New Zealand Law Society - New evidence of identity requirements for name changes

New evidence of identity requirements for name changes

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In 2012, the Person A Ministerial Inquiry was launched into the processes by which a convicted sex offender was able to be employed in the New Zealand education sector.

As a result of that inquiry, the name change application process has been strengthened. The process of witnessing the signing of name change applications for those authorised to do so now has additional steps.

How is the application different?

From 15 April 2015, with the exception of some name changes for children within two years of birth, there are two additional requirements for name change applicants. They must now:

  1. present government-issued photo ID to the person who is witnessing the signing of the statutory declaration; and
  2. include certified true copies of specific documents as evidence of their identity with their application.

The person witnessing the signing of the statutory declaration must print which government-issued photo ID they sighted and its document number. The government issued photo ID2 must be:

  • an original or a certified true copy; and
  • currently valid (ie, the expiry date has not yet passed).

Note that after 15 April, if a person presents a name change application form that does not require you to sight their government-issued photo ID, you should advise them to obtain a new form. The new form can be downloaded at or can be requested by emailing

If you have any questions, contact

Jeff Montgomery is the Registrar-General and General Manager Births, Deaths, Marriages, Citizenship, Authentications and Translations at the Department of Internal Affairs.

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