How to register the birth of a child born in British Columbia
Our Electronic Birth Registration service makes it quick and easy to register your child's birth details and legal name, and at the same time apply for a birth certificate, Social Insurance Number, Canada Child Benefits, and Medical Services Plan.
Who should register my child's birth online?
If the mother and father are both being recorded on the birth registration, then both must be present at the computer. If the father
is not being recorded on the registration, the mother may complete the registration on her own. If the father is deceased or not
present in the country, contact Vital Statistics to discuss options.
When is it necessary to submit a paper birth registration?
- Your child is over one year old.
- You do not have access to a computer or the internet.
- You are the father or a third party registering a child because the mother is incapable.
- Your child was born as the result of assisted reproduction or a surrogacy arrangement.
Can I list a parent other than the father?
If the birth of your child was the result of assisted reproduction, it may be possible to record another parent; however, you will
not be able to register your baby's birth online. If this is applicable to your situation, please contact the Vital Statistics Agency
to obtain a paper birth registration form.
You will need the following before you begin to register your child's birth:
- The date of the child's birth.
- The child's first, middle (if applicable), and last names.
- The name of the hospital or other place in BC where the birth took place.
- The birth mother's maiden surname and Personal Health Number.
- The father's information if he is to be included on the registration.
Naming your child
A child must have a given name (first name) and a surname (family name/last name), and may also have one or more middle names.
The child's surname can be one of the parent's surname, or a different surname. The surname can be hyphenated or combined with both parents' surnames, but cannot be more than two surnames combined together.
Valid names may only consist of roman alphabetic letters, apostrophes, hyphens and a standard set of French accents. Numbers, Brackets (), slashes / or other symbols are not accepted.
The accepted standard set of French accents is as follows:
When considering very long names, you should know that there is a limit to how many characters we can fit on a parental birth
certificate. For children with very long names, we will provide two documents in place of the parental birth certificate.
- An Individual Birth Certificate listing your child's name but not the name of the parent(s).
- A birth extract which provides parental information.
You would need to present both of these documents for any applications that require a parental birth certificate. For example, Passport Canada would require both documents.
What do you mean by maiden surname?
The mother's maiden surname is the last name on her birth certificate, or, if a legal change of name is completed, the last name on
her change of name certificate. In Canada, the mother's maiden surname is always listed on the child's birth registration and the
parental birth certificate, even if she is married.
How do I contact the Vital Statistics Agency?
For additional information call 250-952-2681 in Victoria or 1-888-876-1633 elsewhere in B.C.