Who can apply for a certificate or a copy of an act?

To protect the identity of persons in the Québec civil status register, a birth certificate or a copy of an act of birth may be issued only to persons mentioned in the act to which the application pertains, or to persons who establish their interest. Accordingly, a parent mentioned in his or her child’s act of birth may apply for a birth certificate or a copy of the act of birth regardless of the child’s age. For more information, see the directive Personnes autorisées à demander un certificat ou une copie d'acte de l'état civil (PDF, 44,5 Ko) Ce lien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. (in French only).

Application for a certificate or copy of an act for a child under 18 years of age

Since the applicant must provide documents that a child under 18 years of age may not be able to provide, it is recommended that one of the parents act as the applicant on the child’s behalf.

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If your name is not mentioned in the act

If your name is not mentioned in the act, you must establish your interest in obtaining a certificate or a copy of an act concerning someone else by providing a reason in the appropriate space on the application form and attaching a photocopy of an official document—for example, a power of attorney or a will—as proof. We will evaluate the reason given.

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If the person is deceased

If the application is for a document concerning a person who is deceased and you are the person’s spouse (by marriage or civil union), child, brother or sister, you do not have to provide an official document supporting your reason for applying, even if you are not mentioned in the act.

In order for us to establish your family or marital relationship with the person to whom the application pertains, you must provide your date of birth if you were born in Québec. Otherwise, you must attach a photocopy of your birth certificate or a copy of your act of birth or, where applicable, a photocopy of your certificate or copy of your act of marriage or civil union with that person.

We deem there is a family or marital relationship between two persons when such relationship can be established by consulting the civil status acts of those persons in the Québec register of civil status.

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Power of attorney

A power of attorney, which may be general or special, is a contract that allows one person (the mandator) to designate in writing another person (the mandatary) to act on their behalf in the performance of a legal act.

The Special Power of Attorney for the Application for a Certificate or Copy of an Act Ce lien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre., accessible on the website of the Directeur de l’état civil (Registrar of Civil Status), is a form by which one person specifically authorizes another to make a document request on their behalf. There is a version of this form for each of the following events: birth, marriage or civil union and death. As additional checks will be required when processing the application, this option should only be used as a last resort.

General powers of attorney drawn up with the assistance of legal counsel must expressly mention the possibility of requesting documents from the Directeur de l’état civil. In the absence of such mention, additional justification and proof may be required.

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Reviewed: 2024-02-12

Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. This link open in a new window.

© Gouvernement du Québec, 2022

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