03/10/2015 10:57 EDT | Updated 05/10/2015 05:59 EDT

New Ontario Birth Certificates More Secure, Says Wynne

TORONTO - The province is introducing new birth certificates made with a polymer material and security features that officials say will make them more durable and harder to counterfeit.

Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled the new Ontario birth certificates at a downtown Toronto hospital on Tuesday, pointing out that the polymer is the same material used to make Canadian bank notes.

Birth certificates are one of the most important documents people have, since they are needed to obtain other ID, such as passports and driver's licences, said Wynne.

Making them more secure will help prevent identity theft and fraud, she said.

The polymer birth certificates have a variety of embedded security features, including raised print, transparent windows and colour-shifting images.

They are also more durable and easier to clean than the current paper certificates and should last for a person's lifetime with normal use.

But the province says the new design and material will not increase the cost of ordering a birth certificate.

"As technology evolves, we want to make sure that the government evolves with it," said Wynne.

"We've learned from experiences of other provinces and territories that paper birth certificates are due for an update."

The new polymer birth certificates will be available starting April 15.


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