Directeur de l’état civil: do not penalize a citizen because of an employee’s mistake | Protecteur du Citoyen
September 3, 2019

Directeur de l’état civil: do not penalize a citizen because of an employee’s mistake

Corps

Une femme tenant un bébé regarde un ordinateur

The complaint

A woman asked the Directeur de l’état civil for a birth certificate, but she never received it. She was therefore told that she had to reapply and pay the fees again. She complained to the Québec Ombudsman.

The investigation

  • After giving birth, a woman went on the Directeur de l’état civil website and filled out a declaration of birth and an application for a birth certificate.
  • She received confirmation that the birth had been duly registered. However, she never received the certificate.
  • After a few months, she went to the Directeur de l’état civil office. She was told that the document had been mailed to her and that she should have gotten it. However, this was not the case.
  • After checking, the Directeur de l’état civil informed the woman that the certificate had been delivered to the wrong address. She was told that she would have to reapply and pay the fees again.
  • During its investigation, the Québec Ombudsman noticed that there had been some confusion about the woman’s place of residence. The address indicated by the physician in the attestation of birth differed from the one in the declaration of birth.
  • A member of the Directeur de l’état civil staff had contacted the mother to confirm the right address. However, in entering the necessary corrections, he made a typo. This created a false address, which led to a problem with the delivery of the certificate.

The result

The Québec Ombudsman made a recommendation to the Directeur de l’état civil, which admitted that a member of its staff had made a mistake. It therefore agreed to deliver a new certificate to the correct address free of charge. The woman finally received the document at the right address.


The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman by calling 1-800-463-5070 or use our online complaint form.