Christine Grant

How to Apply for your Marriage Licence or Civil Union Licence

Go directly to – The Department of Internal Affairs: Births, Deaths & Marriages site for all the information you require and to download the necessary documentation. This is an extremely user-friendly and informative site giving you all the information you require to obtain what is referred to as a marriage licence. To obtain your marriage licence you firstly need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM60) form. Herinafter referred to as Marriage Licence. If you are residing outside of New Zealand the form you need is BDM58. Christine Grant carries a supply of all the necessary forms and will explain it all to you.

Anyone can marry in New Zealand so long as they are legally free to do so.

When applying for your licence you are given two options for your wedding ceremony venue; this is in the case of wet weather - so if you are intending to have your ceremony outside, have a second venue noted on your licence in case of inclement weather.

If you for any reason you have to change your wedding ceremony venue after your Marriage Licence has been issued then you must advise the Registry Office and a new licence will be issued.

At the conclusion of the ceremony you will be given the signed copy of the  Copy of Particulars of Marriage (BDM45a) - your Marriage Licence. The other copy is returned to the issuing Registrar by your Marriage Celebrant. In New Zealand this signed document is legal and enables the bride – or the groom – to take the others' surname if they wish.

Notice of Intended Marriage where both parties ordinarily resident outside New Zealand (BDM 58) If couple reside overseas this can be signed by a Commonwealth representative – or, can be completed (except the declaration) and sent with payment of NZ$150 to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where marriage will take place. On arrival in New Zealand, visit that office, sign the declaration before a Registrar of Marriages and collect the marriage licence.
If the parties have the declaration signed in front of a New Zealand Representative and duly stamped, they then forward the BDM58 document, along with a bank draft for $NZ150 made out to the Ministry of Justice, for processing. THEY MUST HAVE THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT and if either party has been married before they MUST attach THE ORIGINAL OF THEIR DISSOLUTION/DIVORCE DOCUMENTS. With written authorization from the couple they can authorize a celebrant or family member/friend to uplift the documents.

Download Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM 60) Form

Download Notice of Civil Union (BDM 360) Form

You can contact  Births/Deaths/Marriages by going to or by phone.

In New Zealand Freephone 0800 22 77 77
Outside New Zealand (+64 4) 463 9362

Additional Information

If a couple have been previously married they must produce their Dissolution Paper(s) when applying for their Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM60) (marriage licence)

If your previous spouse has died you do not have to produce a Death Certificate, but will have to note the date of death on the ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (BDM60) form.

If either party wishes to assume their husbands/wife's married surname, they may do so as a matter of course. They are not required to complete any process, however, they may need to show proof of the marriage (and thereby their legal right to use the name) in the form of a marriage certificate.

A person is legally entitled to use their surname at birth, any married surname, or a combination of these at any time of their life, unless they have already formally renounced these names by taking out a statutory declaration (or 'deed poll') name change.

If you are residing outside of New Zealand and wish to change your name after being married in New Zealand, you will need to obtain a ‘New Zealand Marriage Certificate’. The name of the form is - ‘Request for New Zealand Marriage Certificate’ (BDM 93M). You can not apply for this until after you are married and your marriage has been registered with BDM (Births, Deaths & Marriages) If this applies to you a suggestion is to ask for the form when applying for your Marriage Licence.