Changing or correcting names

Information about changing or correcting a person’s name recorded in the register.

The Applications to Correct or Change Names in the Register Guideline 2018 - LINZG20780 (the Guideline) sets out the requirements and process for applying to correct or change a name in the register.

Applications are typically made to:

  • update surnames such as changes of name as a result of marriage, reversion to maiden names, change by deed poll
  • correct a spelling error caused either by a lodging party or LINZ staff or
  • include an additional middle name which forms part of the registered owner’s official name but it was omitted on the register.

Refer to the Guideline for more information about making an application in electronic or paper form.

Change or correction of name may not be necessary – section 6 of the Guideline

A registered owner whose name has changed or is misspelt in a record of title may not wish to change or correct the name in order to deal with their land, e.g:

  • for a transfer of their land or discharge of mortgage, where their name will be removed from the record of title, or
  • for a minor typographical error.

If an e-dealing is completed in the registered owner’s former or incorrect name the certifying practitioner must still obtain and retain evidence as outlined in section 4.1 of the Guideline that their client’s name has changed or is spelt incorrectly, to account for the difference between the client’s correct name in their identity documents and their name on the record of title

If the registered owner will be remaining on the record of title it is recommended that an application for correction or change of name is made.

Caveats – section 8 of the Guideline

The RGL will not use the correction powers in regulation 17 Land Transfer Regulations 2018 to correct or change a caveator’s name on a caveat or claimant’s name on a notice of claim. However, when the caveator or claimant consents to a dealing or withdraws a caveat or notice of claim, evidence of their change of name or that their name is incorrect should be retained with the consent or authority and instruction form, or included with a paper consent or withdrawal.

Māori land – section 4-9 of the Guideline

An order made by the Māori Land Court is necessary in order to change or correct names on records of title for Māori freehold land.

Application for correction or change of name may not be appropriate

An application for correction or change of name is not appropriate to:

  1. amend a name that is incorrect in a record of title as a result of a LINZ error (see Correct a land record).
  2. correct a practitioner error that resulted in the wrong person being registered as an owner. 
  3. register a statutory vesting of land following a change of a corporate body’s identity, such as an amalgamation of companies or building societies (an application for transmission will be required).

The Guideline also does not apply to applications to alter to title for a boundary change resulting from accretion or erosion (see Applications for Water Boundary Changes (Land that is Dried Stream Bed or was added by Accretion).