How to apply for a citizenship certificate without identification (ID)?

empty wallet and police report. Person is trying to apply to replace citizenship certificate

How to apply for a citizenship certificate without identification? The answer is you’re going to have to get some ID in order to apply, seeing that you need 2 pieces of personal identification, one of which is a photo ID. Two common types of ID to use are a driver’s license or a provincial/territorial health card. If possible, you should apply for and obtain these IDs.

Here are the other types of identification – aside from driver’s licenses and health cards – that are accepted as proof of identity for your citizenship certificate application:

  • Passports
  • Certificates of Indian Status Cards
  • Senior citizen’s cards
  • Other travel documents
  • PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT use a PR card like that should be destroyed when you acquire your citizenship.

However, if for some reason you can’t get these IDs there are other options.

Need an easier way to get a replacement citizenship certificate?

Why not get some support?
1. We make sure everything is perfect! No returned applications.
2. We track and deal with the government for you. Try calling IRCC yourself. It’s a mess.
3. Need your document fast? Again, we can help.

List of alternative documents that can be used.

Here are some other types of identification you can use to apply for your citizenship certificate:


  • If you live outside Canada, you can use foreign government-issued identification that are the equivalent to the types of ID listed above. Make sure you send a translated copy by a certified translator along with an affidavit, if they are not in English or French.
  • If you cannot obtain a provincial health card (assuming you live in Canada of course) you can apply for a Provincial Photo ID Card. Go to the province or territories government website and see where you have to apply, for example, Service Alberta. Sometimes you have to go in person but first check their website to be sure.
  • Another option is a Canadian University Photo ID. Check with the administrators of a post-secondary school in Canada you are attending, or you attended to see about this option.


  • Your Notice of Assessment (NOA) from the Canada Revenue Agency is one of the better options as it shows you are a resident of Canada and are paying taxes and is an acceptable way to verify your identity through an official government agency – in this CRA. You can get your NOA online using your CRA MyAccount.
  • Verification of Status (VOA) is a replacement document for a Record of Landing or COPR. You can use this, but if you don’t currently have a VOA you’ll have to apply for one which will take around 6-8 months (urgent filing is available), delaying your application for your citizenship certificate.
  • You can only use your Record of Landing if it was stamped by IRCC officials when you became a citizen and is thus proof of your citizenship. Otherwise, you cannot use it.

Tip: Lost, stolen, or damaged certificate; read more here.


Can my health card be used as ID for my citizenship certificate application?

Yes. A provincial or territorial health card is an acceptable form of identification for a citizenship certificate application.

Get a Health Card with a Photo

If you do not drive but you have an old health card without a photo, we recommend updating your heath card to one with a photo and using that ID, if you live in one of the provinces which offers health cards with photos.

If you live in a province that does not yet issue health cards with photos, you will have to get a Provincial Photo ID Card (see below).

If you do not have a health card right now, you should apply for one. As a legal resident of your province, you are entitled to provincial health insurance and, therefore, entitled to a health card.

Can I call the government and get my citizenship number?

No. IRCC call centre agents will not typically give you your certificate number over the phone. Go here to our page on citizenship certificate numbers for more information.

Why do I need to replace my citizenship certificate?

The reasons to replace a certificate are usually the following:

  • Your original certificate was lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Your certificate needs to be updated because of name changes.
  • Your certificate needs to be corrected due a mistake when it was first issued.
  • Your certificate needs to be amended to reflect changes in your personal information.

Can I use my foreign birth certificate as an ID (not Canadian)?

You usually cannot. Only people born in Canada (and not to foreign diplomats) can use their Canadian birth certificate as ID if they are applying for a citizenship certificate for the first time.

However, if you were born overseas to Canadian parent(s), you can use it. Remember that since 2009, only 1 generation of Canadians can be born overseas. If none of your parents was a Canadian at the time of your birth, you are likely not a Canadian citizen by descent, and you can’t use your foreign birth certificate.

Can I use a non-Canadian ID to replace my citizenship certificate?

Only if you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada and can not produce a valid Canadian ID. You should provide government-issued IDs equivalent to the types of identification in the list at the top of this page.

How to Apply for a Citizenship Certificate without Photo ID

You need to prove your identity in order to replace your citizenship card or citizenship certificate, or to fix a mistake on it. It is not possible to apply for a new citizenship certificate without a photo ID. The good news is that only one of the pieces of identification that you submit with your citizenship certificate application must have a photo.

How to Get a Photo ID When You Have None

Most applicants for a new citizenship certificate use a driver’s license as one of their IDs. A health card is another popular choice.

If you do not have a valid driver’s license, you should renew it. If you do not drive, or something else is preventing you from getting a driver’s license, use one of the IDs listed below:

Get a Provincial Photo ID Card

If you do not have a photo health card and cannot get one for some reason, you should apply for a Provincial Photo Identification Card. Here is the list of the provincial government sites for their photo cards and the forms (if available).

Province/TerritoryWebsite with requirementsLink to Application
AlbertaService AlbertaMust go in person
British Columbia go in person
Manitoba go in person
New Brunswickhttp://www2.gnb.caMust go in person
Newfoundland and Labrador go in person
Northwest Territories in person if you have an office in your community, or request a visit
Nova Scotia go in person
Nunavut form
Ontario go in person
Prince Edward Island form
QuebecQuebec does not have a provincial photo ID cardN/A
Saskatchewan go in person
Yukon go in person

Each province has slightly different requirements for the photo ID application. You will have to prove your identity and you will have to prove your residence.

Get a University or College Photo ID Card

If you attend a Canadian university or college you may be able to use your student photo ID card as proof of identity. The card must have your photo on it and the school must be an accredited university or college. High school IDs and IDs from non-accredited post secondary schools are not acceptable.

Identification without a Photo that Can Be Used for Citizenship Certificate Application

You only need to submit one photo ID to replace your citizenship certificate, whether it be a health card, a provincial photo card, or your school ID.

The important thing about the non-photo ID is that it has to be verifiable, just like the photo ID. If the document or ID is issued by the federal or provincial government, IRCC can confirm your identity.

Need an easier way to get a replacement citizenship certificate?

Why not get some support?
1. We make sure everything is perfect! No returned applications.
2. We track and deal with the government for you. Try calling IRCC yourself. It’s a mess.
3. Need your document fast? Again, we can help.

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Riley Haas has been a leading expert since 2011 on immigration matters, with hundreds of publications online. Published author of three books about political philosophy, the Beatles and the Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively. BA from Bishop’s University, MA from McMaster University. You follow Riley on Substack