The Registrar-General; Births, Deaths, Marriages, Citizenship, Authentications and Translations recently published a reminder about the importance of your marriage documents and how a Marriage Certificate can now be ordered easily by the Bride and Groom.
There are 4 documents/pieces of paper which act as your Marriage Documents:
1. Marriage License
♥ You can apply for this no more than 3 months before your wedding date. Download the application form from www.dia.govt.nz Search keywords: How to Get a Marriage License. Complete the details, follow the instructions and hand deliver it to your nearest Registrars office at the Department of Internal Affairs (NZDIA) where at least one of you will need to sign the document in front of the officer and pay the fee.
♥ You will then go in to collect the Marriage License along with two copies of the Copy of Particulars of Marriage. Your Celebrant will take possession of all three documents at rehearsal or on your wedding day.
2 & 3. Copy of Particulars of Marriage (2 copies)
♥ When you’ve applied for your Marriage License the Registrars office will let you know when to collect the Marriage License and two copies of Copy of Particulars of Marriage.
♥ You will give your Celebrant all three documents – on your wedding day both copies of Copy of Particulars of Marriage will be presented on your register signing table just off centre from the altar (or wherever you want!). On your wedding day the Bride and the Groom will sign both copies, along with their two witnesses and Celebrant.
♥ At the end of the ceremony your Celebrant will present you with one copy which acts as your legal document.
♥ Your Celebrant will post the other copy off immediately to the NZDIA to officially register your marriage.
4. Marriage Certificate
♥ On the Bride and Grooms copy of Copy of Particulars of Marriage document there is a form you can complete on the back to apply for a Marriage Certificate. You can post, phone or email to request a copy then pay your fee and it will be posted to you.
The benefits of a Marriage Certificate are:
♥ A Marriage Certificate confirms that the marriage has been officially registered.
♥ If needed for any legal reason, the certificate is prima facie evidence of the truth of the information it contains.
♥ Some organisations may require a Marriage Certificate as evidence to enrol with the organisation, or update name details, if the assumed surname from marriage is different from the birth surname. Some of these places are tertiary institutions, banks, Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Transport Authority.
♥ In the event that one or both partners file for divorce, a marriage certificate may be needed with the application.
♥ A Marriage Certificate may be used as proof of marriage to show overseas organisations. This can be for purposes such as visas, passports and residency.
I have always advised my Brides and Grooms that in New Zealand the “Copy of Particulars of Marriage” form which is signed at their ceremony will act as evidence of their marriage. So, when Brides who take on their Grooms surnames (or vice versa) wish to update documents they can show the ‘Copy of Particulars of Marriage” form to do this, or when they are handling any legal transactions this can be used. However, some countries and some organisations may not accept this as proof of marriage.
Therefore It’s a good idea for couples to order a marriage certificate which costs around $25. Plus you’ll have two marriage documents on hand.