How to get a copy of a Canadian Birth Certificate?

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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20 Responses

  1. Hello I am trying to obtain a copy of my birth certificate from Ontario Canada. The links provided above seem to only allow me to find birth certificates from online sources that date prior to 1912 unless I am missing something.

    1. Hello,
      My two daughters were born in Alberta. We lost their birth certificates during a move, I requested new ones urgently from Vital statistics Alberta through the registry connect rushed services. Unsure how long it take to get them. I need them ASAP. Any idea about the time frame?(or alternatives)

      1. Hello Reem,

        Since you’ve requested rushed services through Registry Connect, they usually prioritize urgent requests. The processing time can vary, but it’s typically expedited compared to regular processing.

        If you’re looking for a more specific timeframe, it’s best to directly contact Vital Statistics Alberta to ask for the status of your request. If the office provides an online tracking option, you might be able to monitor the progress of your request and get estimated processing times. In case you don’t have any, I’d suggest you reach out to Vital Statistics Alberta’s customer service via phone or email, explain your situation and emphasize the urgency. They might be able to provide you with an estimated timeframe based on their current workload.

  2. Hello,
    I was born and live in the U.S., but my father was born in Montreal. I have my birth certificate, and he is listed as my father on it, and his place of birth is listed as Montreal, Canada. I am trying to apply for a Proof of Canadian Citizenship Certificate for myself, and the application states that I need to include my birth certificate, as well as my father’s (he is the Canadian parent). How can I obtain a copy of his birth certificate to include in my application? I cannot obtain it from him.

    1. Hello Lorna,

      To obtain a copy of your father’s birth certificate from Montreal, Canada, you need to contact the Directeur de l’état civil du Québec: The Directeur de l’état civil du Québec is responsible for vital records, including birth certificates, in Quebec. You can reach out to them to inquire about the process for obtaining a copy of your father’s birth certificate. Their website is: You should be able to find information on how to request a copy of a birth certificate. Look for the section related to “Demande d’acte de naissance” (Request for Birth Certificate) or a similar term. Follow the instructions provided to complete the request. We also tackle all the steps you need to follow on our article.

      When requesting the birth certificate, you will likely need to provide some details about your father, such as his full name, date of birth, and parents’ names. If you have any additional information about his birth, such as the specific place or hospital, include that as well, as it may help in locating the correct record. Complete the required forms and submit your application according to the instructions provided. Make sure to include any supporting documentation or identification that may be required.

      Good luck with your application!

  3. I was born in Montreal and my birth was registered At RCAF St-Hubert, Quebec. I only have my original RCAF paper birth certificate. How do I use this to apply for my Canadian citizenship and passport and what other documentation do I need to provid?. I live in the United Kingdom and have done so since the age of 5. I was born in 1959.
    Thank you

  4. Hi there – I’ve lost my birth certificate for Montreal birth before 1994, but adopted. Wondering the best way to replace this quickly for a passport application.

    1. Hello Christine,
      We suggest you reach out to the corresponding vital records office and request a copy of your birth certificate. You can find more information here.

  5. My Birth certificate was so old it fell apart. How do I get a new Ontario birth certificate?

  6. I have lost my birth certificate and need to get a replacement. I was born in British Columbia and still reside there. Who do I contact to get the process going?

  7. Do you know how a “Canadian Born Abroad” can obtain a long-form parental birth certificate? My situation: I was born in London, UK in the 60s while my father had a foreign posting with the Government of Canada. So I was Canadian from birth and have a small card birth certificate issued from Ottawa (also SIN card, passport, etc.). No question about me being Canadian, I just need the long-form parental birth certificate. Please & Thanks.

  8. I am living In Virginia U S A. I need to apply for a new birth certificate. Lived in Quebec

  9. I was born in Toronto Canada in 1949 and need a copy of my birth certificate in order to get my passport. I need instructions on how to go about doing it. Please!

    1. Hello Patricia,
      Please follow the steps stated on this article to get a copy of your birth certificate. If you want to know the particularities on how to do it in Toronto, you can check their official website.

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