Registering and choosing a name for your child
Entering your child’s birth in the Québec register of civil status
Directeur de l’état civil
Within 30 days following the birth of your child, it must be declared to the Directeur de l’état civil. A declaration of birth transmitted after that deadline entails payment of the applicable fees.
The declaration is used to establish your child’s act of birth, an important document. In addition to establishing your child’s identity by the last name and given names, the act of birth also establishes his or her filiation (parentage) and is a recognized proof of citizenship.
Without the act of birth, you will not be able to obtain a health insurance card, a social insurance number, or a passport, for example. The act of birth is also a proof of eligibility for government programs and social benefits.
Attestation of birth
The Constat de naissance (attestation of birth) form is signed by the physician or midwife who assisted the mother during delivery. It contains the date, time, and place of birth, as well as the sex of the child and the mother’s name and address. The staff at the health institution or birth centre will provide you as parents of the child with a copy of the attestation and send the original to the Directeur de l’état civil.
Declaration of birth
The information collected on the declaration is used to enter the child’s birth in the Québec register of civil status and to establish the child’s identity and filiation on a legal basis. It is important to make sure that the information contained in the attestation of birth has been entered on the declaration of birth, and you must add, among other things, the last name and given names of your child, the type of union you are in, and your addresses.
If you are not married, in a civil union or in a de facto union at the time of the birth, both of you must fill out and sign the declaration of birth. If you are married or in a civil union, either of you may complete and sign the declaration of birth. If you are in a de facto union, again either of you may complete and sign the declaration of birth. However, certain documents proving that the child was born during the de facto union or within 300 days following the end of the de facto union are required. For more details about this matter, please contact the Directeur de l’état civil..
However, in order to establish the filiation of the other parent with the child, the parent who declares the birth must enter all of the information concerning the child’s other parent. Once the declaration of birth is signed and dated by the Directeur de l’état civil, it becomes the child’s official act of birth.
You have two options for declaring the birth of your child:
- using the online Electronic Declaration of Birth
- completing the paper Declaration of Birth form.
Using the electronic declaration of birth offers a number of advantages. It is easier to fill out, reduces the risk of making a mistake or losing the document, helps accelerate the processing of your application, and offers the possibility to order a certificate or a copy of the act of birth at a reduced rate. To find out more about this service, visit the Directeur de l’état civil website at www.dec.gouv.qc.ca/DeclarationNaissance.
If you choose to use the paper declaration of birth, it will be provided by the staff at the health institution or birth centre. It is preferable to return the completed and signed declaration to the staff at the health institution or birth centre before you leave.
Make your life easier!
Don’t forget to fill out the Application for Simplified Access to Birth-related Government Programs and Services, which facilitates access to the government programs and services that are available to you as a new parent. This form is enclosed with the paper Declaration of Birth form and is included in the online service.
This form will enable the Directeur de l’état civil to communicate information relating to the birth of your child to the following organizations. Therefore, you will not have to provide the certificate of birth as proof of birth:
- Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
- Ministère de l'Éducation (for the assignment of a permanent code)
- Retraite Québec (for the Family Allowance measure)
- Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (for the Québec Parental Insurance Plan)
- Direction des affaires autochtones of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
- Canada Revenue Agency
- Service Canada
- Indigenous Services Canada
Confirmation of registration
The Directeur de l’état civil will send you a letter confirming that the birth of your child has been entered in the Québec register of civil status. You must verify that the information about your child and the birth is the same as that on the declaration of birth. Promptly inform the Directeur de l’état civil of any error.
Obtaining a certificate of birth
You can obtain a certificate or a copy of the act of birth in your child’s name from the Directeur de l’état civil in one of the following ways:
- By using the Electronic Declaration of Birth online service when declaring the birth of your child
- By using the DEClic! online service
- By filling out the Application for a Certificate or Copy of an Act of Birth, available on the Directeur de l’état civil website and at all Services Québec offices that offer Directeur de l’état civil services.
If you use the Directeur de l’état civil online services, you will obtain your documents at a reduced rate while avoiding mail delivery delays.
Choosing a given name and a last name
Directeur de l’état civil
You can choose to give your child one or several given names and a single or compound last name. It is recommended to limit the number of given names to four. As a matter of fact, as of June 8, 2023, parents will be required to limit the number of given names to four.
It is recommended to limit the number of given names to four. Make sure to enter your child’s usual given name (the one used on a daily basis) in the proper box on the declaration of birth. It is preferable to join the two parts of a compound name by a hyphen. Your child’s last name may be single or compound derived from no more than two parts that come from the parents’ last names.
For more information on entering your child’s birth in the Québec register of civil status or on choosing a last name and a given name, contact the Directeur de l’état civil.
Québec area: 418-644-4545
Montréal area: 514-644-4545
Elsewhere in Québec: 1-877-644-4545
Health insurance card and registration for prescription drug insurance
Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
Getting a health insurance card
When the declaration of birth is forwarded to the Directeur de l’état civil, the latter provides the relevant information to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.
If both parents are eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan when the child is born, you do not have to take any steps with the Régie to obtain a health insurance card for your child. After making sure that your child meets the eligibility requirements of the Québec Health Insurance Plan, the Régie will send you your child’s first health insurance card within 10 working days following receipt of a completed application.
Children under 1 year of age who have not yet received their health insurance card are still entitled to receive healthcare services covered by the plan. However, the physician will probably ask for a health insurance card from one of the parents.
If neither parent is eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan when the child is born, the Régie will contact you in writing in order to request the documents needed to register your child. That correspondence will include a certificate of temporary registration, which is the equivalent of a health insurance card and valid for period of 45 days. The certificate of temporary registration will permit you to obtain health services for your child free-of-charge until the registration process is completed.
Child adopted or born outside Québec
To register a child adopted or born outside Québec for the Health Insurance Plan, contact the Régie.
Registering for the prescription drug insurance plan
Once it has been determined that your child meets the eligibility requirements of the Health Insurance Plan, you must ensure that the child is covered by a prescription drug insurance plan. If you live in Québec on a permanent basis and either you or the other parent is eligible for a private group insurance plan that covers prescription drugs, you are obligated to extend that coverage to your child. Please contact your insurer to ensure coverage.
However, if you and the other parent are registered with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan administered by the Régie, your child will be registered automatically under the plan.
With a few exceptions, if you are staying in Québec temporarily, you are not entitled to coverage under the public prescription drug insurance plan; however, your child is. Your child will therefore be registered automatically for the plan administered by the Régie. If you are covered for prescription drugs under a private group insurance plan and choose to extend that coverage to your child, you must contact the Régie in order to withdraw him or her from the public plan.
For more information, contact the Régie.
Québec area: 418-646-4636
Montréal area: 514-864-3411
Elsewhere in Québec: 1-800-561-9749