Multi-factor authentication to access My Service Canada Account with GCKey

For more information, read the following questions and answers:

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication helps confirm your identity and protect your personal information for My Service Canada Account (MSCA). It is an alternative security feature to help prevent unauthorized access to your account. This opt-in service is for GCKey users at this time.

Why is multi-factor authentication being introduced for GCKey?

The Government of Canada faces ongoing and persistent cyber threats. Enhanced security measures are introduced to access MSCA. The multi-factor authentication is an alternative security feature for MSCA clients using GCKey. It does not affect those who sign in with their bank or their provincial digital ID.

How does the multi-factor authentication process work? Is it mandatory?

At this time, the multi-factor authentication registration is not mandatory. GCKey users will have the option to register for multi-factor authentication. To enroll, you must successfully respond to your existing security questions. You will then need to provide a smartphone or a landline phone number. A security code will be sent to that number via SMS or voice message. You will then be required to enter the security code to confirm your identity. Once confirmed, you will have access to MSCA.

After enrolling, you will have to enter a new security code each time you access MSCA with GCKey.

What if I didn’t receive a security code?

If you did not receive a security code, you can ask for it to be resent. You can request it 3 times before your session is terminated during the multi-factor authentication registration. Once registered, you can request it 5 times before your account is locked. A security code can be requested every 2 minutes and each code expires after 5 minutes.

What should I do if I have been locked out of my account?

If your account is locked due to entering the wrong security code or requesting it too many times, please contact our Registration and Authentication Help Desk at 1-866-279-5238. The hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday, except civic holidays.

What if I don’t have a mobile device?

If you don’t have a mobile device, you can register with a landline phone number. A voice security code will be sent to that number.

Can the security code be sent by email?

At this time, the security code can only be sent by SMS or voice.

Can I disable the multi-factor authentication feature?

A reset option is available if you:

  • lost your device
  • got your device stolen
  • changed your phone number
  • no longer want multi-factor authentication
Can I use an international phone number to receive a security code with the multi-factor authentication?

At this time, only North American phone numbers can receive a security code.

What does it mean when I see "Standard message and data rates may be charged by your service provider”? Is there a charge to receive the security code?

Employment and Social Development Canada does not charge for this service. Your service provider may charge standard message and data rates. Contact your service provider for questions about your plan and costs.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: