Social Insurance Number program modernized

Social Insurance Number

Employment and Social Development Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, April 1, 2014 – As of March 31, 2014, individuals applying to receive their Social Insurance Number (SIN) will obtain the information in a letter instead of a plastic card.

Canadians will continue to use their SIN when starting a new job, applying for various government programs or services and for income tax purposes. For those circumstances, the existing SIN card, the letter (Confirmation of SIN) or any other government document containing the SIN can be used. SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used or presented to employers if requested.

Service Canada continues to encourage individuals to keep their SIN cards in a safe place and to avoid carrying them on their person. All government documents containing personal information should be safeguarded.

This modernization of the SIN program will better protect the personal information of Canadians and will also save taxpayer money by reducing administrative costs.

For more information, please go to or call 1800-O‑Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Service Canada issues around 1.5 million SINs per year.
  • SIN cards should never be used as proof of identity and should not be kept in a wallet or a purse.
  • All government documents containing personal information, including the SIN, should be kept in a safe place.


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