SIN Name Change: Adjust Your Social Insurance Card (2023)

Since 1964, every Canadian citizen and permanent resident has been issued a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This unique nine-digit number is required to work in Canada and is an inherent part of your identity.

If you legally change your name in Canada, you’re required to update your information with the SIN Program. Until you complete this step, your legal name change isn’t considered valid and you can’t use your new name on any official documents, as they won’t match your SIN identity.

Below, I’ll explain why you may need to go through with a SIN name change, how to do it, and answer a few other questions related to the process.

Is A SIN Name Change Easy In Canada?

Your SIN number is an important part of establishing your identity and is linked to your government documents, your credit report, and is used to identify you as a taxpayer.

Your SIN number can be used by hackers and identity thieves to steal your identity, so it’s important to keep your number safe, secure, and up-to-date. This includes notifying the Social Insurance Program regarding any changes to your name.

Thankfully, the Social Insurance program makes it relatively quick and easy to update your legal name that’s associated with your SIN number. You just have to fill out some paperwork, submit an application, and wait to receive your response and updated SIN profile in the mail.

How To Change Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) Name

Is An Employee Number the Same As A Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

If you’ve recently changed your name, Canadian law requires SIN holders to update their name with the Social Insurance department.

To begin the process, you’ll need to submit an online application with the Social Insurance Program, just as you would if you were applying for a SIN for the first time. Depending on the reason for your SIN application, you’ll be given forms and documents to complete online.

You can also apply by mail by printing out the documents and mailing them to the Social Insurance Program. This typically takes several weeks longer than the standard online application, though, so I don’t recommend it.

Along with your application, you may also be asked to submit forms relating to your request, such as your name change documents.

How Long Does It Take For A SIN Name Change?

If you apply online, a SIN name change is relatively quick. The Social Insurance program typically takes around ten days to process your application after it’s been received. So, expect to receive a response within two weeks regarding your application.

If there are any errors, you’ll be notified and asked to update or provide the required information. From this point, it could take another ten days for your application to be processed.

As long as your application is in order, though, you should receive a letter from the Social Insurance program notifying you that your SIN profile has been updated. Now, your legal name change is complete, and you’ll be able to use the letter to change other documents, such as:

  • The name on your bank account
  • The name on your mortgage or loan account
  • The name on your credit/debit cards
  • The name on your driver’s license

Will My SIN Number Stay The Same After A Name Change?

If you’re like most Canadians, you probably have your SIN number memorized. We use this number so often that it’s just as important to memorize as your phone number. The prospect of having to memorize a new SIN number after years of using your old SIN number seems a bit daunting.

Thankfully, your SIN number will remain the same after a name change.

The letter you receive from the Social Insurance Program will display the same SIN number as you’ve had all your life. However, it will show that your legal name has been updated, which is important if you wish to update your legal name attached to other accounts.

Do I Have To Update My SIN If I Get Married?

When To Provide Your Social Insurance Number

The most common reason for changing one’s name in Canada is marriage. Many Canadians choose to adopt the last name of their spouse after they get married. If you change your name after marriage, you must update your SIN profile to reflect your name change.

However, if you don’t change your name after marriage, then you do NOT need to update your SIN profile.

Can I Update My SIN TO Reflect A New Gender

If you are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment, then you may wish to update your gender. In Canada, everybody has the right to assign their own gender and is allowed to update any and all legal documents (including their birth certificate) to reflect the gender they identify with.

The process for updating your SIN gender is the same as updating your name. You’ll start by completing a SIN application and identifying the reason for the update. Then, you’ll be given forms and documents to complete.

As long as your papers are in order, you should receive confirmation of the update within two weeks.

Do I Need To Update My SIN Information If I Move?

Unlike your driver’s license, which needs to be updated if you move or change your address, you do not need to update your SIN profile after moving. The only reason you’ll need to update your SIN is if you’re changing your name or gender or if you’re undergoing legal proceedings after being victimized by identity theft.

Conclusion – How Will I Receive My Updated SIN Information?

SIN Name Change

Once your SIN information has been updated, you’ll receive a letter in the mail (as well as a digital copy) detailing the update to your profile. To reduce instances of identity theft, the Social Insurance Program no longer issues plastic cards. So your letter is your main proof of identity. Make sure you keep it safe!

Did you know that the average Canadian has a 672 credit score? Keep on reading to see my breakdown of the average credit score in Canada by age next!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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1 thought on “SIN Name Change: Adjust Your Social Insurance Card (2023)”

  1. That person with the sex Change is tying to steal my identity ND settlement that’s trying to get a name change looking in to that I got proof if identity theft rite now this second its sounded fishy reading it I was like hey they my name name there are trying to change


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