To change the name on your birth certificate you will need to fill out a name change statutory declaration form.
The information required includes your new names, and your birth names. Some additional info may be required to prove your identity. If you do not have proof of identity such as a passport, drivers licence, utilities or a lease in your name, you can contact the Department of Internal Affairs.
The declaration needs to be signed in front of staff at the Department of Internal Affairs, a lawyer, a Justice of the Peace or another person authorised to witness such a statement. They will also sign the statement.
The form contains an application for a copy of your birth certificate with your new legal name. The fee for the name change and a copy of your new birth certificate is around $170. You can pay in person at a DIA office, or use a credit card or pre-paid prezzy card if submitting the application by post.
Department of Internal Affairs have the answers to frequently asked questions regarding name changes on their website.
There is a lot of misinformation about the process and requirements for changing your sex marker, so we recommend that you read through our 2019 guide – download as a PDF [GMA – Birth Certificate Sex Marker Change Guide] or view as an image file by clicking the images below.
If you need any support with your application, get in touch and we can talk you through the process or assist you with the application. You can also contact a Community Law Centre for free legal advice.
Note: there is currently a requirement to have ‘permanent medical changes’ in order to change the sex marker on your birth certificate, however there is no such requirement to change your passport or drivers licence, which are also legal documents. Human Rights Advocates, including the NZ Human Rights Commission, are advocating to bring birth certificates into line with these processes. You can read more about this in our BDMRR 101 here, see what other organisations have said here, and download the NZ Human Rights Commission’s report Prism here.