About the Authentication and Legalization Process
We manage all aspects of the document authentication and legalization process for our clients, rapidly and accurately processing your birth certificate on your behalf. Click on each of the steps below for more information.
How We Can Help You
We can help you with all aspects of the document authentication and legalization process. Getting started is simple – contact us! We’ll discuss your specific situation and ensure your birth certificate is ready for processing. You send your birth certificate to our Ottawa office and we handle the authentication and legalization process on your behalf. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or fill out our quick Get Started form.
Our Commitment to You
We have built our business on one simple but powerful principle – provide our clients an experienced team that is dedicated to exceptional customer service. Our team will move mountains to ensure your documents are authenticated quickly and accurately.
Canadian Birth Certificates
Frequently Asked Questions
If you need to present your Canadian birth certificate outside of Canada, you may need to have your certificate authenticated and legalized. To confirm whether this is necessary, you will need to consult with the person or organization to whom you are sending your birth certificate. They are the authority on what processing is required before they can accept your document. Note that they may tell you that you need to have your birth certificate "apostilled" or "attested". In Canada, both these terms refer to the authentication and legalization process.
If you have any questions about the authentication and legalization of your birth certificate don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff for advice.
Yes! We specialize in managing the document authentication and legalization process for people and organizations just like you. We assist you in the preparation process to ensure that your birth certificate will meet the criteria of the process. You send your document to our Ottawa office and we handle the authentication at Global Affairs Canada and the legalization at the embassy or consulate of the destination country. By using our services, the process can be expedited, saving you weeks of waiting.
Contact our friendly specialists for more information on how we can assist you with the authentication and legalization of your birth certificate and other documents. Call us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or send us an online enquiry.
We are commonly asked how long it takes to authenticate and legalize a Canadian birth certificate. There are two scenarios which determine how long it will take. If you authenticate and legalize your birth certificate yourself by mail, it will take a minimum of four weeks and often longer. You should also note that if you make a mistake in how you prepare and submit your birth certificate, it is likely that your document will be returned unprocessed.
If you use IDC to authenticate and legalize your birth certificate, we can have your document processed in as little as a few days. On average, we process documents in 3 - 5 days. Our experts also work with you to ensure that everything is in order before your certificate is processed, so that your document is processed correctly the first time. Contact one of our friendly specialists to get more information on how long the authentication and legalization of your birth certificate is likely to take.
There are three steps to authenticate and legalize a Canadian birth certificate. These steps are document preparation, document authentication, and document legalization. Click on each of these steps to get more detailed information.
Step 1) Document preparation is the initial step of determining whether you have the correct format certificate and if it meets the criteria of the subsequent steps.
Step 2) Document authentication is most commonly done through Global Affairs Canada. They authenticate the original signature on the certificate.
Step 3) Document legalization is the final step and is done at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
How you decide to perform these three steps may depend on your deadline and budget. You can manage it yourself by mail, or hire a service like ours to handle on your behalf. Feel free to contact our friendly specialists for a free consultation to discuss your specific authentication and legalization needs.
Preparing a birth certificate to be authenticated and legalized is the first step of the document authentication and legalization process. Unlike many other types of documents, birth certificates Do Not need to be notarized first. It is not possible for you to authentication and legalize a copy of your birth certificate, even if it is a certified true copy made by a Notary Public. That is because Global Affairs Canada does not accept notarized copies of vital statistics documents.
You may be required to provide supporting documents, depending on which embassy or consulate will be legalizing your birth certificate. Supporting documents may include a cover letter, application form, ID copy, or translation.
For more specific information on how your birth certificate needs to be prepared contact our friendly specialists for a free consultation, or alternatively you can consult Global Affairs Canada and the relevant embassy or consulate.
With many documents, notarization is required before they can be authenticated and legalized. However, original long-form birth and other vital certificates (death, marriage) do not need to be notarized. They can be submitted for authentication and legalization as is. Additionally, Global Affairs Canada does not accept notarized copies of vital certificates, like birth certificates. Original official long-form certificates issued by the province are required.
Contact our friendly specialists if you have any questions about notarization and birth certificates.
Yes! They are wallet size, file size, long-form, and the certified copy of the birth registration.
The standard format for a birth certificate issued by a Canadian province is called a "file size" certificate. The file size certificate contains the basic information of a birth certificate and is about the size of a 5 x 7 photo.
Long-form certificates contain the parental information in addition to the basic birth information. They can range from "file size" to a larger certificate about half the size of a 8 x 11 sheet of paper.
A certified copy of the birth registration can also be issued by your province of birth. This type of certificate contains all the details used to register the birth, such as the citizenship of the parents and their address at the time. This format of birth certificate is the largest and is printed on a 8 x 14 size paper.
In the past, there have been other formats of certificates issued, such as wallet size certificates. Wallet size certificates cannot be processed as they are too small to apply the required stamps of the authentication and legalization process.
In Canada, only original file size, long-form, and certified copy of the birth registration formats can go through the authentication and legalization process. If you do not have a long-form birth certificate, you can order one from the province. If you have questions about this process, don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff.
In most cases, the answer is no. Global Affairs Canada no longer accepts notarized copies of birth certificates for authentication. If you need to use your birth certificate outside of Canada, it will need to be authenticated and legalized. To meet the criteria of the authentication process at Global Affairs Canada, you must submit an original long-form birth certificate.
In some rare circumstances, you can obtain provincial authentication instead of federal. If you have determined that the embassy or consulate of the destination country will accept provincial authentication, you can proceed with a notarized copy.
Our specialists can help you determine if in your situation, you must follow the requirements to provide an original birth certificate. Contact a friendly IDC specialist for a free consultation.
If you do not have your birth certificate, or your birth certificate is not in the correct format, you can easily order a new one. Most provinces provide an online service for ordering new vital statistics documents. Many of our clients also have their new certificates sent straight to our office to save time and additional shipping fees. Here are the websites that provide information on ordering certificates in your Province or Territory:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
If you have any questions about ordering your birth certificate, don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff for assistance.
We can certainly help you determine how to order a new birth certificate. However, in most cases we cannot order it for you because we do not have the authority to handle it on your behalf. Contact us to discuss the specifics of the situation and how we can be of assistance.
Birth certificates issued by Canadian provinces can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to arrive, depending on the issuing province and the type of certificate ordered (i.e. standard certificates or copies of the birth registration). In some circumstances, the delivery of a newly ordered birth certificate can be expedited.
For information on whether your province offers expedited birth certificate delivery check their website, or contact your friendly IDC specialist.
Many of our clients choose to have their newly ordered birth certificates delivered directly to our office in Ottawa, saving valuable time. When having it sent directly to us, we will confirm when it arrives and can begin the authentication and legalization process as soon as it arrives. To do this, have the birth certificate delivered to our address as follows:
226 Argyle Ave, Suite 3
Ottawa, ON K2P 1B9
Make sure to let us know that your birth certificate will be sent directly without a workform number on the package. If you have any questions about how to have your birth certificate delivered directly to our Ottawa office, contact one of our friendly specialists.
In Canada, the terms apostille and attestation both refer to the document authentication and legalization process. Around the world, different terms are used to describe the process of certifying a document for use in another country. If you have been told you need to have a birth certificate with an apostille, what you will be doing is authenticating and legalizing the certificate. Similarly, if you have been asked to attest your birth certificate, it will need to be authenticated and legalized.
The authentication and legalization process is a multi-step process that allows your birth certificate to be used abroad. Once you have confirmed that you have the correct format birth certificate and you know the requirements of each step of the process, you can start the process. First, you will need to send the birth certificate to Global Affairs Canada for authentication. Once the authentication has been completed, you can send the birth certificate to the embassy or consulate of the destination country for legalization.
Feel free to contact our friendly specialists for more information on the apostille and attestation of Canadian documents. We can expedite the process and make sure your documents have been prepared correctly. Call us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or send us an online enquiry.
To determine the pricing for authenticating and legalizing a Canadian birth certificate, we would need to know where it will be used abroad. We would also need to know if there are additional documents and how you would like the certificate shipped once completed.
When you contact us for your free consultation, one of the first things we'll do is provide you a detailed quote, so you understand exactly what is involved and how much it costs. Contact a friendly IDC expert for your free consultation. Or visit our website to see general information about our pricing.