Phone toll-free at 1-888-433-1011

As the leading provider of apostille services in Canada we answer a lot of questions about the often-confusing process of legalizing a Canadian birth certificate. This brief article gives you the basics of how to navigate your documents through all three steps of the process, answering some of your questions and pointing you to additional sources of help and information.

Why do I need to legalize my birth certificate?

The document legalization process is used to confirm the authenticity of a Canadian document so that this document will be accepted as legitimate in a foreign country. If you need to provide your Canadian birth certificate in another country – because you will be going to school there, accepting a job, moving your family, getting married, or any number of other reasons – you may have to first get your birth certificate legalized. Some countries always require that Canadian documents be legalized, some don’t require legalization, and for many countries, this is case specific – some documents and situations do require legalization and others don’t. To confirm if you need to legalize your birth certificate, we recommend you consult with the person or organization that requires you to submit your birth certificate.

Is the apostille process similar to the legalization process?

There are several different names commonly used for the Canadian process, a fact that causes confusion. Other names for legalization include “apostille”, “document authentication and legalization” and “attestation”. In Canada, all these terms refer to the same process. 

How do I legalize my birth certificate?

The process of legalizing your Canadian birth certificate involves three steps: 

Step 1: Prepare your documents

It is essential that your birth certificate is prepared properly before you start the legalization process. Unfortunately, this means you need to understand what is required from a number of different parties: Global Affairs (see step 2), the embassy or consulate of the country of which you will be sending your birth certificate (see Step 3), and the person or organization to whom you will be sending your legalized birth certificate. Depending on which requirements apply in your situation, preparing your birth certificate for legalization might involve having a certified true copy made by a notary, providing a cover letter, and providing additional supporting documents.

Step 2: Authenticating your documents

Once your birth certificate is prepared for processing, the next step is to submit it to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for authentication. GAC will carefully review your package and if all is in order they will place a large red stamp directly on your birth certificate, confirming it has been authenticated.

Step 3: Legalizing your documents

The final step is to submit your authenticated birth certificate to the embassy or consulate of the country where you will be sending your processed document. The embassy or consulate staff will ensure that your birth certificate and supporting documents meet their requirements. If satisfied, they will add a stamp, sticker or certificate directly to your birth certificate, confirming it has been legalized. This is the last step in the legalization process.

What should I watch for when legalizing a Canadian birth certificate?

The most important thing to watch for when legalizing a Canadian birth certificate is that you have the right type of birth certificate. Basically, you need a long-form birth certificate issued directly by the province. Wallet-sized birth certificates issued by the province, which are commonly laminated, cannot be legalized. If you don’t have the correct type of birth certificate you will need to obtain the correct one from the province in which you were born. If you have questions about how to obtain the right type of birth certificate, our friendly staff would be happy to talk you through this – call us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011.

Where can I find more info on the birth certificate legalization process?

Our website has a lot of specific information about the Canadian legalization process and birth certificates. is a great place to start your research. Our page specifically dedicated to birth certificates has more information on legalizing Canadian birth certificates. Or talk to our friendly staff. We’re here to help!

Can you help me with legalizing my birth certificate?

At International Documents Canada, we specialize in managing the legalization for our clients. We would be happy to talk to you about your specific situation. When you contact our experts for your free consultation, we will take the time to understand your requirements and answer any questions you have. We’ll then explain your options and provide you with a detailed quote so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision on how best to proceed. Contact us through our website or phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 and we’ll get right back to you!

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Legal Information Services in Ottawa ON

IDC is proud to have been recognized by the Better Business Bureau with a Torch Award for Market Place Trust