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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : Changing a Name Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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Changing a Name



Change of name
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 Change of Name form
.

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 or entered into a civil union, you may apply to change your own name by completing a
Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (BDM 120) application form.

Together with the form you must send:

If you were born in New Zealand
  • The required document(s); and
  • The fee of NZ$125.00.
  • An additional fee of NZ$26.00 if you require a new birth certificate.
If you were born outside New Zealand
  • The required document(s); and
  • The fee of NZ$80.00.
  • An additional fee of NZ$20.00 if you require a certified copy of your name change.
If you are married or in a civil union, you may have your change of name recorded on that registration. Please complete all questions in the 'Legally Married or in a Civil Union' section of the form. There is an additional charge of NZ$45.00 for this service. This can only be done if the marriage or civil union took place in New Zealand.

Changing the Name of a Child Under 18
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, in a civil union or living together. Even if only one parent has the parenting order, both parents must still sign the form. If any other guardians have been appointed, they must also sign the statutory declaration.

Together with the form you must send:
If a guardian is not able to sign, the reason why one guardian is acting alone must be described on the Statutory Declaration. This may be for reasons as, he/she:
  • Is missing;
  • Is dead;
  • Is unknown; or
  • Is of unsound mind or unable to act because of a medical condition.
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
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 Request for a Change of Name Within 2 Years of Birth (BDM 36). The fee for this service is NZ$50.00.

If the child is over 2 but under 18 years old, or under 2 years old and born outside of New Zealand
If the child is over 2 but under 18 years old, or under 2 years old and born outside of New Zealand the guardian(s) of the child must complete a Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (of person aged under 18 who has not been married or been in a civil union) (BDM 122) . The fee for this service is NZ$125.00 if the birth is registered in New Zealand, or NZ$80.00 if the birth is registered overseas.

If the person is aged 16 or 17 years old, and has never married or been in a civil union 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).

Document(s) Required
The document that is required to be sent with an application for a Change of Name depends on the Change of Name application form that is being completed.

The document to provide for Change of Name by Statutory Declaration of person aged under 18 who has not been married or been in a civil union (BDM122) is either a:
  • New Zealand birth certificate (long or short); or
  • Overseas birth certificate that includes parent(s) names.
If a birth certificate is not available then one of the following should be provided:
  • Notorial Certificate (China) that includes parent(s) names; or
  • New Zealand Immigration Service letter confirming residence or refugee status that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Overseas Change of Name by Statutory Declaration/Deed Poll that includes parent(s) names; or
  • RG/BDM122 Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages); or
  • Thai Household Registration, that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Korean Family Census Register, that includes parent(s) names; or
  • Household Census Register (from any Asian country).
The document to provide for Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (BDM120) is either a:
  • New Zealand birth certificate (long or short); or
  • Overseas birth certificate (long or short).
If a birth certificate is not available then one of the following should be provided:
  • Certificate of Identity (issued under the Immigration Act 1987); or
  • Confirmation of Permit Status (New Zealand Immigration Service); or
  • Notorial Certificate (China); or
  • New Zealand Certificate of Citizenship; or
  • New Zealand Immigration Service letter confirming residence or refugee status; or
  • New Zealand passport; or
  • New Zealand Refugee Travel Document (issued under the Passports Act 1992); or
  • Overseas Change of Name by Statutory Declaration/Deed Poll; or
  • Overseas passport; or
  • RG/BDM120 Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages); or
  • RG/BDM122 Change of Name by Statutory Declaration (issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages); or
  • Thai Household Registration; or
  • Korean Family Census Register; or
  • Household Census Register (from any Asian country).
The document(s) must be an original or a certified true copy. If your document has been translated by an official translator, you must send both the original or a certified true copy and the translated documents.

Documents are not required for a child under 2 years of age, and born in New Zealand.


Change of Name Forms and Fees
The change of name form and required fee depends on your situation. See
Forms and Fees for further details on what form to complete and fee to pay.

To Get a Record of the New Name
When you have changed your name Births, Deaths and Marriages provides a process where you can obtain an official document establishing your new name. If you were born outside New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages does not notify the country where you have been born of the name change.
  • If your birth is registered in New Zealand, the birth certificate that is issued after your change of name request has been processed, will show your new name along with all previous names. The fee for a birth certificate is NZ$26.00
  • You can apply for a certified 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 a certified copy of the deed poll. The cost of a deed poll record is NZ$20.00
You can apply to have any of these documents when you apply for your change of name , or they can be obtained later. We will issue the document after your change of name has been processed.

If you were married or have entered into a civil union in New Zealand and have asked to have your new name applied to your marriage or civil union registration, you may also wish to buy a new marriage or civil union certificate. The fee for a certificate is NZ$26.00.

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Last updated: 28/04/2006