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Changing a Name

Click here for Maori language version

(Statement on the use of macrons)

To have a change of name for yourself or your child officially recognised, you need to register it with Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is done by making a Statutory Declaration (an officially signed and witnessed statement) on a form you can download below. The form is also available by contacting us.

If the new name is accepted, it is then registered by Births, Deaths and Marriages. Any New Zealand birth certificate issued after the new name has been registered will show both the name registered at birth and all changes of name for that person.

Changing Your Own Name
If you are 18 years or over, or you are or have been married, you may apply to change your own name by completing a Change of Name by Statutory Declaration application form (.pdf) 19k. To read or print this form, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download this program free from the Adobe site.

Together with the form you must send:
  • Your full birth certificate or other acceptable evidence of your name, date and place of birth (eg, your passport)
  • The correct fee (NZ$125.00 if your birth is registered in New Zealand, or NZ$80.00 if registered overseas)

If you are married, a change of name can be noted on your marriage registration.

Please complete all questions in the 'Legally Married' section of the form. There is an additional charge of NZ$45.00 for this service. This can only be done if the marriage took place in New Zealand.

Changing the Name of a Child
In most circumstances a change of name for a child must be made by the guardians of the child. This is usually both parents, even if they are not married or living together. Even if only one parent has custody, both parents must still sign the form. If any other guardians have been appointed, they must also make the statutory declaration.

If a guardian is not able to sign, the reason why one guardian may need to act alone must be described in the Statutory Declaration. This may be for reasons such as these:
  • He / she is missing (you will need to give details)
  • Is dead
  • Is not known
  • Is unable to act because of a serious physical or psychological illness

There are some circumstances other than those described above in which the Family Court may allow one guardian to act alone to change the child's name. You will need papers issued by the Court to support the change of name. These papers need to be included with the application form, fee and birth certificate.

If no guardians are available, a change of name form may be completed by the Chief Executive of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

If the child is under 2 years old, and born in New Zealand
The guardian(s) can change the child's name by jointly signing a letter asking for this change, or by completing a BDM 36 Application Form (.pdf) 20k. The fee for this service is NZ$50.00.

If the child is over 2 but under 16 years old, or under 2 years old and born outside of New Zealand
The guardian(s) of the child must complete a BDM 122 Application Form (.pdf) 20k. The fee for this service is NZ$125.00 if the birth is registered in New Zealand, or NZ$80.00 if registered overseas.

If the person is between 16 and 18 years old, and never married
They must also agree to the change of name. This agreement needs to be recorded on the form and signed in the new name, along with the consent of guardian(s). BDM 122 Application Form (.pdf) 20k. The fee for this service is NZ$125.00 if the birth is registered in New Zealand, or NZ$80.00 if registered overseas.

Forms are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

If you have any difficulties downloading the form you need, please contact us.

Together with the form you must send:
  • A full birth certificate (not a photocopy) for the child whose name is to be changed, or some other evidence of the child's name and date and place of birth, that also shows the names of the child's parents
  • Payment

To get a record of the new name
  • You can apply for an official copy of the statutory declaration document. The fee for this is NZ$20.00
  • If your name was changed by deed poll prior to September 1995, you can apply for an official copy of the deed poll. The cost of a deed poll record is NZ$20.00
  • If your birth is registered in New Zealand, your name change will be recorded on any birth certificate that is issued after the name change request has been processed. The fee for a birth certificate is NZ$26.00
You can apply to have any of these documents issued when you apply for the name change, or they can be obtained later.

If you were married in New Zealand and have asked to have the new name noted on your marriage registration, you may also wish to buy a new marriage certificate. The fee for a marriage certificate is NZ$26.00.

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Last updated: 01/03/2004