News release

Nova Scotia Introduces New Birth Certificate

Nova Scotia will be the first province in Canada to launch a new highly secure and durable bilingual birth certificate.

The certificate, which is the new Canadian standard, is the most secure birth certificate in the world.

Nova Scotia will begin issuing the new certificate on Dec. 3. The one currently in use is more than 20 years old.

Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, said the certificate is state-of-the-art and has many features to help combat identity theft and fraud.

"It's the one underlying document that confirms your identity and that you were born in Canada, and it needs to be protected," said Mr. Muir. "The new certificate has more than 20 security features that will make it extremely difficult to alter or counterfeit."

The certificate was developed through the Vital Statistics Council for Canada. The council, which has representatives from each province and territory, recognized the need for a new national certificate standard that would stand up against new and emerging security threats.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer all provinces and territories the opportunity to adopt this new secure Canadian birth certificate standard," said Liz Crowley Meagher, chair of the Vital Statistics Council for Canada. "The standard design ensures integrity, reliability and public confidence in our documents."

Led by Vital Statistics Council for Canada, the new birth certificate was designed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, in consultation with experts in the field of forensic document security. Experts included the RCMP, CSIS and Canada Border Services Agency.

The Canadian Bank Note Company is responsible for printing the paper currency of Canada. It is known worldwide for its quality and innovation in supplying secure identity systems to governments around the world.

"We have worked closely with the Vital Statistics Council to create the new birth certificate design," said Mark Houlton, director of business development for the Canadian Bank Note Company. "We have applied our expertise gained from developing secure identity documents for countries around the world."

The fee to obtain a Nova Scotia birth certificate will not increase as a result of this new format.

While the new birth certificate replaces the one currently used, it does not invalidate birth certificates that have already been issued. They will remain legal birth certificates from the province.

Most other provinces plan to adopt the new certificate in the new year.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia will be the first province in Canada to launch a new highly secure and durable bilingual birth certificate. This certificate, which is the new Canadian standard, is the most secure birth certificate in the world.

Nova Scotia will begin issuing the new certificate on December 3rd.

Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, says the new certificate has more than 20 security features making it extremely difficult to alter or counterfeit.

Nova Scotia birth certificates already issue will remain valid.

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Media Contact:

Donna Chislett
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-6336 Cell: 902-440-5007 E-mail: