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Obtaining a Marriage License

How to Get a Marriage License

Anybody can marry in New Zealand, as long as they are legally free to marry. Under New Zealand law this means that:

They are not married already (or if they have been married, the marriage has been dissolved by a court of law). They are old enough (16 or over, although parental consent is required if either party is under 20 years old). They are not closely related by blood, marriage or adoption. Details of these "prohibited" marriages appear on the form Notice of Intended Marriage, which is used to apply for a marriage license.

What you need to do before you can get married

~ You will need to know when and where you want to get married when you complete your application for a marriage license.

~ Choose a Marriage Celebrant. In NZ you must be married by an appointed marriage celebrant. This may be a Registrar of Marriages, an independent marriage celebrant, a minister of a church or a person connected with an approved organisation. You will need to contact your celebrant and agree on a time and place before applying for your marriage license.

Get a Marriage License

To get a license, you will need to: Complete an application form (BDM 60, BDM 58 or BDM 59). If you live in New Zealand, you can get an application form from your nearest New Zealand Marriage Registry or by phoning 0800 22 52 52.

Marriage licenses are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. During that period you are free to marry at the place specified on the marriage license. An alternative place of marriage may be specified on the license, in the case of bad weather.

Make a Statutory Declaration

As part of completing the application form for a marriage license, you need to make a statutory declaration. Either you or your partner will need to make a formal statutory declaration that there is no lawful impediment to the marriage (ie no legal reason that you cannot marry), that the details you give are true, that the bride and groom are not within the "prohibited degrees of relationship" and that parental consent has been given (where relevant).If you live in New Zealand-you must make this declaration in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages.

If you live outside of New Zealand - once you have completed the form, signed the statutory declaration and had it witnessed by a New Zealand Commonwealth representative- you can send the form to the New Zealand Registrar of Marriages closest to where you intend to marry.

Paying for your Marriage License

Marriage conducted at the Registry office:

If you wish to be married by a Registrar of Marriages at the Registry Office, you must pay a fee of $NZ170.00 when you send in or hand over the completed form. This includes the fee for the marriage license and the ceremony. Please advise the Registrar at the office where you plan to marry of the date and time for your ceremony. Remember to include contact details (eg a telephone number in New Zealand or an address) so that the Registrar can arrange a definite time with you.

Marriage conducted by minister or civil celebrant outside of a registry office:

If you wish your marriage to be conducted by a Marriage Celebrant, you must pay a fee of NZ$120.00 when you send in or hand over the completed form. this includes the fee for the marriage license but does not include costs the celebrant may require.

How to pay your marriage license fee

Registry offices will accept over the counter payments by cheque, cash, NZ money order or, in most offices credit card and EFTPOS. If you are sending the fee by post, payment from outside of New Zealand can be made by way of a bank draft (ie a bank cheque, which can be purchased at most banks)

Collecting and Using Your Marriage License

A marriage license is normally issued no sooner than three calendar days after the Notice of Intended Marriage form is submitted and the fee is paid.

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

For more information please visit the Births, Deaths and Marriages website by clicking on the following link: 

Births, Deaths and Marriages



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