On this page
- Submit original copies
- Translation requirements
- Primary identity document
- Secondary document
- Supporting document
Submit original copies
If you apply by mail or in-person, you may only submit original documents.
If you apply online, you may submit digital copies. These digital copies must be clear, legible and complete by showing the entire document including the borders.
Visit the Apply section to find out what documents you need to apply, based on your personal situation.
If you submit a document that is neither in English nor 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 a certified translator,* translates the document, submit an attestation**.
If a translator who is not certified translates the document, submit an affidavit***.
*A certified translator is a member of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters.
**An attestation is a document stating that the translation is a true and accurate version of the original text.
***An 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 a parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.)
Primary identity document
A primary identity document is an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada.
The primary identity document required differs according to your status in Canada.
Note: If there are minor differences between the information you provided on your online application and the information as it appears on your primary identity document, the information will be entered in the Social Insurance Register as it appears on your primary identity document.
If you are applying online, and there is identity information on both sides of the document, make sure to provide both sides of the document.
To determine which primary identity document you must provide, please refer to the appropriate section below:
- A certificate of birth or birth certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the province or territory of birth
- A certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- A certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by CIC before 1977
- Most original certificates of birth and birth certificates are acceptable to get a SIN. However, some birth certificates may no longer be considered valid or meet the requirements by the issuing province or meet the requirements for various reasons. The SIN Program must review the document to determine its validity
- The SIN Program does not accept Quebec proof of birth documents issued prior to 1994
- A permanent resident card issued by IRCC or CIC
- A Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) issued by IRCC
Note: If you use the COPR within one year of becoming a permanent resident, it is acceptable. After this period, the permanent resident card is required.
- Record of Landing issued by CIC before June 28, 2002
- Verification of Landing issued by IRCC or CIC when an original Record of Landing or the COPR is not available (for example, if it has been lost). This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to get the confirmation of an existing SIN
- Status Verification or Verification of Status issued by IRCC or CIC. This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to get a confirmation of an existing SIN
- A work permit issued by IRCC or CIC;
- A study permit issued by IRCC or CIC which indicates the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada;
Note: If you do not meet this requirement, contact IRCC to verify if you are eligible to apply for an amended study permit.
- A visitor record issued by IRCC or CIC, indicating you are authorized to work in Canada;
- A diplomatic identity card and a work authorization issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
Individual born outside Canada who is registered under the Indian Act
If you were born outside Canada, but you are registered under the Indian Act, provide both following documents:
- A birth certificate issued by a state authority from your country of birth. If the document is not in English or French, see Translation requirements; and
- A certificate of Indian Status issued by Indigenous Services Canada
If you live outside Canada with no legal status in Canada
If you live outside of Canada with no legal status AND qualify for Canadian government benefits or pensions, provide both following documents:
- A birth certificate issued by a state authority from your country of birth. If the document is not in English or French, see Translation requirements.
- A statement of contribution or letter confirming that you qualify for pension or benefits from Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security or Régime des rentes du Québec
A secondary document is an official document that confirms your identity.
The secondary document must be valid (unless it belongs to a deceased individual). It must be issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial or territorial) or be a foreign passport.
The following information must appear on the document:
- Legal name (family name and given name), and
- Date of birth
Examples of acceptable secondary documents:
- A passport (Canadian or foreign)
- A Canadian provincial or territorial ID card or driver’s license
- Any other Canadian government-issued ID
A supporting document is a legal document stating the name you currently use.
If the name on any document provided is different from the name on the SIN application, submit a supporting document.
Examples of acceptable supporting documents:
- A certificate of marriage, record of solemnization of marriage or marriage statement (or a similarly titled document, depending on the issuing authority) to support your family name after marriage.
Note:For Quebec residents married after April 1, 1981, the marriage certificate or registration cannot be used to support a family name change, regardless of the province or country in which the marriage took place.
- A divorce decree, certificate of divorce or decree absolute issued in accordance with a court (Canadian or foreign) for the dissolution of a marriage to support the family name requested on the SIN record when it does not appear on the primary or secondary document.
- A legal change of name certificate or court order document issued in accordance with provincial or territorial name change legislation.
- An adoption order certified by a Canadian 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 and used by the adoptive parents to have the SIN issued in the adopted child’s Canadian name.
- A request to Amend Record of Landing issued by IRCC or CIC and used to amend a Record of Landing or a COPR.
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