Legal Name Change for Australians living in NZ

If you have records across both Australia and New Zealand you may be torn between where to lodge your legal name change application. There are some situations where a New Zealand name change certificate will be accepted in Australia, and vice versa.  Consider where you were born, which country has issued your passport and where you intent to reside in the future. 

Australian citizens are eligible to change names in New Zealand, providing they are permanent residents of New Zealand.  After purchasing the Easy Name Change New Zealand pack, use the application form and instructions to change your name with New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Once you have your NZ name change certificate, follow the steps in the guide to update all the relevant government departments and commercial organizations of your new name.

If you hold a New Zealand passport, both AU and NZ legal name change certificates are accepted. If you hold an Australian passport a New Zealand name change certificate will only be accepted if you were born outside of Australia AND permanently reside outside of Australia. Australians born in Australia must use an Australian issued legal name change certificate to update their passport.  You can apply for this certificate from your birth state while living abroad.

Will a legal name change certificate issued in one country be accepted in the other?

It is up to each organization as to what documents they will accept. As this is not a common name change request we haven’t researched each organization’s requirements with name change certificates issued abroad.  Australian government departments and financial institutions are most stringent and usually request an Australian legal name change certificate, unless an updated Australian passport can be presented at the same time.  Smaller commercial organisations can be more flexible, especially if you can also provide photo ID reflecting your new name.

Generally speaking, Australian organisations tend to be stricter than New Zealand ones, so if you have many records to update in Australia, you may consider lodging your name change application in Australia.

Still not sure where to register your name change?

This is a decision for you to make and we can’t provide any further advice to what appears on the page. It makes sense to register your name change in the country where you intend to reside for the foreseeable future, or where you hold the majority of records that will need updating, however you should also consider the rules around what documents will be accepted to update any passports you hold. In some cases people may need to apply for a legal name change in both countries to get all records across both Australia and New Zealand updated into the same name. If you need to lodge 2 legal name change applications there are no cost savings or special procedures to follow.

We are unable to advise you which country you should lodge your legal name change application in for your particular situation as we are not legal experts.  You should make your own decision based on your personal situation.

We can help

Regardless of where you decide to lodge your name change application, we can help. If you decide to change names in Australia, and Easy Name Change Australia personalised kit is ideal if you have more than 6 organizations to notify.  We’ll provide you with the forms to legally change names, plus company forms, procedures and ready to send notifications for hundreds of Australian organizations. A DIY kit is only recommended if you have 6 or less companies to notify.

If you decide to change names in New Zealand, purchase an Easy Name Change New Zealand kit for the forms, lodgement advice and details on how to change names with popular NZ government departments and commercial organizations.

If you’re an Australian citizen living in New Zealand you can change names in either country. You’ll need to consider which country you have more accounts in, what passports you hold and where you intend to live in the future.