Social Insurance Number – After you receive your SIN

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 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 submit an application and provide required documentation.

If you would like to have your disc number removed from your SIN record

You can do so in person, by mail, or online by submitting an application and providing required documentation.

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.

To update or request any changes to your SIN record, you will need to submit an application and provide required documentation.

If your temporary SIN expires

If your SIN begins with a "9", you must update your SIN record to ensure that the expiry date always corresponds with the expiry date on your document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) authorizing you to work in Canada.

If you apply for renewal of your work or study permit and your permit expires before a decision is made, paragraph 186(u) and section 189 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides you the right to continue working or studying under the same conditions, pending a determination of your application for renewal, as long as you remain in Canada. This is referred to as “implied status”. You will have implied status until a decision is rendered by the IRCC, which means you are allowed to work even though your SIN has expired.

As soon as a decision has been rendered by the IRCC authorizing you to continue to work in Canada, you must apply with your new immigration document to Service Canada for your SIN record to be updated with the new expiry date.

Moving

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 the What you need before you apply web page.

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 Service Canada.

Following a death

When someone dies in a Canadian province, you do not have to notify Service Canada (the provincial vital statistics agency will notify Service Canada). If the death occurs in one 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 by mail or in person to a Service Canada Centre.

If you have forgotten your SIN

If you already have a SIN but do not remember it, there may be ways you can find it yourself. You may also obtain a confirmation of SIN letter by submitting an application and all required documentation online, by mail or in person.

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:

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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