In New Zealand, a person can call themselves by any name. Usually, if they are not formally changing their name on their birth registration, they will establish their new name through usage and reputation. An example of assuming a name is acquiring a spouse’s/partner’s surname after marriage/civil union. 

How can I change my name?

  1. In New Zealand, to change your name you must be over 18 years old and a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia.The documents you’ll need in order to complete this process include:
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of identity in the community. Eg, bank statement, Inland Revenue tax statement, trade certificate, lease/ tenancy agreement etc
  1. To apply, you’ll need to complete the form ‘application to register a name change BDM120’
  2. An authorised person (i.e., Judge, registrar of birth/ death/ marriage, high court lawyer, notary public etc)
  3. There is a fee of $170
  4. You may email and/ or post your documentation and payment details to the following addresses:
  • [email protected]
  • Name change births, deaths and marriages, department of internal affairs, PO BOX 10-526, Wellington 6145
  1. Get a record of your name change, to do this you’ll need to order a new birth certificate (extra charges apply)
  2. NB – Other official identification will not be automatically updated; therefore, you’ll also need to renew passports. Drivers licence.

Changing your child’s name

  1. You can apply to change your child’s name if they are under the age of 18.
  2. Both parents whether separated or not need to agree on name change of the child. If the child is between the ages of 16 and 17, they will then need to agree and sign the documentation also.

Years 2-18 or if the child is born outside of New Zealand

  1. You’ll need certified copies of documents to prove the identity of the child’s parents or legal guardians outside New Zealand and documentation proving place of birth and that they’re entitled to live in New Zealand indefinitely.
  2. Complete the form “name change by statutory declaration (of person aged under 18 who has not been married, in a civil union or de facto relationship) BDM122”
  • If the child is under 2 years old, complete the form “application to register a name change within two years of birth BDM36”.
  1. Necessary documentation includes;
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of identity in the community
  1. You’ll need an authorised person to sign the statutory declaration.,
  2. The fee is $170 to change the child’s name
  3. Email and / or post document and payment information to;
  • [email protected]
  • Name change births, deaths and marriages, department of internal affairs, PO BOX 10-526, Wellington 6145

For more information go to the department of internal affairs at dia.govt.nz.