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Document Authentication

Before certain New Zealand documents can be used overseas, Document Authentication may be necessary.

It is usually required where overseas officials are not able to determine on sight the authenticity of New Zealand documents. To check the requirements, contact the relevant authorities in the country concerned or their overseas representatives.

The authentication process varies depending on the document type and country requirements. Please read the following steps carefully.

Step 1: Notarisation
Step 2: Authentication
Step 3: Verification

If you have any queries, please contact either:

Authentication Unit,
Department of Internal Affairs.
(04) 470-2928 (phone), (04) 470-2921 (fax)
Email: authentication@egs.govt.nz
Authentication Officer: Lisa Patrick
or: Consular Division,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
(04) 439-8018 or (04) 439-8074
Talia Hicks, email: talia.hicks@mfat.govt.nz
Step One: Notarisation
Check if your document is one that requires notarisation (certification) of the document by a Notary Public in New Zealand.

Documents that do not require notarisation are:

*Note: Computer generated documents, including those downloaded from the Internet, will need to be notarised as they are not deemed to be original documents.

Documents that do require notarisation are:
  • All other documents including official birth, death, or marriage documents that do not bear the seal of the Registrar-General*
  • Contracts
  • References
  • Any computer-generated documents downloaded from the Internet issued by a government agency.
* Note: If you have an official birth, death, or marriage document that does not bear the seal of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, you can apply to the Registrar-General to have a new document issued with the seal, or have the document notarised.

If :

Step Two: Authentication
Deliver your documents to us for authentication by our Authentication Unit. Our fee: NZ$45.00 per set of documents and NZ$17.50 for each copy of the same set. All the documents in each set must be eligible original documents or bear the seal of a Notary Public.

We will authenticate the signature and seal of the approved government agency or Notary Public within five working days. Please advise us if you need us to process your document more quickly.

To deliver your documents to us, send:
  • your documents
  • a note of any specific instructions for us (please indicate clearly where supporting papers belong when you submit more than one set of documents)
  • a cheque for the fee payable to the Department of Internal Affairs plus a second cheque for the fee payable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.*
*Note: the fee to Department of Internal Affairs can be paid by Visa or MasterCard – please send the card number, expiry date and name on the card. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade do not accept credit cards and a cheque must be included for their fee.
  • an A-4 size self-addressed envelope or prepaid courier pack.

Delivery addresses:
  • Postal address - The Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington.
  • Courier address - The Authentication Unit, Level 1, Treasury Building, 1 The Terrace, Wellington.

On completion, we will then forward your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Step Three.

Step Three: Verification
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade verifies the signature and seal of the Department of Internal Affairs. Please contact them directly on (04) 473-2018 if you have any questions about this part of the process. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade verifies the signature and seal of the Department of Internal Affairs. The document(s) must then be forwarded to the diplomatic mission of the country for their verification. There are two categories of countries:
  • 'Category A' countries (listed in the table below) will verify the signature of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on a document.
  • 'Category B' countries (not listed in the table below) require documents to be forwarded via a New Zealand overseas post.

Verification by foreign diplomatic mission of a 'Category A' country:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will return the documents to you by your self-addressed envelope or prepaid courier pack for you to forward to the foreign country's diplomatic mission for their verification.

Fees: NZ$40.00 per set of documents and NZ$17.00 for each copy of the same set, payable in advance. (Please make your cheque payable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: it should accompany the documents you send to the Department of Internal Affairs in Step Two).

To arrange verification of the foreign country's diplomatic mission, contact the foreign diplomatic mission to enquire about their processing requirements including fees and the return of documents. Contact details are available from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, or check the Telecom Yellow Pages or Directory Service. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (04) 473-2018 can assist you.

Verification by foreign diplomatic mission of a 'Category B' country:

The Ministry will forward your documents to the foreign diplomatic mission for you via a NZ overseas post.
The process is as follows:

  • The Ministry processes your documents.
  • The Ministry forwards your documents to a New Zealand overseas mission where there is also a foreign mission of the country in which the document is to be used.
  • The New Zealand overseas mission verifies the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's signature and seal and forwards the documents to the foreign mission.
  • The foreign mission verifies the New Zealand overseas mission's signature and seal and returns the authenticated documents to you by your self-addressed envelope or prepaid (international) courier pack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will advise the fee for the New Zealand overseas mission and contact details for the overseas foreign mission. Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's fee and the New Zealand overseas post fee may be combined into a single New Zealand dollar cheque payable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Contact the foreign overseas mission to enquire about fees plus arrangements for payment and return of documents. For contact details phone the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (04) 473-2018. Please note that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not advise foreign mission requirements or make enquiries on your behalf.

Fees: NZ$65.00 per set of documents and NZ$17.00 for each copy of the same set.

'Category A' countries - those that will verify the signature of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on a document.
If the country in which you intend to use the document you want authenticated is listed here, go to Verification by foreign diplomatic mission of a 'Category A' country. Otherwise, go to Verification by foreign diplomatic mission of a 'Category B' country.

(Contact details are available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website or check the Telecom Yellow Pages.)

  • Albania (Beijing)
  • Algeria (Jakarta)
  • Bangladesh (Canberra)
  • Bolivia (Tokyo)
  • Brazil (Wellington)
  • Britain (Wellington)
  • Cambodia (Canberra)
  • Canada (Wellington)
  • Chile (Wellington, Auckland)
  • China (Wellington, Auckland)
  • Cook Islands (Wellington, Auckland)
  • Denmark (Wellington, Auckland)
  • Ecuador (Tokyo)
  • Egypt (Canberra)
  • Eritrea (Beijing)
  • Ghana (Tokyo)
  • Guatemala (Tokyo)
  • Honduras (Sydney)
  • Iceland (Beijing)
  • India (Wellington)
  • Indonesia (Wellington)
  • Iran (Wellington)
  • Jordan (Canberra)
  • Kenya (Canberra)
  • Kiribati (Tarawa)
  • Korea (Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch)
  • Kuwait (Canberra via Saudis)
  • Laos (Canberra)
  • Lebanon (Canberra)
  • Malaysia (Wellington)
  • Mali (Jakarta)
  • Mongolia (Beijing)
  • Morocco (Jakarta)
  • Myanmar (Canberra)
  • Nauru (Nauru)
  • Nepal (Tokyo)
  • Nicaragua (Tokyo)
  • Nigeria (Canberra)
  • Oman (Canberra via Saudis)
  • Pakistan (Canberra)
  • Papua New Guinea (Wellington)
  • Peru (Wellington, Auckland)
  • Philippines (Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch)
  • Poland (Wellington)
  • Qatar (Canberra via Saudis)
  • Saudi Arabia (Canberra)
  • Singapore (Wellington)
  • Solomon Islands (Honiara)
  • Sri Lanka (Lower Hutt)
  • Thailand (Wellington)
  • Tuvalu (Funafuti)
  • United Arab Emirates (Canberra)
  • Uruguay (Christchurch)
  • Vanuatu (Port Vila)
  • Vietnam (Canberra)
  • Zambia (Tokyo)
  • Zimbabwe (Canberra)

Links to further informationApostille Certificates are available for use in countries that have signed the Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legislation for foreign public documents. This service is provided by the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit.

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Last updated: 05/03/2004