Official Languages in Signatures

These technical specifications (T-125) set out the requirements for determining the order of precedence for official languages in signatures. They reflect the principles and requirements of the Official Languages Act and Treasury Board official languages policies.

Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator who can provide advice and guidance.

Requirements

  1. The two official languages are presented in a side-by-side bilingual format in all signatures, with equal prominence, using the same colour, style, size and weight of type.
  2. The order of the official languages in the signature is determined by the language of the content of the product or by the location of the item, and is presented as follows:
    1. English appears to the left of French in signatures when:
      • the content of the item is English only
      • the content of the item is in a bilingual side-by-side format with English to the left of French
      • the office issuing the item is located outside the province of Quebec
      • the signature identifies the English portion of an item produced in a the bilingual tumble format
      • the item is intended for national or government-wide use and distribution
      • the item is located (i.e. signage) or operates (i.e. motor vehicles, uniform markings) outside of the province of Quebec
      • the content is in a language other than English or French
      • the item is developed for use in another country and the language of the country's permanent mission is designated as English by the Protocol and Liaison Service of the United Nations
    2. French appears to the left of English in signatures when:
      • the content of the item is French only
      • the content of the item in a bilingual side-by-side format with French to the left of English
      • the office issuing the item is located in the province of Quebec
      • the signature identifies the French portion of an item produced in a bilingual tumble format
      • the content of the item is of particular importance to the Francophone community (e.g. Jeux de la Francophonie)
      • the item is located (i.e. signage) or operates (i.e. motor vehicles, uniform markings) in the province of Quebec
      • the item is developed for use in another country whose permanent mission is designated as French under the UN Protocol and Liaison Service's Bluebook
    3. National Capital Region
      • For motor vehicles and personnel uniforms used within the National Capital Region, the order of official languages on opposing vehicles doors and uniform shoulder flashes may be alternated.
  3. The order of official languages in the signature is determined by the head of communications if there are several conflicting requirements in a given situation.

Related information

Note: If there is a discrepancy between an official Treasury Board policy instrument and information on this Web page, the Treasury Board policy or standard prevails.

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