How To: Get a Marriage Licence

In order to get married legally in New Zealand you need to apply for a Marriage License from a Registrar of Marriages.

1. Complete the Application

You can find your Marriage Application online.  Open the form here: Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM60) – the bride or groom must complete the form. The full name of the Wedding Celebrant must be included on the marriage license application form.

2. License Costs

When you are using a Celebrant the cost is $122.60 and is payable when you apply for a Marriage License.

3. Lodge your Application

The Notice of Intended Marriage form needs to be personally delivered to the Registrar of Marriages at least 3 days prior to your wedding day.

Note: This process is different for international couples or New Zealand couples returning home to marry. Registrar of Marriages are located in all cities and most towns throughout New Zealand.

4. Complete the Statutory Declaration

As part of completing the application either the bride or groom or both must complete a statutory declaration (part of the form) stating:  1.That there is no lawful impediment to the marriage (i.e. no legal reason that you both cannot be married). 2.That the details provided by the couple are true. 3.That the bride and groom are not within the “prohibited degrees of relationship” and that consent has been given (where relevant.)

The statutory declaration has to be made in person and in the presence of the Registrar of Marriages.

If either of you has been married or in a civil union previously, then you may be asked to produce evidence of the dissolution (e.g. Divorce/Dissolution Order) when you give notice to the Registrar. If your previous spouse or partner has died you do not have to produce evidence of their death. However you will have to give the date of death on the Notice of Intended Marriage form.

5. Collect the License

A marriage licence is normally issued no sooner than three calendar days (e.g. it may sometimes be four or five days) after the completed Notice of Intended Marriage form is submitted and the fee has been paid.

Your marriage licence is valid for three months from the date on which it is issued. During that period you are free to marry at the place or places specified on the marriage licence.

If you change your venue before the marriage has taken place, you must advise the Registry Office from where your licence was obtained.

We suggest that the application is completed and the marriage license is collected and brought to the wedding rehearsal for the Celebrant to keep hold of.

6. Returning the Signed Marriage License

At the conclusion of the ceremony you will be handed a signed copy of one of the ‘Copy of Particulars of Marriage’.  The other copy will be returned to the issuing Registrar by your Celebrant.

For full information please visit the Department of Internal Affairs.