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Authentication and Legalization

Use Canadian Birth and Divorce Certificates Overseas for Marriage. Get your Canadian documents authenticated and legalized for use in foreign countries.

Use Your Canadian Document in a Foreign Country


1. Which document do you need authenticated?

The first step is to figure out what document you need to prove your identity and status in the foreign country.

For marriage, it is usually a birth certificate and a divorce certificate (if applicable). 

Some documents, which have not been issued by a government, will have to be notarized first.


2.Get the Original Document From the Provincial Authority (Vital Statistics Office or Registrar General)

Figure out which province you need the certificate from, if you don’t have an original. (You need an original, not a copy.)



3. Provincial Vs. Federal Authentication

Will the province authenticate the document for you?

Will this country accept provincial government authentication instead of federal authentication?


4. Authenticate Your Document

For federal authentication, send the federal government the following:

  1. Documents to be authenticated
  2. Authentication Request Form (see example)
  3. Self-addressed, stamped envelope or prepaid courier shipping label (no account numbers accepted)

You do not need to pay a fee if you are using the federal government services. Provinces will charge fees.


5. Get a Certified Translation of Your Authenticated Document

Some Embassies and Consulates will require the certificate to be in another language other than English (or French if it’s from Quebec). If so, you need to get your authenticated certificate translated by a certified translator.


6. Legalize the document

Send the certificate (with its certified translation, if applicable) to the nearest Embassy or Consulate for legalization.

Most embassies and consulates will require the following:

  1. The original certificate
  2. The proof of authentication
  3. Payment or proof of payment of the fee
  4. A self-addressed stamped envelope or prepaid courier waybill


7. Travel to the Country with Your Legalized Document

Once your document is legalized, you can physically bring it to the country you are travelling to, and get married or buy the house, or whatever you are trying to do.

In order to use Canadian identification and vital statistics documents in another country you must have them legalized and authenticated. The most common reason to need your document authenticated and legalized is marriage in a foreign country. But this page will tell you how to authentication and legalize a Canadian document for any use abroad.





Instead of dealing with multiple government bureaucracies, why not deal with a company which will put your first?

Just send your document to Immigroup and we will have it authenticated, legalized and returned to you as quickly as possible.

You don't have to deal with any of the hassle and you don't have to worry about any mistakes or oversights.



  • Courier to Ottawa: CAD$30
  • Authentication and Legalization Service: $275
  • Courier to you: $30 (if in Canada - outside of Canada courier costs vary)
  • Total: $335 + HST


Immigroup Can Help. Call 1-866-760-2623 / 416-962-2623 or email us at [email protected]


Birt Certificate by Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

[Public Domain]

You must be in possession of the document you wish to get authenticated and/or legalized. If you do not have that document, you need to get it in order to have it authenticated. Let's assume you are authenticating your birth certificate for use in a foreign country in order to get married.

If you do not yet have your birth certificate, we will need to get your birth/marriage certificate first. If you have not yet acquired your certificate, you will need to acquire it from your provincial Vital Stastitics Office or Registrar General. Here is their information:


Service Alberta, Vital Statistics

PO Box 2023
Edmonton AB T5J 4W7

Telephone: (780) 427-7013
Telephone (Toll Free within AB): (780) 310-0000 followed by (780) 427-7013
Fax: (780) 401-4088
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/VitalStatistics.cfm


British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency

PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9P3

Telephone: (250) 952-2681
Fax: (250) 952-9074
Website: www.gov.bc.ca/vitalstatistics


Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency

254 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0B6

Telephone: (204) 945-3701
Telephone (Toll free): 1-866-949-9296
Fax: (204) 948-3128
Email: [email protected]
Website: vitalstats.gov.mb.ca


Service New Brunswick Vital Statistics

PO Box 1998
Fredericton NB E3B 5G4

Telephone: (506) 453-2385
Telephone (Toll free within N America): 1-888-762-8600
Fax: (506) 444-4139
Website: www.snb.ca/e/1000/1000-01/e/index-e.asp


Newfoundland and Labrador Vital Statistics Division

PO Box 8700
St. John's NL A1B 4J6

Telephone: (709) 729-3308
Fax: (709) 729-0946
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gs.gov.nl.ca/birth/index.html


Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services

Bag 9
Inuvik NT X0E 0T0

Telephone: (867) 777-7400
Telephone (Toll Free): 1-800-661-0830
Fax: (867) 777-3197
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.hss.gov.nt.ca/vital-statistics


Service Nova Scotia and Vital Statistics

PO Box 157
Halifax NS B3J 2M9

Telephone: (902) 424-4381
Telephone (Toll Free within NS): 1-877-848-2578
Fax: (902) 424-0678
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.novascotia.ca/sns/access/vitalstats.asp


Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services

Bag 003
Rankin Inlet NU X0C 0G0

Telephone: (867) 645-8001
Telephone (Toll Free within NU): 1-800-661-0833
Fax: (867) 645-8092
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gov.nu.ca/health/information/birth-certificate


Ontario Office of the Registrar General

PO Box 4600 189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay ON P7B 6L8

Telephone: (416) 325-8305
Telephone (Toll Free Outside Ontario): 1-800-461-2156
Fax: (807) 343-7459
Website: www.serviceontario.ca


Prince Edward IslandVital Statistics

126 Douses Road
Montague PE C0A 1R0

Telephone: (902) 838-0880
Telephone (Toll Free): 1-877-320-1253
Fax: (902) 838-0883
Website: www.gov.pe.ca/vitalstatistics/


Quebec - Vital Statistics Registrar of civil status / Le Directeur de l'État Civil

2535, boulevard Laurier
Québec QC G1V 5C5

Telephone: (418) 644-4545
Website: www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca/en/default.html


Quebec Institute of Statistics - Information and Documentation Centre

200, chemin Sainte-Foy, 3rd Floor
Québec QC G1R 5T4

Telephone: (418) 691-2401
Telephone (Toll free): 1-800-463-4090
Fax: (418) 643-4129
Website: www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/default_an.html


Saskatchewan Health Registries

2130 11th Avenue
Regina SK S4P 0J5

Telephone: (306) 787-3251
Telephone (Toll Free): 1-800-667-7551
Fax: (306) 787-8951
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.ehealthsask.ca/Pages/default.aspx


Yukon Territory Vital Statistics

PO Box 2703
Whitehorse YT Y1A 2C6

Telephone: (867) 667-5207
Telephone (Toll Free within Yukon): 1-800-661-0408
Fax: (867) 393-6486
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.hss.gov.yk.ca/programs/vitalstats


Once you have your birth certificate or other document, the next step is to have it authenticated in Ottawa.


In order to use your document in another country the first thing you need to do is to have your certificate "authenticated" by Global Affairs Canada.

Canadian birth, death and marriage certificates are issued by provincial authorities, not the federal government. The same is true of driver's licenses and provincial photo ID cards. These documents cannot be used as proofs of your identity or citizenship or marriage status or birth date in another country without being authenticated by the Government of Canada.

When Global Affairs Canada authenticates your document it is telling other countries that this document was issued by the relevant authority in Canada. For example, when they authenticate an Ontario birth certificate they are saying that this birth certificate was produced by Government of Ontario and proves the person named on the certificate was born in Ontario on the date listed at the place listed. Without authentication, the foreign government will have no idea whether or not your birth certificate (or other document is) is real ("authentic").

There are all sorts of documents you can get authenticated by Global Affairs:

  • Admission and acceptance letters
  • Adoption papers
  • Apprenticeship certificates
  • Background check
  • Birth certificate
  • Business documents
  • Burial permit
  • Canada Food Inspection Agency documents
  • Canada Revenue Agency documents
  • Canadian court documents
  • Canadian Issued documents in a foreign language
  • Canada Pension Plan certificate
  • Canadian university or college programs delivered abroad
  • Certificate of free sale
  • Certificates from coroner's office
  • Court judgment
  • Court order
  • Cremation documents
  • Criminal record check issued by RCMP HQ in Ottawa
  • Criminal record check not issued by the RCMP HQ in Ottawa
  • Death certificate
  • Diploma - elementary school, high school, college or university
  • Divorce certificate
  • Educational documents
  • Enrollment letter
  • Fingerprint certificate
  • Foreign Issued documents
  • Getting married abroad
  • Government-issued documents
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada documents
  • Industry Canada documents
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development  Canada documents
  • Language school certificates
  • Legal documents
  • Letter of contents
  • Marriage certificate
  • Marriage search documents
  • Medical documents
  • Name change certificate
  • Power of attorney
  • Professional certificates
  • Report cards
  • Security clearance
  • Shipment documents
  • Statement in Lieu of Certificate of non-impediment to marriage
  • Statements and declarations
  • Statutory declaration
  • TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language)
  • Transcript - high school, college or university

You can take your document(s) to Ottawa or you can get them authenticated by mail.


Authenticate in Person

In order to get your document(s) authenticated, you need to travel to Ottawa. Before you travel you should know the requirements for your next step with your authenticated document (usually legalization) so that you don't have go back.

Let's take the case of a birth certificate:

  • The birth certificate must have been issued by the provincial Vital Statistics Office or Registrar General. Religious birth certificates, such as one issued by a church, will be refused.
  • Global Affairs will authenticate either the original long form certificate or a certified copy of the wallet-sized ("short form") birth certificate. They will not authenticate an original short form birth certificate nor will they authenticate a copy of the long form which isn't certified.

Provided you have the right document, you can travel to the Global Affairs to authenticate the document:

JLAC- Authentication Services Section
1st floor (Look for the signs: “JLAC- Authentication Services Section”)
111 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1N 1J1

Hours: Monday-Thrusday 10AM-12PM and 2PM-3PM No appointment necessary

As you can seem, the hours are brief and there could be lines.

If you have fewer than 15 documents, the service is done while you wait unless they need more time to authenticate the document. This is the advantage of going in person: you can get your document authenticated in moments, provided you get there early enough or they're not that busy. However, the real reason to go in person is if the Embassy at which you intend to legalize the document only offers in-person service. (See below.)


Authenticate by Mail

Once you are ready to have your document(s) authenticated (see above), complete the following steps:

  1. Complete this form
  2. Send the form and the document(s) to the below address:

Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC) 
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON Canada K1A 0G2

You should use a mail or courier service which provides a tracking number. And you can check the status online. Your document will come back to you through the mail.

Now you have an authenticated document! Get it legalized.


What is Document Authentication?

Document Authentication is the process by which an employee of the Government of Canada “authenticates” or verifies that an official document was indeed produced in Canada by a Canadian federal, provincial or municipal government.

Canada is not a signatory of the Apostille Convention. The Apostille Convention is the international agreement for use of legal documents in other countries. 

Because Canada has not signed the Apostille Convention, Canadians cannot make use of the Apostille Convention process. Instead, Canadians must have their documents authenticated by our government. 

Do you want to know more about Apostille? Please let us know in the comments.


What Documents Do I Need to Get Authenticated?

This happens most commonly with provincial birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates but other documents can also be authenticated.

In most cases it’s birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates which are authenticated but other documents can also go through the same process  

In order for a document to be authenticated, the holder of the document must take the document to the appropriate office, the government official must analyze the document, verify that it is indeed real and official, and then officially declare it is “authentic”. The bearer is then presented with this declaration for use outside of Canada.

[photo of authenticated document here]

The provincial governments also offer authentication services, however many countries will not accept provincial government authentication, so please check with your local consulate or embassy to see what kind of authentication you are required to provide. If you are unsure, always use federal authentication.

For residents of Quebec: Quebec only authenticates educational records from Quebec.


Why Do I Need to Get My Documents Authenticated?

Warning: usually authentication is only the first half of the process.

Authentication verifies that your document(s) is from Canada. It does not in any way certify that it can be used in another country. That process is called Legalization

This guide is for Canadians. If you are an American reading this please note that the process for using a state-issued document in a foreign country which is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention (aside from Canada) is a three step process, not two:

  1. Authentication at the state level
  2. Authentication at the federal level
  3. Legalization by the foreign country at their Embassy or Consulate

If you are marrying in another country, you need to provide that country with proofs of your identity and citizenship. You may need to provide your birth certificate, or marriage certificate or divorce certificate, if applicable. (You may also need to provide a birth certificate if you are buying property in another country but are not yet a resident, for example.) 

But your Canadian documents are not automatically accepted in other countries. Other countries do not know what Canadian birth certificates are like, nor do they know what Canadian marriage or divorce certificates look like. 

In order to use your birth, marriage or divorce certificates in a foreign country, to get married for example, you need to have them authenticated by Canadian Authorities.

But that is just the first step.

So, how do you know if you need to get your documents authenticated?

  • If you are doing something in a foreign country for which you have to provide a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a divorce certificate (such as marriage) or a death certificate, you likely need to have your documents authenticated. Check the requirements for your country or contact the nearest Embassy or consulate.
  • Canada does not require the authentication of foreign documents, so if you are trying to use your foreign documents in Canada, they do not need to be authenticated first.

The following documents cannot be authenticated by the Government of Canada:

  • Photocopies
  • Documents produced by foreign governments
  • Documents whose origin cannot be verified
  • Religious documents (i.e. you cannot use a baptismal certificate in place of a birth certificate)
  • Documents from schools which the Government of Canada doesn’t recognize
  • Anything glued together
  • Anything laminated
  • Anything which cannot be stamped due to something on the document’s service
  • Any documents which the Government feels may be misleading, illegal or fraudulent.


1. Do I Need My Documents Authenticated?

The first step is to determine whether or not your documents need to be authenticated. The best way to do this is to contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to get married (or buy property, or what have you) and confirm that they do indeed require document authentication.

2. Provincial Vs. Federal Authentication

The second step is to determine whether or not the country you are travelling to accepts authentication from a Canadian province. If they do, that means you don’t have to send the documents all the way to Ottawa. 

The problem is that not all provinces authenticate everything. For example, Quebec only authenticates educational records.

Attention Residents of Quebec: Quebec only authenticates educational records from Quebec institutions.

And Yukon only authenticates lawyer and notary signatures and seals.

Given that most countries prefer authentication from Canada, anyway, it’s good to use the federal government’s athentication process. When in doubt, get your documents authenticated by the federal government.

3. Ensure the document can be authenticated

Most Canadians are just looking to authenticate birth or divorce certificates. But many documents can be authenticated. At the bottom of this guide, we have a list of everything that can be authenticated.


4. Ensure it’s an original document

The government will not authenticate copies, even certified true copies

The document must be original and it must be in acceptable condition. In order for the document to be acceptable, the person authenticating it must be able to identify:

  • The issuing authority (for example, the province which issued your birth certificate)
  • The person’s name (for a birth certificate, your name)
  • The date of issue
  • Any other information relevant to the document.


5. Have the document Notarized, if necessary


Birth certificates and other documents issued directly from the provincial Registrar or Vital Statistics Office do not need to be notarized.

But documents issued by other institutions or private companies must be notarized first. (See the list.)


6. How Much Does Authentication Cost?

The federal government of Canada does not charge a fee to authenticate your documents.

However, the provincial governments do charge fees:


Document type Fees payable in Canadian dollars only (all taxes exempted)
Notarized legal document $16
Commissioned legal document by a commissioner for taking affidavits $32
An Ontario government official document $32
A status of good standing for a notary public $16

Quebec: No fees?

BC: “There is a standard $30 fee for each document authentication. The fee includes return mail service delivery by regular Canada Post mail (no tracking). Receipt of payment will be included.

Alberta: “A certificate of authentication costs $10 per document. For example, a one-page document costs $10, and if the document has more than one page it is still $10.”

Manitoba: $12

Saskatchewan: “The fee for authentication is $50 per certificate package, to be paid by cheque, or money order made payable to the Minister of Finance. For credit card payment over the phone please include a note stating your name and phone number, indicating that is how you would like to pay. You will be contacted for payment once the documents are received and authenticated.

Nova Scotia: “The fee for authentication is $26.50 cash, cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance and must be paid before the authenticated document is delivered.  If you are paying by cash, you must provide the exact amount.  No change is provided.

New Brunswick: Unknown.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Unknown

Prince Edward Island: Free!!!

Northwest Territories: Uknown

Nunavut: Uknown

Yukon: Lawyers and Notaries signatures ONLY, no fees


7. Submit the Document for Authentication by the Government of Canada

Please note: In-person services are suspended during the 2020 pandemic.

You must include the following in your package:

  • The authentication request form
  • The original document, notarized if necessary
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope or pre-paid courier shipping label for the return of the document.

Mail or courier the package to:

Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Please make sure to request tracking when you send the package. (I.e. do not use regular mail!)

Yes, you can get your documents authenticated at the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate abroad. However, if you do this you need to be sure that the country allows legalization within their country and does not require legalization in Canada.

The government claims they will forward your documents to be legalized at the appropriate Embassy or Consulate.

8. Have Your Document Legalized

Remember, authentication is only part 1. Part 2 of this process is legalization.



However, authentication isn't normally good enough. All authentication does is indicate that the certificate or document is from a Canadian governmental authority. Canadian authorities are not necessarily recognized in other countries.

You need your document legalized as well.

Legalization is when another country indicates that they recognize that this document was issued by the relevant authority in Canada and it is now usable in their country. 

Normally, legalization services are performed at the relevant Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Some consulates in other Canadian cities may perform legalization services as well, but they will require the document be authenticated by Global Affairs already.

Directory of Embassies in Ottawa

The legalization process depends upon the Embassy. And each Embassy has different hours of operation. 

Some Embassies allow mail service and will even accept documents forwarded from Global Affairs.

However, some Embassies do not provide legalization services through the mail, meaning you have to go in person. You need to contact the relevant Embassy to see how they want you to deliver the document, or hire a third party.


What is Legalization?

Legalization is the process of a country’s government approving a foreign document for use in that country. It is usually necessary when the foreign country is not a signatory of the Apostille Convention, the international agreement on foreign documents.

Because Canada is not a signatory of the Apostille Convention, Canadian documents usually have to be authenticated then legalized (in that order) for use in another country.

Documents can be legalized by one of two offices:

  • The diplomatic mission (Embassy, Consulate, etc) of the country you need to use the document in (i.e the country you are marrying in)
  • A government office in the country you need the document for (i.e. the country you are marrying in).


Please note: Many countries require your document(s) to be legalized in Canada - that is they will not accept a Canadian document that has been authenticated by the Government of Canada but has not been authenticated by their Embassy or Consulate in Canada. 

What that means is that you could have to return to Canada to get your document legalized. So obviously you do not want to skip this step!


Do I Need My Document Legalized?

There are 193 countries in the world and, unfortunately, they all have slightly different rules. Because Canada hasn’t ratified the Apostille Convention (the international agreement on foreign documents) whether or not an authenticated Canadian document has to be legalized before it is used in a foreign country is entirely up to that country.

There are three cases. Here they are in order of difficulty for you:

  • The authenticated Canadian document does not need to be legalized for use in the other country;
  • The authenticated Canadian document must be legalized for use in the other country but it can be legalized at a diplomatic mission in Canada or in the other country;
  • The authenticated Canadian document must be legalized for use in the other country and can only be legalized by a diplomatic mission in Canada.

You need to be 100% sure which of these cases applies to your country before getting on the plane! The best way to be sure is to go to the website of the Embassy or Consulate of the foreign country you are travelling to and see what it says. If there is no information on the website, you must contact the diplomatic mission to find out.


Do Foreign Documents Need to be Legalized by a Canadian diplomatic mission for use in Canada?

No, the government of Canada does not require foreign documents to be either authenticated or legalized for use in Canada. However, some private organizations may require this.

1. Make Sure You Need to Have Your Documents Legalized

Legalization serves no point and wastes time if it’s not a requirement. Always check with the government of the country you are using the document in before applying for legalization.


2. Legalization at the Embassy vs the Consulate vs in the foreign Country

Many countries require legalization to occur in Canada. You should always check whether or not the foreign country will allow legalization once you’ve travelled there. Moreover, it may be better to legalize in Canada anyway as legalization services in the foreign country may be much slower than here.

If you are already abroad, Immigroup can help you legalize your document in Ottawa.

Every Embassy should provide legalization services if their country requires document legalization of Canadian documents. However, not all Consulates will provide legalization services and Honorary Consuls very likely will not.  (Think of the Embassy as the main office, a Consulate as a branch office - often a very small one - and a Honorary Consul as a travelling representative.) You should always confirm with a Consulate that it offers legalization services before sending your documents.


3. Ensure the Document is Authenticated by the Correct Government

Not all foreign Embassies will legalize documents authenticated by provincial governments. If your document is only authenticated by the province it was issued in, please check with the Embassy or Consulate to confirm this is acceptable for legalization purposes. If not, you will have to get the document authenticated by the federal government in Ottawa.

When in doubt use the federal government’s authentication process from the start.


4. Does Your Document Need to Be Translated First?

The next important step is that some governments want the authenticated Canadian documents to be translated into their national language before they will legalize them. However, this process is not true for each and every country which requires legalization. Some countries will legalize English- or French-language documents as is.

Always check with the Embassy or Consulate to see whether or not your documents need translating.

5. Certified Translations

If your authenticated document needs to be translated into a foreign language for use abroad, you will need to get that translation certified. This means that a certified translator attests that their translation is accurate. Major cities have many translators capable of performing this service. Google services in your city.


6. Have the Document Legalized

Every country’s process for legalization is different. Some only accept in-person submissions during consul services hours, some only accept mail, some only accept courier, some accept many forms of submission. Always check with the Embassy or Consulate as to the preferred submission process. 

⚠️Many if not most Embassies and Consulates will not offer in-person submissions during the pandemic.

If you are submitting the document by mail or by courier 

  • make sure you have a tracking number and 
  • a self-addressed, stamped envelope or prepaid courier waybill. Embassies and Consulates will never pay for your document to be sent back to you and will likely not bother to inform you that you failed to include payment. If you fail to pay for return service your document will likely sit at the Embassy or Consulate until you realize it’s been left there.
  • You must include payment or proof of payment as well.

The government of Canada claims to offer forwarding for legalization services. Here are the details: 

Upon request, Global Affairs can forward your authenticated documents to an embassy, high commission or consulate in Ottawa.

Note that due to the COVID-19 situation, some of those offices are temporarily closed, working at a reduced capacity or cannot receive mail. Therefore, before requesting us to forward your authenticated documents, check with them first to confirm that they are able to receive them.

If the office to which Global Affairs personnel were asked to forward the document is closed, unless otherwise specified they will hold on to your documents until they resume operations.

Here are the instructions:

  • Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in “Shipping details” (Section 2) in the mail-in form.
  • Provide the full mailing address
  • Include a separate, sealed envelope that contains:
    • payment (if required by the embassy, high commission or consulate)
    • photos
    • accompanying documents that you do not want us to authenticate.


  • Global Affairs Canada is not responsible for the loss of items sent to an embassy, high commission or consulate.
  • This service is only available if you mail in your documents.
  • Check with the embassy, high commission or consulate about their requirements to return the documents to you.
  • Do not send cash payments to be forwarded on to the embassy, high commission or consulate.
  • Failure to follow these instructions will result in your documents being returned to you without being authenticated.

Immigroup strongly suggests you submit the document yourself, or with a trusted service provider, as you will be relying on a government bureaucrat with no stake in your success to forward your document successfully


7. Travel to the Country

Once your document has been authenticated by the Canadian government and legalized by the country it is to be used in, you can travel to that country with the document.

However, please note that some countries will require additional document verification of the legalized and authenticated document once you are in that country. It depends upon two things:

  • The country you want to use the document in
  • The process you are participating in (marriage, home ownership, etc).

What Documents Can be Authenticated for Use Outside of Canada?

Please let us know if a link is not working below [email protected]

Adoption papers

Documents related to the adoption of a child must be notarized (see above).

Global Affairs authenticates documents such as:

  • adoption agreements
  • adoption certificates
  • adoption related forms

Apprenticeship and trade certificates

Apprenticeship and trade certificates must be notarized.

Bank documents

Bank documents must be notarized.

Global Affairs authenticates documents such as:

  • bank statements
  • financial records

Birth certificate

Birth certificates must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office (see above for the list). They do not need to be notarized.
Global Affairs cannot authenticate birth certificates that are:

  • notarized copies (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office)
  • issued by religious institutions
  • pocket-sized

Burial or cremation documents

Burial or cremation documents must be notarized. You must send a death certificate issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office with these documents. Global Affairs authenticates:

  • burial permits
  • cremation certificates
  • funeral home documents (see below for rules about death certificates)

Business or corporate records

Business or corporate records must be notarized.

Global Affairs authenticates documents such as:

  • commercial invoices
  • corporate bylaws
  • articles of incorporation
  • provincial business registration documents
  • letters of employment
  • letters of invitation
  • reference letters
  • packing slips

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) attestation or certificate

Canadian Food Inspection Agency attestation or certificates do not need to be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates:

  • export certificates
  • certified manufacturers’ declarations
  • certificates of free sale and health attestations
  • certificates issued by the CFIA

Canadian Intellectual Property Office certificates

Global Affairs authenticates certificates issued by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Certificates bearing the original signature or seal of a CIPO official do not need to be notarized. All others must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates documents such as:

  • trademark registration certificates
  • industrial design registration certificates
  • copyright registration certificates

Certificate of free sale

A certificate of free sale issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency can be authenticated as is. All others must be notarized.

Certificate of origin

A certificate of Origin issued by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa can be authenticated as is. All others must be notarized.

Citizenship certificate

Globa Affauirs authenticate citizenship certificates issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Citizenship certificates do not need to be notarized.

College or university diplomas

Global Affairs authenticates college and university diplomas issued in Canada by recognized post-secondary educational institutions. College and university diplomas do not need to be notarized. Diplomas in Latin or Greek do not require a certified translation.

College or university transcript

Global Affairs authenticates academic transcripts issued by recognized Canadian post-secondary educational institutions. Academic transcripts that are signed by the registrar do not need to be notarized.

Coroner’s certificate

Coroners’ certificates must be notarized. You must send a death certificate issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office (see the list above) with these documents.

Corporations Canada documents

Documents issued by Corporations Canada bearing an original signature or seal do not need to be notarized.
If your Corporations Canada certificate does not have an original signature or seal, it must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates:

  • federal incorporation certificates
  • certificates of compliance
  • certificates of existences
  • certificates of continuances

Course certificate

Global Affairs only authenticates course certificates issued by recognized educational institutions in Canada. These institutions must be recognized by a provincial or territorial ministry of education. Course certificates must be notarized.

Court documents

Court orders or judgments that bear the original seal, signature and printed name of a judge, registrar, or clerk of the court in Canada do not need to be notarized. Other court documents must be notarized.

Criminal record check

Documents issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) headquarters in Ottawa do not need to be notarized as long as:

  • they are signed by the Director General of the Canadian Criminal Real Time/Identification Services, and
  • they contain the official RCMP dry seal.

Death certificate

Death certificates must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office (see above for the list). They do not need to be notarized. Global Affairs cannot authenticate death certificates that are:

  • notarized copies (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office.)
  • issued by religious institutions
  • issued by funeral homes

Delivery verification certificate

Global Affairs authenticates delivery verification certificates issued by the Government of Canada. Delivery verification certificates do not need to be notarized. A delivery verification certificate confirms that imported goods or technology have been delivered to the consignee.

Divorce certificate

Canadian divorce certificates that are signed by a clerk of the court do not need to be notarized. A divorce certificate proves that the people named are legally divorced and are free to remarry. There is normally a waiting period between the time a divorce order is granted and the issuance of a divorce certificate.

Domestic partnership certificate

Domestic partnership certificates must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. They do not need to be notarized. Global Affairs cannot authenticate notarized copies of domestic partnership certificates. If you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office.

Elementary or high school diplomas

Global Affairs only authenticates diplomas issued by recognized elementary or high schools in Canada. These schools must be recognized by a provincial or territorial ministry of education. Elementary and high school diplomas must be notarized.

Elementary or high school report card or transcript

Educational documents must be issued by educational institutions recognized by a Canadian provincial or territorial ministry of education. Your report card or transcript must be notarized.

Export permit

Export permits issued by the Government of Canada do not need to be notarized.

Federal legislation

Certified copies of federal laws and regulations that have been signed by the clerk of the parliaments do not need to be notarized. They can be requested from the Senate of Canada. All other copies of laws and regulations must be notarized.

Foreign documents (Non-Canadian documents)

In most cases, you do not need to have your foreign public documents authenticated to use them in Canada. Global Affairs can authenticate the signatures of foreign diplomatic or consular officers in Canada. Global Affairs cannot authenticate your foreign public document (for example, birth certificate, court order, diploma) if it has not been signed by a foreign diplomatic or consular officer in Canada. The country that issued the documents must authenticate them. This is true even if:

  • the documents have been notarized in Canada
  • a Canadian authority requests the documents

Health Canada licenses

Global Affairs authenticate licenses issued by Health Canada (for example, product license or establishment license). Health Canada certificates with an original signature or seal do not need to be notarized. If your Health Canada license does not have an original signature or seal, it must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates licences such as:

  • drug establishment licenses
  • medical device licenses

Identity documents

The certified copy of your identity documents must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates certified copies of Canadian identity documents (for example, driver’s licenses or passports).

International import certificate

International import certificates issued by the Government of Canada do not need to be notarized. An international import certificate recognizes that the Government of Canada is aware of the proposed import of specific goods to Canada.

Language school certificate

Global Affairs only authenticates language school certificates issued by recognized institutions in Canada. A recognized institution is accredited by:

  • Languages Canada
  • TESL Canada
  • TESL Ontario

Language school certificates from recognized institutions must be notarized.

Letters provided by an educational institution

Global Affairs only authenticates letters from schools recognized by a provincial or territorial ministry of education. Letters issued by an educational institution must be notarized. Global affairs authenticates:

  • acceptance letters
  • enrollment letters
  • admission letters
  • confirmations of registration
  • records of attendance

Marriage certificate

Marriage certificates must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. They do not need to be notarized.

Global Affairs cannot authenticate marriage certificates that are:

  • notarized copies (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office.)
  • issued by religious institutions

Marriage search letter

Global Affairs can only authenticate marriage search letters issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. Marriage search letters bearing the original signature or seal of the appropriate vital statistics registrar do not need to be notarized. Otherwise, they need to be notarized. Make sure you have everything you need if you are getting married outside Canada.

Medical documents

Medical documents must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates medical documents such as:

  • medical certificates
  • doctor’s notes
  • prescriptions

Name change certificate

Global Affairs authenticates name change certificates issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. They do not need to be notarized. Global Affairs are unable to authenticate notarized copies. If you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office.

Other government documents

Documents issued by the Government of Canada, or by the government of any Canadian province or territory, that are not listed on this page must be notarized. Examples of Government of Canada documents that must be notarized include:

  • Canada Revenue Agency documents
  • Service Canada documents
  • certificate of coverage
  • Canada Pension Plan certificate
  • documents from other federal departments and agencies

Private legal documents

Private legal documents must be notarized. Global Affairs authenticates private legal documents such as:

  • wills
  • powers of attorney
  • oaths and affirmations
  • affidavits (for example, single status affidavits)
  • statutory declarations

Professional certificate

Certificates of standing (or certificates of good standing) do not need to be notarized if they are issued by the:

  • Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia
  • Chambre des Notaires of Quebec
  • law societies of any Canadian province or territory

All other professional certificates must be notarized.

Record of employment

Global Affairs authenticates records of employment issued in accordance with Service Canada guidelines. Records of employment must be notarized.

Request for international judicial assistance

Global Affairs authenticates letters of request for international judicial assistance. Requests signed by a judge or clerk of the court do not need to be notarized. An international judicial assistance request (or a mutual legal assistance request or letters rogatory) is a letter from a Canadian court seeking help from foreign judicial authorities in connection with a legal proceeding.

Shipment document

Shipment documents (or letter of contents) must be notarized. If your documents are for the transport of human remains, you must send a death certificate with them. The death certificate must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office.