How to Obtain Marriage License

A How-To Guide for Obtaining a New Zealand Marriage License

Preparing to say “I do” in New Zealand? This comprehensive guide will lead you through the process of obtaining a marriage license, ensuring that your special day unfolds seamlessly. 

You’re probably impatient to get started, so let’s go! Discover the steps, requirements, and tips that will pave the way to your official union in this beautiful country.

How to obtain a marriage license in New Zealand?

How to obtain a marriage license in New Zealand

To acquire a marriage license in New Zealand, you must meet specific criteria and complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM 60). Subsequently, you should submit this form to any Births, Deaths, and Marriages (BDM) office.

For your convenience, we have prepared a comprehensive step-by-step guide below to assist you throughout the marriage license application process in New Zealand.

DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Number of steps5
Time to perform stepsA few hours to a few days
Things you needAccess to a computer and internet (for online form access)
Proof of identification and personal details for both parties
Notice Details (e.g.: Date and Place of Marriage)

STEP 1: Determine if you are eligible to obtain a marriage license.

Determine if you are eligible to obtain a marriage license

Before you dive into the process of obtaining a marriage license in New Zealand, let’s pause and consider your eligibility. Think of this step as the foundation upon which the rest of the process is built. 

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Have you been previously married or in a civil union? If yes, no worries, as long as you’re changing your relationship with the same person. If this checks out, you’re all set to proceed to the next step.
  • Are you closely related by birth, marriage, or adoption to your intended spouse? We need to steer clear of that. If this isn’t an issue, you’re good to move forward.
  • Confirm that both you and your partner are at least 16 years old. Once you’ve got this requirement covered, you’re fully prepared to proceed confidently to the next step.

So, if everything checks out and you’ve confirmed your eligibility based on these criteria, you’re ready to confidently move forward to the next stage of obtaining your marriage license in New Zealand.

STEP 2: Access the form.

Access the form

Now that you’ve confirmed your eligibility in Step 1, let’s move on to the next vital step: accessing the Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM 60). This form is essential for obtaining your marriage license in New Zealand, and we’ll guide you through the process of obtaining it. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Visit the Official Website: To begin, open your web browser and navigate to the New Zealand Government’s official website. You can find it by typing in the URL:
  1. Find the ‘Family and whānau’ Section: Once you’re on the government’s website, scroll down until you see the ‘Family and whānau’ section. Click on it to explore the available options.
  1. Locate ‘Getting Married’: Within the ‘Family and whānau’ section, you’ll come across ‘Getting Married.’ Click on this option, signaling your intention to proceed with obtaining the necessary forms.
  1. Choose ‘Get a Marriage License’: On the ‘Getting Married’ page, you’ll find various resources related to marriage in New Zealand. Look for and select the option that reads ‘Get a marriage license.’ This is the crucial next step to accessing the essential forms.
  1. Access the Notice of Intended Marriage Form: As you navigate through the ‘Get a marriage license’ page, scroll down. Your objective is to locate the ‘Notice of intended marriage form BDM 60 (PDF 229KB)’ link. Clicking on this link will enable you to download the required form.

Once you’ve downloaded it, we’ll guide you through the next steps of filling out the form accurately.

STEP 3: Complete the form.

Complete the form

At this moment, you’re all set to embark on filling out the application form. But before we delve into the specific details you’ll need to provide on the form, let’s walk you through how to approach it:

  • The form can be completed in two ways: either by hand or on-screen using Adobe Reader.
  • One crucial note: Please refrain from signing the statutory declaration section for now. We’ll tackle that in the next section of this guide.
  • Remember, it’s important to complete all fields that are relevant to your situation.

Now, armed with these guidelines, you’re prepared to tackle the form. Let’s break down the sections of the Notice of Intended Marriage form so you know exactly what information to provide:

  1. Notice Details: Date and Place of Marriage
  • First, select a date for your marriage. This date must fall within the next 3 months.
  • Provide the necessary details about your chosen celebrant and the location of your marriage ceremony.
  1. Personal Details of Both Parties: Within this section, you’ll encounter distinct sections for each individual, which ensures that both parties’ information is accurately recorded. Here’s how to proceed for each party:
  • Preferred Title for the Copy of Particulars and Marriage Certificate: Begin by selecting the preferred title for the Copy of Particulars and marriage certificate. You have the options of ‘bride,’ ‘bridegroom,’ or ‘partner.’ Choose the title that best represents your role in the upcoming marriage.
  • Full Name: Provide your full legal name, including your first name, middle name (if applicable), and last name. Ensure that the name you provide is consistent with your official identification documents.
  • Gender: Indicate your gender, specifying whether you are male or female.
  • Date and Place of Birth: Enter your date of birth, including the day, month, and year. Additionally, include the place of your birth, such as the city or town, and the country.
  • Occupation: State your current occupation or profession.
  • Residential Address: Provide your complete residential address, including the street or house number, city or town, postal or ZIP code, and country.
  • Previous Relationship (if applicable):
  • If you’ve never been married or in a civil union, simply check the corresponding box indicating your current marital status.
  • If you were previously married or in a civil union, please specify how the previous relationship ended. You can choose from options such as dissolution/divorce or the unfortunate event of the death of a spouse/partner.
  • Details About Your Parents: Share comprehensive information about your parents, including their full names, occupations, and current or last known residential addresses. This information helps establish your family background and lineage.
  1. After Marriage: Anticipate questions about your plans after marriage, such as where you and your partner intend to reside once married.
  1. Statutory Declaration: This part of the form requires you to provide specific statements or declarations related to your intended marriage. However, at this moment, it should remain blank. You’ll be completing this part in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages during a later stage of the process. 
  1. Notice Fee and Delivery: Select the appropriate box that corresponds to your required fee. This includes the ceremony fees, specifying the number of copies of the marriage certificate you wish to obtain, and providing the delivery address.
  1. Payment: Lastly, this section involves making the necessary payment for the processing of your marriage license. You’ll need to enter your card details as requested. It’s essential to ensure that the information you provide here is accurate and complete.

With these comprehensive details in mind, you’re now well-prepared to confidently complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form. Be sure to provide all the necessary information accurately as you move forward with securing your marriage license in New Zealand.

Pro-tip: Put a back-up venue in your application. You can only have the ceremony in the places you’ve listed on the application.

STEP 4: Sign the form in front of a Registrar of Marriages.

Sign the form in front of a Registrar of Marriages

This step is a continuation of the process discussed in the previous step, where we left the statutory declaration section blank because it must be signed in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages. Here’s a detailed explanation of how you’ll complete this important step:

  1. Visit Your Local Registrar of Marriages: To start, it’s important to understand that you or your partner need to personally take the Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM 60), which both of you have completed, to your nearest Registrar of Marriages. 

You can conveniently locate the address of the office near you on the form itself (specifically on page 11), ensuring there’s no confusion about where to go.

  1. Check In at the BDM Office: Upon your arrival at the Births, Deaths, and Marriages (BDM) office, the first thing to do is check in with the receptionist. They will provide guidance and direct you to the office of the Registrar of Marriages.
  1. Meeting with the Registrar: During this meeting, the Registrar of Marriages will thoroughly review your Notice of Intended Marriage form. They may ask both you and your partner a few questions to ensure the accuracy of the information provided. This step helps verify that everything is in order for your marriage license application.
  1. Witnessed Signing: Most importantly, the Registrar of Marriages will serve as a witness when both you and your partner sign the statutory declaration section of the form in their presence. This is a critical legal requirement to validate your declarations.

Don’t forget to bring with you the following:

  • The completed Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM 60), which has been filled out by both you and your partner.
  • Proof of identification for both you and your partner. This can include documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate.

STEP 5: Submit the form.

Submit the form

Once you’ve completed the signing of the statutory declaration at the BDM office with the Registrar of Marriages, you’re almost there. You have two options for submitting your form:

  1. In-Person Submission: When you sign the statutory declaration at the BDM office, you can submit the completed form directly to the Registrar of Marriages. Upon submission, they will provide you with a receipt for the fee, and you’ll receive your marriage license immediately.
  1. Submission by Mail: Alternatively, if you prefer to submit your form by mail, follow these steps:
  • Prepare Your Form: Make sure that you have diligently completed and signed the Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM 60), following the instructions provided in the previous steps.
  • Secure Envelope and Address: Obtain a sturdy envelope that can safely protect your form during mailing. Write the following address on the front:

BDM Licence Application

Births, Deaths and Marriages

Department of Internal Affairs

PO Box 10-526

Wellington 6140

New Zealand

  • Drop off at Post Office: Seal the envelope securely to prevent any damage or tampering. Then, simply drop the sealed and addressed envelope with your completed form at your local post office or mailbox.

If you opt for submission by post, you can expect to receive your marriage license within three days. 

Quick Reminders Before You Apply to Obtain a Marriage License in New Zealand

Quick Reminders Before You Apply to Obtain a Marriage License in New Zealand

These important pointers will set you on the right path as you consider and proceed with your marriage license application in New Zealand.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Timing: Remember to arrange your marriage license at least 3 working days before your planned wedding date. It’s a crucial step in the application process.
  • Urgent Application: If your wedding is just around the corner (less than 3 working days away), there is no need to panic. You can still make inquiries and apply urgently by calling +64 9 339 0852 or using the freephone number 0800 22 52 52 (NZ only).
  • Validity Period: Your marriage license has a 3-month window of validity. Be mindful of this expiration date when planning your special day.
  • Previous Marriages: If either party has a history of previous marriages or civil unions, you may need to provide evidence of dissolution. If this applies to you, remember to attach the necessary documentation to the form when you submit it.
  • Completing the Form: While only one of you needs to complete the application, you’ll need information about both individuals involved in the marriage.

Keeping these quick reminders in mind, you’re now well-prepared to confidently complete the steps for obtaining your marriage license in New Zealand.