Service Canada will no longer produce plastic SIN cards

March 27, 2014 - Tags: Employers Regulations

This guest blog post comes from Service Canada (operating under Employment and Social Development Canada), which offers Canadians a single point of access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services on the Internet, by phone or in person.

Modernization of the Social Insurance Number Program

Fifty years ago, the Social Insurance Number (SIN) was introduced as a client record identifier for the Canada Pension Plan and other programs. Later, Canada Revenue Agency began using the SIN for income tax purposes.

Since then, anyone working in Canada was required to have a SIN. Plastic cards with SIN numbers were issued.

The SIN card was never intended to be an identity card as it does not contain any security features or identifying attributes. Since SIN cards are wallet-sized, many people carry them on their person, despite Service Canada's warnings not to do so. Also, as more Canadians use online automated services there is less need for a physical card.

On March 28, 2014, Service Canada will stop producing plastic cards. Individuals will continue to be reminded to keep all government documents containing personal information, including the SIN, in a safe place. This modernization of the SIN program will better protect personal information while making sure individuals still have access to government programs and services.


What the change to the SIN will mean

There are also some SIN Regulations and changes to the Employment Insurance Regulations. Starting on March 31, 2014, Service Canada will issue SINs in a paper format instead of a card. SIN cards that are not expired and are currently in circulation can still be used or presented to employers. However, the SIN will still be required to apply for government programs and services, and for income tax purposes.

Employers are required to request the SINs of employees and record the number within three days of them starting work. The existing SIN card, the letter (Confirmation of SIN) or other documentation showing the SIN can be provided to the employer. You can also request other pieces of identification in order to correctly identify employees before finalizing their employment documents.


Protect the SIN in the workplace

To help protect employee information and prevent fraud or SIN theft, you should store all employees' sensitive personal information in a secure area or on an encrypted computer system. Inform Service Canada if you suspect fraud or abuse of an employee's SIN.

Learn more
To learn more about these changes or for more information regarding the use of the SIN, visit


Posted by on September 15, 2014
Bonjour Claire,

Auprès de Services Canada, vous trouverez des renseignements sur la procédure pour obtenir une copie papier de votre numéro d'assurance sociale, ainsi qu'un conseil pour vous aidez à le repérer.
Posted by Claire on September 12, 2014
Ma carte A sociale était détériorée et je l'ai déchirée mais j'ai toujours mon numéro, dois-je demander une lettre, mon numéro est sur mes impots, donc si j'oublie mon numéro je peut le retracer!
Réponses S.V.P.

Posted by on August 15, 2014
Hello Jennifer,

If you applied in-person at a Service Canada Centre and all your documents were in order, you should have received your Confirmation of SIN at the time of your visit. In some situations, SIN requests may be referred to the processing centre for validation. If your request was referred, you should have received your Confirmation of SIN by mail within 10 business days.

For more information regarding your situation, we suggest you contact the SIN program Call Centre at 1-800-206-7218 (select option '3').
Posted by Jennifer on August 12, 2014
I got married and changed my name. I was wondering how long does it take to recieve my paper letter? I went into a service canada center 2 months ago and still have not recieved anything. Kind of regretting giving up my nice plastic card now.
Posted by on July 9, 2014
Bonjour Hugo,

Le 31 mars 2014, Service Canada a commencé à attribuer les numéros d’assurance sociale en format papier (lettre de confirmation du numéro d’assurance sociale). La production de cartes d’assurance sociale en plastique a pris fin. Comme vous avez toujours le numéro d’assurance sociale lui-même, il n’est pas nécessaire d’en demander la confirmation. Si vous perdez votre numéro et ne pouvez plus vous en rappeler, vous pouvez vous rendre dans un Centre Service Canada avec vos preuves d’identité originales afin de demander la confirmation de votre numéro d’assurance sociale, sans frais. Pour obtenir plus de renseignements, communiquez avec le centre d’appels du programme du numéro d’assurance sociale, au 1 800 808 6352 (choisir l'option « 3 »).

Posted by Hugo on July 2, 2014
J'ai une carte plastifié NAS et celle-ci est brisée. Puis-je obtenir une nouvelle carte ou simplement, un avis papier de confirmation de celui-ci.

Posted by on April 1, 2014
Hello Michele,

The confirmation of SIN letter received on the spot at the Service Canada Centre, which includes the SIN, can be used if requested (e.g. by employers, to receive government benefits, etc.).

As of March 31, 2014, the production of SIN cards has been discontinued. Service Canada now issues SINs to individuals in a paper format. At any time, your son may visit a Service Canada Centre with his original proof of identity documents to request a confirmation of his SIN; there is no longer a fee to apply for any type of SIN request.

For more information, contact the SIN program Call Centre at 1-800-206-7218 (select option '3').
Posted by michele on March 30, 2014
My son's plastic sin card never came in the mail. He applied in person June 2013, was given a letter/temporary notice including a SIN on the spot. Is this letter/notice his official SIN document?
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