The Vital Statistics Agency registers all births, marriages, deaths, and changes of name that occur in British Columbia. The certificates (and replacement certificates) are issued by the agency and are legal proof of these vital events. Many consumers register these life events themselves, directly through the Vital Statistics website, but there are also third-party, private businesses that advertise their ability to get these certificates for consumers. We’ve had calls from consumers lately asking about these third-party businesses that offer to order birth certificates on the behalf of consumers. Here are some tips to consider around ordering a birth certificate.
- Be informed about who you’re working with. Whether you want to order the certificate yourself, directly through Vital Statistics, or you want to order through a private, third-party, it’s important to be informed about who you’re working with.
- Read the fine print. If you choose to use a third-party business to get your certificate, read the fine print so you understand exactly what you’re paying for, agreeing to and receiving in return. What happens if your application is lost in the mail, or rejected by the Vital Statistics Agency? Are you still responsible for the fees?
- Know the signs of a scam. While there may be many legit third-party businesses out there, acting as agents to get your birth certificate from Vital Statistics, it’s always important to be cautious. Check to see if the company is claiming to be government-affiliated, read online reviews and watch out for phishing scams.
For more information about the Vital Statistics Agency, please visit their website.