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Important Notices for New Zealand Passport Holders

Changes to New Zealand Passport Fee
As of 4 November 2005 the fees for New Zealand passports and travel documents have changed. The new fees are detailed in the tables below. For further information about the fee changes and the processing of passport applications please see the
Passport Fee Changes 2005 Frequently Asked Questions.

Lodged in New Zealand
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)NZ$80.00NZ$230.00NZ$580.00
New Zealand Certificate of Identity NZ$80.00
New Zealand Refugee Travel Document NZ$80.00

Lodged in Australia
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)A$83.00A$245.00A$543.00

Lodged in London
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)GBP32.00GBP94.00GBP207.00

New Zealand ePassport
The ePassport has been introduced to further enhance the security of the New Zealand passport and ensure New Zealand meets the requirements for USA "visa waiver" border entry from 26 October 2006.

All passports issued by Department of Internal Affairs currently meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and United States (USA) visa waiver requirements, except for the inclusion of an electronic chip containing biometric identifiers. New Zealand must now incorporate a chip in each new passport to fully comply with ICAO standards and meet the US changes to the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP).

New Zealand prides itself on having one of the best passports in the world. These enhancements will strengthen the already good reputation of the New Zealand passport.

For further information please see the ePassport Frequently Asked Questions.

Passports Amendment Act 2005
The Passports Amendment Act 2005 came into effect on 21 April 2005. As a result of this legislation there have been some important changes to the New Zealand passport:
  • All newly issued passports will have a maximum validity of five years
  • We can no longer print name endorsements in a passport.
This legislation does not affect the validity of current ten-year passports. Passports issued prior to this legislative change will remain valid until their expiry. For further information see Passports Amendment Act 2005.

Civil Unions
The Civil Union Act came into effect on 26 April 2005. From this date, names taken by Civil Union* can appear in the New Zealand Passport.

A Civil Union is a legal relationship recognised in law in New Zealand. The Civil Union Act 2004 provides the criteria, rules and processes for two people to have their relationship solemnised as a civil union (by way of a formal ceremony) and officially registered in New Zealand. A Civil Union may be entered into by couples of the same sex or by couples of different sexes. See Civil Unions for further information.

If you wish to have a name taken by Civil Union in your passport, please ensure you complete the relevant 'Name by Marriage or Civil Union' section on page seven of the application form. If you have a hardcopy version of the form that does not reflect the Civil Union Act, please complete the 'Name by Marriage' section on page seven, and indicate you are taking the name by Civil Union. Alternatively, you can download the most current passport application form, which reflects the Civil Union Act changes. If we cannot verify your Civil Union by computer, you may be asked to provide your original Civil Union Certificate.
(*only Civil Unions recognised in New Zealand)

Internal Affairs Offers to Replace N379 Series Passports
New Zealanders with passports beginning with the number series N379 are to be offered the opportunity to get a replacement passport at no cost. The replacement passport will be valid up to the expiry date of the existing passport. Please contact the Passport office for further information.

Important Notice for Holders of New Zealand Passports Issued in the Period 1993 to 1997
A small number of New Zealand passports may be affected by a manufacturing fault that causes the passport to delaminate or peel from the inside front cover.

If you have a passport with a number that is prefixed with the letter ‘L’ then you should carefully examine your passport to see if there is evidence of delamination. ‘L’ series passports were issued between 1993 and 1997. You can identify delamination (peeling) on your passport if the personal details page (with the passport number and photograph) is detaching from the inside of the front cover of the passport. For further information see Important Notices for Holders of New Zealand Passports Issued in the Period 1993 to 1997.

Important notice for New Zealand passport holders visiting the United States
The US State Department has announced that from 26 October 2004 all New Zealand citizens travelling to, or through, the United States of America (USA) must have a machine-readable passport to satisfy US visa waiver requirements. The visa-waiver programme allows citizens of certain countries to enter the USA without a visa for a specified period, subject to the rules of their programme.

The US visa-waiver programme applies to passport holders from 27 countries, including New Zealand, if they are travelling to, or through, the USA for travel or business purposes for a maximum period of 90 days. These countries are defined by the USA as 'visa-waiver' countries.

All New Zealand citizens travelling to, or through, the USA from 26 October 2004 who do not hold a machine-readable passport must either:
To obtain a machine-readable passport send your application and fee to the New Zealand Passport Office in Wellington. If it is more convenient you may send your application and fee to the Sydney Passport Office, or the London Passport Office.

If you are unsure if your current passport is machine-readable, check the following guidelines.

If your passport is a machine-readable version then the passport number will begin with:
  • Either the letter X, L, N, or F; or
  • The letters AA, AB or EA.
If your passport is a non machine-readable version then the passport number will begin with:
  • Either the letter J; or
  • The letter M.
If you are still unsure,
contact us, or ask your travel agent who should be able to advise you.

Most non machine-readable passports are likely to have been issued outside New Zealand, Australia or the United Kingdom.

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Last updated: 08/02/2006