Death Certificate Authentication & Legalization
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Death Certificate Authentication in Canada
Most foreign countries will not accept a Canadian death certificate if it has not been authenticated. Authentication confirms the authenticity of a document. Each country has its own practices when it comes to recognizing documents, so some may ask for an apostille, while others may ask for attestation or legalization.
This guide provides information on the Canadian authentication process, with a step-by-step overview of how you can prepare a death certificate for use abroad.
Death Certificate Authentication Canada: The Process
Authenticating a death certificate is a three-step process:
- Document Preparation
Let’s go into each of these in more detail:
1- How to prepare a Canadian Death Certificate for Authentication
You should check with the final recipient of the death certificate what is exactly required, including if they require a translation and the accepted death certificate format.
You can then order a death certificate online by submitting a request on the website of your Province or Territory. More information on how to order a death certificate is available in the Q&A below.
There is no need to notarize the death certificate before submitting it to Global Affairs Canada for step two.
2- How to submit a death certificate Canada for authentication
The next step is authentication at Global Affairs Canada Ottawa. Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate a death certificate that:
- Is not an original
- Is a notarized copy (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office)
- Has a signature that’s not verifiable (this shouldn’t be the case if you order your death certificate directly from your province)
- Is pocket-sized
- Has been issued by a religious institution
- Has been issued by a funeral home
- Is glued or laminated
- Is covered by any substance that makes it difficult to stamp
Once you have your document ready, you can submit it to Global Affairs Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person authentication services are currently unavailable.
You can send your documents by mail instead, and include:
- The authentication request form
- The document you need to be authenticated
- A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label
- Send your documents to the Global Affairs Canada address:
Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
In case of any questions, you can also call the Global Affairs Canada authentication services phone number: 1-833-928-1551
3- How to request legalization of a Canadian death certificate
The final step is to obtain a legalization stamp from the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your document. So, for example, if you need to use your document in Italy, you must get in touch with the Italian embassy to legalize your document, before you can use it successfully in Italy.
A number of embassies ask for supporting documents to process your request. These may include a cover letter, an application form, a copy of your ID or passport, and, in some cases, also a translation.
While completing Step 2 (Authentication) you have the option to ask Global Affairs Canada to forward your documents to an Embassy or consulate in Ottawa on your behalf, for them to complete the legalization step. To do this:
- Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in the “Shipping Details” section of the mail-in form
- Provide the embassy or consulate’s full mailing address
- Include a separate, sealed envelope with documents for the embassy
If you choose this option, get in touch with the Embassy or Consulate before you mail your documents to Global Affairs Canada. Failure to follow Global Affairs Canada’s or the Embassy’s instructions may result in your documents being returned to you without having been legalized.
To expedite the process, you can order a death certificate and have it sent directly to us at Document Authentication Canada. We can then complete the entire authentication and legalization process for you, saving you time and money.
Our simple 4-step process helps you authenticate and legalize your Canadian documents in a fast & easy manner.
Start by calling us at 1-855-700-5840 or requesting a quote online. We’ll get back to you in 1 hour.
Not sure if your documents meet the requirements for authentication and legalisation? 👇
Reach out to our experts and receive a Free Document Evaluation.
Once you receive a quote and select a time frame that works best for you. We'll provide you with a final price and help you prepare your documents. When your ready ship your documents to our office in Ottawa: 1103-467 Laurier West, Avenue Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 5C7.
We recommend that you use a secure, prepaid and tracked courier service for sending your documents.
Have any questions? Feel free to call us at 1-855-700-5840
After receiving your documents we will take care of the rest. We will make sure your documents get authenticated and legalized within your requested time frame.
Want to stay updated throughout the whole process?
Check out Document Authentication Canada's Document Tracking System.
…and that’s it! After completing the document authentication and legalization process, we will send your documents using the shipping method of your choice.
Remember: With Document Authentication Canada you only pay at the end, once your documents have been completely authenticated and legalized.
Common Questions about Death Certificate Authentication and Legalization
What does it mean to authenticate a document?
Authenticating a document means preparing it to be recognized abroad. Authentication and legalization prove that the signature and the seal on your document are genuine.
Since it’s difficult for countries to prove that a document issued in a foreign country is genuine, there is a process that involves both the country that issued the document and the country where the document will be used.
In Canada, this process is called authentication and legalization.
Which death-related documents can Global Affairs Canada authenticate?
Global Affairs Canada can authenticate the following documents:
- Burial permits, cremation certificates, and funeral home documents: these must be notarized and accompanied by a death certificate issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office.
- Coroner’s certificate: this must be notarized and accompanied by a death certificate issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office
- Death certificate: issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. There is no need to notarize a death certificate.
- Shipment of remains document: this must be notarized and accompanied by a death certificate issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office.
How long does it take to legalize a death certificate?
Global Affairs Canada’s current processing time is 15 days, but this excludes mailing time, and the time it takes for the Embassy or consulate to complete the legalization step. The whole process can easily take from 4 to 6 weeks, more if you do not submit the correct documents.
If you don’t have all this time available, you can choose to outsource the process to experts who can navigate all steps accurately and efficiently. At Document Authentication Canada, we can get a death certificate authenticated, legalized and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days. Get in touch with us for a free quote!
How much does it cost to authenticate my Canadian death certificate?
Can I get a death certificate apostille (or attestation) for my Canadian death certificate?
No. It could be that you’ve been asked to present an attestation or a death certificate apostille. Countries have different ways of referring to authentication requirements, but the process in Canada is called authentication and legalization.
So, if Italy asks for an apostille or Qatar asks for attestation, the Canada-Italy, and the Canada-Qatar process is actually authentication and legalization.
Attestation is the term commonly used in the Middle East, whereas only countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention can issue and recognize apostilles.
Since Canada did not sign the Convention, you cannot get a Canada apostille, but you can get your documents authenticated and legalized and that’s an accepted equivalent
Do I need to translate my Canadian death certificate for authentication?
You do not need to translate your Canadian death certificate for it to be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada as they accept documents in English and French.
However, you should check with the entity abroad where you will be using your documents, to see what their requirements are. To complete the legalization step of the process, you should also consult that country’s Embassy or Consulate for language requirements at their end.
Can I legalize a copy of a death certificate instead of the original?
No, even if you notarize the copy. Global Affairs Canada only accepts original death certificates issued by vital statistics offices for authentication. You can find more information on how to get a new death certificate in the section below.
In rare cases, you can obtain a provincial authentication instead of an authentication at Global Affairs Canada. If the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using the death certificate accepts the provincial authentication, then you can process a notarized copy. This is the exception rather than the rule so make sure to check with the Embassy and the final recipient to avoid delays and unnecessary expenses.
How can I certify a death certificate?
Where can I authenticate my documents in Canada?
What types of Canadian birth certificates are there?
How can I order a Canadian death certificate?
You can order a new death certificate using the respective Canadian Province’s or Territory’s online service:
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
You can order a Death Certificate, a Photocopy of a Registration of Death, or a Photocopy of a Medical Certificate of Death.
Can you order a death certificate on my behalf?
Quick Canada Death Certificate Authentication
This guide has provided all you should know about ordering a death certificate in Canada and then getting it authenticated and legalized, ready for use abroad.
Preparing the death certificate and then submitting it to Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy or consulate concerned can be a complicated and lengthy process. There are multiple entities involved, as well as specific procedures to follow.
At Document Authentication Canada, we help facilitate the legalization of death certificates and other documents in Canada. We navigate through the bureaucracy on your behalf so that you avoid unnecessary delays. Get in touch with our expert team on 1-855-700-5840 to request a quote and a free document evaluation.
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