How to Change the Name on a Social Insurance Number

By Nancy Chen - Updated June 08, 2017
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In Canada, you need a social insurance number (SIN) to work and receive government benefits and services. Your SIN is a unique nine-digit number; no two social insurance numbers are the same. To protect yourself from identity theft or fraud, you should safeguard your SIN. If you recently had your name legally changed because of marriage or divorce, or if the name on your SIN record is wrong, submit a name change request to Service Canada, the agency that handles and issues social insurance numbers and records.

Obtain an application form for a social insurance number. You can either download the form from the Service Canada website (see Resources) or call 800-206-7218 to request an application form.

Read through the instructions on how to complete the application and fill it out with blue or black ink. Make sure you indicate that you are requesting a name change on your SIN by checking off the box "legal change of name(s)" located at the top left corner of the form.

Gather the documents required to change the name on your SIN. You'll need to submit a primary document that establishes your identity and legal status in Canada; for example, you can submit an official birth certificate, Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or permanent or temporary residence papers (see Resources for a complete list of acceptable documents). In addition to a primary document, you'll need to present Service Canada with a supporting document that shows your new or correct name. Examples include a court order or legal certificate that documents the name change, an adoption order or a marriage certificate.

Find your local Service Canada office by using the directory in Resources. In addition to the address, you'll be presented with the location's phone number and business hours.

Bring your application and documents to your local Service Canada office for processing. You will receive your new card via mail in 10 business days, according to the Service Canada website.

You can also apply for a name change on your social insurance number by mail, though Service Canada recommends using its in-person services as there is a security risk involved in submitting your original documents and personal information via mail. Mail the application and original documents to:

Service Canada Social Insurance Registration Office P.O. Box 7000 Bathurst, New Brunswick E2A 4T1

You will not be charged a fee to change your name on your SIN record. However, if you are ordering a replacement card as a result of losing it, you'll have to pay $10.

About the Author

Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

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