A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required to work in Canada and take advantage of government programs and benefits.  While your children do not officially require a SIN number, you may wish to apply for one in order to save and invest towards their education in a Registered Education Savings Plan and to be eligible for government programs such as the Canada Education Savings Grant. It is also a great idea to obtain one for your children early on as they will eventually need one when they are old enough to work. It is never too early to apply for a SIN number.

You can apply for a SIN number on behalf of your child if he or she is under the age of 12. Children aged 12 and older can apply for a SIN number on their own. If you are applying on behalf of your child, you will need to present the following information:

  • Your SIN number or original documents (i.e. birth certificate, Canadian citizenship or permanent resident card). For additional examples of original documents visit the Service Canada website.
  • Your child’s original documents.
  • A document confirming your legal guardianship.
  • The required $10 fee.

You may apply for your child’s SIN number by mail or by visiting a Service Canada centre in your area.

Regardless of how you apply, if all required information is provided, you will receive your child’s SIN card in the mail within 10-15 business days. Additional information, including mailing address, online forms and phone numbers can be found on the Service Canada website.

For residents living in Alberta, British Columbia or Ontario, new parents can apply for their newborn’s SIN number using the Newborn Registration Service. This service allows you to register the birth of your child, apply for your child’s birth certificate and apply for your child’s SIN number all in one convenient place.  Visit the Newborn Registration Service website for additional information and to apply online.