Cyber Authentication Renewal Initiative Frequently Asked Questions
Return to My VAC Account's Credential Selection
Why is the Government of Canada offering users a choice of login credentials?
By offering a choice of credentials, the government is making its online services more convenient for clients to access. Many individuals regularly use their online credentials for banking or paying bills, so being able to use the same credential to access government services online means one less user name and password for clients to remember.
Are the Sign-In Partner credentials as secure as the ones issued by the Government of Canada?
Yes. The same authentication (or log in) process and security requirements are used for the Sign-In Partner credentials and the government-branded credential called GCKey. Your privacy is respected in that no personally identifiable information such as name, birth date, etc. is exchanged during the authentication process.
I am already enrolled with one Government of Canada service. Why do I need to provide basic identity information again to enroll in services from other departments?
Each government service requests your personal information based on their specific requirements and to determine eligibility or entitlement. The Government of Canada must adhere to the Privacy Act and other legislation that restrict the information that can be shared between departments and agencies.
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About using a Sign-In Partner
What is a Sign-In Partner?
Sign-In Partners are private sector companies and organizations that have partnered with Interact® ID to enable their customers to use their online credentials (e.g. card numbers or user names and passwords) to access Government of Canada services.
Who are the Sign-In Partners?
There are currently sixteen private sector organizations that have partnered with Interact® ID.
- Affinity Credit Union
- Alberta Treasury Branches
- BMO Financial Group
- CIBC Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- Coast Capital
- Conexus Credit Union
- Desjardins Group (Caisse Alliance, Caisses Populaires, UNI)
- National Bank of Canada
- RBC Royal Bank
- Servus Credit Union
- Simplii Financial
- TD Bank Group
It is anticipated that other Sign-In Partners will be added in the future, so keep checking the list of Sign-In Partners when you log in to access Government of Canada services.
What are the advantages of using my Sign-In Partner credential?
Your existing credentials, such as your online banking credential, are familiar as you may already use them on a regular basis. Using your credential from one of the Sign-In Partners to access government services is convenient as you don't have to remember a different User ID and password.
The safeguarding of Canadians' information online is a priority for the Government of Canada and measures have been put in place to ensure secure online access which respects privacy. Remember that when you use a Sign-In Partner, none of your banking or personally identifiable information is communicated to the government service you are accessing and the Government of Canada does not know which Sign-In Partner you have used. Similarly, no information about the government service being accessed by the user is shared with the user's Sign-In Partner.
Is any of my personal information shared with the government if I use a Sign-In Partner?
No. Your personal information, such as name, address, etc. is not shared when you use a Sign-In Partner.
The technology is designed in such a way that the Government of Canada will not know which Sign-In Partner you have used. Similarly, the Sign-In Partner will not know which government service its customer has accessed. Also, the credential broker which facilitates this interaction, will not know the identity of the individual or business.
The financial institution I do business with is not on the list of Sign-In Partners. What alternative do I have to access government services online?
Individuals who do not have a credential (e.g. username and password) with one of the Sign-In Partners can use the government-issued credential, GCKey.
To access the CRA's services you will need to register for a CRA User ID and password.
It is expected that other Sign-In Partners will be added in the future, so keep checking the list of Sign-In Partners when you log in to access Government of Canada services.
I bank with one of the Sign-In Partners on your list, but I'm not registered to bank online. Am I still able to access Government of Canada services using my Sign-In Partner?
To log in using a Sign-In Partner that is a financial institution or bank, you must be registered for online banking access. Contact your bank for assistance.
My Sign-In Partner knows who I am so why do I still have to provide my basic identity information to enroll in the Government of Canada service?
The Sign-In Partner does not provide any identity information to the Government and simply validates your user name or card number and password. Each government service requires your personal information based on their specific needs and to determine eligibility or entitlement.
If my bank issues me a new bank card (with new numbers), can I still access my Government Online Services?
After receiving your new bank card (with new numbers), you may be required to re-register with your Government Online Service using the new card number.
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What is GCKey?
A GCKey is a unique electronic credential (username and password) that allows you to communicate securely with online government services. The Government of Canada, as the service provider, issues these credentials to individuals so they can access government online services.
Why has the Government of Canada introduced GCKey?
GCKey is a Government of Canada service that issues credentials (username and password) that are used to access (or log in to) federal government services online. The GCKey service can be used by clients who do not have, or choose not to use a credential they may have with one of the Sign-In Partners.
How do I get a GCKey?
To register or sign up for a GCKey, go to the Government of Canada website that you would like to access and click on the "Continue to GCKey" button when you are presented with the log in choice.
Can I use the same GCKey to access several services?
Yes. You can use the same GCKey credential to access all available online services, with the exception of the CRA services. Using the same credential to access many services is convenient, as you don't have to remember several username and passwords.
To access the CRA's login services, you must either use one of the Sign-In Partners or register for a CRA User ID and password.
Am I able to access all of the government's online services with my GCKey?
You are able to use your GCKey to access all available government online services with the exception of services offered by the Canada Revenue Agency. To access the CRA's services, you must use one of the Sign-In Partners or register for a CRA User ID and password.
Who has access to the information I submit when I register for a GCKey?
The GCKey service does not share your registration information with any third party. The information you provide is held by the Government of Canada and is protected under the Federal Privacy Act.
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About the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Credential
I am registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and use a CRA User ID and password to access the CRA's login services. Can I continue to use my CRA credential?
Yes. You can continue to use your CRA User ID and password to access the CRA's My Account for Individuals, My Business Account and Represent a Client online services. The CRA will continue to offer its own credential service. For more information, go to CRA login services
Can I use a Sign-In Partner to access the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) online services?
Yes. You can use a Sign-In Partner to access the CRA's My Account for Individuals, My Business Account and Represent a Client online services. For more information go to CRA login services. Those who prefer to use a CRA User ID and password can continue to do so.
Can I use a GCKey to access my Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) online services?
No. To access the CRA's login services, you must either use one of the Sign-In Partners or register for a CRA User ID and password. For more information, go to CRA login services.
Which credentials can I use to access online services at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?
The CRA will continue to use its CRA User ID and password service; no change is required for existing users. You can also use one of the Sign-In Partners to access the CRA's online services, instead of, or in addition to, the CRA User ID and password. For more information, go to CRA login services.
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