Identification Supplement


The identification supplement is provided to recipients of assistance to cover the cost of obtaining identification for a person in the family unit.  The identification supplement is only provided when the identification is required for the family unit to be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.

The identification supplement is available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.


Effective: February 25, 2013

Applicants who meet all conditions of eligibility for assistance except the requirement for sufficient identification (ID) may be eligible for hardship assistance issued under SIN Required or Identity Not Established while they obtain the required ID.    [For more information, see Related Links – SIN Required or Identity Not Established.]

[For information on ID requirements, see Related Links – ID Requirements.]

[For information on the Client Identification Process, see Related Links – ID Requirements – Policy – ID Requirements Not Met.]

A supply of identification forms used in Canadian provinces should be maintained in all offices.  [For more information on these forms, see Government of Canada Internet website.]

Clients who do not have complete ID can apply for it as follows:

  • Birth Certificate – If clients need a BC birth certificate for secondary ID or to apply for a SIN card or primary ID, they can apply for it through the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency or the appropriate provincial agency.

[For information on processing a BC Birth Certificate Application, see Procedures.]

  • SIN – Clients without a verifiable SIN must apply for it through Service Canada

Note:  Clients who do not have SIN cards but can provide verifiable SINs meet the identification requirements for income or disability assistance and do not need to apply for a SIN.  Only clients who do not have a SIN, or whose SIN cannot be verified must apply for a SIN from Service Canada. [For information on the verification of SINs, see Related Links – ID Requirements.]

  • Primary ID – Clients must apply for a BC Services Card (Photo Card), BC driver’s license or BC Drivers License and Services Card (Combined Card) (if replacing a valid license) or BC Identification (BCID) card through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

[For information on how to contact Service Canada and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, see Contacts.]

When needed to establish identity, the ministry may pay any costs associated with birth certificates, SIN cards, BC driver’s licenses, BC Driver’s License and Services Card (Combined Card), BC Services Card (Photo Card), BC Services Card (Non-Photo Card), and BCID cards.

The ministry does not pay for passports, permanent resident cards, or other immigration documents processed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Note: Person(s) in a family unit in receipt of income assistance or disability assistance are also eligible for the ID supplement:

  • if they opted to access the Client Identification Process (CIP) instead of being on hardship assistance and require ID as part of ongoing eligibility [for more information, see Related Links – Identification Requirements].
  • where the key player and/or spouse meet the ID requirements but the dependant requires ID as part of ongoing eligibility (ie. dependant may require ID as part of family unit’s application for assistance or because they need to be added to the case).

Effective: February 25, 2013

When photo ID is required, an ID supplement may be issued to cover the cost of obtaining a required piece of photo ID to purchase the least expensive ID.

[For further information on acceptable primary ID, see Related Links – Identification Requirements]

Note:  If a client with a confirmed job requires a driver’s licence or other piece of ID in order to start the job and ID requirements have already been met, an identification supplement cannot be issued.  In these circumstances, the client may be eligible for a confirmed job supplement to assist in acquiring the necessary ID.  [For more information, see Related Links – Confirmed Job Supplement.]


Effective: February 25, 2013

When issuing an ID supplement, follow these steps:

  1. Review the system to see if and when an ID supplement may have already been issued.
  2. In considering whether to issue an ID supplement to cover the cost of obtaining a required piece of photo ID, staff should consider the following to determine the least expensive available ID:
  • BC Services Card (Photo Card) - has no application or renewal fee, and is issued free of charge.  However, if a client is unable to obtain a BC Services Card (Photo Card) an ID supplement may be issued to purchase the least expensive piece of ID.
  • BC Driver’s License, BC Driver’s License and Services Card (Combined Card) or BCID - since 1997, renewal of BCID cards issued to recipients of BCEA (with proof such as a most recent cheque stub or letter from the ministry) may be issued free of charge.  However, there is a fee for replacement BCID cards.  The fee for renewing a driver’s license is significantly higher than the fee to apply for BCID, and therefore, ID supplements for driver’s licenses should not exceed $35.00, which is the maximum cost of BCID.

[For a list of fees, see Contacts – Insurance Corporation of British Columbia]

  1. With the exception of BC birth certificates, payment for ID supplements can be provided using imprest or supplier cheques, or direct deposit [for information on methods of payment, see Related Links – Individual Case Management].

Note: When sending applications and payments for clients, do not use third party brokers. A third party broker is any party (e.g. private company) other than the government office responsible for issuing the piece of identification. Utilizing a third party broker would cause a privacy breach [see Contacts for all of the government websites for identification].

Effective: March 8, 2010

To apply for a British Columbia birth certificate on behalf of a client, a designated staff member uses the online Electronic Vital Statistics Services (EVSS) application process.  In situations where the online application is not available, ministry staff may provide a paper copy of the BC Application for Birth Certificate (VSA 430mhrb 2010/02/11) to the client.

Electronic Method:

To process an online BC birth certificate application, ministry staff with online access follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the EVSS and complete the online application form.
  2. Print off completed form for the client to sign.
  3. Submit the electronic application form.
  4. Note the order confirmation number on the printed form.
  5. Scan and profile a copy of the signed electronic and/or paper form.

Note:  If the worker does not have EVSS online access, the client may sign a completed paper form and submit it to the Employment and Assistance office where ministry staff will forward the form to an EVSS designated staff member.  Once the form is received, the EVSS designate can fill out the online application based on the information on the paper form.  Both the printed online application and the signed paper form must be scanned and profiled following the process for identification.

Each step that clients take to obtain the required ID should be documented.

Payment direct to an agency that produces ID documents may be provided for recipients requiring ID. Offices may require that the ID be mailed back to the ministry office.