Get information about BCAA's passport photo service and resources on applying for a Canadian passport including processing times, fees and useful tips.

Application tips

Five step application process for Canadians living in Canada

Canadian passports are renewable. If you qualify for the Simplified Passport Renewal application, click here for more information. To prevent delays in processing your General Passport Application, follow these five steps:

  1. Obtain an application form.
    1. Use Passport Online available only to Canadians 16 years of age or over
    2. Download an electronic form
    3. Pick-up an application form at any BCAA location, Canada Post outlet or Service Canada Centre
  2. Complete all applicable sections of the application form.
    1. Personal information
    2. Proof of Canadian citizenship (As of February 1, 2011, Passport Canada will accept only a birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship as proof of citizenship. For more information, please visit Passport Canada.)
    3. Documents to support identity
    4. Fees
  3. Obtain two identical passport photos from BCAA.
  4. Have your guarantor complete and sign the “Declaration of Guarantor” section of your application form and sign at least one of your photos.
  5. Submit your application form.

Ways to submit your application

  1. Apply in person

    At a Passport Canada Office: Processing time is ten business days not including the day the application is submitted.

    At Canada Post: Processing time is 20 business days (4 weeks) not including shipping. An additional $20 fee is applicable.

    At Service Canada Centers: Processing time is 20 business days.

  2. Apply online

    Passport Online is an interactive application that will guide you through all sections of the form and ensures all relevant sections are filled out. It takes approximately 20-40 minutes to complete the online application. You must be 16 years or older.

    Tip: Use the system during off-peak hours including weeknights from 6 pm to 3 am PT and on weekends.

    You will need to:

    • Register with epass Canada,
    • Complete the passport online form,
    • Print your application form and sign it,
    • Have your guarantor sign your form and one of your photos, and present your application with supporting documents to one of the Passport office intake locations/receiving agents
    • Or mail it in with the supporting documents.
  3. Apply by mail

    It's recommended to send your documents by certified mail or through an express delivery courier (i.e. FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc.) that provides a tracking number. It's also a good idea to send a pre-paid trackable return envelope with your passport documents.

    Regular mail

    Passport Canada
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Gatineau, QC K1A 0G3

    Courier

    Passport Canada
    22 de Varennes Building
    22 de Varennes Street
    Gatineau, QC J8T 8R1

Upon receipt of a new passport...

  1. Verify the accuracy of the information in the passport, especially your personal information. If there are any errors, contact Passport Canada immediately.
  2. Signature - You are required to sign your name in ink in the space provided on page 3.
  3. Parents must NOT sign the passport of a child who cannot sign.
  4. Address - Complete the section provided on page 4.
  5. Contact information - Enter on page 4 the name of a person to be contacted in case of emergency and keep it up to date. We recommend that you name someone who would not normally travel with you.
  6. Children 11 years of age or over must sign their own passports.

5 most common application errors

Have I enclosed my original proof of Canadian citizenship?
This can be a birth certificate from the province or territory of birth, or a Certificate of Canadian citizenship.

You cannot send a photocopy of your proof of Canadian citizenship or birth ceritificate.

Have I given complete information on my citizenship?
Make sure that you have answered all parts of Question 4 on the passport application form. Your application cannot be processed if information is missing.

Do my supporting identification documents carry my correct name?
Your Canadian Passport can only be issued bearing the same name as your two supporting identification documents. For example, if your supporting documents show your name as Bill Smith, you cannot request a passport under the name of William Smith.

Have I enclosed my supporting identification?
You must submit one piece of identification that bears your signature (such as a driver’s license or provincial health card), either the originals or clear and readable photocopies of both sides of the document. To be acceptable, a photocopy must be signed and dated by your guarantor.

Do my photos meet specifications?
BCAA makes every effort to ensure your photos meet government standards. However we can not guarantee acceptance by the passport office as photos may be rejected for a number of reasons such as glare or shadows. If your photos are not accepted, BCAA will gladly re-take your photos. We recommend you submit your passport application well in advance of any proposed travel.

Information is valid as of June 23, 2011. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Confirm with your local passport office prior to travel.

*** All application times do not include mailing time.

Processing times are issued by Passport Canada and may be longer than stated. Passport Canada is experiencing a sharp volume increase in passport applications in all of its offices, by mail and through its receiving agents. Due to this increase in volume, it may take up to 10 weeks before you receive your new passport. Information is valid as of June 23, 2011.