Government of Nova Scotianovascotia.ca
novascotia.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
 
Access Nova Scotia
Text Size:  A+ A-

Birth Certificate

There are restrictions on who can apply for a birth certificate. Vital Statistics will issue a birth certificate to the person named on the certificate, a parent or legal guardian or the administrator of the person's estate. For more details please contact Vital Statistics.

Certificate Formats

To ensure the correct certificate format is obtained, please contact the organization that requires the birth certificate to determine if a short or long form is needed. Some common uses include school registration, passport, social insurance numbers and driver's licences.

Please note that for married women, birth certificates are issued in the maiden name.

Short Form

The short form birth certificate contains the following information:

  • surname and given name(s)
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • sex
  • registration date
  • registration number
  • date issued

Long Form

The long form birth certificate contains all the information of the short form birth certificate plus the parent's names and their birthplaces. The long form birth certificate contains the following information:

  • surname and given name(s)
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • sex of child
  • name of parents
  • birthplace of parents
  • registration date
  • registration number
  • date issued

For more information about certificate costs, please visit Vital Statistics Fees.

Eligibility

Who qualifies for a birth certificate? (Effective February 15, 2002)
  1. You, if the record pertains to your birth
  2. Parents of a child
  3. A lawyer who specifically indicates they are working on behalf of "A" or "B" above, or a person on the written authorization of "A" or "B" above
  4. The executor/executrix or trustee for "A" or "B" above
  5. Guardian (copy of guardianship papers must be attached to the application)

 

How to Apply

There are many easy and convenient ways to apply for a birth certificate.

Newborns

A birth certificate can be requested for a newborn baby as part of the new bundled birth service. When you register the birth of your baby a kiosk located in certain hospitals across the province, you can apply and pay for a birth certificate at the same time.

Online

We offer an online birth certificate request service. To apply online, please visit our  Birth Certificate Online Service. If you apply using a kiosk or our online service, you can pay using:

 

  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Interac® Online

Other Service Options

You can apply in person at our office, by mail, or you can drop off an application at any N.S. Registry of Motor Vehicle office or Access Nova Scotia office to be processed through the mail.

You can download an application form to request a certificate from the following link:

If you apply by mail, the following payment options are available:

 

  • Cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express

PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH THROUGH THE MAIL

If you apply in person, the following payment options are available:

  • Cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Debit Card
  • Cash

If you apply by fax, the following payment options are available:

  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express

After your application and the proper payment have been received by the Vital Statistics office in Halifax, the certificate will normally be processed within 10 business days (provided the birth has been registered, and no additional information is required), and sent to you by mail. Please allow additional days for postal delivery.

French Names

If the birth record contains any French characters or symbols on the registered names, please ensure they are clearly displayed on the birth certificate application form.

Searches

All certificate prices include a three-year search. A three-year search may be requested without purchasing a certificate (confirmation of event only) for the applicable fee please go to Vital Statistics Fees. Certificates are issued in accordance with information on file and cannot be returned for refund.