Your social insurance number name change falls under the responsibility of Service Canada. Once you provide all the necessary documents, you will be issued a new card immediately. Despite being a name change, your number remains the same.
Your social insurance number allows you to work and enjoy government services as well as benefits.
Before you carry out a social insurance number name change, you need to provide proof of identity documents. The three types of documents you provide are:
- A valid primary document
- A valid secondary document
- Supporting documents
The valid primary document is a document that proves who you are as well as your legal status in Canada. The secondary document backs up the information in your primary document by confirming your identity.
Generally, you only need the primary and secondary documents to carry out a social insurance number name change. However, it is possible there might be a conflict between the name on your primary document and what’s written on your secondary document. For instance, in a situation where you get married. In that case, you’d have to provide supporting documents to aid your cause. The three documents will be discussed at length below.
As stated earlier, a primary document proves your ID as well as your status in Canada. If you’re a Canadian citizen who wants to get a social insurance number name change, you must provide either of the following:
- Birth certificate or certificate of birth issued by the agency in the territory or province of your birth
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada
- Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad as issued by the CIC before 1977
Registered Indians are to provide the following:
- A birth certificate as provided above or foreign birth certificate as well as
- Certificate of Indian Status as issued by the Indigenous Services Canada
Permanent residents are to provide either of the following:
- Permanent Resident Card as issued by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence issued through the IRCC as well as passport or drivers license
- Record of landing issued before June 28, 2002 by the CIC
- Verification of landing issued by the CIC or IRCC
- Verification of Status or Status Verification
Temporary residents must provide the following:
- Study permit
- Work permit
As an official document, a secondary document provides additional evidence for your primary document. The secondary you provide must be valid. It must also contain your legal name and date of birth. Below are examples of a secondary document:
- Foreign or Canadian passport
- Territorial or provincial ID
- Any other government-issued ID
A supporting document is any legal document that indicates your current name. You provide it where there’s a conflict between your primary and secondary documents. You must provide the original. Some of the supporting documents you may provide include:
- Marriage certificate, marriage statement or record of solemnization of marriage
- Divorce certificate, divorce decree or divorce absolute
- Legal change of name or court order in compliance with name change legislation
- Adoption order
- Notarial certificate
Once you gather all the documents you need to carry out your social insurance number name change, you’ll take them to the Service Canada Office nearest to you. Many people will prefer to change name on SIN card online, but if you change your name via mail, be wary of the security risk of sending your personal information and original credentials.
Once you’re ready, download the SIN application from the Service Canada official website. Tick the box titled “Legal Change of Name.” You’ll need to put down your old and new names, your address, birthplace, SIN number, as well as the names of your parents and dates. Your original documents will go with your application.
Once you mail your application, you’ll get your card at an estimated 21 days from the date of your application.
Note that Service Canada charges no fees for changing the name on your SIN card at this time. You can opt for in-person services if you’re reluctant to send your original documents by mail. Further note that if you do send your documents by mail, Service Canada will not be held responsible for the loss of your original documents.
Service Canada permits the following individuals to apply via mail:
- Individuals living in an inaccessible location or100km+ away to apply via mail.
- Individuals with other limitations preventing them from visiting in-person, and who have no one to apply on their behalf
- Individuals applying in a foreign country
You can download your SIN application form here.