Marriage license

Obtaining a Marriage License
‘This is my husband – this is my wife’

Who can get married in New Zealand?

Anyone can marry in New Zealand as long as they’re not:

  already married or in a Civil Union (unless you’re changing your status with the same person) I.e. from Civil Union to Marriage

  under 16 in which case you need your parents’ consent

  closely related by birth, marriage or adoption.

Obtaining a Marriage License

Go to - https://www.govt.nz/browse/family-and-whanau/getting-married/get-a-marriage-license/#forms

The Department of Internal Affairs: Births Deaths & Marriages official site
This is an extremely user friendly and informative site giving you all the information you require to obtain what is commonly referred to as a ‘Marriage License’.

Below is a brief step by step overview to obtaining a marriage license.

1. First step is to click on the ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (BDM 60) form; complete and print, or print the form and complete by hand.

2. You will need to take the form to your local Registrar of Marriages in person so they can witness you signing the declaration; if not sure of the office location, that info is on the website or call 0800 22 77 77.

3. When lodging the form it is not necessary to produce your birth certificate; but if you have previously been married you will be asked to produce evidence of the dissolution (e.g. Divorce/Dissolution Order). 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’ form.

4. On the form you have the option of using your ‘maiden name’ (surname given at birth) or your former married name.

5. Once issued, your ‘Marriage license’ (BDM 45) is valid for 3 months from the date of issue. So make sure when lodging the completed ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (BDM 60), from which your Marriage license is produced and ready for collection in 3 to 5 working days, it is within the 3 month time frame of your intended wedding date.

6. When collecting your ‘Marriage license’ from your local office, check all details are correct. If there are any typo’s or changes to your appointed venue/s after your ‘Marriage license’ has been issued, you must advise the Registry Office from which your license was obtained so you can have it reissued with correction/s before the wedding.

7. On the ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (BDM 60) form you are given 2 options of venue. If you are intending to have your ceremony outside, make sure you add the name of the ‘back-up’ venue in case of inclement weather. Legally you have to be married at one of the noted venues.

8. If marrying on a boat you need to be within NZ Territorial waters; give the name of the boat and the closest land mark to where the boat will be anchored during the ceremony. The ‘longitude and latitude’ needs to be recorded on the ‘Marriage Certificate’ by your Celebrant at the time of signing.

I’ve got my Marriage license what now?

I will request that you bring your Marriage license along to the rehearsal so I have it in my possession and in readiness for your ceremony. After the wedding when your Marriage license has been signed by yourselves, your 2 witnesses and me, all you have to do is keep your copy in a safe place, remembering it is a legal document and I take care of the rest.

Changing your name

If you want to change your last name after you're married, you don’t have to do anything special — but some places like banks or government agencies might ask to see a copy of the signed ‘Marriage license’.

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I’ve got my Marriage license what now?