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Permanent Fee Waiver for Homeless and Lower Income Individuals Removes Barriers to Access Critical Services

The Ontario government is permanently eliminating the $35 fee for birth certificates for approximately 40,000 vulnerable Ontarians. The Birth Certificate Fee Waiver Program will ensure not-for-profit partner organizations can assist Ontarians who may be experiencing homelessness or other severe financial hardships to obtain a birth certificate free of charge.

An Ontario birth certificate is a foundational identity document, but individuals who are experiencing homelessness may face major impediments obtaining or replacing a lost copy. With this change, the government is removing barriers to accessing essential public services such as housing, health care, food, and social assistance that may require a birth certificate as proof of identity. The program also resolves other major impediments such as the lack of a mailing address and an acceptable guarantor, with participating organizations filling this need.

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