English | Français
Banner image

Government Documents

Learn how to get a:

In Canada, different forms of documentation are used, often for identification purposes. The most commonly used forms of identification and documentation in Canada are the driver's licence, health care cards and Social Insurance Number. These are issued by provincial and federal governments. When you first arrive to Canada, you should apply for some or all of these documents.


Step 1: What should I know?

  • What is a driver's licence?

    It is an official government document that permits a person to operate a motorized vehicle such as a motorcycle, car, truck or a bus on a public roadway. In Ontario a driver's licence is a one-piece plastic card. The document includes a photograph and signature of the driver, as well as other personal information.
  • Why should I get one?

    If you plan to drive a car, motorcycle, truck, etc in Canada you will need a driver's license.
  • Are there different types of licences?

    In Ontario, there are 15 different licence classes.  Each one qualifies you to drive a different type of vehicle. The class of licence you have must match the type of vehicle you are driving.

Step 2: How do I apply for a driver's licence?

  • Contact the nearest driver test centre. There are more than 56 centres across the province.
  • Be prepared to show proof of your legal name, date of birth (must state the day, month and year of birth) and signature.
  • If you have a driver's licence from another country, you may not need to take a driving test. Ask a staff member about your old licence.
  • Study the Official Drivers Handbook.
  • Take the written test.
  • Book your road test online.

Step 3: What happens after I get my driver's licence?

  • Get Insurance on your vehicle and all drivers in your family. Insurance is required by law.
  • Keep the information on your licence updated. Every time your physical address changes you need to report the change to the Ministry of Transportation.
  • If you need to replace it, visit a Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office to have your photo retaken. You will be required to produce identification to show your legal name, date of birth and signature and pay a $10 fee. You will get a temporary licence to use until your permanent one is mailed to you.

For more information contact the Brantford Drivetest Centre located at 320 North Park St, Unit 1B, or visit The Ministry of Transportation website.


Step 1: What should I know?

  • What is a Social Insurance Number?

    An SIN is a nine-digit, unique number that you need to work in Canada or access government programs and benefits.
  • Why should I get a SIN card?

    It's the only way to work in Canada or to access government programs like health care.
  • Step 2: How do I apply for a Social Insurance Number?

    • You can apply in person or by mail.
    • To apply in person, gather the documents you need and visit nearest Service Canada Centre. If everything is in order, you will get a Social Insurance Number in one visit and receive your card within 10 business days. There is no cost for the first application.
    • To apply by mail, download an application form from the Service Canada website, send the application with original copies. A fee may apply if the SIN card needs to be replaced.You will receive your SIN card within 20 business days after the application has been received.  

    Step 3: What happens after I get my SIN card?

    • Only provide your Social Insurance Number if you know that it is legally required. By doing this you can reduce chances of Identity Theft. Never provide your SIN over the phone or by email.
    • Be prepared to use your SIN card when: accepting a job contract, filling your income tax,  applying for any government benefit such as Employment Insurance, Child Tax Benefits, Social assistance benefits.
    • Inform Service Canada if your card is lost.
    • Always keep your card in a safe place.
    • Do not share your SIN card with people you don't know or don't trust.


    Step 1: What should I know?

    • What is a Health Card?

      A health card is a government-issued document that proves you are qualified to access insured health care services. In Ontario the program is called The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
    • Why should I get one?

      A resident of Ontario must have a health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP.

    Step 2: How do I apply for a Health Card in Ontario?

    • You must meet certain requirements to apply. For immigrants your OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario. You will have to apply for this.
    • To apply visit your nearest Health Card Services - OHIP office.
    • You must complete a registration form for Ontario Health Coverage.
    • When applying for a new health card, you must bring three original documents to prove that you are eligible, citizenship/immigration status, your residence in Ontario, and your identity.

    Step 3: What happens after I get my health card?

    • Carry your health card at all times.
    • You may be charged for a health service if you do not have a health card.
    • If your address changes you are required by law to inform the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. It is important that the ministry has your current address to keep your coverage active and for any direct communication with you.
    • Keep your card safe. Do not share your Health card with people you don't know or don't trust.

    Content Spotlight

    Video Testimonials

    Watch videos from other immigrants who have chosen to make Brantford•Brant their home.

    Immigration Information

    Settlement.Org Logo

    Settlement.Org provides you with the helpful tools and answers you need for settling in, or immigrating to Ontario.

    Arriving Resources

    Settlement Services for Immigrants

    Government Services for Immigrants