Social Insurance Number – After you receive your SIN
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5. After you receive your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
After a SIN is issued, Service Canada stores your personal information in the Social Insurance Registry.
This information includes:
- your name
- date of birth
- place of birth, and
- your parents' names.
Dates of death are also recorded in the Registry.
The importance of protecting your SIN
Your SIN is confidential. You should not use it as identification or provide it for job applications, rental applications, etc. See Protecting your social insurance number for information on:
- when to use your SIN
- how to protect your SIN, and
- what you should do if you suspect someone is using your SIN
Updating personal information linked to your SIN
If you are legally changing your name
By law, you must update your SIN record when you change your name. To update or request any changes to your SIN record, you will need to provide an original valid primary document and supporting document.
If you are changing your gender designation
You now have the option to have your gender marked as “X” or not to declare your gender. Service Canada will add a note to your record indicating your choice. However, until our computer systems are upgraded to register this information, "male" or "female" will still appear on your SIN record.
For more information on how to update your SIN record, see section 3: What you need before you apply.
You do not need to notify Service Canada about a change of address unless you are waiting to receive a confirmation of SIN letter.
Lost or stolen SIN
If your confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card was lost or stolen, Service Canada will not issue a new SIN. If you don't remember your SIN, you can find it on your income tax return or you can request a confirmation of your SIN from Service Canada. For more information on how to get a confirmation of your SIN, see section 3: What you need before you apply.
Service Canada may issue a new SIN only if there is proof that the SIN was used fraudulently.
Finding someone else’s SIN
If you find a confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card, immediately bring it to a Service Canada Center or mail it to the following address:
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst NB E2A 4T1
Following a death
When someone dies in a Canadian province, you do not have to notify Service Canada (Service Canada will be notified by the provincial vital statistics agency.) If the death occurs in 1 of the territories or outside Canada, you must notify Service Canada.
Informing Service Canada’s SIN program of the death reduces the risk of the person’s SIN being used fraudulently. The SIN can still be used for estate purposes.
To report a death, you must provide the SIN of the person who died and proof of death, such as a statement of death from the funeral director or a copy of the death certificate issued by the vital statistics agency. Submit the documents in person to a Service Canada Centre or mail them to the following address:
Social Insurance Registration office
Post Office Box 7000
Bathurst NB E2A 4T1
Finding out the SIN of someone who has died
If the SIN of the person who died is unknown, the legal representative of the estate can request it by going to a Service Canada Centre.
The legal representative of the estate must provide the following documents:
- proof that they are authorized to represent the estate (original document or certified copy)
- their own SIN or an original, valid primary proof of identity document if they do not have a SIN
- their own original, valid secondary document
- the original death certificate
- the original proof of identity documents for the person who has died (primary document and, if necessary, supporting document)
If everything is in order, the legal representative will get the SIN while at the Service Canada Centre and will not have to part with the documents.
Normally, the legal representative of the estate must apply for a SIN in person, or have someone else apply for them in person, however:
The representative is eligible to apply by mail if:
- they live in a remote area with no Service Canada Centre within 100 km. To confirm this is the case, they can use their postal code to check their eligibility on the Service Canada website or they may call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627.
The representative may be eligible to apply by mail if:
- they are unable to apply in person or to have someone else apply for them. They must call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627 in order to find out if they can apply by mail.
If you have forgotten your SIN
If you already have a SIN but do not remember it, bring all the required valid original documents to the nearest Service Canada Centre. If everything is in order, you will get your SIN while at the Service Canada Centre and you will not have to part with your documents.
Normally you must apply for a SIN in person, or have someone else apply for you in person, however:
You are eligible to apply by mail if:
- you live in a remote area with no Service Canada Centre within 100 km. To confirm this is the case, you can use your postal code to check your eligibility on the Service Canada website or you may call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627.
You may be eligible to apply by mail if:
- you are unable to apply in person or to have someone else apply for you; you must call Service Canada at 1-866-274-6627 in order to find out if you can apply by mail.
Accessing your personal information
If you live in Canada, the Privacy Act gives you the right to access and correct personal information about yourself that is held by federal government organizations. This means you can ask for information about your SIN record.
To request copies of SIN application forms you have previously submitted:
- submit a request online using the Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service; or
- submit a request by mail by filling out a Personal Information Request Form and mailing it to the following address:
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Phase IV Floor 12 Mail Stop 123
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
Requesting someone else’s personal information
To request personal information under the Privacy Act and Regulations about someone else:
- you must provide the person’s signed and dated written consent (stating their name and your name); or you must be:
- a lawyer or trustee, or have power of attorney for the person; or
- a representative of the person defined in the Privacy Act as "a guardian, curator, committee, executor administrator or other legal representative".
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