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Apostille Certification

Before certain New Zealand documents can be used overseas, document legalisation 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 process varies depending on the document type and country requirements.

How to obtain an Apostille Certificate

Apostille Certificates are available for use in countries that have signed the Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legislation for foreign public documents.

You need an Apostille Certificate if your document is being used in any of the following countries:

  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Guyana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Cayman Islands
  • Colombia
  • Comoros Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • District of Colombia (Washington DC)
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Macedonia
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • St Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Ukraine (22/12/03)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Venezuela
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virgin Islands of the United States
  • Wallis and Futuna

This certificate must be affixed to the document at the Authentication Unit at the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington. If the document is to be used in any country not specified above, you need an Authentication Certificate. Click here for more information about Document Authentication.

Which Documents Require Apostille Certification?

1. A birth, marriage or death certificate issued in New Zealand: Send the document straight to us if it bears the round seal of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Some older documents do not have this seal, and must be notarised (see below) before they are sent to us.

2. A document bearing the seal and signature of an approved government agency such as a District Court, Animal Remedies Board: Send straight to us, unless the document is computer-generated, in which case it will need to be notarised. Computer-generated documents, or documents downloaded from the Internet, are not deemed original documents.

3. Any other type of document: Do not send straight to us. All other documents such as contracts, references, powers of attorney, educational documents etc will need to be notarised by a Notary Public in New Zealand before you send them to our office. The Notary Public will sign the document and affix his/her seal to it. You can find a list of Notaries Public for your area in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book. The Notary Public will charge a fee. For more information about Notarisation see: Document Authentication
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are applying for Dutch citizenship, please note that the Embassy of the Netherlands will not accept notarised documents. You must send original documents. If your birth or marriage certificate does not have the seal of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages (or Registrar-General on older documents) you will need to purchase new certificates. See (services: births deaths and marriages) for information on how to order new certificates.

Contact Details
Send the document to us at: (courier) Authentication Unit, Level 1, Treasury Building, No. 1 The Terrace, Wellington, or (standard post) Authentication Unit, c/o The Translation Service, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington.
Phone: (04) 470-2928 Fax: (04) 470-2921
Authentication Officer: Lisa Patrick
Make sure you have enclosed:

1. The document to which the Apostille is to be attached. If there is more than one document you may need to check with the end-user whether the documents can be processed as a set or whether they must be treated separately. If they have been issued by different agencies they must be processed separately.

A set is one or more documents issued by the same authority. (For example, if you are applying for Dutch citizenship, the birth and marriage certificate which are issued by the Registrar, Births Deaths and Marriages can be issued as 1 set. The citizenship certificate, which has a different issuing authority, will be issued a separate Apostille).

  • Does the document require notarisation? See above and find a Notary Public via the Yellow Pages.

2. Payment
$ 45.00 per Apostille Certificate. $ 17.50 per copy Certificate (Apostille of identical document/same issuing authority) Prices are gst inclusive.
You can pay by:
  • Cheque made out to The Department of Internal Affairs; or
  • VISA/Mastercard details (card number, expiry date and name of cardholder); or
  • money order.
If you are not sure of the fee involved, contact us first.

3. Return of documents
Within New Zealand:
  • A stamped self-addressed envelope (A4 size), or
  • A self-addressed prepaid courier pack (A4 size) for the return of your documents.
Outside New Zealand:
  • Add $5.00 to your fee to cover airmail postage.
4. Then send everything to usThe process will not take longer than five working days.

Links to further informationBefore 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.

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Last updated: 12/03/2004