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Examples of Reliable Sources of Information

When you are required to verify the identity of individual clients or third parties, you can use the dual process method. This method of verification requires licensees to verify a client’s identity by relying on any two of the following pieces of information:

  • information from a reliable source that contains the individual’s name and address,
  • information from a reliable source that contains the individual’s name and date of birth, or
  • information containing the individual’s name that confirms they have a deposit account or credit card or other loan amount with a financial institution.

The information must be from different reliable sources and neither the client nor the licensee (or an individual acting on behalf of the licensee) can be a source. The information you can rely on can be found in documents received from the reliable source or information that the reliable source provides to you. To assist licensees in complying with the dual process method of verification, below are examples of reliable sources of information to verify identity.

Documents/Information to Verify Name and Address 

Issued by a Canadian government body

  • Any card or statement issued by a Canadian government body (federal, provincial, Territorial, or municipal), including:
    • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) statement
    • Property tax assessment issued by a municipality
    • Provincially-issued vehicle registration
  • Benefits statement (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal)
  • Canada Revenue Agency documents, including
    • Notice of assessment
    • Requirement to pay notice
    • Installment reminder / receipt
    • GST refund letter
    • Benefits statement

Issued by other Canadian sources

  • Utility bill (e.g., electricity, water, telecommunications, etc.)
  • Canada 411
  • T4 statement
  • Record of Employment
  • Investment account statements (e.g., RRSP, GIC, etc.)
  • Canadian credit file that has been in existence for at least 6 months
  • Product from a Canadian credit bureau (containing two trade lines in existence for at least 6 months)
  • Issued by a foreign government
  • Travel visa

Issued by a foreign government

  • Travel visa

Documents/Information to Verify Name and Date of Birth 

Issued by a Canadian government body

  • Any card or statement issued by a Canadian government body (federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal)
    • CPP statement of contributions
    • Original birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate or government-issued proof of marriage document (long-form which includes date of birth)
    • Divorce documentation
    • A permanent resident card
    • Citizenship certificate
    • Temporary driver’s licence (non-photo)

Note: privacy laws in Ontario prohibit the use of an individual’s health card for identification or verification purposes. For more information, visit the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s website.

Issued by other Canadian sources

  • Canadian credit file that has been in existence for at least 6 months
  • Insurance documents (e.g., home, auto, life)
  • Product from a Canadian credit bureau (containing two trade lines in existence for at least 6 months)

Documents/Information to Verify Name and Confirm a Financial Account

You can confirm that the individual has a deposit account, credit card, or loan account by means of:
  • Credit card statement
  • Bank statement
  • Loan account statement (e.g., mortgage)
  • Cheque that has been processed (i.e., cleared, non-sufficient funds) by a financial institution
  • Telephone call, email or letter from the financial entity holding the deposit account, credit card or loan account
  • Identification product from a Canadian credit bureau (containing two trade lines in existence for at least 6 months)
  • Use of micro-deposits to confirm account

This resource has been adapted for Ontario lawyers and paralegals with permission from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Guidance for the Legal Profession (February 19, 2019). The information in this resource was originally sourced from FINTRAC.
 
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