Financial Inclusion Inventory: Identification Supports

6.1 Overview and Summary

Accessing services often involves providing valid, government-issued identification (ID). For example, Social Insurance Numbers are required for filing income taxes and accessing government programs and benefits. Opening a bank account requires presentation of at least one piece of government-issued ID. When one is unable to produce valid ID, one cannot apply, and therefore cannot receive the service. 

Applying for ID can be completed in person at relevant government agencies or through online application processes (Service Canada lists helpful links at

However, individuals who live in unstable and complex circumstances often experience difficulties obtaining and maintaining the ID required for services.  Obtaining ID often requires proof of identification (i.e. getting ID means needing to already have ID) as well as having the resources to complete application processes.  The following chart provides information regarding various types of ID.


Type of ID



Other Information

Health Card (OHIP)


Any ServiceOntario office across the region

Residents under 15½ or over 80 may renew by mail. All others must go to the office.

Birth Certificate


varies by Province

By mail or on-line with a credit card

Must apply to the Province in which you were born.

Immigrant Record of Landing

$30 or free



Waterloo/Wellington Canadian Immigration Centre

29 Duke St. E., Kitchener

Must be a permanent resident of Canada or a naturalized Canadian citizen who once was a permanent resident.

Social Insurance #

1st card is free and replacement copies are $10

Service Canada Centre at

409 Weber St W, Kit. or

350 Conestoga Blvd., Camb.

or by mail


Ontario Photo ID



1151 Victoria Street N., Kit.

1400 Weber Street E., Kit.

105 Lexington Road, Kit.

561 Hespeler Road, Camb.

For those without a valid drivers licence.

Drivers Licence

$125 initially

$75 for renewal

Any ServiceOntario office across the region



$87 for adults

$37 children 3-15

$22 children 0-2

Passport Canada at 40 Weber St., E, Kitchener or

Canada Post Outlet, 33 Water St. N., Cambridge


Identification supports, such as ID Clinics, assist individuals to obtain government-issued identification. ID Clinics available in Waterloo Region typically assist people who do not have valid identification to access a health card, birth certificate, record of landing and social insurance number. These services are focused mostly on supporting people who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, new Canadians and Aboriginal people.  Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program may access discretionary benefits to pay for ID for their clients is necessary to determine eligibility or to support access to employment.  Typically the support can only be offered one-time.

As of July 2011, for people who do not have a driver’s licence, the Government of Ontario photo identification card will be recognized as government-issued identification. Individuals experiencing homelessness can provide an institution's address by filing the form “Address Requirement for the Homeless or Marginally Housed Applicants,” which can be accessed at:$File/SR-LD-050E.pdf

There are two agencies that provide ID Supports:

  • The Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre
  • The Cambridge Shelter Corporation

6.2  Programs

6.2.1 Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre


ID Clinic

Since: 2000

# Served 2011: 451

Funded: Local Health Integration Network

Program Description

The clinic provides assistance to people within Kitchener-Waterloo to obtain ID primarily to support access to and maintenance of OHIP coverage (includes OHIP card, birth certificate and/or Record of Landing).  For individuals experiencing homelessness, KDCHC can register individuals for OHIP without an address.


First-come first-serve drop in ID Clinic services are available at Mary’s Place on Mondays at 12:00 pm, on Tuesdays at St. John’s Kitchen from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and on Wednesdays at Charles Street Men’s Hostel at 9:00 am.


Can also work with patients in hospital with no fixed address and no health coverage and others who cannot access the outreach locations by making an appointment with the community development worker at the direct line listed below. 

Seek to Serve

- Low Wage Individuals

- Lowest Income Individuals (homeless)

- Life Change (immigrants)

Capacity to Serve

Can serve up approximately 500 individuals in a year.   Budget of approximately $7,000 to support costs to replace ID.


Individuals experiencing homelessness or at-risk of housing loss

People living in the downtown Kitchener area

New Canadians

Aboriginal People living in Kitchener or Waterloo




Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre

59 Frederick Street

Kitchener, ON  N2H 2L3


YWCA Mary’s Place

84 Frederick Street

Kitchener, ON  N2H 2L7


St. John’s Kitchen

97 Victoria Street North, second floor

Kitchener, ON  N2H 5C1


Charles Street Men’s Hostel

63 Charles Street. E.,

Kitchener, ON  N2G 2P3

Contact Information

Doug Rankin, Community Development Worker

(519) 745-4404 ext. 207

Information Last Updated

April 2012

6.2.2 Cambridge Shelter Corporation


ID Clinic (part of Welcome Aboard Drop in Centre services)

Since: 2003

# Served in 2011: 142

Funded: Within existing funding

Program Description

Welcome Aboard: Drop-in Centre is located at The Bridges and is open Monday to Friday from 7:00am - 8:00 p.m. At the drop-in, people can access a wide variety of programs and services designed to help them move forward. Some of these include medical clinic, identification clinic, clean needle exchange program, literacy programs, social and recreational programming, trustee program, and various groups and meetings. Through partnership with more than 40 other community agencies, we are able to provide a number of services and prevent duplication.


Each Tuesday (except July) can drive up to five people to the ServiceOntario office in Kitchener to access health cards (assisted approximately 107 people in 2011).  Assist people to complete paperwork and mail applications for birth certificates (assisted approximately 35 people in 2011).  Sometimes assist with accessing records of landing and social insurance numbers.  Can have identification mailed to the Bridges and will keep copies of ID on file for people.

Seek to Serve

- Low Wage Individuals

- Lowest Income Individuals

- Life Change

Capacity to Serve

Could serve up to 220 with Health Cards.  Could serve up to 350 people with birth certificates if person comes with funding or further funding could be accessed.  Used to exclusively assist those accessing the Bridges but now serve the broader community.  Currently operate with budget of $5,000 but to fully provide program in Cambridge would require $18,000.


16 years of age and up




Cambridge Shelter Corp.

26 Simcoe Street

Cambridge, ON  N1R 8P2

Contact Information

Jonathon Chapman, Drop-In Coordinator

(519) 624-9305 ext. 102  or

Information Last Updated

May 2012


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