ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 10 — May 8, 2013

Registration

SOR/2013-82 April 26, 2013

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT ACT
EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT

Social Insurance Number Regulations

P.C. 2013-428 April 25, 2013

RESOLUTION

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, pursuant to subsection 28.2(4) (see footnote a) of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act (see footnote b) and section 140 (see footnote c) of the Employment Insurance Act (see footnote d), makes the annexed Social Insurance Number Regulations.

March 11, 2013

IAN SHUGART
Chairperson
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

MARY-LOU DONNELLY
Commissioner (Workers)
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

JUDITH ANDREW
Commission (Employers)
Canada Employment Insurance Commission

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, pursuant to subsection 28.2(4) (see footnote e) of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act (see footnote f) and section 140 (see footnote g) of the Employment Insurance Act (see footnote h), approves the annexed Social Insurance Number Regulations, made by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER REGULATIONS

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

1. The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“Act”
« Loi »

“Act” means the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act.

“Canadian citizen”
« citoyen canadien »

“Canadian citizen” means citizen as set out in section 3 of the Citizenship Act.

“permanent resident”
« résident permanent »

“permanent resident” has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

“registration”
« enregistrement »

“registration” means registration with the Commission under section 28.1 or 28.2 of the Act.

“status”
« statut »

“status” means status under the laws governing Canadian citizenship and immigration to Canada.

APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION

Information required

2. Any application to register a person must be submitted in the manner and form required by the Commission, must include supporting documents that are sufficient to establish the person’s identity and status and must contain the following information:

  • (a) the person’s full name;
  • (b) their name at birth, if it differs from their name at the time of the application;
  • (c) their date of birth;
  • (d) their place of birth;
  • (e) the full name at birth of their mother; and
  • (f) the full name at birth of their father.

Submission and signature

3. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), an application to register a person must be made and signed

  • (a) if the person is 12 years of age or older, by that person or by a person who is legally authorized to act in their name or on their behalf; and
  • (b) if the person is under 12 years of age, by a parent or other person who is legally authorized to act in their name or on their behalf.

Agreement between Commission and province

(2) If an agreement providing for registration at birth has been made between the Commission and the government of the province where the person was born, an application to register the person must be made and signed by an official responsible for registering births in that province.

Unable to sign

(3) If a person who applies to be registered is unable to sign their name, they may attest the application by making their mark in the presence of two witnesses who sign the application.

Absence of signature or mark

(4) If an application for the registration of a person has been made in accordance with section 2, the Commission may register the person and assign them a Social Insurance Number despite the absence of the signature or mark.

Failure to apply for religious or other reasons

4. If a person who is required by law to have a Social Insurance Number is unwilling or unable to apply for registration because of religious beliefs or for other reasons, the Commission may register the person and assign a Social Insurance Number to that person if it has sufficient information about the person to establish their identity and status.

Lost card

5. (1) A person whose Social Insurance Number Card has been lost, destroyed or defaced may apply to the Commission for a replacement.

Application for replacement

(2) The application for a replacement must be made in the form and manner required by the Commission and must contain

  • (a) the information and supporting documents required by section 2; and
  • (b) the person’s Social Insurance Number or, if the number is not known, a statement that the person was previously assigned a Social Insurance Number.

Prohibition

6. A Social Insurance Number Card must not be imported or exported by any person by means of a confirmed delivery service unless at the time of the importation or exportation the Commission verifies that it is not being imported or exported for a prohibited use described in subsection 28.4(1) of the Act.

PERSONS REFERRED TO IN SECTION 90 OF THE
IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT

Additional information required

7. An application to register a person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and in respect of whom the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has given a direction to the Commission under section 90 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to issue a Social Insurance Number must include, in addition to the documents and information required by section 2, the grounds that support the application.

Assignment of number

8. A Social Insurance Number assigned to a person described in section 7 must begin with the number “9”.

Period of validity — applicant outside Canada

9. (1) A Social Insurance Number that begins with “9” and is assigned to a person who was not in Canada when they applied to be registered has a period of validity that expires five years after the day on which the number was assigned.

Period of validity — applicant in Canada

(2) A Social Insurance Number that begins with “9” and is assigned to a person who was in Canada when they applied to be registered has a period of validity that expires on the earlier of the following days:

  • (a) the day on which the period authorized for their stay in Canada ends, as determined under subsection 183(4) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations; and
  • (b) the day that is two years after the day on which the number is assigned.

Application to extend period of validity

10. (1) If a Social Insurance Number that begins with “9” is about to expire or has expired, the person to whom it was assigned may apply to the Commission for an extended or a new period of validity equivalent to the period set out in section 9 that is applicable.

Information required

(2) The application must be made in the form and manner required by the Commission and must include, in addition to the documents and information required by section 2, the grounds that support the application.

Card issued without expiry date

11. For greater certainty, any Social Insurance Number Card that was issued without an expiry date to a person who was not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident expired on April 3, 2004.

Use of expired number prohibited

12. It is prohibited for a person to use a Social Insurance Number Card that has expired or a Social Insurance Number whose period of validity has expired.

Number voided — beginning with 9

13. (1) On the application of a person who has been assigned a Social Insurance Number that begins with “9” and has since become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the Commission must void the previously assigned number and assign a new Social Insurance Number that begins with a number other than “9”.

Application for new number

(2) The application must be made in the form and manner required by the Commission and must contain

  • (a) the information and supporting documents required by section 2; and
  • (b) the person’s Social Insurance Number or, if the number is not known, a statement that the person was previously assigned a Social Insurance Number.

Number voided — not beginning with 9

14. If a person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident applies for a replacement card under section 5 or informs the Commission of a change of name in accordance with section 28.3 of the Act or section 139 of the Employment Insurance Act and their Social Insurance Number does not begin with “9”, the Commission must void the previously assigned number and assign a new Social Insurance Number that begins with “9”.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO THE EMPLOYMENT
INSURANCE REGULATIONS

15. Subsection 55(4) of the Employment Insurance Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

(4) A claimant who is not a self-employed person is not disentitled from receiving benefits in respect of pregnancy, the care of a child or children referred to in subsection 23(1) of the Act, the care or support of a family member referred to in subsection 23.1(2) of the Act or while attending a course or program of instruction or training referred to in paragraph 25(1)(a) of the Act, for the sole reason that the claimant is outside Canada, unless their Social Insurance Number Card or the period of validity of their Social Insurance Number has expired.

16. Subsection 55.01(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(3) A self-employed person is not disentitled from receiving benefits in respect of pregnancy, the care of a child or children referred to in subsection 152.05(1) of the Act or the care or support of a family member referred to in subsection 152.06(1) of the Act for the sole reason that the self-employed person is outside Canada, unless their Social Insurance Number Card or the period of validity of their Social Insurance Number has expired.

17. Section 89 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

89. (1) Every person employed in insurable employment who is required by section 138 of the Act to have a Social Insurance Number and who has not yet been registered in the register maintained by the Commission under subsection 28.1(2) of the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act shall, within three days after the employment begins, apply to the Commission to be registered.

(2) An employer who hires a person in insurable employment shall ask the employee, within three days after the day on which the employment begins, to inform the employer of their Social Insurance Number.

(3) Every person who becomes employed in insurable employment shall, within three days after the day on which the employment begins, inform their employer of their Social Insurance Number.

(4) However, a person who becomes employed in insurable employment before being registered shall inform their employer of their Social Insurance Number within three days after the day on which they receive it.

(5) An employer who is unable to ascertain the Social Insurance Number of a person who becomes employed in insurable employment shall, within six days after the day on which the employment begins, report the matter to the local office of the Commission and provide it with the information necessary to identify the person.

(6) Every registered person who is employed in insurable employment and is assigned a new Social Insurance Number or provided with a new period of validity for their Social Insurance Number shall inform their employer of their new number or period of validity within three days after the day on which they receive it.

COMING INTO FORCE

April 30, 2013

18. These Regulations come into force on April 30, 2013.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Background

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) was created in 1964 as a means to register individuals for federal government programs, namely Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) program. Since 1967, it also has been used for taxation purposes. The requirement for a SIN card dates from an era when a physical card was the most convenient way for recipients to use and remember their SIN — in a wallet-sized format. The SIN card was never intended to be used as an identity card, as it does not contain any security features or identifying attributes. Due to modern technology and tangible threats such as identity fraud, the Government of Canada has been encouraging individuals to keep their SIN cards safe by avoiding carrying them on their person, but given their convenient wallet-sized shape, many people tend to overlook such warnings.

In accordance with the Government’s plan to return to a balanced budget by 2014–2015, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) committed to stop the issuance, production and distribution of the SIN card. Operationally, this will be achieved by March 31, 2014, when new SINs will be issued in letter format only. SIN cards currently in circulation will remain valid. To do so, legislative amendments in the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (JGLPA), which received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012, make the issuance of SIN cards by the Commission discretionary rather than mandatory. This decision supports the Government’s agenda to modernize and streamline operations in order to decrease costs and to achieve better value for money. The impact on individual Canadians will be negligible.

The SIN and its database, the Social Insurance Register (SIR), are currently used by many programs. To reflect the fact that EI is no longer the sole user of the SIN, the legislative amendments also transferred the legal authorities for the SIN/SIR from the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) to the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act (DHRSD Act).

Issue

The legislative amendments respecting the SIN/SIR contained in the JGLPA resulted in the following discrepancies between the legislative and regulatory provisions:

  • (1) the provisions related to SIN/SIR in the Employment Insurance Regulations (EI Regulations) no longer have the proper legislative authority, as this authority has been transferred to the DHRSD Act; and
  • (2) the DHRSD Act now makes the issuance of SIN cards discretionary, while the applicable regulatory authorities in the EI Regulations, in some cases, make the issuance and/or production of the SIN card mandatory.

Amendments to the EI Regulations and new Social Insurance Number Regulations under the DHRSD Act were necessary in order to resolve these discrepancies and reflect the legislative amendments included in the JGLPA.

Objectives

The first objective of these regulatory amendments is to ensure that the regulatory provisions related to SIN/SIR are consistent with the new legislative authority by transferring these provisions from the EI Regulations to new regulations under the DHRSD Act.

The second objective is to resolve discrepancies between the legislative and regulatory requirements related to SINs by removing certain references to a SIN card and by making the issuance of a SIN card discretionary rather than mandatory.

Description

These regulatory amendments will accomplish the following:

(1) Make new Social Insurance Number Regulations (SIN Regulations) under the DHRSD Act

The provisions relating to the issuance of the SIN have been transferred from the EI Regulations to new SIN Regulations under the DHRSD Act. These new Regulations reflect the legislative amendments with respect to the issuance of SIN cards, as they may no longer be issued.

For example,

  • — References to the “issuance” of a SIN “card” have been replaced with “assign(ment)” of a SIN.
  • — In the case of temporary SINs, references to the expiry date of SIN cards have been modified to take into account the period of validity of a SIN.
  • — When it is stated that the Commission “shall” issue a new SIN card, the wording has been be changed to “may” issue a new SIN card. This makes the Commission’s authority to issue SIN cards discretionary rather than mandatory.

(2) Amend and renumber the provisions that are to remain in the EI Regulations and make consequential amendments

Provisions of the EI Regulations relating to SINs that are to remain in the EI Regulations, as well as references to other paragraphs contained therein, have been renumbered and amended as appropriate to reflect the legislative amendments. These subsections apply to persons employed in insurable employment and should thus remain in the EI Regulations made under the EI Act.

Also included are consequential amendments (e.g. renumbering, wording) to other sections of the EI Regulations to reflect the fact that SIN cards are no longer required to be issued.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply, as there are no costs on small business.

Consultation

There were no outstanding concerns identified by stakeholders when the initiative to end production of the SIN card was made public during the JGLPA Senate committee appearances in May 2012. It is now public knowledge that production of the SIN card will be stopped, and the media coverage was positive and factual. While it was a separate policy decision to end production of SIN cards, these regulatory amendments support the initiative.

External partners from provincial, territorial, and federal departments and key private sector stakeholders are being notified that they will be responsible for any consequential amendments to their documentation as a result of the regulatory changes.

Stakeholders have been advised that any adjustments/modifications to documentation and procedures can be made as part of the program area’s regular updates and should not constitute any additional costs. Such modifications, where required, will be of an administrative, housekeeping nature.

Rationale

It was necessary to make these regulatory changes to ensure that the regulatory provisions related to SIN/SIR are consistent with the new legislative authority, and to resolve discrepancies between the legislative and regulatory requirements related to SINs.

Given that the EI program is not the sole user of the SIN, the subsections of the EI Regulations related to the SIN have been removed and put under the new Regulations under the DHRSD Act.

The benefits of these amendments are simply clarity to stakeholders in the form of regulatory alignment with the legislative changes. For example, it would be clear to employers that they need not ask employees to produce their physical SIN card; simply providing the SIN would be sufficient.

Stakeholders who use the SIN and make reference to the SIN/SIR provisions in any of their internal documentation will need to make updates to reflect the changes. However, there would be no additional costs to doing so as periodic updates to agreements, documents, etc., are already built into management costs and are not associated with any specific legislative or regulatory modifications.

Since the SIN will continue to be issued, the substitute of a letter for the card will have negligible material impact on citizens/stakeholders. SIN cards currently in circulation will continue to be valid, and citizens will continue to be able to access government programs and services as they currently do. The use of the SIN by the various internal/external stakeholders should not change.

The elimination of the SIN card results from a separate policy/operational decision to exercise the new discretionary authority by ceasing to issue SIN cards.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These Regulations come into force on April 30, 2013.

A communication strategy has been developed that outlines activities and timing for informing partners to ensure they adapt their processes and are ready for the transition from SIN card to letter in 2014.

The implementation of the regulatory amendments will involve updating documentation to reflect the regulatory changes. These modifications can be made as part of the stakeholder’s regular updates and should not constitute any additional expenses. Such modifications, where required, will be of an administrative, housekeeping nature. There is no specific time sanctioned, but it would be in the stakeholder’s best interest to make the required changes in a timely fashion (prior to the termination of production of the SIN card being operationalized in April 2014).

Contact

Joanne Roy-Aubrey
Director General
Identity Policy and Programs Directorate
Integrity Services Branch
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
165 de l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J2
Telephone: 819-934-2433
Fax: 819-953-4144
Email: joanne.royaubrey@servicecanada.gc.ca