Photo and signature
Generally speaking, Health Insurance Cards issued to persons age 14 or over must bear their photo and signature. In order for this to be possible, they must follow the authentication process so that an authenticating official Authenticating official
Usually an employee of a CLSC, of the Régie de l'assurance maladie or of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). can verify their identity.
Some persons can obtain their Health Insurance Card without having to provide their photo and signature. They constitute the exclusions and exemptions to the rule.
At an service outlet
If you go to an service outlet (usually a CLSC), you must take with you:
- the form obtained from the Régie and the required documents, if the form specifies any;
- 2 acceptable pieces of ID;
- your photo.
Your photo may be taken at certain pharmacies or by a photographer. A fee is charged for this service.
- colour photo taken in the past 6 months (dated on the back with a date stamp);
- against a white background;
- front view, from the shoulders up (head uncovered);
- 43 mm x 54 mm (1 11/16 inches x 2 1/8 inches).
At an office of the Régie
If you go to an office of the Régie, you must take with you:
- the form issued by the Régie (or obtain it at the office) and the required documents, if the form specifies any;
- 2 acceptable pieces of ID.
Your photo will necessarily be taken at the office, so there is no point in taking a photo with you. A fee of $9 (plus taxes) applies.
Renewing your card at the same time as your driver's permit?
If your driver's licence is renewable at the same time as your Health Insurance Card, you can have your photo taken at a service outlet of the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). For further details, refer to the page on renewal of your card.
Some persons are exempt from the authentication process. These include:
- children under age 14. They may not obtain a card with photo and signature;
- persons age 75 and over. They may, however, choose to have their photo and signature appear on their card, in which case they must go to a service outlet (usually a CLSC);
- persons who, because of their state of health, are unable to provide their photo, their signature, or both (persons exempt for medical reasons);
- persons temporarily outside Québec who nevertheless remain covered by the Health Insurance Plan.
Persons who are not required to provide their photo and signature must mail their form (and any required documents) to the Régie de l'assurance maladie or take their form to one of the Régie's offices.
Procedure for obtaining a photo or signature exemption for medical reasons
Persons unable to provide their photo, their signature, or both must include with their form a medical certificate filled out by a doctor. The certificate must contain the following information:
- the insured person's identity: last name, first name, birthdate and, if possible, Health Insurance Number;
- the nature of the disease;
- the duration of the impairment (permanent, or temporary with approximate duration);
- the type of exemption (photo only, signature only, or both);
- the doctor's identity (last name, first name and professional number);
- the doctor's signature and the date.
The cost (where applicable) of obtaining the medical certificate is borne by the insured person.
Persons exempt from providing their photo only or their signature only must nevertheless go to a service outlet (usually a CLSC) and present a medical certificate.