Date and time notation in Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In Canada three date and time formats are in common use. According to the Canadian Payments Association, which regulates cheques, the big endian ISO 8601 YYYYMMDD is preferred, but MMDDYYYY or DDMMYYYY may be used, and cheques must include date indicators showing which format is being used.[1]

The federal government tends to use the big endian format, but some federal forms, such as a commercial cargo manifest, offer a blank line with no guidance.[2] Passport applications[3] and tax returns[4] use YYYY-MM-DD. Government of Canada regulations for expiry dates on foods mandate YYMMDD, MMDD, and DDMMYY.[5] English language newspapers use MDY (MMM[M] D, YYYY).[6] In Quebec a variation of DDMMYYYY is used.

In Canada not only the month and day can be confused with each other, but so also can the year. In Canada 07/04/01 could represent the 4th of July 2001, the 1st of April 2007, or several other dates.[7]


  1. ^ "Cheque Specifications". Canadian Payments Association. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  2. ^ Blaze Carlson, Kathryn. "Is 02/04/12 February 4, or April 2? Bill seeks to end date confusion". National Post. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Canadian passport renewal application" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  4. ^ "Canadian Income Tax Form" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  5. ^ "Date Markings and Storage Instructions". Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Government of Canada. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  6. ^ " website, with links to newspapers in many Canadian cities". Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  7. ^ Berke, Jeremy. "IN CANADA, YOU CAN JUST WRITE THE DATE WHICHEVER WAY YOU WANT". Retrieved 9 June 2015.