Handy Guide to Your New Zealand Passport Renewal

New Zealand Passport Renewal

Like all passports across the globe, a New Zealand passport has a finite period of validity. Once the expiration date is approaching, you should give serious consideration to starting the renewal process. This guide will explain everything you need to know about the renewal, online and off.

It goes without saying that you should always keep your travel documents in a safe and secure place, particularly whilst travelling. Keeping your passport safe will ensure that you arrive to and from your destination as scheduled and, in the meantime, you can get on with enjoying your holiday. It means that you can travel safely and enjoy your trip!

When Does a New Zealand Passport Need to Be Renewed?

This passport remains valid as a travel document, form of ID and proof of citizenship for 10 years from the date of issue.

However, if you have less than a year left before expiry, it may be worth considering renewing the document. Some countries will demand a minimum of 6 months of validity before admitting entry. A useful tip is to keep your passport details, particularly the expiry date, in a secure place, rather than discover that it has run out when you go to find it.

You can also renew if you have changed your name, though this option is only open if you have changed your name legally within the country (e.g such as for marriage, divorce etc). Likewise, if you change your gender, you must do this legally to be able to apply for a new travel document.

How to Renew a New Zealand Passport

If you wish to renew, you will need to complete a form and pay a fee. This can be done online or in person. Please note that the renewal office prefers online or mail applications, no matter what country you are in.

Waiting for a personal appointment can be a lengthy process, as these offices are often busy, particularly during peak holiday time – plus who wants to be waiting around when there is an exciting trip on the horizon?

What Do You Need for a New Zealand Passport Renewal?

To apply to renew, you will need the following documentation:

  • The details of your existing one, even if it´s expired.
  • A photograph that meets the requirements of the office.
  • Log-in details for RealMe (online applications only).
  • Details of somebody that can confirm your identity (known as a referee).
  • A debit or credit card with at least 191 NZD of available funds to pay for the renewal.
  • Written consent to hold a passport from a parent or guardian (under-16s only).

What Is on the Passport Renewal Form?

When completing this form, you will be asked for the following information:

  • Full name.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Gender.
  • Height.
  • Eye colour.
  • Existing passport number.
  • Residential address.
  • Emergency contact information.
  • Referee information (somebody that can confirm your identity).
  • Debit or credit card number to pay for the renewal.

Online NZ Passport Application Steps

The fastest and easiest way to renew is through the official website of the passport office (see the link in the next section below). From here, click ‘Renew a Passport’ and follow the on-screen prompts. The whole process should take less than 5 minutes.

Where Can I Download the New Zealand Passport Renewal Form?

You can download this form from the official website at www.https://www.passports.govt.nz.

Renewing a New Zealand Passport in Person

The authorities prefer all applications to be completed online or through the mail. However, you can also make an appointment at any of the 4 offices located below. These are based in:

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch
  • Manukau
  • Wellington

Each of the above offices has the same, centralised phone number:

  • Dial 0800 225 050 from inside New Zealand.
  • Dial +64 463 9360 from overseas.

If you make an appointment with a local office, you will be invited to complete all relevant paperwork in the building. You will still need all the information listed above, so be sure to take your existing one with you, along with identical photos and credit card.

Where to Get the New Zealand Passport Renewal Form in Person

You can collect a renewal form from one of the aforementioned offices closest to your city. You will be asked if it is possible to complete the application online, though. This is the preference of the authorities.

It is important not to lose sight of the importance of photographs, whether you renew by printed form or online. For photographs to be acceptable, they must meet the following criteria:

  • In colour.
  • Less than 6 months old.
  • Sized at 35 mm x 45 mm.
  • Light background colour.
  • The headshot must not cover more than 80% of the photo.
  • A neutral facial expression, facing forward.
  • Eyeglasses must not have frames or lenses that obscure the image.
  • No head or facial coverings unless required for religious or medical reasons (this must also be declared on the passport form).
  • 2 photos which must be identical, printed on photo quality paper.

Please also note that your photo must meet the technical requirements. For online applications, they should be:

  • In JPG or JPEG format. JPG used to be used on older programmes – you may still have one!
  • Between 250 kb and 10 mb.
  • Between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high.

It doesn’t matter which method you use, the photos must have been taken in the last 6 months. If you are not used to sizing, clarity or other aspects of photos, you may be wise to use an agency to take them. They will provide you with accurate digital or printed versions. The last thing you need is to keep retaking them.

New Zealand Renewal Steps for a Child’s Version

Any traveller aged 15 or younger will need a child’s version, not an adult one. These are only valid for 5 years. The renewal process mirrors that of an adult one, with 1 significant addition – consent of a parent or guardian for the child to carry one themselves.

To avoid doubt, this consent must come from a parent named on the birth certificate of the applicant or a legal guardian that has been appointed by law. This consent is provided on the application form.

If you were not the legal guardian of the child when the document was first issued, you will be asked for proof that you have this legal status before the renewal is authorised.

Steps for Renewal of a New Zealand Passport From Overseas

If you are based overseas, you can apply for renewal through your local embassy. Alternatively, just complete the application online and have the process handled in Wellington.

Just bear in mind that you will need to wait for the application to arrive in the post if you take the latter option. This may take some time, so do not leave your renewal until the last moment.

Cost of New Zealand Passport Renewal

The costs of New Zealand passport renewals are:

  • The flat rate for renewing is 191 NZD. That is roughly 99 GBP or 137 USD. This fee is payable by credit or debit card when you make your renewal application.
  • If you want it faster than the usual turnaround time, you will need to double this expense and pay 382 NZD. You will – theoretically – receive your passport in less than half the time if you pay this fee, though.

What Is the New Zealand Passport Renewal Processing Time?

The average turnaround time is 10 working days. As always with these matters, this is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule.

You may be lucky and get it sooner. If the office is exceptionally busy or there are any issues with your paperwork or photo, it may take a little longer.

Is the New Zealand Passport Renewal Valid for 10 Years?

An adult version will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue. It remains valid until the date of expiry marked on the document.

For the avoidance of doubt, anybody aged 16 years or older must carry an adult version for New Zealand. Travellers aged 15 or younger still need an independent one. These must be renewed every 5 years, though, rather than the usual 10.

How to Get a New Zealand Passport Renewal Fast

It is possible to request a rapid turnaround – but as you can no doubt imagine, there will be a cost involved. For a rushed turnaround, you can pay the fee of 382 NZD, and this should only be applied for in the case of emergencies.

Obviously, you will still need to ensure that your paperwork is in order. If you meet these criteria, your renewal should be processed within 3 working days. That is ideal if you lose it on holiday, or have an urgent travel need that you were not expecting.

Please note that certain countries such as the USA may not accept emergency travel documents, so check with your local embassy which countries do approve them.

If you are in any doubt about this information, you can refer to our New Zealand embassies page, where you can find an embassy locator that will give you the nearest official office to work with. This list shows every office in the world where you can obtain a renewal.

Also, if you’re travelling to the land of Kiwis as a visitor, apply for your ETA on our New Zealand eVisa page!