Documents we accept as proof of citizenship

If you need to prove your Canadian citizenship, you can apply for a citizenship certificate if you:

  • are a Canadian citizen who was born outside Canada
  • were born in Canada and need proof besides your Canadian provincial or territorial birth certificate 

We have stopped issuing citizenship cards

We no longer give out citizenship cards or the commemorative certificates that came with them. If you apply to update or replace your citizenship card, we will send you a citizenship certificate.

The citizenship certificate

A Canadian citizenship certificate is an 8½ x 11-inch paper document. It has:

  • the certificate number
  • your Unique Client Identifier
  • your family name and given name(s)
  • your date of birth
  • your sex
  • the effective date of citizenship

Example of the citizenship certificate

During 2017, we will give out a special citizenship certificate to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Example of the new citizenship certificate (front, back)

Older citizenship certificates

We gave out different certificates in the past. These older citizenship certificates are still valid as proof of Canadian citizenship.

Example of an older certificate (front, back)
Example of an older certificate (front, back)

Citizenship cards and commemorative certificates

Before February 2012, we gave out plastic wallet-sized cards and commemorative certificates. These cards are still valid as proof of Canadian citizenship. The date on your citizenship card is not the date you became a Canadian citizen. It is the date we produced the card.

Example of an older citizenship card

The commemorative certificates are not proof of Canadian citizenship, even though they have the date you became a Canadian citizen on them.

Other documents we accept as proof of citizenship

Other documents we accept as proof of citizenship include:

  • birth certificates from a Canadian province or territory
  • naturalization certificates issued before January 1, 1947
  • registration of birth abroad certificates issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977
  • certificates of retention issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977

Be aware

You may not use a birth certificate as proof of citizenship in certain circumstances, such as:

  • neither of your parents were Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • either of your parents were:
    • a diplomat or a consular officer of a foreign government (or an employee of these persons)
    • an employee or other representative of a foreign government (or an employee of these persons)
    • an officer or an employee of a specialized agency of the United Nations
    • an officer or an employee of any other international organization with diplomatic privileges and immunities

Birth certificates labelled DND 419, issued by the Department of National Defence to children born outside Canada to Canadian Forces personnel before November 1979, are not accepted as proof of citizenship. If you have a DND 419, the only way to confirm your citizenship status is to apply for a citizenship certificate.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: