Who can ask for my SIN and when don't I have to provide my SIN?

The most common uses of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) are for:

  1. your employer
  2. your income tax information
  3. financial institutions from which you earn interest or income (for example, banks, credit unions, trust companies)
  4. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ) benefits
  5. Employment Insurance (EI) program benefits
  6. Canada Education Savings Grants (CESG) and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  7. Child Tax Benefit
  8. Canada Student Loans
  9. Goods and Services Tax (GST) / Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) claims
  10. Social assistance benefits
  11. Veterans benefits and programs
  12. Workers Compensation benefits
  13. child support payments.

For a complete listing and brief description of the federal legislation and programs which are specifically permitted to use the SIN.

When don’t I have to provide my SIN?

Some private-sector organizations may ask for your SIN. This practice is strongly discouraged, but it is not illegal.

Here are examples of when you don’t have to give your Social Insurance Number:

  1. proving your identity (except for specific government programs)
  2. completing a job application before you get the job
  3. completing an application to rent a property
  4. negotiating a lease with a landlord
  5. completing credit card application
  6. cashing a cheque
  7. applying for a video club membership
  8. completing some banking transactions (mortgage, line of credit, loan)
  9. completing a medical questionnaire
  10. renting a car
  11. subscribing to long-distance or cellular telephone services
  12. writing a will
  13. applying to a university or college.