The Justice of the Peace must see the original document in order to certify your copy as a true copy.
Have your originals and your copies in separate folders to reduce the possibility of the originals being inadvertently stamped.
You do not have to be the owner of the documents; you may get copies certified for another person.
Be specific when making an appointment about how many pages there are and the Justice of the Peace will then be able to give you an idea of how long it will take. If you have a large number of copies it may be possible to leave them with the Justice of the Peace and collect them at a later time if that is agreeable to you both.
If you need a certified copy of a document you have printed from a website or email attachment (such as a utility bill), the Justice will need to see the original on-line.
- You could take your smartphone, tablet or laptop to the appointment and use that.
- The Justice may allow you to use their computer (check before coming to the appointment).
In either case, to protect your private information, the Justice will ask you to enter any passwords required, and to log out once the document has been seen.
Verifying your Identity
Banks and other financial institutions are required by law to verify the identity of their clients. Justices do this by
- comparing a photo ID document with the client (suitable forms of photo ID include passport, driver licence, a NZ Firearms Licence)
- writing a statement on a copy of the photo ID that includes words similar to “Certified true copy of [name of ID document] that represents the identity of the named individual”
- you must bring your own photo ID document and a copy to the appointment
- if the bank or finance company has provided an instruction sheet, bring that with you. Different companies may require slightly different wording, and the Justice needs to know what to write on your copy.
- you may also need to supply the bank with copies of other documents, such as a power bill, to confirm your address. Make sure you check what’s needed before meeting the JP.
A statutory declaration is a written statement of facts that you say are true.
Bring your declaration to the Justice of the Peace yourself. The Justice will ask you if the contents of your declaration are true. You must answer and then sign your declaration, witnessed by the Justice of the Peace.
If you need to make a statutory declaration, you can download a blank form here.
An affidavit is a document that may be used as evidence in court. It is usually prepared by your lawyer. You have to make a statement that the contents of the affidavit are true. You do this either by swearing an oath on a Holy Book, or by making an affirmation (a non-religious, solemn and sincere statement). Once you have sworn your oath or made your affirmation the Justice will ask you to sign the document.
Witnessing a Signature
Tell the Justice of the Peace exactly what type of form requires your signature to be witnessed.
Most forms state whether a Justice is able to act as your witness.
The form must be yours and you must be the person named in it.
It is very useful to bring some form of photo identification.
Please note that witnessing a will is not a function of Justices of the Peace.
A Justice may witness a will but they are acting as an ordinary person, and do not use the letters JP after their signature.
Let the Justice know, when you make the appointment, that you are bringing dissolution papers.
The Justice will ask if it is a single application or a joint application, and if one or both of you are coming to the appointment.
Your documents must be printed single sided.
You will need:
- an ID document such as your passport or driver licence
- the application form – either FP11 (single) or FP13 (joint)
- the affidavit – either FP12 (single) or FP14 (joint) Do not sign this before you meet the Justice.
- the information sheet G7, printed on yellow paper
- your original Marriage Certificate and a copy.
The ‘Particulars of Marriage’ form, that the celebrant gave you on your wedding day, is not a marriage certificate.
- a copy of your written separation agreement if you made one.
We understand that this can be a stressful time, so we will make the process as easy as possible for you.
Justices of the Peace in New Zealand are authorised under New Zealand legislation and usually cannot complete documents required by a foreign jurisdiction.
There are exceptions however, so check with the embassy, consulate or other agency to see if it is acceptable to them for a New Zealand Justice of the Peace to complete your documents.