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
- Who can apply for a SIN?
- How do I apply for a SIN, obtain a confirmation of my SIN, or amend my SIN record (e.g., a name change)?
- What forms do I need to apply?
- What information/documents do I need to apply?
- Is there a fee?
- Newborn Registration Service
- How can I apply for someone else (e.g. on behalf of a child or an adult)?
- How do I update my SIN that begins with a “9”?
- How can I request my SIN information?
- What should I do if I have not received my SIN?
- Where can I find information on SIN program legislation?
Keeping your Social Insurance Number Safe
- How can I protect my SIN?
- What should I do if I legally change my name?
- Who can ask for my SIN and when don’t I have to provide my SIN?
- What should I do if an organization asks for my SIN and it is not legally required?
- What should I do if I suspect someone is using my SIN?
- Can I ask for a new SIN if I have been a victim of fraud?
- What do I need to provide Service Canada with if I suspect someone is using my SIN?
- How does Service Canada protect my SIN?
- What is the Social Insurance Number Code of Practice?
- What should I know about the Social Insurance Number and fraud?
Lost or Stolen Social Insurance Number
- What should I do if my confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card has been lost or stolen?
- What should I do if I have found someone else’s confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card?
- Can I ask for a new SIN if I have lost my confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card or it has been stolen?
- How do I replace my lost or stolen confirmation of SIN letter or SIN card?
Information for Employers
- How do I contact the Social Insurance Number program?
- What to do with the SIN of a deceased person?
- Do I need to notify the SIN program of my new address?
Publications from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Identity Theft: What it is and what you can do about it
- Protecting Your Personal Information
- Privacy Legislation in Canada
- Links to all facts sheets