Passports and Emergency Travel Documents

Passports and ETDs
Passports and ETDs

Only the Department of Internal Affairs passport offices in London, Sydney or New Zealand can issue a passport. A new online passport renewal service is now available. Please check the following link (external link) for eligibility, timeframes and frequently asked questions. In an emergency, most but not all New Zealand Embassies may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document. Where postal services are irregular, the Embassy can assist with forwarding passport applications to Wellington. There is a separate fee for this service payable in local currency.  Please contact the Embassy for further information.

What is an Emergency Travel Document?

As its name indicates, an Emergency Travel Document is for emergencies. You will need to decide whether it is better for you to wait a little longer for a standard passport, or whether you need an Emergency Travel Document.
You need to be aware of the following:

  • an Emergency Travel Document will have a restricted validity dependent on travel circumstances. If you plan to travel through several countries, it may be better to obtain a replacement passport
  • you need to return your Emergency Travel Document when you apply for a replacement passport. This, as well as any visas in the document, will be destroyed. Therefore, if you need a long term visa (eg a residence visa), it may be better to obtain a replacement passport
  • multiple entry visas, residence permits and other “long-life” endorsements should not be entered into Emergency Travel Documents.

Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates

Obtaining certificates
Obtaining certificates

New Zealand Birth, Marriage or Death Certificates (external link) can be obtained directly from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Department of Internal Affairs website has details of how to obtain the certificates.

Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 10-526
Wellington 6143
Level 3
109 Featherston Street
Wellington 6011
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Phone: (+64 4) 463 9362
Fax: (+64 4) 382 3515 (for certificate and printout orders)
Fax: (+64 4) 382 3613 (for general enquiries)


Registering for New Zealand citizenship by descent

Every person born outside New Zealand on or after 1 January 1978 is able to apply to be registered as a New Zealand Citizen by Descent if, at the time of the birth, the mother or father was a New Zealand citizen other than by descent. This generally means that one of the child's parents must have been born in New Zealand or have acquired New Zealand citizenship by grant.

A child born outside New Zealand must be registered as a New Zealand Citizen by Descent before they can be issued with a New Zealand Passport. In practice it is possible to apply for a New Zealand passport at the same time as applying for Citizenship by Descent. In this case you should post the application forms together to the Citizenship Office.

Further information about applying for Citizenship by Descent, including the application form, details of documentation required, applicable fees, and where to send the application form are available on the Department of Internal Affairs website. (external link)
It takes twenty working days for the application to be processed.

If you have any questions, please email the Department of Internal Affairs or contact the Department of Internal Affairs office in London:
Department of Internal Affairs (Citizenship Office)
New Zealand High Commission
New Zealand House
80 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4TQ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7930 8422

Please Note:
A person who receives New Zealand Citizenship by Descent through his or her New Zealand parent will not be able to pass the New Zealand Citizenship on to any of their own children born outside New Zealand.

For further details, please refer to the Department of Internal Affairs website (external link) or email

Document Authentication and Apostille Certification

Document authentication
Document authentication

Before certain New Zealand documents can be used overseas, Document Authentication or apostille certification may be necessary. It is usually required where overseas officials are not able to determine on sight the authenticity of New Zealand documents. To check the requirements, contact the relevant authorities in the country concerned or their overseas representatives. The process varies depending on the document type and country requirements and can only be done in Wellington by the Authentications Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs (external link) (DIA). An e-apostile is also available.

Certificate of no impediment

Most countries require a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage before allowing you to marry. This Certificate proves that you are not already legally married in New Zealand, and according to New Zealand laws you are eligible to be married.

The Department of Internal Affairs can issue a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage.

The Department of Internal Affairs website (external link) provides comprehensive information about how you apply for this Certificate and the applicable fees. You are also able to download the required BDM 189 form from this website.

Please Note: It is not legally possible for the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage to be issued in less than 14 days.

New Zealand Driver Licences

Information about New Zealand licences (external link) is available at the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) website. 

Certificate of Particulars

If you need to provide written authentication of your New Zealand driving experience (for Driver's Test) you can request a Certificate of Particulars. This certificate sets out all details relevant to your New Zealand licence. Information on how to apply can be found here (external link).

Obtaining a copy of your criminal record

New Zealand Police are often asked for a “Police clearance certificate”, especially by people applying for a job overseas. New Zealand Police do not produce “Clearance Certificates” as such, but you can get a copy of your criminal record (external link) from the Ministry of Justice.