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Apostille Certification

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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:

  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • 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
  • Cook Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • 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
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • 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
  • Serbian and Montenegro
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Ukraine
  • 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 original document straight to us if it bears the round seal of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages (or the Registrar-General). Some older documents do not have either seal and must be notarised (see below) before they are sent to us, or new certificates ordered from Births Deaths and Marriages on 0800 22 52 52 or online at

2. An original document bearing the seal and signature of an approved government agency such as a District Court, the Police, etc: send straight to the Authentication Unit, unless the document is computer generated, in which case it will need to be notarised (see point 3). IMPORTANT NOTE: documents which have been downloaded or are photocopies not on coloured letterhead paper (such as Certificates of Incorporation or Criminal Conviction letters), even if sent to you by the Government Department concerned, do not count as originals and must be notarised before being sent to us, or an original on letterhead requested from the relevant government department.

3. Any other type of document: Do not send straight to us. All other documents such as contracts, references, powers of attorney, educational documents, Chamber of Commerce certificates, 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 13, Prime Property Tower, 86-90 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011, or (standard post) Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington 6011.

Phone: (04) 470-2928 Freephone: 0800 872 675 Fax: (04) 470-2921
Authentication Officer: Carlee Reid
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. Documents in a set will be joined together. 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 and with the same seal. For example, Birth and Marriage Certificates issued by the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages can be issued as one set. However, if one of the documents has the seal of the Registrar-General, this will need to be Apostilled as a separate set. A Citizenship Certificate, which has a different issuing authority and seal, must also be issued with a separate Apostille.
    • Does the document require notarisation? See above and find a Notary Public via the Yellow Pages.

    2. Payment
    The FEE is NZD $45.00 (incl. GST) per document or set
    • If you send two or more identical documents the fee is $17.50 (incl. GST) per additional document or set. The first document costs $45 and each additional identical document costs $17.50. (You need to provide the additional documents and these must be original documents, not photocopies. (e.g. 2 birth certificates for the same person, both originals issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages or two identical notarised documents).

    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 visit our office you may also pay with cash or EFTpos.
    If you are not sure of the fee involved, please contact us first.

    3. Return of documents

    within New Zealand
    • A stamped self-addressed envelope (A4 size), or
    • A self-addressed pre-paid courier pack (A4 size), or
    • Add $5 (incl. GST) for a return courier pack

    outside New Zealand
    • A stamped self-addressed envelope (A4 size), or
    • A self-addressed pre-paid courier pack (A4 size), or
    • Add $5.00 (incl. GST) to cover airmail postage, or
    • Contact us for international courier fees

    4. Then send everything to us The process will not take longer than five working days.
    Links to further information 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.

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    Last updated: 04/07/2006