Kia Ora Guys,
This is a shout out to those of you who live in another country (other than New Zealand) and are looking to get married in New Zealand. I want to go through the application process and also the subsequent verification process required, so that your New Zealand issued marriage certificate will be accepted in the country you live.
First, you’ll need to complete the online application for your marriage documents (marriage licence + two copies of the particulars of marriage, that we sign on the day).
Once you arrive in New Zealand (give yourselves at least 3 working days before your wedding day), make your way to the Registry Office/District Court stipulated in your online application to complete the Statutory Declaration.
In due time, you’ll get the documents I described above, and we’ll be ready to go (in the legal sense).
To get your marriage certificate auto-issued to you, click ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you want to pre-order a marriage certificate?’ and pay the extra $33 (on top of the $150 licence + particulars of marriage). A couple of weeks after your wedding (when your celebrant has registered your marriage with Births, Deaths and Marriages), your official New Zealand marriage certificate will be sent to the address nominated on the online application form.
If you would like your official New Zealand marriage certificate to be accepted by your home country as a legitimate New Zealand issued document, you’ll need to have it signed and sealed with (what I call) the seal of New Zealand, which is issued by the Department of Internal Affairs’ Authentication Unit. There are 3 categories of Authentication:
- Apostille (pronounced apa-steal): Standard sign and seal by the Department of Internal Affairs
- Authentication A: Sign and seal by the Department of Internal Affairs –> Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade –> Back to you to forward to your Diplomatic Mission
- Authentication B: Sign and seal by the Department of Internal Affairs –> Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade –> New Zealand overseas mission –> Foreign Mission –> Back to you
Here is the link, for you to check which category of authentication you require as per the country you live in:
DIA Document Authentication
The certification costs $32, $65 and $195 respectively, and $15, $31 and $61 respectively for extra copies. You can also order e-apostilles which are electronic copies, as a paper + electronic combo for $47 (this doesn’t apply to Authentications, only Apostilles).
When your marriage certificate arrives, you will need to complete the application form requesting the Apostille or Authentication (depending on which country it is intended for). This is a paper application so will need to be sent to the Department of Internal Affairs via the post.
With my couples who will be leaving for their home countries within a week of their wedding, I offer to have them complete the paper application form and have the marriage certificate directed to me. When the marriage certificate arrives, I send everything away to The Department of Internal Affairs on their behalf. When they complete the application form for the Apostille or Authentication, they add their home address, so that when the seal is complete, the document is then issued to the couple in their home country.
If your Celebrant is comfortable to facilitate this process along side you, it would make for a more efficient and seamless process. Although, you will need to 100% trust them, as your credit card details and home address need to be advised on the authi application form! I’m stoked that my couples trust me enough to help them with this lol.
Once the authenticated document arrives (7-10 days within New Zealand and up to 21 days overseas), you may use it to change your credentials from de facto to married!
And if you have any further questions, please give the unit a tingle on:
+0064 4 460 2221 (overseas)
0800 872 675