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).

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

If you have any questions, contact your First Nation or band office or Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Public Enquiries.

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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 as a status Indian 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 about your Indian status or that of the child or dependent adult, contact INAC Public Enquiries.

If you are applying by mail or don't have acceptable valid identification, you must find a guarantor. To find out more, visit About guarantors.

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 (PDF, 6 pages,110 Kb)
  2. two identical Canadian passport-style photos that meet the photo requirements
  3. original acceptable valid identification, or a guarantor declaration (PDF, 2 pages, 86 Kb) if you do not have acceptable valid identification

If the form you need does not download, get help on accessing PDF forms.

If applying by mail, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (PDF, 6 pages,110 Kb)
  2. two identical Canadian passport-style photos that meet the photo requirements
  3. photocopies of the front and back of original acceptable valid identification, each photocopy signed by a guarantor
  4. a guarantor declaration (PDF, 2 pages, 86 Kb)

If your name as it appears on your identity documents is not the same as the name on the application form, you must also provide:

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

or

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

For a child (15 or younger) 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 (PDF, 6 pages,110 Kb)
  2. for a child: a photocopy of the child's long form birth certificate listing the names of the parents (to obtain an original long-form birth certificate, visit the Vital Statistics website of the province or territory where the child was born), or a photocopy of the most recent legal documents (divorce order, separation agreement, custody or guardian ship order) proving custody or guardianship of the child to the applying parent or guardian
    for a dependent adult: a photocopy of the order of guardianship
  3. two identical Canadian passport-style photos of the child or dependent adult that meet the photo requirements
  4. original acceptable valid identification of the applying parent or legal guardian, or a guarantor declaration (PDF, 2 pages, 86 Kb) if the applying parent or legal guardian does not have acceptable valid identification

If the form you need does not download, get help on accessing PDF forms.

If applying by mail, you must provide:

  1. a completed Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Application for Already Registered Persons (PDF, 6 pages,110 Kb)
  2. for a child: a photocopy of the child's long form birth certificate listing the names of the parents (to obtain an original long-form birth certificate, visit the Vital Statistics website of the province or territory where the child was born), or a photocopy of the most recent legal documents (divorce order, separation agreement, custody or guardian ship order) proving custody or guardianship of the child to the applying parent or guardian
    for a dependent adult: a photocopy of the order of guardianship
  3. two identical Canadian passport-style photos of the child or dependent adult that meet the photo requirements
  4. photocopies of the front and back of original acceptable valid identification of the applying parent or legal guardian, each photocopy signed by a guarantor
  5. a guarantor declaration (PDF, 2 pages, 86 Kb)

If the name of the child or dependent adult as it appears on their birth certificate or on the legal custody or guardianship documents is not the same as on the application form, you must also provide:

  • an original legal name-linking document, such as a change-of-name certificate or an amended birth certificate, linking their previous name with their current name

or

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

If your name, as the applying parent or legal guardian, as it appears on your identity document is not the same as on the child's birth certificate or 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, linking your previous name with your current name

How do you apply?

How to apply for a secure status card as an adult

Step 1: Get the application form

Get the Secure Certificate of Indian Status Adult Application for Already Registered Persons (PDF, 6 pages, 110 Kb) online or from the INAC regional office nearest you.

If the form you need does not download, get help on accessing PDF forms.

Step 2: Fill out and sign the application form

Fill out the fillable-saveable form online or write on the printable form in block letters using black or blue ink.

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 for Indian status (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 before, 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 required.

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 send the application

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

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

You can:

or

  • send the application by mail to:

National SCIS Processing Unit
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4

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

Where do you submit or send the application?

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

National SCIS Processing Unit
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street
Gatineau, QC  K1A 0H4

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

Before you go to a regional office, it is best to call ahead and make an appointment. If you are travelling to INAC headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec, no appointment is necessary.

Other band offices continue to issue Certificates of Indian Status.

For more information, contact your First Nation or band or INAC Public Enquiries.

Can you submit an application for someone else?

Third-party applications (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:

  1. you must present the applicant's own original acceptable valid identification
  2. the application form must be signed by the applicant and accompanied by photocopies of all the required documents signed and dated by a guarantor

How to renew your status card?

Indian status does not expire but the status card does. If your First Nation or band office continues to issue Certificates of Indian Status (status cards), contact your First Nation or band office to find out how to renew your status card.

The secure status card is valid for 10 years for adults (16 or older) and five years for children (15 or younger) and dependent adults.

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 six 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".

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 it has been stolen, damaged or destroyed, you must report it by calling INAC Public Enquiries right away. The call agent will:

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 it has been stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your First Nation or band office to apply for a replacement card.

What to do if you found a status card?

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

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