Provincial registration offices opening – but confusing

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As provinces begin to open, so do their registration offices.  However, with a near complete shut down of the vast majority of these offices since mid-March, there is significant pent-up demand for registrations, address changes, etc. In addition there is some confusion or challenges in some of these offices, so All Points has recommendations for anyone landing any assignees in the foreseeable future.

Give your assignees EVEN MORE time to onboard. 

All Points has written in the past about the need to give assignees their 14-day isolation period, because the government is checking with employers to ensure they are complying with provincial health guidelines.  Well, we know everyone is eager to have their assignees get started at their new roles, but we are recommending limiting expectations, as registrations are taking much longer.  With an assisted service, it was possible to register for health insurance and driver’s licensing quite quickly and get the assignee back to work.  Now, employees need to set aside more time. What may have taken 2 hours in the past may take an entire day.

Provincial Registration Offices  Health and Drivers

  • Changes are happening weekly across the country.
  • Some provinces are rotating which registration offices are open, but more offices are now open in all locations.
  • Anticipate Long Line-ups! ~  in particular in Ontario.  Line-ups of longer than 100 individuals have been reported as early as 8 AM.
  • Rules may apply about who can apply on any given day (we are seeing Ontario offices schedule driver’s license registrations by birthday).

Listen to All Points and be prepared to move!

All Points is in frequent contact with the various offices, learning about line-up lengths and opening hours.  As the situation changes quickly, All Points will work with you and the relocating employee to assess the best location, day and time for a registration.

Can applications be made online? 

Yes, in some provinces and for some things, there may be an online application option available. However, in most instances when a photo-identification is required (Drivers Licence) a visit to the office will be needed in person.

A recommendation about documentation when visiting a registration office

Assignees should always double check that they have all documents on hand (right now we are recommending an assisted service more than ever before). This is always the best way to ensure that there is only one visit, and All Points will frequently not attend a registration appointment if not all documents are in hand, but now it is even more important. In fact, at this time, as more and more offices open, we are starting to treat each office as a different franchise – they may have their own rules, so we should always be checking frequently with their requirements.

We are finding that offices may have documentation requirements that are not otherwise on the office’s official checklist.  For instance, we are seeing Services Ontario requiring employment letters for health registration, which was not the case in the past, and is not reflected on their website.  We are recommending that anyone across the country registering for health insurance should bring an employment letter at this point to ensure success.  All Points can assist with the preparation of this letter.

Drivers Licensing a bit of a mess especially in Ontario

A quick 101 on driver’s licensing for assignees: depending on jurisdiction, most provinces allow assignees to drive on their old country license for 60 days, but they would be driving illegally thereafter.  So, ushering assignees into driver’s license exchange is obviously important.   Not obtaining a driver’s license can also affect other aspects of the assignee’s life such as the ability to obtain a car or auto insurance.

101 continued – Many assignees may not be able to do a straight exchange of their old country license for a new provincial license. They may have to take the written test and then perform a driver’s test.

And that leads us to the present…. You can imagine the backlog of driver’s tests in most provinces. We are learning that in some provinces, driver’s tests are booking into September. So, based on the 60-day period in which an assignee must obtain the new driver’s license, this becomes impossible.  We are working with assignees who arrived in February and are well over the 60 days already. 

The good news.  Most provinces have extended the grace period for driving on the old country license.  This happened in most cases once the provincial registration offices started to close down during the height of the pandemic in Canada.

The bad news – This delay doesn’t help those unable to obtain an auto or auto insurance. And…then there is Ontario.  Ontario has not been clear as to whether it will extend the grace period for driving on an old country license.  All Points has been in frequent contact with the ministry to convince to give official extension to people in this circumstance, but to no avail at the time of writing.

Nationwide – Social Insurance Registration

As of Wed July 8, some Service Canada locations will be open for appointments.  Locations will eventually be listed on the Service Canada site. 

In order to acquire an appointment a service request form needs to be filled out.  A Service Canada representative will follow up on the request within 2 business days to create an appointment. However, based on our interviews, the different offices are still figuring out how this will work. If we hear any changes we will update you accordingly.

COVID-19 – Service Canada Centres – Special Measures
General Enquiries HTTPS:

Online Service Request Form


14 locations are open across the country as of yesterday. Others will be open as public health guidelines and demand allows. Masks are required in jurisdictions that have made it mandatory, in all other jurisdictions masks are highly encouraged.


Mississauga Service Canada
Scarborough Service Canada
Toronto West Humber Service Canada


Calgary Downtown Service Canada


Winnipeg Downtown Service Canada


Saskatoon Downtown Service Canada


Surrey South Service Canada


Montreal Downtown Service Canada

Hull – Elmer Gatineau Service Canada


Halifax Service Canada

Labrador Service Canada

Fredericton Service Canada

Charlottetown Service Canada 

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