If you’ve changed gender or the sex is wrong on your birth certificate, the Family Court can make a declaration that the sex on your birth certificate be changed to what you say it should be. It’s free to apply to change the sex recorded on your birth certificate.

You can apply to the Family Court if:

  • your birth must be registered, or can be registered, in New Zealand 
  • you were born overseas -  you must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident 
  • you’re 18 or older 
  • you’re aged 16 or 17 years and are, or have been, in a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship.

The Family Court can make a declaration if satisfied:

  • the information about your sex on your birth certificate is wrong or has not been included 
  • you’re now living with a different gender identity than the one that is recorded on your birth certificate, and you have had medical treatment to change your gender.

You should file your application at the court nearest to where you live.

Find your local court

You may want to talk to a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get legal aid.

Legal aid

Forms to change sex on your birth certificate

Fill in these 3 forms:

Application form for order (or declaration) on notice - G5 [PDF, 47 KB]

Information sheet to accompany applications - G7 [PDF, 44 KB]

General affidavit [PDF, 38 KB] - include medical evidence and attach a copy of your original birth certificate to this form.

After you apply

Once the court receives your application, it’s required to be given to Births Deaths and Marriages who can choose to get involved if your application might be affected by any potential law change or something similar.

Births Deaths and Marriages website (external link)  

Your application must also be given to anyone who could be affected by the granting of the application or who the court thinks might be interested in the change.

Once the people who need to know have been informed, a judge will consider your application and could ask for:

  • a short hearing or a judicial conference
  • more evidence or reports
  • a lawyer to assist the court.

After considering your application, the judge may make the declaration that the sex on your birth certificate should be changed. The court will send a copy of the declaration to Births Deaths and Marriages. They’ll contact you about how to update your birth certificate so they can issue you another one. There’s a fee for doing this.

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