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Name changes

There are few legal restrictions on changing your name. You need to be eligible to change your name and you must choose a name that is not offensive and is not a title (e.g. Sir, Justice). There are no requirements that names match appearance or gender identity.

Am I eligible?
You can change your name in New Zealand whether or not your birth is registered here, as long as you have permanent residency status. To change your name in another country you will need to investigate the laws of that country.

What if I am under 18 years old?
If you are under 18 your guardians will need to consent to your name change and do a statutory declaration. If you are 16 or 17 and in marriage or civil union then you do not need your parents permission.

How do I change my name?
If you are over 18 you will need to fill in this form
If you are under 18 your guardians will need to fill in this form

You will also need:
  • $170
  • If your birth was registered overseas - proof of eligibility to change your name
  • Photo identity. One of the following: passport, drivers license, Firearms license, NZ certificate of identity, police or defense form ID, refugee travel document, 18+ card, Overseas identity card
  • Proof of use of identity in the community. Two of the following: Student ID, Educational certificate or school report, trade certificate, utility account, bank statement, tenancy agreement, IRD number, rates notice, veterans supergold card, electoral roll record, motor vehicle registration, steps to freedom form, confirmation of permanent status from Immigration NZ.

What if I need proof of name change?
You can get certified copies from the Department of Internal Affairs (these cost) or you can photocopy your name change documents yourself and get a Justice of Peace to certify those copies.