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British Columbia Vital Records - Birth Marriage Death Divorce Adoption - Genealogy Search British Columbia, Canada Vital Records

Government registration of births, marriages and deaths in British Columbia began in 1872, although those for the earlier years are not complete. There are also a few baptismal records as early as 1849. 

Birth | Death | Marriage | Adoption

Address:
British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency
PO BOX 9657 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC V8W 9P3
Phone: (
800) 663-8328 in Canada; (604) 952-2681
Fax: (250) 952-1829

The Vital Statistics Agency has records of birth, marriage, and death occurring in British Columbia since 1872. Enclose the correct fee by cheque or money order (Canadian funds) made payable to the Minister of Finance. Records are available by applying in person at any Vital Statistics Office or Government Agent, by postal mail with the completed application form, or online or telephone with a credit card. Copies of birth, death and marriage registration records that have been publicly released are also available on microfilm at various locations throughout the province and the world. Please call or check the Web site before ordering to verify current fees and other information.

Web Site:   British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency


Event: Birth

Dates: From 1872

Cost of copy: $27CAN standard certificate (transcription); $50CAN photocopy or transcribed genealogy certificate

Comments:  Standard birth certificates are available only to the individual named on the certificate, parents named on the birth record, spouse, guardian, agents with the written authorization of the individual named on the certificate, or the executor of the individual's estate (copy of death certificate required). Be sure to request a "large certificate" or a photocopy of the original birth record, both which contain the name, date and place of birth, sex, name of parents and registration number and date, and may contain the age and/or birth date and birth place of parents. Birth records after 1943 may include weight, exact time of birth and Apgar scores. If you are not eligible to receive a standard birth certificate, you may still request a genealogical certificate, as long as the individual listed on the certificate has been dead for 20 years (proof of death is required); if the record has been in existence for 100 years; or if you are the closest living relative (with proof of death). With your request include as much as possible of the following: full name of the person whose birth is begin requested (including maiden name for women), date and place of birth, full name of both parents (including maiden name of mother), birth places of parents, your relationship to the individual, the reason for your request, your full name and address and your signature.
Application for Standard Birth Certificate

Application for Genealogical Certificate

*British Columbia also maintains a free online index to births in the province from 1872-1900 (over 100 years old). A few of the original registration records have been digitized and are available for online purchase and delivery via email. These records will include a button which says "Digital Image Available for Purchase."


Event: Death

Dates: From 1872

Cost of copy: $27CAN standard certificate (transcription); $50CAN photocopy or transcribed genealogy certificate

Comments:  Anyone with a valid reason (including genealogy) may obtain a death certificate in British Columbia. The standard certificate contains the individual's full name, sex, date of death, place of death, place of birth, resident province/state/country, registration number, and date of registration. The genealogical certificate or a photocopy of the original death record, may contain the following additional info: age, birth date, marital status, name of spouse, place of burial, occupation, and parent's names and birthplaces. With your request include as much as possible of the following: full name of the deceased, date and place of death, sex and age of deceased, your relationship to the individual, the reason for your request, your full name and address and your signature.
Application for Standard Death Certificate

Application for Genealogical Certificate

*British Columbia also maintains a free online index to deaths in the province from 1872-1980 (over 20 years old). A few of the original registration records have been digitized and are available for online purchase and delivery via email. These records will include a button which says "Digital Image Available for Purchase."


Event: Marriage

Dates: From 1872

Cost of copy: $27CAN standard certificate (transcription); $50CAN photocopy or transcribed genealogy certificate

Comments:  Marriage certificates in British Columbia are only available to the individuals recorded as Bride and Groom on the marriage registration, parents of the Bride or Groom, or an authorized agent of the Bride or Groom. Be sure to, at a minimum, request a "large certificate" of the original marriage record, which contains the full names of Bride and Groom, date and place of birth of Bride and Groom, date and place of marriage, registration number and date of registration. For genealogical purposes, a photocopy or a genealogy certificate is more useful as they may also contain the parents names (including maiden names of mothers), occupation of Bride and Groom, and the names of witnesses to the marriage. If you are not eligible to receive a standard marriage certificate, you may still request a genealogical certificate, as long as both the bride and groom listed on the certificate have been dead for 20 years (proof of death is required); if the record has been in existence for 75 years; or if you are the closest living relative (with proof of death). With your request include as much as possible of the following: full names of the bride and groom (including maiden name for bride), date and place of marriage, birthplaces of the bride and groom, your relationship to the individual, the reason for your request, your full name and address and your signature.
Application for Standard Marriage Certificate

Application for Genealogical Certificate

*British Columbia also maintains a free online index to marriages in the province from 1872-1925 (over 75 years old). A few of the original registration records have been digitized and are available for online purchase and delivery via email. These records will include a button which says "Digital Image Available for Purchase."


Event: Adoption

Cost of copy: $50CAN

Comments: Adoptees, age 19 and older, who were born and adopted in British Columbia, are eligible to receive a copy of their original birth registration in their birth name (including the names of any birth parents on record) and a copy of their adoption order provided a disclosure veto has not been filed. Adoptees who were not born in British Columbia but were adopted in the province, will receive a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person. For each search of records and a copy of a birth registration and adoption order the genealogy search fee of $50 will apply. With your request please attach a photocopy of your birth certificate as proof of your identity, and as much as possible of the following: date of birth, whether or not born in British Columbia, full name on birth certificate after adoption, birthplace, place of adoption, full name of adoptive father, full name (including maiden name) of adoptive mother, birth name (if known), birth registration number, your full name and address and your signature.
Application for Service Pertaining to an Adopted Person or Birth Parent

As a general rule in Canada, prior to the early to mid 1900s when provincial authorities became involved in adoptions, children were placed with family, friends or neighbors without involvement of government authorities or official documentation.

More Adoption Resources:

Canadian Adoption Search & Reunion Resources

 

Back to Canada Vital Records Index

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