Paper Trails


The health card. The social insurance number. The birth certificate. The passport. The eye-popping paperwork: it’s enough to make you crave a stiff margarita by mid-morning. Your newborn still can’t see past your nipples, but already she needs to be an official person in the eyes of numerous government agencies.
Suppose you want to set up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for her so she can go to university, become a brain surgeon and support you in your old age. Or maybe you have visions of a family vacation to the cloud forests of Costa Rica, so your son can experience other cultures and establish world peace some day.

To get an RESP, first you need a social insurance number. To get a passport, first you need a birth certificate. To get either a SIN or a birth certificate, first you need to register your child’s birth with the Provincial Office of the Registrar General.

Yes, the road to education savings (not to mention the road out of Canada) has always been paved with paperwork.

Until recently, that is. Now there’s a better option: you can use the Ontario government’s new three-in-one form-filling Newborn Registration Service that lets you register your child’s birth, apply for a birth certificate, and apply for a social insurance number online and all at the same time.

To take advantage of this brilliant new time-saving service for new parents, offered jointly by Service Ontario and Service Canada, your baby has to be less than a year old.

And if she’s 13 months old? Well, the recipe calls for equal parts tequila and Triple Sec. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass over rocks and add lime juice. Stir with a pen.

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