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A citizen who obtained a change of name complained that she was unable to use the new birth certificate (semi-authentic) issued by the Directeur de l’état civil to have her name changed in the records of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
The citizen, originally from the Maghreb, has been in Québec since 2004. In 2008, a judgment that changed her surname, as well as that of her entire family, was rendered in her country of origin. The citizen brought the judgment to the SAAQ, which directed her to the Directeur de l’état civil. After analyzing the file, the Directeur de l’état civil inserted the new birth certificate—issued by the citizen’s country of origin—in the civil status registry. This allowed the complainant to receive a semi-authentic Québec birth certificate that showed her new surname.
Using the new birth certificate issued by the Directeur de l’état civil, the citizen was able to change her surname with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec but not with the SAAQ.
Given the situation, the Québec Ombudsman requested that the Directeur de l’état civil draft an explanatory letter and send it to the citizen.
The Directeur de l’état civil agreed to act on the Québec Ombudsman’s request.
The Québec Ombudsman had already intervened with the Directeur de l’état civil on a few occasions regarding similar cases. Things did not seem to be improving. The Québec Ombudsman, therefore, gathered representatives of the agency and the SAAQ to discuss the matter.
The Directeur de l’état civil has agreed that when a similar situation arises, it will provide citizens with an explanatory letter.