Service Nova Scotia Banner
Government Home  > Service NS Home  > Nova Scotia Permits Directory  > Vital Statistics 
  NS Permits Directory NS Government
Service Nova Scotia Home Government Home

Service NS Home

NS Permits Directory

Arrow Disclaimer


About the Department
Online Services
Services en français
Forms and Applications
Office Locations

Contact Service Nova ScotiaContact Us

Service Nova Scotia
Vital Statistics

Birth Certificate

Who Needs This Certificate?
  Anyone, regardless of where they now live, who needs proof of a birth which was registered  in Nova Scotia.

Note:  For information on how to contact another province or territory of Canada to get a birth certificate, please visit the Canadian Vital Statistics Offices page or you can contact The Service Nova Scotia Call Centre at 902--424-5851.  (If outside metro Halifax, call 1-800-670-4357, toll-free in Nova Scotia only.).  We also have a list of United States Vital Statistics Offices.
Issuing Department / Agency:
  Vital Statistics Office
Service Nova Scotia
Where can you get this Certificate and / or further information?
  Phone Vital Statistics Office:  902-424-4381
(or toll-free in Nova Scotia only:  1-877-848-2578 
You will get a taped message; please select Option 1 for Birth Certificates
  Write P.O. Box 157, Halifax, NS  B3J 2M9  Canada
  Visit Vital Statistics Office
300 Horseshoe Lake Drive
Halifax, NS B3S 0B7

Hours:   8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Holidays)

  Fax 902-450-7311
Application Forms & Process:
  There are 3 types of Birth Certificates. To figure out which type of Certificate you need, and whether or not you are eligible to get one, see Additional Information, below.

How to apply

1) You can apply at the Vital Statistics office in Halifax (see address above).  This is the ONLY way to get a certificate immediately.

2) You can submit your application online; it will be processed within the next 10 business days, and then the certificate will be mailed to you.  (You need a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card to apply online.)

3) You can apply by mail.

4) You can apply at any Access Nova Scotia Centre, or any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

A convenient application form is available.  To get one:

1) Birth Certificate Application [ Adobe Reader- 65.13 kb]; or 
2) call the number listed above and press 2 to talk to a customer service representative, who can have one mailed to you; or 
3) write or fax the Vital Statistics office listed above; or 
4) visit the Vital Statistics office in Halifax, or any Access Nova Scotia Centre, or any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.
It is not necessary to use an application form to apply for a certificate.  As long as you give complete information on all the key details of the event in a letter, and pay the proper fee, your application can be processed.

The information you need to provide is explained under Additional Information, below.

To return the application form, you can:

1) mail or deliver it to the Vital Statistics office in Halifax (see address above);

2) take it to any Access Nova Scotia Centre or Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

Process:  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, and sent to you by mail.  Please allow additional days for postal delivery.

In case of emergency, the certificate can be sent by courier to the applicant.  There is an additional charge of $20 for this service.

Waiting Period:

In person: 15 minutes

By mail: 10 business days
Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
(Please allow several extra days for mail delivery.)

Expiry :
  These certificates do not expire.
Price and Payment: (No tax is charged)
  The different types of birth certificates are explained in Additional Information, below.
  Short Form $33.00 restricted
Long Form: $39.90 restricted
Certified Copy $39.90 restricted


Payment at the Vital Statistics officecash, Interac debit card, Visa, Mastercard or American Express, or cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance.

Payment by Mail:  Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card or by cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance

Payment online:  Debit Card (Interac® Online), or
Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

Note:  you can make payment online for previous requests, using "payment on account"

Payment by fax:  Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

Related Requirements:
Additional Information:
  1. Searches
    All certificate prices include a three-year search.

    A three-year search may be requested without a certificate (confirmation of event only) for $6.25
  2. Restrictions:  Release of all birth certificates are subject to restrictions as set out in the Vital Statistics Act.
  3. All certificates are issued in accordance with information on file and cannot be returned for refund.
Birth Certificates:

(a) The short form birth certificate contains this information:

Full name and sex
date and place of birth
registration date & number, and date issued.

(b) The long form certificate contains all that information plus the names and birthplaces of both parents.

(c)  A certified copy of a birth record contains all the information in (b) plus additional details (for example, the name of the person who assisted at the birth, birth weight, etc.).

To get a Birth Certificate, you must know: the person's full name; place and date of birth; their father's full name and birthplace; and their mother's given and maiden names and birthplace.

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

Who qualifies  to apply for a Birth Certificate:
Birth Certificates
May be released to:
a) You, if the record pertains to your own birth;
b) Parents of a child;
c) 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;
d) The executor/executrix or trustee of an estate; or
e) Guardian (copy of guardianship papers must be attached to this application).

Legislative Authority:
  Vital Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 494

Back to the Vital Statistics

image image
image image
image image This page and all contents Crown copyright © 2020, Province of Nova Scotia, all rights reserved.
Please use the online inquiry form if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.