Government

Quick access to information based on government's structure



Ministry of Health

Frequently Asked Questions - Social Insurance Number

What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

  • A SIN is a nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. A SIN is required to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

Why should I use this service to apply for my child's SIN?

  • Requesting a SIN at the same time as registering your child's birth is more convenient and reduces paperwork. It saves you from having to go to Service Canada at a later date to fill out another application form to apply for the SIN.
  • A SIN in the name of your child is required to access Government of Canada benefits such as:
    • Opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
    • Getting the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and
    • Obtaining the Canada Learning Bond.

For more information on the above Programs please visit http://www.canlearn.ca/

  • In the future, your child will need a SIN when applying for a job and paying income tax.

Who is eligible to apply for a SIN using this service?

  • Only the parents of the child being registered can use this service to apply for a SIN. If you are not the parent of this child, you may still be eligible to apply for the child's SIN, but will need to apply directly to Service Canada.
  • You must also be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident. If you are not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you may still be eligible to apply for your child's SIN, but will need to apply directly to Service Canada.

How can I apply for a SIN using this service?

  • You would have obtained a Registration of Live Birth package from the hospital where your child was born or from the midwife who attended the birth. If you did not receive a Registration of Live Birth package, you can contact the Vital Statistics Agency at 1 250 952-2681 or print a copy of the Registration of Live Birth form from the web site at www.vs.gov.bc.ca.
  • After completing the birth registration section, simply check the SIN application box and add your signature in the Release of Information section found at the bottom of the Registration of Live Birth form. When completed, this is considered the SIN application for your child. The information required to apply for a SIN will be sent to Service Canada after the birth registration is completed.

Is there a fee?

  • There is no fee to apply for your child's first SIN number.

How long will it take to receive my child's SIN number?

  • After you fill out the Registration of Live Birth form with all the required correct information, you will need to mail or bring the form to any BC Vital Statistics office. Once your baby is registered with the BC Vital Statistics Agency, the information required to apply for a SIN will be sent to Service Canada. Your child's SIN application will be processed immediately be Service Canada and the SIN card delivered within five business days. In general, from the time a parent sends in the Registration of Live Birth form, if it is filled out correctly, it usually takes approximately three to four weeks for the entire process to be completed.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about the Newborn Registration Service?

  • You should contact the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency.
  • British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency
  • Call: 1-250-952-2681
  • Click: www.vs.gov.bc.ca
  • Visit: For locations, visit the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency Web site.
  • Mail: Vital Statistics Agency, P.O. Box 9657 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9P3.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about the SIN, including the status of my child's SIN application?

  • You should contact Service Canada.
  • Call: 1 800 206-7218, our dedicated Employment Insurance call centre, and select Option "3" for information about the SIN.
  • Click: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca
  • Visit: your nearest Service Canada Centre. For location, see our Web site, or call 1 800 0-Canada (1-800-622-6232); TTY 1-800-926-9105.
  • Mail: Social Insurance Registration, P.O. Box 7000, Bathurst, New Brunswick, E2A 4T1

How is my child's SIN application sent to Service Canada (Government of Canada)?

  • The application will be sent electronically to Service Canada once the birth has been fully registered with the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency providing the parent has checked the SIN application box and added their signature in the Release of Information section found at the bottom of the Registration of Live Birth form.

Will my personal information be protected?

  • Protecting the privacy of personal information is a key priority. Both the British Columbia government and the Government of Canada adhere to provincial and federal privacy acts. All electronic information is encrypted and sent over a secure computer network, ensuring that your personal information is protected.

What information is sent to Service Canada (Government of Canada)?

If you choose to apply for your child's SIN using this service, the following information will be forwarded to Service Canada, with your consent, after the child's birth has been registered with the Province of British Columbia.

  • Birth Registration Number
  • Child's date and place of birth
  • Child's full name
  • Sex of child
  • Mother's full maiden name and father's/co-parent's full name
  • Total number of children born
  • Mother's mailing address and telephone number

If I have already registered my child's birth, can I use this service to apply for a SIN?

  • No. You cannot apply for a SIN using this service if the child's birth has already been registered. Visit Service Canada for information about how to apply.

If the child is over one year of age, can I use this service to apply for a SIN?

  • No. If the child is over one year of age, you cannot use this service to apply for a SIN. Visit Service Canada for information about how to apply.