How to apply for a status card

Find out how to apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (secure status card) or Certificate of Indian Status (status card).

COVID-19-related updates

Visit service-hours update to find out if it is possible to apply for a status card in person.

Visit Coronavirus and Indigenous communities to find out how to apply for COVID-19-related benefits.

Recent changes

As of December 10, 2020, you can select a non-binary gender identifier on the application form when applying for Indian status or a status card: M (male), F (female) or X (another gender). You can change your personal information at any time.

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What do you need when applying for a secure status card

To apply for a secure status card, you or the child or dependent adult must be registered under the Indian Act. If you are not registered, you can now apply for both registration and a secure status card at the same time. If you are not sure if you or the child or dependent adult are registered, contact Public enquiries.

Cases when you need a guarantor

You must find a guarantor if you are:

  • applying by mail

or

or

or

For an adult (16 or older)

If applying in person, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (form 83-172)
  2. photos that meet the photo requirements
  3. original valid acceptable identification

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If applying by mail, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (form 83-172)
  2. photos that meet the photo requirements
  3. photocopies of the front and back of original valid acceptable identification, each photocopy signed by a guarantor
  4. a guarantor declaration (form 83-169)

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If your name has changed, you must also provide:

  • an original legal name-linking document, such as a change-of-name certificate, marriage certificate or divorce order, that links your previous name with your current name

or

  • a photocopy of a legal name-linking document and a photocopy of valid acceptable identification with the name that is on the application, for example, driver's licence

For a child (15 or younger) or dependent adult

If applying on behalf of a child or dependent adult

A parent or legal guardian must have the authority to act for the child or dependent adult in legal or financial matters to apply on their behalf.

If applying in person, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (form 83-172)
  2. for a child: a photocopy of the most recent legal documents, for example, divorce order, separation agreement, custody or guardianship order, proving custody or guardianship of the child to the applying parent or guardian, if applicable
    for a dependent adult: a photocopy of the order of guardianship
  3. photos of the child or dependent adult that meet the photo requirements
  4. original valid acceptable identification of the applying parent or legal guardian

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If applying by mail, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (form 83-172)
  2. for a child: a photocopy of the most recent legal documents, for example, divorce order, separation agreement, custody or guardianship order, proving custody or guardianship of the child to the applying parent or guardian, if applicable
    for a dependent adult: a photocopy of the order of guardianship
  3. photos of the child or dependent adult that meet the photo requirements
  4. photocopies of the front and back of original valid acceptable identification of the applying parent or legal guardian, each photocopy signed by a guarantor
  5. a guarantor declaration (form 83-169)

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If the name of the child or dependent adult has changed, you must also provide:

  • an original legal name-linking document, such as a change-of-name certificate, that links their previous name with their current name

or

  • a photocopy of a legal name-linking document and a photocopy of valid acceptable identification with the name of the child or dependent adult that is on the application, for example, health card

If the name of the applying parent or legal guardian as it appears on their identity documents is not the same as on the legal custody or guardianship documents, you must also provide:

  • a photocopy of a legal name-linking document, such as a change-of-name certificate, marriage certificate or divorce order, that links their previous name with their current name

Can you apply for a status card at your First Nation office

Some First Nations are still issuing Certificates of Indian Status (status cards). If your First Nation does:

If you have any questions, contact your First Nation office or Public enquiries.

Protect yourself from identity theft

In 2009, a more secure status card, the Secure Certificate of Indian Status, began to be issued to help protect registered persons from identity theft.

Registered persons are encouraged to apply for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status, which has a number of security features that the Certificate of Indian Status lacks.

How do you apply

Step 1: Get the application form

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Step 2: Fill out and sign the application form

When filling out the form

Fill out the print-only form in block letters using black or blue ink or the fillable-saveable form electronically.

Check the appropriate box under "Reason for application".

Section 1: Information on person to be issued a Secure Certificate of Indian Status
Provide personal information on the applicant, including permanent address and mailing address, if different.

The name under which the applicant is registered, that is, the name on the Indian Register, will be printed on the secure status card. Names that are not on the Indian Register, such as cultural names, can be printed in the alias field of the card.

Section 2: Parent/Legal guardian information
Complete this section only if applying for a child or dependent adult.

Section 3: Identity documents for adult applicant or parent or legal guardian
List the identity documents you are including with the application. Identity documents must be acceptable and valid.

Section 4: Name-linking documents
List the name-linking documents you are including with the application, if applicable. If a name-linking document was provided with a previous application for registration on the Indian Register or for a status card, you don't need to provide one again.

Section 5: Photo and signature to appear on the Secure Certificate of Indian Status
The signature inside the box will appear on the secure status card. It must be the applicant's usual signature . The signature must not touch the borders of the box.

The signature of the child or dependent adult is not necessary.

Section 6: Declaration and signature
The adult applicant or the parent or legal guardian of the child or dependent adult must sign and date the declaration. Failing to do so will delay the application process.

Section 7: Indian Registration Administrator
If an Indian Registration Administrator assisted in completing the application form, the Indian Registration Administrator must complete and sign this section.

Step 3: Submit or mail the application

Before submitting or mailing the application, make sure you have:

  • filled out all relevant sections
  • signed and dated the form

You can:

or

  • mail the application to:
    • National SCIS Processing Unit
      Indigenous Services Canada
      10 rue Wellington
      Gatineau QC  K1A 0H4

To avoid delays

To avoid a delay in receiving your card, you must complete all relevant sections of the application form and submit all necessary documents.

Where do you submit or mail the application

You can mail the secure status card application and necessary documents to:

You can also submit the application and necessary documents in person at any of the following locations:

Before you go to a regional office

It's best to call ahead and make an appointment.

Some First Nations are still issuing Certificates of Indian Status (status cards). To find out more about status cards, contact your First Nation office or Public enquiries.

Can you apply for someone else

Third-party applications, that is, applications submitted by a person other than the applicant, are accepted for secure status cards. For a child or dependent adult, this third person is any person other than the parent or legal guardian.

When submitting a third-party application in person, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (form 83-172), signed by the applicant
  2. photos of the applicant that meet the photo requirements
  3. photocopies of the front and back of original valid acceptable identification of the applicant, each photocopy signed by a guarantor
  4. a guarantor declaration (form 83-169)
  5. a written statement providing consent to submit the application through the third party, signed by the applicant
  6. original valid acceptable identification of the third party

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How to renew your status card

Take note

ISC has extended the validity date of status cards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The secure status card is valid for 10 years for adults and dependent adults and 5 years for children.

The renewal process is the same as when first applying for a secure status card. Fill out the same application form and check "Renewal" under "Reason for application".

You can renew your current secure status card up to 6 months before the renewal date or up to one year after the "Renew before" date on your card.

If you are applying a year after the date indicated on your secure status card, fill out the same application form as when first applying for a secure status card and check "Replacement (lost, stolen, damaged SCIS)" under "Reason for application".

Some First Nations are still issuing Certificates of Indian Status (status cards). To find out more about status cards, contact your First Nation office or Public enquiries.

How to change your personal information

You can change the personal information on your secure status card at any time by submitting an application form.

Fill out the form and check "Replacement (changes to personal information)" under "Reason for application" or include the changes to your personal information when first applying for a secure status card or for a renewal.

You can make more than one change to your personal information at the same time.

What to do if your status card is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed

If you have lost your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (secure status card) or if it has been stolen, damaged or destroyed, you must report it by calling Public enquiries right away. The call agent will:

  1. cancel the lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed card
  2. issue, on request, a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document

The replacement process is the same as when first applying for a secure status card. Fill out the same application form and check "Replacement (lost, stolen, damaged SCIS)" under "Reason for application".

If you have lost your Certificate of Indian Status (status card) or if it has been stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your First Nation office to apply for a replacement.

What to do if you find a status card

If you find a status card, please drop it into a mailbox and it will be returned to ISC.

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