Apply for a Birth Certificate

A Birth Certificate is a legal record of a birth that took place in Nova Scotia. The certificate may be used as proof of identity. A Birth Certificate can only be issued for a birth that’s been registered by Vital Statistics.

Apply for a Birth Certificate. A Birth Certificate is a legal record of a birth that took place in Nova Scotia.

Certificate formats

Agencies and organizations sometimes require proof of identity. You can get a Short Form Birth Certificate or a Long Form Birth Certificate. A short form includes the child’s information. A long form includes the child’s information and the parents’ information. It’s your responsibility to check with the agency or organization to confirm the certificate format you need.

Gender identity options

Birth Certificates show the gender of the person named on the Birth Certificate. The certificate can show M for male, F for female or X if you don’t identify exclusively as male or female. The person named on the certificate also has the option to not display gender on the Birth Certificate.

Birth Registration

A Birth Certificate can only be issued for a birth that’s been registered.

Eligibility

A Birth Certificate is a legal record of a birth that took place in Nova Scotia. To apply for a Birth Certificate, the birth needs to have taken place in Nova Scotia and you need to meet 1 of the following criteria:

  • you’re the person named on the certificate
  • you’re a parent whose name appears on the child’s Birth Registration
  • you’re a lawyer working on behalf of the person named on the certificate
  • you’re a lawyer working on behalf of the child’s parents
  • you’re an executor or trustee of an estate (proof required)
  • you have legal guardianship of the child (copy of guardianship papers required)
  • you’re an authorized agent or representative

How to apply

  1. Apply online for the certificate.
  2. Check the application for details on all required supporting documents.
  3. If you’re an authorized agent or representative, complete the Consent for Agent or Authorized Person to Apply for a Birth Certificate Form.
  4. Include payment with your application.
  5. Submit your completed application, supporting documents and payment.

How long it takes

It should take 2 to 3 weeks to get a Birth Certificate. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn’t been filled in correctly.

Cost

Activity Fee
Short Form Birth Certificate $33.00
Long Form Birth Certificate $39.90

See all fees for Vital Statistics certificates, licences and services.

Payment options

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac® Online, debit card, cheque, money order, cash. A cheque or money order should be made payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.

Apply online

When you apply online you need to pay the fee by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or Interac® Online.

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Other ways to apply

You can use the Birth Certificate Application Form (PDF 118 kB) if you’re unable to apply online. Send your completed application, supporting documents and payment by mail or fax. Or visit Vital Statistics or drop them off at Access Nova Scotia.