New Zealand Law Society - Certificate of character process under COVID-19

Certificate of character process under COVID-19

With the change in Alert Levels meaning admission ceremonies are likely to be postponed or rescheduled by the High Court, we’re aware that certificates of character applicants may have questions.

The Law Society issues certificates of character, and these are only valid for three months. Your certificate of character must be valid at the time your admission.

If your admission ceremony has been postponed

If your admission ceremony has been postponed due to COVID-19 and your certificate of character is due to expire before your re-scheduled admission ceremony, we will reissue your certificate of character once your new admission date has been confirmed. Please wait until your admission date is confirmed by the High Court before you get in touch.

Sending in your application – email plus originals by post

During raised COVID-19 alert levels you can still send in your application by email. Please also send the originals by post, as a certificate of character cannot be issued until we receive your original application.

Your referees can also email their references to the Law Society. Make sure your referees provide a contact telephone number so that the Law Society can confirm their reference.

We recommend you include a prepaid New Zealand Post courier pack with your original application in just in case the option to pick-up your certificate of character in person is not available at the time.

Check the address details for your local Law Society branch.

Once your admission date is confirmed, please apply in plenty of time before your intended admission date.

Check the deadlines for each local branch on our admissions date page

How long will it take?

The timeframe for issuing a completed certificate of character is usually around six to eight weeks, but may take longer due to COVID-19 delays.

To ensure that the applications do not become invalid, we will delay issuing new certificates of character until after admission dates have been confirmed by the High Court. This will prevent your certificate becoming invalid and having to be reissued.

However, if more than three months has passed since signing your application, you will have to reconfirm the content of the application. We’ll provide more information on how to do this once admission dates are rescheduled.

Can I come and collect my certificate of character?

Once your application for a certificate of character has been approved and is ready to be issued, your local Law Society branch will contact you to confirm delivery and/or pick-up options.

Further questions

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