How to Change Name on SIN Card: A Simple Guide for Canadians

Person filling out form to change name
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Here is a step-by-step guide to follow to change your name on your SIN card:

1. Decide how you’re going to apply

You can choose to apply in person, online or by mail.

Keep in mind that mailing in your documents requires longer processing times (could take an additional few weeks).

2. Gathering the documents you need

For changing your name on a SIN card, you need your proof of identity, such as an original Canadian birth certificate or certificate of Canadian Citizenship, and the legal proof of your name change, such as a court order or marriage certificate.

If you’re applying online, these must be digital copies of the originals.

If you’re applying by mail or in person, you’ll need to mail in or hand over the original copies.

3. Submit a SIN application

You can find these forms online right here.

If you are applying in person or by mail, you can print them to fill them out.

At the top of the application, select the box for “Legal Change of Name”.

What Documents Are Required?

When changing the name on your SIN card, you will need to provide certain documents.

The required documents include:

1. Proof of identity

To change your name on your SIN card, you must provide a valid government-issued identification document.

Examples of acceptable identification documents include a birth certificate issued by the vital statistics agency in the province or territory of birth, a certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by IRCC or CIC, or a certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad issued by CIC before 1977.

You’ll also need a secondary identification document, which could be a passport (Canadian or foreign), a Canadian provincial or territorial ID card or driver’s license, or any other Canadian government-issued ID.

2. Proof of name change

If you have legally changed your name, you will need to provide documentation to support this change.

Acceptable documents for proof of name change include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or legal name change certificate.

3. Application form
To proceed with the name change process, you must complete an application form specifically for changing the name on your SIN card.

This form can be obtained either online or in-person from the relevant government agency.

Ensure that all the documents you provide are accurate and up-to-date.

Having the necessary documents will make the name change process for your SIN card go smoothly.

Remember to keep copies of all the documents you submit for your own records.

What Should You Do if Your SIN Name Change Request is Denied?

If your name change request is denied, it is important to know what steps you can take to resolve the issue. Here are some actions you can consider:

1. Review the reason for denial

Take the time to carefully examine the explanation provided for the denial.

Understand the specific requirements or documents that were found to be missing or insufficient.

2. Gather additional evidence

In cases where the denial was due to insufficient documentation, it is crucial to gather any additional evidence or supporting documents that can strengthen your case.

This may involve obtaining legal documents, court orders, or other forms of identification.

3. Resubmit your application with the new documents

Submit the documents to Service Canada again with the appropriate supporting documentation attached.

How Long Does it Take to Process the Name Change on SIN Card?

The processing time for a name change on a SIN card is relatively quick, and generally takes as little as 10 days.

However, if you decide to submit your application through mail, it can take over six weeks for your application to get processed.

The processing time may vary depending on the volume of requests and individual cases.

It is recommended to submit the name change request as soon as possible and ensure all required documents are included to avoid delays.

Providing accurate and complete information will help expedite the processing time.

After submitting the request, you can check the status of their application through the government website or by contacting Service Canada.

Regardless, you should receive your new SIN card in the mail within a few weeks.

What should You Do with Your Old SIN Card After the Name Change?

After changing your name on your SIN card, it is important to take steps to handle your old card properly. Here are three options to consider:

1. Destroy it

To protect your personal information, destroy your old SIN card after the name change.

Shred or cut it into small pieces to prevent unauthorized use.

2. Return it to Service Canada

You can return your old SIN card to the nearest Service Canada office.

This helps prevent identity theft and ensures proper disposal.

3. Keep it for reference

If you want to keep your old SIN card for personal reference, store it in a safe and secure place.

Keep in mind that the legally recognized name on your updated SIN card will be the new one.

Fact

Fact: In 2014, over 880,000 Canadians reported being victims of identity theft. Taking appropriate actions regarding your old SIN card can help protect you from this crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I change my name on a SIN card?
  • What documents do I need to provide for a legal name change on a citizenship application?
  • When applying to change your name on a citizenship application, you will need to provide a digital copy (if applying online) or an original copy (if applying in person or by mail) of your birth certificate, along with a passport (Canadian or foreign), a Canadian provincial or territorial ID card or driver’s license, or any other Canadian government-issued ID.

    You’ll also need to provide legal proof of your name change, such as a court order or marriage certificate.

  • How long will it take to process my SIN name change?
  • The processing time for a name change on a SIN card is relatively quick, taking on average between 2-3 weeks for you to receive your new SIN card in the mail.

    However, if you decide to submit your application through mail, it can take a few weeks longer for your application to get processed.

  • Will my SIN number change if I legally change my name?
  • No. Your SIN number will stay the same, even if you change your name legally.

Tara Al-Khudairi

Tara Al-Khudairihas worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.