Secured Certificate of Indian Status

Secured Certificate of Indian Status


Why do First Nations need a new card?

The Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) includes several security improvements to help protect First Nations individuals from identity theft while providing them with access to benefits and services. The existing Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) is either a paper-laminate or plastic card with very few of the security features now normally expected of a government issued identity document that provides access to benefits and services. This makes the card open to tampering and counterfeiting.

A project was initiated to address the need for increased security features on Status cards to reduce the risks of identity theft and forgery. This also helps to ensure the ongoing integrity of programs and services.


How is the new Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) secure?

The new SCIS features several security improvements such as:

  • Laser engraving which burns information directly into the card;
  • Touch data that uses raised letters and numbers on the card surface;
  • atterns of extremely fine lines that cannot easily be scanned or copied;
  • An ultra-violet image and printing that is visible using specialized equipment; and
  • A window, appearing as a clear area in the card that allows a secondary photo image of the cardholder to be visible from both sides.

Forms and Resources


What you need to submit with an application for a secure status card:

  • Completed Indigenous Services Canada Secure Certificate of Indian Status Form for an already registered person
  • Acceptable photographs; AND
  • valid identification; AND
  • A guarantor declaration, if necessary
    • the guarantor needs to sign and date the child's or dependent adult's photo and a copy of the front and back of the applying parent's, custodial parent's or legal guardian's identification
  • If your name has changed - you will need:
    • a name-linking document, such as a change-of-name certificate, marriage certificate or divorce order, that links your current name with your previous name
    • submit an original
    • a copy if the name on the application form is the same as the name on the identification

Additional requirements:

  • for a child (15 or younger), a copy of the most recent legal documents granting custody or guardianship to the applying parent or legal guardian, if applicable
  • for a dependent adult, the guardianship order


How can I apply?
You can apply for an in-Canada SCIS by completing the SCIS application form, providing all documentation and mailing* it to:
National SCIS Processing Unit         
10 Wellington Street           
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4
You can apply by visiting the Vancouver office:
Suite 600
1138 Melville Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4S3
*Do not tamper with the application, documents with information whited out or scribbled out will be rejected)

Important Tips for your Application

  1. Do Not scribble or white out any information. If you make an error, print a new form and start over
  2. If you are mailing in your application, have the Guarantor sign the back of your passport photos and copies of your identification with a statement saying "this is a true likeness of_______"
  3. Do not go outside of the box when signing the application

The application process takes approximately up to 16 weeks