Social Insurance Number



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.

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits.

  • There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • On March 31, 2014, Service Canada began issuing SINs in a paper format (confirmation of SIN letter). Production of the plastic SIN cards has stopped.
  • SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used.

Service Canada offers the Newborn Registration Service, which is an integrated birth registration and SIN application process. This service is available for parents living in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

Service Canada requires individuals to apply in-person. By doing so, if your application is in order, you can obtain your SIN in less than 15 minutes and do not need to part with your original proof of identity documents.

To apply for your SIN, please visit a Service Canada Centre with your original proof of identity documents.

Special measures are in place to accommodate individuals who cannot apply in-person at a Service Canada point of service.

Note: Only individuals in these circumstances are permitted to apply by mail:

  • Individuals living 100km or more from the nearest Service Canada point of service, in an inaccessible area, or where outreach is very infrequent may apply by mail. To confirm your eligibility to apply by mail, you must verify your postal code.
  • Individuals with other extenuating limitations preventing them from visiting a Service Canada point of service and cannot use the assistance of another individual to submit an application on their behalf may be eligible to apply by mail. Note: Individuals must contact 1-800-206-7218 (select Option #3) to determine if they are eligible to apply by mail.

Applying for a Social Insurance Number

Keeping your Social Insurance Number Safe

Lost or Stolen Social Insurance Number

Information for Employers

Contact Information

Publications from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner


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