Identity bootstrap
November 25, 2012 5:31 AM   Subscribe

I am currently without any valid identity papers in Québec, Canada, of which I am a citizen since birth. What is the best way to bootstrap myself back into valid identity, since it seems all identity documentation requests require one form of valid identity to go through? I still have an healthcard that expired a year ago.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Go to a Services Quebec counter location and ask them. (That is where you would apply for a copy of a birth certificate).
posted by jacalata at 5:45 AM on November 25, 2012

Do you have a SIN card? That may be a place to start, all you will need is an original birth certificate.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:47 AM on November 25, 2012

To use the online services to get a birth certificate, you need your SIN, your Revenu Quebec acccess code (you get this with your SIN, your date of birth and the income on line 199 of your last tax return) and your notice of assessment number (also on your last tax return). If you filed your taxes this year, you should be fine. (This is all via clicSEQUR.)

Once you have the birth certificate, it's a lot easier to boostrap your way back using that and your expired health card -- they might make you go through some steps with your employer and a guarantor, but you'll get your cards eventually. Once you have a health card (or driver's license), you can use THAT and your birth certificate to get a passport.
posted by jeather at 7:44 AM on November 25, 2012

I second jacalata's advice.

The province should have a copy of your birth certificate in its files. Service Quebec is definitely the first place to contact to figure out how to get a hold of it.

Also, current or former employers could have your SIN on-file.
posted by Milau at 8:08 AM on November 25, 2012

I agree with previous posters that you need your SIN card and birth certificate before you move forward, but I do not know which order you will be able to get them in.

I would second Service Quebec (or Service Canada/Public Service Commission in other provinces, for future readers). I was in there replacing a lost SIN card about a year ago, and there were people waiting in the queue with me who didn't have any documentation--or who had never filed taxes ever--and the PSC was not judgey about it. At a bare minimum, Service Quebec or the PSC would know what your next steps need to be.

Definitely bring your expired health card with you to all of these places. Since it's government issued photo ID, it should be quite helpful even though it's expired. (I proved my identity with an expired Saskatchewan learner's drivers license all over the shop for several years, and unless it was a serious passport-requiring thing like border crossings, I was fine. I was doing this for reasons of convenience, not because I didn't have other ID, so I unfortunately can't give you any further anecdata about your situation.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:29 AM on November 25, 2012

Did you have ID that was recently stolen or have you just been kind of outside the system for awhile, such that you don't really have one?

Because some of the easier things to *replace* can make it a bit easier to get some of the harder things back. For example, your credit cards can be replaced with a phone call to your credit card company, and then although they don't qualify as photo ID, they do qualify as a form of non-photo ID for a few other purposes.

Also, depending on jurisdiction, your parents may be able to easily request your birth certificate, using their ID, so if they're still alive that might help you get one thing quickly. Generally, only the people mentioned on the certificate can easily request it -- but your parents are mentioned, so they can. Similarly, if you are married, your spouse may find it easier to get your marriage certificate (and thus, if you are female, proof of a name change) than you do, if they have ID.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:53 AM on November 25, 2012

Are you eligible for the RAMQ card? I believe to get a new health card you only need your old one and proof of address in Quebec.

I did not have any form of ID other than a RAMQ card for many years, until I discovered that I did not have a birth certificate and got one. I still do not have a SIN card.
posted by oranger at 9:34 AM on November 25, 2012

If you don't have a birth certificate somewhere to request (and I don't) you can actually take a parent in with you to confirm your identity. (I needed my dad to confirm my identity and age when I got my driver's license.) You'd need to figure out which office this is reasonable to do this at, but if other methods fail, that should work. Good luck!
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:12 AM on November 25, 2012

Followup from the OP:
Thanks for the answers, I'll call the Québec Services counter tomorrow, it's the most logical thing to do and at the very least, I should leave with some actionable information. I was procrastinating this obvious step due to embarassment and unreasonable fear. It's good for me to break the ice and talk about it finally.

I do remember my SIN number, but I do not have the physical card anymore. It's helpful to know my father could possibly request my birth certificate on my behalf. He could not confirm my identity physically with me since he lives way out of town.

Anyways, thanks again.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:45 AM on November 25, 2012

I've also struggled with ID stuff; you're not the first one to be in your situation.
All the people you'll interact with are just doing their job. They will usually be helpful and just try to get you what you need.

If they intentionally make you feel bad, THEY are in the wrong, and doing their job wrong. You are trying to get your ID sorted out, which is a perfectly legitimate démarche.

My RAMQ card was expired for too long, so I could not replace it with just old health card + proof of address. The OP would be in the same position. I needed (I did it at a CLSC):

Proof of address. In my case, my lease.
Two IDs from a fairly short list. In my case, it was expired health card + birth certificate.
$20. I paid cash.
A standard size photo. I had it taken at a photo store for $10; pharmacies often offer the same service.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 1:24 PM on November 25, 2012

Here is the form that your father could print and mail in to request your birth certificate. It specifically says:

A parent mentioned in his or her child's act of birth may obtain the child's birth certificate or a copy of the act of birth regardless of the child's age.
posted by jacalata at 4:32 PM on November 25, 2012

« Older What Xmas baking recipes post well?   |   I want to improve my copywriting skills. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.