
- Electoral roll record
- Inland Revenue tax number
- Lease or tenancy agreements
- Motor vehicle registration
- Rates notices
- School records
- Steps to Freedom form
- Student identity card
- Trade certificate
- Utility accounts — for example, power or phone bills.