A Birth Certificate is one of the most important vital documents that any person should have and will be required at several points through a person’s life. The general purpose a Birth Certificate serves is to identify a person. The document tells the person’s name, date of birth and where they were born. A Birth Certificate also serves as basic proof of citizenship and is often required as identification for government services or applying for other personal documents. Because a Birth Certificate is such a valuable document, it should always be kept in a safe place where it can be easily accessed when needed. It is highly recommended that you do not carry your Birth Certificate in your wallet or purse as thousands of certificates are reported lost or stolen every month.
A Birth Certificate is required to identify children when they enrol at a new school. This may be important when registering for kindergarten or if a family moves to a new district.
If a person desires to travel outside of the country, he must have a valid passport. Birth Certificates are required to identify the traveler in order to obtain a passport.
Social Security Card
A Birth Certificate contains the required information necessary to obtain a social security card. If a card is lost or stolen, a certified copy of the Birth Certificate is needed to get a replacement.
When someone wishes to be issued a driver’s license, a Birth Certificate is usually one of the forms of identification required to complete the process and gain the privileges of a licensed driver.
Registration takes approximately 16 weeks from the date the birth took place. You can apply for an Ontario Birth Certificate once you receive notice that the birth has been registered with the Office of the Registrar General.
Every child born in Canada must be registered with their Provincial Vital Statistics agency before applying for a Birth Certificate. If your child is more than one year of age and you have not yet registered their birth, you will need to obtain a Delayed Statement of Live Birth form. Once the birth is registered, a Birth Certificate will be issued. Please visit our Delayed Registration of Birth page to learn how to obtain this important document.
You may order a replacement Birth Certificate in the same way as a first time Birth Certificate (see above). The application is the same for both types of orders.
Regular Service (15-20 business days)
First Birth Certificate: $75.00
Replacement Birth Certificate: $85.00
Birth Certificate with Parental Information
First Birth Certificate: $86.00
Replacement Birth Certificate: $96.00
Certified Copy of Birth Registration
First Birth Certificate: $87.00
Replacement Birth Certificate: $99.00
Search Letter (5 year period): $64.00
Rush Service (5-10 business days)
First Birth Certificate: $110.00
Replacement Birth Certificate: $120.00
Certified Copy of Birth Registration
First Birth Certificate: $121.00
Replacement Birth Certificate: $131.00
Search Letter (5 year period): $85.00
Rush service is NOT available under the following circumstances:
The only payment currently accepted is credit card (Visa and MasterCard).
It will take 15-20 business days with the Regular Service options or 5-10 business days with the Rush Service option.
Your Birth Certificate will be sent to you directly from the Office of the Registrar General. It will arrive in the mail with the Regular Service option, or by courier with the Rush Service option.
If you are following up on the status of an already ordered certificate, as the applicant, you will need to contact the government agency directly. They will only discuss the status of the application with the applicant. Please contact the Office of The Registrar General:
Toll Free: 1-800-461-2156 (Ontario only)
Birth Certificate with Personal Info Only (12.5 cm x 17.6 cm):
The Personal Info Only Birth Certificate contains basic information: full name of individual, date of birth, place of birth, sex, registration number, and registration date.
Birth Certificate with Personal Info and Parentage (12.5 cm x 17.6 cm):
The Personal Info and Parentage Birth Certificate contains all the information as stated above, plus the names of parents and birthplaces of parents (province/country only).
A Photocopy of Registration is a certified photocopy of the original Registration of Birth, completed at the time of birth. It contains all the information appearing on the Registration of Birth and is usually required for legal purposes. Photocopies are rarely needed by citizens and are, by law, for restricted use only. They are not recommended for use as identification. A restricted photocopy can only be issued if authorized by the Registrar General of Vital Statistics or on the order of a court.
Birth Certificates are issued using the information from the original Registration of Birth. If you are not certain of the date of birth, you may order a search letter. A search letter only states that according to the Office of the Registrar General, an event either is or is not recorded. No actual information is provided or confirmed. Fill out the estimated date of birth on the Birth Certificate application. That entire year will be searched, plus two years before and after, for a total of five years. You may also request a search of additional years, in increments of five years.
In Ontario, the Office of the Registrar General holds complete records from 1869, when civil registration began. Birth records remain there until they are more than 100 years old which means they are no longer within the restricted period.
These unrestricted birth records are then transferred to the Archives of Ontario. Due to the large demand, staff members at that office are unable to undertake genealogical searches in these vital records. However, microfilm copies of the nominal indexes and the original registrations are available through inter-institutional loan from the Archives of Ontario and through your local Family History Library. Should you prefer to hire someone to search through those records on your behalf, the Archives of Ontario can provide a list of researchers.
You can apply for an Ontario Birth Certificate if you are:
You may complete a Declaration of Lost or Stolen Birth Certificate form. The filing of this Declaration provides the authority for the cancellation of a certificate under Section 40.1 (2) (c) of the Vital Statistics Act. This service is provided free of charge.
It is important to note the use of a lost or stolen Birth Certificate by another individual cannot be prevented by the Vital Statistics Agency. However, Vital Statistics does electronically verify Birth Certificate information with programs such as ICBC. In the event a verification request is received, Vital Statistics will notify them the certificate is invalid.
You may also wish to contact the local police to report your lost certificate in the event it has been turned in, or if you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft. Contact RCMP PhoneBusters at 1-888-495-8501.
Yes. If the birth record contains any French accents on the registered names, please ensure they are clearly displayed on the Birth Certificate application form.
Yes. You may choose to order a Short Form Birth Certificate which excludes the names of your parents on the document.
Yes. Occasionally birth records need to be amended, when an error has been made or for another reason, such as adding the father’s name. Applicants may apply to correct an error to an original registration by completing a Form 23 and providing satisfactory evidence that proves the original registration was incorrect.
The application for a correction to a Birth Registration (Form 23) is not available online. You must contact Service Ontario directly at 1-800-461-2156 for all of North America (areas outside of Toronto) or 1-416-325-8305 in the Greater Toronto Area and Internationally, to request the form.
Form 23 must be signed in the presence of a commissioner for taking affidavits for oaths.
Depending on what information is being corrected, original copies of evidence required to make the correction may include one or more of the following:
All forms, packages and evidence must be submitted with the application. All original certificates provided as evidence will be returned to the applicant. Copies will not be returned
Amendments to the original Birth Registration can cost $22.00 to $37.00, depending on the type of change required. The fee for the correction does not include a new Birth Certificate once the correction has been made.
No. You cannot laminate your Birth Certificate yourself because it will render it invalid. However some provinces, like Ontario, used to laminate certificates before the 1980s, and providing the provincial government laminated the document it remains valid. Today many provinces now issue laminated wallet sized Birth Certificates.
No. This used to be possible, but under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, a Canadian Birth Certificate is no longer considered valid proof of identity when traveling between Canada and the United States. Children in school parties can still use their Birth Certificates, but anyone else planning to cross the border must have a valid travel document like a Canadian passport, enhanced driver’s licence or a NEXUS card.
If you are applying for a Birth Certificate for an individual nine years of age or older you need a guarantor.
A guarantor is a Canadian citizen and someone who has known you (the applicant) personally for at least 2 years, and is currently serving in or a practicing member in good standing of a profession from this guarantor’s list:
The role of the guarantor is to certify that information provided on a Birth Certificate application is as complete and accurate as possible. If required, a qualified guarantor must also be available to verify the information with the Office of the Registrar General.
If you do not have a valid Guarantor, please ensure that you do not fill out the Guarantor section on the application. As an alternative, you must send the following required supporting documentation to the Office of the Registrar General:
Detailed Letter of Explanation
This letter must explain why you are requesting this birth certificate and why you cannot provide a Guarantor. The following information must be provided:
No. If you were born in Canada, you need your Canadian Birth Certificate to obtain a Canadian Passport. In extremely rare exceptions will this rule not apply.
Yes. If your newborn is required to travel before the birth is registered, you may obtain a Temporary Confirmation of Birth Letter through the city clerks’ office in the municipality in which the baby was born. You may travel using this document for up to 90 days after the date you submitted the Statement of Live Birth document.
At least one parent must appear in person and provide identification to obtain a Temporary Confirmation of Birth Letter. There may be fees for this service, which are set and collected by individual municipalities.
No. Birth Certificates do not expire as long as they remain in good physical condition.