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The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › BDM › Information for Transgender Applicants

All of the Department of Internal Affairs' information for transgender people is located on this page.

This page contains links to the Citizenship Office and Passport Office policies for transgender applicants, as well as information about Family Court declarations as to the sex to be shown on birth certificates under section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 (“the BDMRR Act”).

While Births, Deaths and Marriages; the Citizenship Office; and the Passport Office are all part of the Department, they each serve different purposes and operate primarily under different legislation (e.g. the BDMRR Act, the Marriage Act 1955, the Citizenship Act 1977 and the Passports Act 1992).

Section 28 of the BDMRR Act allows an eligible adult to apply to the Family Court for a declaration that his or her birth certificate should show the sex specified in the application. There are no similar provisions in the Citizenship Act 1977 or the Passports Act 1992, however the Citizenship Office and Passport Office have implemented policies for transgender applicants. In setting these policies the Department of Internal Affairs aims to be as consistent as practicable; however, given the different contexts for each area, this is not always possible (for example the Passport policy reflects standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation).

The following links provide further information. Some of these documents are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader 6 or higher installed on your computer to view or download the document. You can download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe site.
*Note: This material is intended to provide general information only about Family Court declarations under section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 and the role of the Registrar-General in such cases. It is not, nor should it be construed as being, legal advice. For questions relating to a particular case, independent legal advice should be sought. Births, Deaths and Marriages is responsible for the registration of all births that take place in New Zealand, and for the upkeep of, and access to those records.

Statistics New Zealand has developed a new statistical standard for gender identity. The new standard does not replace the existing statistical standard for sex. It will not make collection of gender identity information mandatory. The new standard will provide a consistent framework for how gender identity information is gathered. The new standard does not affect how the Department handles applications from transgender applicants. More information about Statistic’s New Zealand’s work on gender identity.

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