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Insertion of an act made outside Québec into the Québec register of civil status

Insertion into the Québec register of civil status

Act of civil status made outside Québec

A person may apply to the Directeur de l'état civil for insertion into the Québec register of civil status of an act regarding a civil status event that took place outside Québec. The Directeur de l'état civil is the only public officer in Québec authorized to insert an act of civil status into the Québec register of civil status, and the Directeur can do so solely on the condition that the act concerns a person domiciled in Québec.

An act of civil status made outside Québec by a competent authority is a document to which the Civil Code of Québec grants semi-authentic legal status. After being inserted into the register, it is still a semi-authentic act. However, the act becomes authentic if its validity is recognized by a Québec court.

You may apply for insertion into the Québec register of civil status of an act of civil status made outside Québec for the following events:

  • a birth;
  • a marriage;
  • a civil union, if the legal definition of civil union at the place where the union took place is the same as that in Québec;
  • a death.

After receiving confirmation of the insertion of the act, you will be able to apply for a certificate or copy of an act.

Juridical act made outside Québec

A person may ask the Directeur de l'état civil to insert into the register of civil status a juridical act made outside Québec that amends or replaces an act of civil status already inserted into the register, for example, a divorce judgment, a judgment for annulment of marriage or a judgment of adoption. An indication may then be added to the act concerned. For more information on juridical acts made outside Québec that can be inserted into the register, please contact us.

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Who can apply?

For insertion of an act of birth, a person may apply on his or her own behalf or on behalf of his or her child.

For insertion of an act of marriage or civil union, the applicant may be one of the spouses.

For insertion of an act of death, the applicant may be the spouse, one of the parents of the deceased or any other person whose interest can be established.

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Establishing the applicant’s identity

Security measures are enforced to ensure that the person who applies for insertion into the Québec register of civil status of an act of civil status made outside Québec is authorized to do so. To that end, we require that every applicant (person making the application) include with the application two different documents issued by two separate bodies so that his or her identity can be established. You must therefore attach to your application:

  • a valid photo ID;
  • a valid proof of home address.

Important

For a list of the documents accepted, see the general information and instructions on the Application for Insertion of an Act of Civil Status Made Outside Québec into the Québec Register of Civil Status (PDF , 51,3 Ko) This link opens a new window.

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How to apply for insertion

To apply for an insertion, you must fill out the Application for Insertion of an Act of Civil Status Made Outside Québec into the Québec Register of Civil Status (PDF , 52,6 Ko) This link opens a new window. form. The form is available at our service counters or by contacting us. The form is also available on our website in PDF format.

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Documents required to be included with the application

Important

If you cannot supply an original document as required, the Directeur de l'état civil cannot process your application for insertion. You can then consult a legal adviser, who will be able to recommend the appropriate course of action for your situation.

If the act of civil status or the judgment to be inserted is in a language other than French or English, you must include an original French translation rendered or authenticated by a member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ) This link opens a new window..

For the insertion of an act of birth, the following documents must be included with the application:

  • the original document certifying the birth issued by the officer of civil status of the country or province in which the birth took place (original of a copy of an act of birth or birth certificate or any other equivalent document certified to be a true copy);
  • a photocopy of a valid photo ID of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of home address of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of domicile in Québec of the person concerned by the act to be inserted if that person is not the applicant.

For the insertion of an act of marriage or civil union, the following documents must be included with the application:

  • the original document certifying the marriage or civil union issued by the officer of civil status of the country or province in which the marriage or civil union took place (original copy of an act or certificate of marriage or civil union or any other equivalent document certified to be a true copy);
  • a certified true copy issued by a Court office regarding a previous divorce judgment or an annulment of marriage or dissolution of civil union, if applicable;
  • the original documents certifying the births of the spouses issued by the officers of civil status of the countries or provinces in which the births took place, if the spouses were born outside Québec (original copies of the acts of birth or birth certificates or any other equivalent documents certified to be true copies);
  • a photocopy of a valid photo ID of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of home address of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of domicile in Québec of the person concerned by the act to be inserted if that person is not the applicant.

For the insertion of an act of death, the following documents must be included with the application:

  • the original document certifying the death issued by the officer of civil status of the country or province in which the death took place (original copy of an act of death or death certificate or any other equivalent document certified to be a true copy);
  • the original document certifying the marriage or civil union issued by the officer of civil status of the country or province in which the marriage or civil union took place (original copy of an act or certificate of marriage or civil union or any other equivalent document certified to be a true copy), if applicable;
  • a certified true copy issued by a Court office regarding a previous divorce judgment or an annulment of marriage or dissolution of civil union, if applicable;
  • the original documents certifying the births of the spouses issued by the officer of civil status of the country or province in which the births took place, if the deceased and his or her spouse were born outside Québec (original copies of the acts of birth or birth certificates or any other equivalent documents certified to be true copies);
  • a photocopy of a valid photo ID of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of home address of the applicant;
  • a photocopy of a proof of domicile in Québec of the person concerned by the act to be inserted.

Original documents

The Directeur de l'état civil keeps the original copies of acts, certificates or equivalent certified true documents and the original French translations thereof, if applicable, for deposit in the register. All other original documents will be returned to you.

Validity of documents

The Directeur de l'état civil may require the applicant to prove that the original document is valid and was issued by the competent authority of the province or country in which it was drawn up.

The Directeur de l'état civil cannot insert an act into the register if there are doubts as to its validity.

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Documents that can be issued regarding an act

Once an act made outside Québec is inserted into the register, any authorized person may obtain a certificate or a copy of an act according to what is available for the event in question. The document issued will bear an indication concerning the semi-authentic nature of the act. Such a document has legal value and can facilitate your steps with Québec government bodies or departments.

The documents that may be issued are the following:

  • for a birth: the long-form birth certificate;
  • for a marriage or civil union: the certificate and the copy of the act of marriage or civil union;
  • for a death: the death certificate and the copy of the act of death.

Before requesting a certificate or a copy of an act, it is your responsibility to make sure that a semi-authentic act will be accepted by the agency to which you must submit it.

For information on the certificate and the copy of an act, see the section entitled Certificate and copy of an act.

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Processing fees and turnaround

There are no charges to examine an application and insert an act of civil status made outside Québec into the register of civil status.

The processing time for an application for insertion of an act varies according to the nature and complexity of the case.

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Decision of the Directeur de l'état civil

The Directeur de l'état civil examines each application received. Following examination, the Directeur renders a written and substantiated decision.

In cases where there is any doubt as to the validity of the document and the Directeur refuses to insert the act into the register, the applicant may file a motion with a Québec court to have the Directeur recognize the validity of the document.

If the court's judgment upholds the validity of the act, it may be inserted into the Québec register of civil status. After it is inserted, it becomes an authentic document.

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Reviewed: 2011-05-19

Website of Québec.

© Gouvernement du Québec, 2016

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