Frequently asked questions - CAVCO


What is eSubmission?

eSubmission is a fast and secure way to apply online for certification under the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) or the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC). The eSubmission system can also be used to apply for a CAVCO Personnel Number (CAVCO ID).

What are the advantages of applying through eSubmission?

  • Reduce the back and forth with program officers, thanks to automatically validated entry fields;
  • Use the Form Wizard so you never have to guess which sections of the form to fill out;
  • Complete your applications faster by reusing information entered in previous applications;
  • Easily trace communications with program officers;
  • Keep track of application status and deadlines; and
  • Receive certificates directly to your account Inbox – No more waiting for the mail.

How do I apply online?

To apply online, you must first set up an eSubmission account. Then you can fill out and send in an application for the CPTC or the PSTC, or an application for a CAVCO ID. Please read the steps to set up an account by clicking on the eSubmission link in the left-hand menu.

What is Access Key?

Access Key is a unique electronic credential that allows you to communicate securely with online enabled Government services. To submit an online application to CAVCO, you need to use your Access Key. Therefore, you must obtain a valid Access Key as part of the Registration process for an eSubmission account.

Is eSubmission secure?

Yes, eSubmission uses the Government of Canada’s Access Key which is a secure system that allows the applicant to communicate safely online.

Can treaty co-productions apply online?

Yes, you will see information on eSubmission which will ask you whether you are applying for a treaty co-production or a domestic production.

When using eSubmission, will I still be able to have direct contact with the tax credit officer that is working on my file?

Yes, a tax credit officer will be available by phone to assist you.

Can I request a preliminary assessment regarding the admissibility of my production, such as genre eligibility? Do I do this online?

To obtain a preliminary opinion of eligibility, send your request by mail or email. These will be handled outside of the online system.

Have there been any changes to the tax credit certificates?

The certificates that are now issued include a six-digit number followed by a three-digit number, such as 123456-013. The last three digits indicate whether the certificate is for a single production or a series with multiple episodes.

Have any of the supplementary forms changed?

Most forms such as the Breakdown of Costs and the Non-Canadian Courtesy Credit Affidavit are similar to previous versions. Copies of the latest versions can be found on our Web site.

The information previously found on some forms, such as those listed below, have been integrated into the new application as of April 2010. Therefore, the following documents are no longer required:

  • Declarations of Citizenship (form used prior to 2009)
  • Screen Credits (unless requested by CAVCO)
  • Affidavit for production budget under $200,000
  • Separate Synopsis (1-3 sentence synopsis required in the new application form)
  • Lead Performer agreements (unless requested by CAVCO)
  • Final Cost Report
  • Labour Breakdown (unless requested by CAVCO)
  • Private Company Declaration (unless requested by CAVCO)
  • Official Treaty Co-Production agreement
  • Solemn Affirmation Affidavit (for Animation productions)

What if I don’t have all my agreements when I apply?

To submit an application through eSubmission, all sections must be complete and all supporting documents must be attached. CAVCO recognizes that final versions of some agreements may not be available at the Part A stage.

How do I attach the distribution and other agreements to my online submission?

These can be attached electronically to the application form through eSubmission, by scanning the documents and attaching the file, or attaching the original electronic documents such as Word or Excel files.

Can I fill out the application form electronically and then send the additional documents by mail?

Yes, however we encourage you to fill out the entire application using eSubmission and attach all documents electronically.


Have the CAVCO application fees changed?

The application fees remain the same. See section 1.13 in the CPTC Guidelines or section 1.10 the PSTC Guidelines for details.

Can I pay my fees online?

CAVCO cannot collect payment online. Please send a cheque (include the Case File number on your cheque) payable to the Receiver General for Canada by mail to Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO).

Technical issues

The system is not working (technical difficulties); whom do I call?

If you are experiencing problems with Access Key, please contact Access Key at 1-866-372-7742.

If you are experiencing technical problems while completing the eSubmission application, contact CAVCO.

I do not have a registration PIN because I either lost or did not receive it.

If you do not have a registration PIN for the reasons stated above, call CAVCO.

I have received a message indicating that my session has expired.

If you do not perform any activity for more than 18 minutes, your session will automatically close.

I already have a Government of Canada Access Key.

If you already have a Government of Canada Access Key that is enrolled with a PCH service and would like to use it to access another service, select the service you want to use and log in using your Access Key Username and Password.

I have forgotten or misplaced my Access Key Password and/or my Username. Is there any way that I can recover them?


No, you cannot recover your Username if you have forgotten or misplaced it. In order to use the eSubmission service you will need to re-register for a Government of Canada Access Key. Your old Access Key will be replaced by the new one. You must then call CAVCO so that we can transfer your applications to your new account.


If you have forgotten or misplaced your Password, you can create a new password, provided you respond correctly to the recovery questions you selected and answered when you registered. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the eSubmission page of the CAVCO website
  2. Click on the “Registration” or “Sign In” link and you will be automatically directed to the Government of Canada Access Key website
  3. At the Access Key "Log In" page, select "Did you Forget Your Password?"
  4. At the "Did you Forget Your Password?" page, follow the three step process to create your new Password.

How do I access the Access Key site to Change my Username, Change my Password or Revoke my Access Key?

To change your Password or Username, or Revoke your Access Key follow these steps:

  1. Go to the eSubmission page of the CAVCO website
  2. Click on the “Registration” or “Sign In” link and you will be automatically directed to the Access Key website
  3. At the Access Key "Log In" page, enter your Access Key User ID and Password.
  4. At the Access Key Home page, select the "Manage My Access Key" button.
  5. At the "Manage My Access Key" page, select the appropriate link to modify your Access Key.

I am having problems accessing the Access Key site.

This could mean that your browser's software doesn't meet the security standards. If necessary, upgrade your browser version. You can also visit the Frequently Asked Questions at the Access Key site for additional information concerning browsers.

If you encounter problems with the supported browsers, you may need to enable your Java Virtual Machine (JVM)/JavaScript and/or Cookies settings.

If you are still encountering problems updating your system, please contact the Access Key Client Service Centre (CSC):

National Capital Region
(Ottawa and surrounding area)

Canada and the United States

Text Telephone (TTY/TDD)


If you don't have a browser that meets the security standard, you can either download a complete browser package or upgrade the one you have.

CAVCO is not responsible for any difficulties or problems in downloading and installing software. Technical support is provided by the software suppliers.


What is a cookie?

A "cookie" is a small piece of information sent to your computer by a Web site and used by your browser. It contains settings (such as language preference) to help you use our services. There are two types of cookies: "session cookies" and "persistent cookies".

A "session cookie" is used only during the browser session. It expires when the user closes the browser and it is not stored on your hard-drive.

A "persistent cookie" is placed on your computer and will remain on your hard-drive for a specific period of time, unless you remove it. These services use persistent cookies to set and store your language preference. These persistent cookies will not store any identifying data.

You should check that your cookies are turned on in your browser settings. All browsers are configured a little differently, so you should check the Internet Options or Preferences of your browser for ways to enable the cookie function. One of the ways we ensure that you continue to be identified and that we send the correct information during your online session is by using cookies.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

To help you use our services, Access Key uses Java technology that is active only while you are online. This requires that a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) be installed and enabled for you to interact with our Web site.

Sun Java (Sun JVM), IBM JVM, or Apple JVM

Access Key uses a signed applet from Entrust Limited. This applet has been designed to enhance security. Depending on your virtual machine (Sun JVM, IBM JVM, or Apple JVM), you may encounter a security message. If you do not accept the security message, you cannot register for an Access Key or use eSubmission.


I don't want to set my cookies to "on". Can I still use eSubmission?

One of the ways we ensure that you continue to be identified and that we send the correct information during your online session is by using cookies. Right now, we have no other session management method for users who prefer not to accept browser cookies. If you don't accept cookies, you won't be able to use these services.

What can I do to ensure my security after an online session?

It is important to clear your browser's cache, or close and reopen your browser after an online session to stop someone from being able to view your information later. Most browsers conceal or cache images or files that you have viewed and store them locally to improve performance. Some browsers have an option to not cache encrypted sessions.

What if I don't have 128-bit encryption on my browser?

For security purposes you will need 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL 3.0) encryption on your browser to use these services.

What can I do to protect my personal information?

You can contribute to the security of your personal information by:

  • Making sure you keep your personal information confidential. Do not share your Access Key User ID and Password with anyone. All pieces of information should be kept confidential. The person to whom the Access Key belongs must be the one using the online service, since the required information can be used to change personal information on file with us.
  • Make sure to delete all traces of your secure session from the memory of your computer. You should then close and reopen your browser.
  • Not sending confidential information to CAVCO by email. Our email does not have secure transmission capabilities.

Why can I bookmark some pages and not others?

You cannot bookmark pages that are in a secure part of our Web server.

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