A Guide to Sharing Your SIN

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What will happen if I don't give a company my SIN?
When donít I have to provide my SIN?

What will happen if I don't give a company my SIN?
If you don't provide your SIN, some businesses may not provide you with the service or benefit you want. Getting satisfactory answers to the questions listed above will help you decide whether you want to share your SIN with the business. The decision to share is yours. The most common uses of your SIN are for:

  1. Your employer
  2. Your income tax information
  3. Financial institutions from which you earn interest or income (for example, banks, credit unions, trust companies)
  4. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ) benefits
  5. Employment Insurance (EI) program benefits
  6. Canada Education Savings Grants (CESG) and Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  7. Child Tax Benefit
  8. Canada Student Loans
  9. Goods and Services Tax (GST) / Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) claims
  10. Social assistance benefits
  11. Veterans’ benefits and programs
  12. Workers’ Compensation benefits
  13. Child support payments

A complete listing and brief description of the federal legislation and programs which are specifically permitted to use the SIN can be found at
the Service Canada website.

When donít I have to provide my SIN?
Some private-sector organizations may ask for your SIN. This practice is strongly discouraged, but it is not illegal. Here are examples of when you don’t have to give your SIN or show your card:

  1. Proving your identity (except for specific government programs)
  2. Completing a job application before you get the job
  3. Completing an application to rent a property
  4. Negotiating a lease with a landlord
  5. Completing a credit card application
  6. Cashing a cheque
  7. Applying for a video club membership
  8. Completing some banking transactions (mortgage, line of credit, loan)
  9. Completing a medical questionnaire
  10. Renting a car
  11. Subscribing to long-distance or cellular telephone services
  12. Writing a will
  13. Applying to a university or college