Applicants guide – Online application for Social Insurance Number
What you need before you apply
To apply online you will need to upload copies of at least 3 different documents:
- a valid primary document that proves your identity and legal status in Canada, and
- a valid secondary document to confirm your identity, and
- a proof of address
If you are applying for someone else, you will need to provide additional documents.
For children over the age of 12 but under the age of majority that are applying for themselves the same requirements apply. If the child cannot provide the 3 required documents, then a representative must apply on their behalf and must follow the instruction for Additional documents required for representatives.
Refer to the list of documents below to determine the proof-of-identity and secondary documents as well as proof of address you are required to submit.
If you are requesting the SIN confirmation to be mailed to an address other than your own, you must apply by mail.
Note: Failure to provide required documentation will result in your application being rejected.
Additional information about the online form
Note: In the online form, items with a star (*) are mandatory.
The information on the application form should match your primary document with the exception of your gender. For gender you 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.
If there are minor variances between the information provided on the online application and the information as it appears on the primary document, the information will be entered in the Social Insurance Registry as it appears on the primary document.
The parent listed must not be repeated. Parents can appear in any order.
Note: Some provinces have passed legislation to recognize up to 4 parents on the registration of birth and you now have the option to have them all listed on your SIN record. In order to document the parent(s) that do not appear on the application form, submit a separate sheet of paper. On this sheet, provide the given name(s) and the family name at birth of each parent and underline the family name at birth.
Name typed on the application form
Under the “Acknowledgment” section, the applicant must type their name with the exception of the following situations:
- child under 12 years of age: the parent or legal guardian must type their name on the application form
- child over 12 years of age and under the age of majority in their province or territory of residence: the child, parent or legal guardian must type their name on the application form
- minor child or adult applicant who is represented by a legal guardian or legal representative: the provincial/territorial employee, the legal guardian, or the court appointed lawyer or individual must type their name on the application form
Important: If you are a parent, legal guardian or legal representative, you must complete the section “Acknowledgement” to indicate your relationship to the applicant.
If you submit a document that is not in English or French, you must also submit:
- an English or French translation of the document, and
- an attestation or affidavit written and signed by the translator
If the document has been translated by a certified translator, you must submit an attestation. The attestation is a document stating that the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text. (A certified translator is a member of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters.)
If the document has been translated by a translator who is not certified, you must submit an affidavit. The affidavit is a document stating that the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text. The translator must sign the affidavit before a commissioner for oaths or a commissioner for taking affidavits. (A commissioner for oaths or a commissioner for taking affidavits is appointed by a province or territory.)
Note: Translations by family members are not acceptable. (A family member is defined as being a parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.)
Refer to the list below to determine the proof-of-identity documents that you will need to apply.
Primary proof-of-identity documents
The digital copy of your document must be clear and legible. The document must include all the information that appears on the front and the back of the document.
Canadian citizens must submit 1 of the following documents:
- a certificate of birth or birth certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the province or territory where you were born (Note: Quebec proof-of-birth documents issued prior to 1994 are not accepted)
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or
- Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by IRCC
If you are a registered Indian and you want to register your status in your SIN record, you must provide:
- your Birth Certificate (see section on Canadian citizens) and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)
Permanent Residents of Canada need to provide 1 of the following documents:
- Permanent Resident Card issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC)
- confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by IRCC, accompanied by either a travel document (for example, a foreign passport) or an alternate photo identification issued by a provincial/territorial authority (for example, a driver's licence). Note: The Confirmation of Permanent Residence is acceptable if used within one year of the date you became a permanent resident. The Permanent resident card is required after this period
- record of Landing issued by IRCC before June 28, 2002
- verification of Landing issued by IRCC (only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain confirmation of an existing SIN), or
- status Verification or Verification of Status issued by IRCC (only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain confirmation of an existing SIN)
Temporary Residents of Canada need to provide 1 of the following documents:
- work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC)
- study permit issued by IRCC, indicating that you are authorized to work in Canada, which must meet either 1 of the following criteria:
- a study permit that indicates the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada, or
- a study permit and a “confirmation to work off campus” letter issued by IRCC prior to February 11, 2015
If neither of these requirements is met, you may contact IRCC to verify if you are eligible to apply for an amended study permit.
- Visitor record issued by IRCC, indicating you are authorized to work in Canada, or
- Diplomatic identity card and note of permission of employment issued by Global Affairs Canada
Other - Individuals residing outside Canada who are not Canadian citizens or Registered Indians with no legal status in Canada and are eligible to receive a Canadian government benefit or pension need to provide both of the following documents:
- Birth Certificate issued by a state authority from your country of birth (if not in English or French, see the translations requirement, and
- letter confirming eligibility for pension or benefits from Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) or Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ)
Supporting proof-of-identity documents
You must also provide a supporting proof-of-identity document if the name indicated on your primary proof-of-identity document (see above) or your secondary proof of identity (see below) is different than the name you are currently using. You will need to provide one of the following supporting proof-of-identity documents, if required:
- Certificate of marriage or a similarly titled document, depending on the issuing authority to support your family name after marriage. Note: This does not apply to Quebec residents who were married after April 1, 1981, regardless of where they were married
- Legal Change of Name Certificate or Court Order document issued in accordance with provincial/ territorial change of name act in Canada or similar legislation
- Adoption order certified by a provincial/territorial court for adoptions in Canada only
- Notarial Adoption Certificate issued by the country of origin of the child adopted abroad
- Request to Amend Record of Landing issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or
- Divorce Decree or a similarly titled document issued in accordance with a provincial/territorial court in Canada for the dissolution of marriage. Note: Documents issued by a foreign country are not acceptable
Secondary proof-of-identity documents
When applying online, you must also provide a secondary document that is valid and issued by a government (federal or provincial). The document must contain your legal name (surname and given name) as well as your date of birth.
Examples of acceptable secondary documents include:
- a passport (Canadian or foreign)
- a provincial or territorial ID card or driver’s license
- any other government-issued ID
Proof of address
An acceptable proof of addresses is a document issued by an institution or organization, which contains the following 2 elements:
- applicant name (surname and given name) or if applying for someone else, representative name, and
- applicant or representative address
Note: Correspondence from the Social Insurance Number Program such as a previous Confirmation of SIN letter or a reject letter is not accepted as proof of address.
Examples of acceptable proof of address:
- a letter or document from a government (federal, provincial, territorial or foreign)
- a letter or document from a financial institution (bank statement, credit card statement, mortgage contract or statement, etc.)
- a residential tenancy agreement/ lease
- a bill (from among others a telecom provider, a cable provider, a utility provider, etc.)
- any document issued by a school, college or university that shows your address
- employment contract that shows your address
- a letter from an organization or an institution attesting the mailing address of the applicant. The organization/institution and the applicant must sign the letter confirming the mailing address
Additional documents required for representatives
Parent or legal guardian applying on behalf of a minor child
If you are a parent or a legal guardian applying on behalf of a minor child (for example: a child under the age of majority in their province or territory of residence), you must provide:
- the child’s primary proof-of-identity document as listed above
- the child’s supporting proof-of-identity document, if applicable
- your own primary proof-of-identity document as listed above
- your own secondary proof of identity document
- your own supporting proof-of-identity document, if applicable, and
- your own proof of address
If you are a legal guardian, you must also provide a copy of the original or a certified copy of a document confirming legal guardianship issued by a provincial/territorial authority or similar legislation (in Quebec, a notarized Will is an acceptable document).
Legal representative applying on behalf of a minor child or an adult
If you are a court appointed lawyer or individual, or provincial/territorial employee applying on behalf of a minor child or an adult, you must provide:
- the child’s or adult’s primary proof-of-identity document as listed above
- the child’s or adult’s supporting proof-of-identity document, if applicable
- your own valid employee photo identification or government-issued identification, for example: a valid driver’s license or passport, and
- a copy of the original or certified copy of a document confirming proof of legal representation issued by a provincial/territorial authority or similar legislation (in Quebec, a notarized Will is an acceptable document)
If you are a provincial/territorial employee, you must also provide a Letter of Authorization issued on agency letterhead by the agency’s Director/Administrator authorizing the legal representative to represent the agency to apply for a SIN.
For more information
Learn more about the Social Insurance Number.
By phone: 1-866-274-6627.
Agents are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Canadian Local Time, except on statutory holidays
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-926-9105
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY).
Outside Canada: 506-548-7961
Note that long distance charges apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm (Atlantic Standard Time).
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