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 and is not a piece of identification. It is important to protect your SIN from fraudulent use. Please consult the protecting your social insurance number publication for information on how to protect your SIN and what you should do if you suspect someone is using your SIN.

Updating your personal information associated with your SIN

If you are legally changing your name

By law, you must update your SIN record with your new name due to marriage or other circumstances. To update or request any changes to your SIN record, you will need to provide an original valid primary document and supporting document. To consult the list of acceptable documents and for more information on how to amend your SIN record, refer to Section 3: What you need before you apply.

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. However, until ESDC's computer systems can be upgraded to register this information, "male" or "female" will still appear on your SIN record. We will add a note to your record indicating your choice.

Once your SIN record has been updated, you will receive an updated confirmation of SIN letter. Your previous confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card should be destroyed in a secure manner.

For more information on how to amend your SIN record, refer to Section 3: What you need before you apply.

Moving

It is not necessary to inform us of 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 refer to your income tax return where your SIN can be found or you can request a confirmation of your SIN. For more information on how to obtain a confirmation of your SIN, refer to Section 3: What you need before you apply.

A new SIN may be issued only in situations where there is a proof that the SIN was used fraudulently.

Finding someone else’s SIN

If you find a confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card, return it immediately to a Service Canada Center or mail it to the following address:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration Office
PO Box 7000
Bathurst, NB  E2A 4T1
Canada

Following a death

When a person dies, there is a risk of someone committing fraud with their SIN. Informing the SIN program of the death reduces the possibility of anyone fraudulently using the SIN.

You are only required to inform the SIN program of a death if the death occurred in one of the territories or outside Canada. Note: If the death occurred in a province, the notification of death is received electronically from the provincial vital statistics agency.

To report a death, you must provide 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, and the SIN of the deceased individual. You may submit the documents in person at your nearest Service Canada Centre or mail them to the following address:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration office
Post Office Box 7000
Bathurst, NB  E2A 4T1
Canada

When you provide us with this information, the SIN record will be annotated to indicate the person is deceased, but the SIN can still be used for estate purposes.

If you cannot remember the SIN, the legal representative of the estate can make a request to obtain a confirmation of the SIN of the deceased individual. To obtain a confirmation of the SIN of the deceased individual, simply gather all the required original documents and take them to the nearest Service Canada Center. If everything is in order, you will get the SIN during your visit and you will not need to part with your documents.

Special measures are in place to accommodate individuals who cannot apply in person at a Service Canada Center. To confirm your eligibility to apply by mail, you must verify your postal code.

The legal representative of the estate must provide the following documents:

  • the original death certificate;
  • the deceased persons original proof of identity documents (primary document and, if applicable, supporting document);
  • proof that the legal representative is authorized to represent the estate (original document or certified copy); and
  • the SIN of the legal representative of the estate or an original, valid primary proof of identity document if he or she does not have a SIN.

Requesting your SIN information

To obtain a confirmation of your SIN, simply gather all the required original documents and take them to the nearest Service Canada Center. If everything is in order, you will get your SIN during your visit and you will not need to part with your documents.

Special measures are in place to accommodate individuals who cannot apply in person at a Service Canada Center. To confirm your eligibility to apply by mail, you must verify your postal code.

The Privacy Act gives individuals living in Canada the right to access and correct personal information about them held by various federal government organizations. This means you can ask for information about your SIN record held in the Social Insurance Registry.

To request copies of SIN application form(s) you have previously submitted, you may:

  1. Submit a request online using the Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service
  2. 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

If you wish to request personal information pertaining to another individual under the Privacy Act and Regulations, you must either be:

  • a representative defined as “a guardian, curator, committee, executor administrator or other legal representative’’;
  • a lawyer, trustee or individual who has power of attorney for the individual; or
  • able to provide a consent form filled out by the individual.
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