Notice – Change to birth certificate requirements for general passport applications

To enhance the security and integrity of Canadian travel documents, Passport Canada is limiting what constitutes acceptable proof of citizenship for a general passport application and for a child’s passport application.

For applications received on or after February 1, 2011, for Canadians born in Canada, only the following proof of citizenship documents will be accepted to support a general or child’s passport application:

  • “Birth certificate” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency;
  • “Certificate of birth” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency;
  • “Certificat de naissance” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency; or
  • “Certificate of citizenship” issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
    (Some exceptions apply; see below for details.*)

Canadian travellers are encouraged to initiate the passport application process as soon as they intend to travel to ensure that the proper documentation is obtained in time for a trip abroad—and to factor in the time required to obtain proper documentation prior to submitting a passport application.

Should you require a new birth certificate, contact the Canadian vital statistics office of the province or territory of your birth.

The changes detailed above are reflected in the passport application forms. Failure to provide the proper documentation will result in the passport application being rejected.

Simplified renewal applications are not impacted by this requirement.

For detailed information on birth certificate requirements, please visit the Proof of citizenship section of our website.

These requirements apply only to the Canadian passport program. This policy does not invalidate other birth documents which may be accepted for purposes other than passport issuance.

*Exceptions

In addition to a “Birth certificate”, “Certificate of birth” or “Certificat de naissance” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency, the following documentation is also accepted as proof of citizenship for passport issuance:

  • New-Brunswick: Passport Canada also accepts a certified extract of a registration document issued by the Province of New Brunswick in cases where the name of the bearer exceeds 39 characters for the surname(s) and 30 characters for the given name(s).
  • Nova Scotia: Passport Canada also accepts a certified photocopy of “Live Birth Registration” issued by the Province of Nova Scotia in cases where the name of the bearer exceeds 30 characters for the surname(s) and 38 characters for the given name(s).
  • Northwest Territories: Passport Canada also accepts a “Registration of Birth,” “Certificate of Registration of Birth” or “Registration of Live Birth” issued by the Northwest Territories in cases where the surname(s) and given name(s) of the bearer exceed a total of 58 characters.
  • Ontario: Passport Canada also accepts a certified copy of birth registration issued by the Province of Ontario.
  • Quebec: Passport Canada also accepts a copy of an act of birth issued after January 1, 1994, by the Province of Quebec.