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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:
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 www.dia.govt.nz.
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 www.dia.govt.nz (services: births deaths and marriages) for information on how to order new certificates.
Send the document to us at: (courier) Authentication Unit, Level 13, Prime Property Tower, 86-90 Lambton Quay, Wellington, or (standard post) Authentication Unit, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington.
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.
The FEE is NZD $45.00 (incl. GST) per document or set
You can pay by:
3. Return of documents
within New Zealand
outside New Zealand
4. Then send everything to us
Links to further information
Last updated: 27/06/2006