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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 today at a Toronto hospital, pointing out that the polymer is the same material used to make Canadian bank notes.

Wynne says the birth certificate is one of the most important documents people have, since it is used to obtain other ID, such as passports and driver’s licences.

She says making them more secure will help prevent identity theft and fraud.

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.

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

The province says current birth certificates are still valid and do not need to be replaced.

(From The Canadian Press)