What information/documents do I need to apply?

Important Notices:

  • There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • On March 31, 2014, Service Canada began issuing SINs in paper format (confirmation of SIN letter). Production of the plastic SIN cards has stopped.
  • Original proof of identity documents are required to apply for a SIN; photocopies are not accepted.

Primary Documents

You need to provide a primary document to apply for a SIN, obtain a confirmation of your SIN, or amend your SIN record (e.g. a name change).

A primary document is an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada. We need to see an original of your primary document. If the name on this document is different from the name you currently use, you will also need to provide a supporting document.


All documents must be written in English or French or be 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.

You must provide one of the following primary documents when you apply:

Canadian citizens

Certificate of Birth or Birth Certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the province or territory where you were born.


  • In most cases original Certificates of birth and Birth Certificates are considered acceptable to apply for a SIN. However, it should be noted that some birth certificates, although they are original documents issued by a vital statistics agency, may no longer be considered valid by the issuing province or meet the requirements due to various reasons. Only upon review of the document is Service Canada able to determine its validity.
  • We do not accept Quebec proof of birth documents issued prior to 1994.

Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued prior to 1977 by CIC.

Registered Indians

If you are a registered Indian and you want to register your status in your SIN record, submit one of the following:

  • if you were born in Canada, you must provide your original birth certificate (see section on Canadian Citizens) and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).
  • if you were born outside Canada, you must provide your original foreign birth certificate and a Certificate of Indian Status issued by AANDC.

Permanent residents

You must provide one of the following primary documents:

Permanent Resident card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

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 license).

Record of Landing issued by CIC before June 28, 2002.

Verification of Landing issued by CIC. This document is provided when an original Record of Landing or the Confirmation of Permanent Residence is not available (if it has been lost, for example). This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain a confirmation of an existing SIN.

Status Verification or Verification of Status issued by CIC. This document is only acceptable to amend a SIN record or to obtain a confirmation of an existing SIN.

Temporary residents

You must provide one of the following primary documents:

Work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Study permit issued by CIC. A study permit is acceptable only when it indicates that the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada. If neither of these statements is on the study permit, the international student will need to provide, along with the study permit:

Visitor record issued by CIC, indicating you are authorized to work in Canada.

Diplomatic identity card and a note of permission of employment issued by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Important note for temporary residents: You will receive a letter confirming that you have been issued a temporary SIN. The SIN will begin with the number "9". Your SIN expires on the date indicated in the “expires on” field of the letter. This expiry date is based on the CIC document that authorizes you to work in Canada.

Supporting Documents

A supporting document is a legal document indicating the name you currently use. It is required if the name on your primary document is different. Your supporting document must be an original, written in English or French.

In addition to your primary document, you will need to provide one of the following supporting documents when you apply, if required:

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: This does not apply to Quebec residents, regardless of where they were married after April 1, 1981).

Divorce Decree, certificate of Divorce or Decree Absolute issued in accordance with the Supreme Court of Canada for the dissolution of a marriage to support the family name requested on the SIN record when it does not appear on the primary document.

Legal change-of-name certificate or court order document issued in accordance with provincial name change legislation.

Adoption order certified by a Canadian Court (applies to adoptions in Canada only).

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.

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.