Vital Records » How to get a copy of a Canadian Birth Certificate?

How to get a copy of a Canadian Birth Certificate?

By L'équipe Santé
Updated on January 6, 2022
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A birth certificate is a vital record issued by the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the province or territory where the person was born.

It contains the complete name, place and date of birth, and parental information of the individual it is issued for. In regard to the document’s identification, it includes information such as the date of issue, date of registration, registration number, certificate number, and authorised signature(s).

In this article, we will provide you all info on how to register a birth, and how to get a birth certificate (whether it’s yours, or someone else’s). You will also learn how both processes (i.e. birth registration and getting a certified copy of a birth record) change depending on whether the person is born in Canada, born abroad, or born abroad and adopted by Canadian citizens.

What do I need a birth certificate for?

The birth certificate is a vital record that verifies the identity of a person, same as the referred’s age and citizenship status.

It is essential to have a birth certificate in Canada, as this document is used as a means of identification to apply for some government services such as medical insurance and the issuance of a passport, or other procedures like enrolling at a school.

What types of certificates exist?

There are three forms of birth certificates issued in Canada:

• Certified true copy / photostat

It contains all information available on the birth of a person.

Long-form certificate

This form contains the name, place and date of birth, parental information, date of issue, date of registration, registration number, certificate number, and authorised signature(s).


Same as the long-form, except for parental information. It was previously found in card format.

In what languages are they issued?

Depending on the province, certificates are writen in English, French or both languages.

Birth certificates from Canadian territories are found in English and French, as well as Inuktitut in Nunavut (though individual data is in the Roman alphabet only, not in Inuktitut syllabics). The Northwest Territories previously issued certificates bearing Inuktitut.

Birth registration

– How is a birth registered?

If the child’s parents are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and they are the primary responsibles for the care and upbringing of the child, the procedure to follow is described below:

  1. Complete and sign the birth registration form.
  2. Consent to the Registrar General of Vital Statistics sharing your information with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  3. Provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Bear in mind that this is a general procedure, but the registration process is different from one province or territory to another.

– What happens if a Canadian child is born abroad?

You are not obliged to register the birth of a baby born abroad. However, you may apply for a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship as proof of citizenship for a child born outside of Canada.

To obtain a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, or to find out whether a child born outside Canada is a Canadian citizen, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

– How to proceed if a foreign child is adopted by a Canadian citizen?

In order to adopt internationally, you must work with your provincial or territorial adoption Central Authority.

The provincial or territorial adoption Central Authority will:

To be eligible to adopt a child, you must meet the adoption requirements of the Canadian province or territory where you live, and the Adoption Authority of the country where the child was born.

In order to bring your adopted child into Canada, it will be necessary to apply for Citizenship or Immigration (Permanent Residency) for the child.

Getting a copy of a Canadian Birth Certificate

If you wish to get a copy of a birth certificate, you will need to contact the Registrar of Vital Statistics of the province / territory in which the birth occurred.

You may use the list below in order to locate the office corresponding to your Province or Territory:

– What information is needed for the application?

To avoid an incomplete or delayed application process, the information you should have at hand when contacting the vital records office per mail or when presenting yourself in person is the following:

  • Child’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Mother’s full name (incuding maiden name)
  • Father’s full name

Administrative Procedures in other countries:

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