Applying for your Social Insurance Number... Fast, simple, secure!
Did you know?
If you are a Canadian citizen, a newcomer to Canada, or a temporary resident, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.
A SIN is issued to one person only. It cannot legally be used by anyone else. You are responsible for protecting your SIN. Store any document containing your SIN and personal information in a safe place—do not keep it with you.
For more information on how to protect your SIN, please see our publication, Your Social Insurance Number: A Shared Responsibility!
Applying at a Service Canada Centre
Service Canada has made it easy for you to apply for a SIN, to request a confirmation of your SIN, or to amend your SIN record. When applying in-person, you do not have to complete an application form nor do you have to mail your original proof-of-identity documents.
All applicants residing in Canada should apply in-person; however, special measures are in place to accommodate individuals who cannot apply in-person at a Service Canada point of service.
- If you live in an inaccessible area or 100 kilometers or more from a Service Canada point of service, you are eligible to apply by mail. If you are unsure if you are eligible, visit our website at servicecanada.gc.ca to confirm your eligibility to apply by mail using your postal code or contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 (select option #3).
- If you are unable to apply in person due to other extenuating limitations and cannot have another individual submit an application in person on your behalf, you must contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218 (select option #3) to confirm if you are eligible to apply by mail.
If you do not meet the above mentioned criteria to apply by mail and it is not possible for you to apply in person at a Service Canada point of service, there are alternate options which include having another individual submit your application for you in person.
If you currently reside outside Canada, you are eligible to apply by mail. Please consult the Application for a Social Insurance Number – Information Guide for Applicants for more information on how to apply.
Documents required to apply for a SIN
Whether you apply in person or by mail, you must provide original primary proof of identity documents to prove your identity and legal status in Canada. Photocopies are not accepted. You may also need to provide supporting proof of identity documents if the name indicated on your primary proof of identity document is different than the name you are currently using. If you are a parent, a legal guardian, or a legal representative applying on behalf of an individual, you must provide additional documents; refer to the list provided below.
When applying in person, your original documents will be returned to you immediately.
Note: Documents specifications
All documents must be written in English or French or accompanied by an official translation attested to by the translator before a notary public, or prepared by an officer of a foreign government or an official of the British or Canadian Consulate.
What is a primary proof of identity document?
A primary proof of identity document is an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada. We need to see an original of this primary proof of identity document.
Canadian citizens must submit one of the following primary 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); or
- a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC); or
- a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued prior to 1977 by CIC.
Individuals registered with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and want to register their Indian status on the SIN record must provide one of the following documents:
- if you were born in Canada, you must submit your original primary proof-of-identity document as indicated under Canadian citizens and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by INAC or AANDC;
- if you were born outside Canada, you must submit your original foreign birth certificate and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by INAC or AANDC.
Permanent residents must submit one of the following documents:
- a Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC);
- a Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued by CIC, 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;
- a Record of Landing issued by CIC before June 28, 2002;
- a Verification of Landing issued by CIC. This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain confirmation of an existing SIN; or
- a Status Verification or Verification of Status issued by CIC. This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain confirmation of an existing SIN.
Temporary residents must submit one of the following documents:
- a work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC);
- a study permit issued by CIC. International students must present either:
- 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 CIC prior to February 6, 2015. If neither of these requirements is met, you may contact CIC to verify if you are eligible to apply for an amended study permit.
- a visitor record issued by CIC indicating you are authorized to work in Canada or that was issued under Regulation 186 or 187 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or Regulation 19 of the repealed Immigration Act or issued to a member of the clergy; or
- a diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
Other - Individuals residing outside Canada who are not Canadian citizens or Registered Indians with no legal status in Canada and are eligible for a Canadian benefit or pension need to provide both of the following original documents:
- a Birth Certificate issued by a state authority from your country of birth; AND
- a letter confirming eligibility for pension or benefits from Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) or Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ).
What is a supporting proof of identity document?
A supporting proof-of-identity document is a legal document and is required if the name on your primary proof-of-identity document is different than the name you currently use. You must provide one of the following supporting proof-of-identity documents with your request, if required:
- a certificate of marriage, record of solemnization of marriage, or marriage statement to support your family name after marriage. Note: This does not apply to Quebec residents who got married after April 1, 1981, regardless of where they were married;
- a legal change-of-name certificate or court-order document issued in accordance with provincial/territorial change of name act or similar legislation;
- an adoption order certified by a provincial/territorial court (applies to adoptions in Canada only);
- a notarial certificate, also called notarial adoption certificate, issued by the country of origin of a child adopted abroad;
- a Request to Amend Record of Landing issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and used to amend a Record of Landing or a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document;
- a Divorce Decree or a similarly titled document issued in accordance with a provincial/territorial court in Canada for the dissolution of a marriage. Note: Documents issued by a foreign country are not acceptable.
Applying for a SIN on behalf of someone else
Parents or legal guardians can apply for a SIN on behalf of a minor child. Children who are 12 years of age or older can apply for their own SINs. If you are applying on behalf of a child in-person at a Service Canada point of service, you must provide:
- the child's original proof-of-identity documents;
- your own SIN or original document if you are applying in-person. If you were never issued a SIN and/or are applying by mail, you must provide your original proof-of-identity documents;
If you are a legal guardian, you must provide an original document or certified copy of a document issued by a provincial/territorial authority that confirms your legal guardianship (in Quebec, a notarized will is an acceptable document).
Legal representatives applying on behalf of a minor child or an adult can apply for a SIN for a minor child or an adult. If you are a court appointed lawyer or individual, or a provincial/territorial employee applying on behalf of a child or adult in-person at a Service Canada point of service, you must provide:
- the original proof-of-identity documents of the person for whom you are applying;
- your own original valid employee photo identification or government-issued identification;
- an original document or certified copy of a document issued by a provincial/territorial authority that confirms your legal guardianship or representation (in Quebec, a notarized will is an acceptable document);
If you are a provincial employee, a letter of authorization issued by a provincial/territorial agency confirming you as the legal representative and the name of the person for whom you are applying is required. (Note: for court appointed lawyers or court appointed individuals such as family members, this letter is not required).
Remember: Photocopies are not accepted.
There is no fee required to apply for a SIN.
How to reach us
See the website for more information on how to contact Service Canada and access the full range of Government of Canada programs and services.
(Select Option "3"). Agents are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Canadian local time, except on statutory holidays. If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY), please call 1-800-926-9105. If you are calling from outside Canada, the number is 506-548-7961 (long-distance charges apply) from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm (Atlantic Time).
Visit a Service Canada Centre
To find the Centre nearest you, visit our website or call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a teletypewriter (TTY), please call 1-800-926-9105.
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