You need ID to get ID

The ID Bank assists low income, homeless, and/or marginally housed individuals in obtaining and safely storing ID. This service is available to individuals living in Vancouver, and operates on a drop-in basis. No appointment is necessary.

The ID Bank can help you to apply for:

  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Canadian Citizenship Certificate (REPLACEMENT ONLY)
  • Permanent Resident Card (REPLACEMENT ONLY)
  • BC Government issued Photo ID.

The ID Bank is a free service and will cover the cost of Canadian birth certificates, replacement Canadian Citizenship Certificate and replacement Permanent Resident Cards.

How it works:

  • Arrive as early as 9:30am in order to sign up for an intake with the ID Bank worker on that day.

  • The program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may have to wait until it is your turn.
  • The intake hours are: Mon, Tue, Thurs: 10am-12pm and 1pm-2pm.
  • Your visit with the ID Bank Worker may take up to an hour depending on your ID needs.
  • You will first fill out an Intake form with the ID Bank worker. This helps to determine how best to assist you.

The three most common scenarios:

Scenario 1:

You were born in Canada & need a birth certificate.

The ID Bank worker will help you to apply for a birth certificate from your birth province. The wait times for birth certificates to arrive at The ID Bank vary. It can take up to 3 months for your birth certificate to arrive.

Scenario 2:

You were born outside Canada & need to replace proof of your status in Canada.

The ID Bank worker will help you to replace your Canadian Citizenship Card/Certificate or your Permanent Resident Card. Replacing proof of your status in Canada is a lengthy process and can take 9 months to 2 years.

Scenario 3:

You need to apply for B.C. Government issued photo ID.

The ID Bank worker will assess the original ID that you have and guide you in the process of applying for the B.C. Photo Services card and/or the BCID card.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Will the ID Bank pay for my ID?

The ID Bank covers the cost of:

  • Canadian birth certificates
  • Replacement Canadian Citizenship Certificate
  • Replacement Permanent Resident Cards
  1. Why are the wait times for birth certificates and proof of status in Canada documents so long?

Each of these documents is applied for through different provincial or federal government agencies who have varying administration/processing times. The ID Bank also has administrative and processing times. Once your application is completed with the ID Bank worker, it goes into the queue to be processed and sent off to the proper government agency.

  1. What is the difference between the B.C. Photo Services card and BCID?

The B.C. Photo Services card is FREE and it replaces the CareCard for access to health care services and is available to eligible B.C. residents who are already enrolled in the Medical Services Plan (MSP). It can be used as a reliable piece of photo ID.

BCID is a B.C. government issued ID card that you pay for. Costs found here.

The B.C. Photo Services card and BCID are both British Columbia government issued photo ID cards. Both of these cards are applied for at an ICBC licensing office and you need two pieces of ID to apply for them.

  1. Will the ID Bank pay for my BCID card?

No. The ID Bank is funded to cover the cost of Canadian birth certificates, replacement Canadian Citizenship Certificate, and replacement Permanent Resident Cards. If you are receiving Income Assistance you may be eligible to have the cost of renewing your BCID waived. You can, however, apply for the B.C. Photo Services card which, like the BCID card, is government issued photo ID and it is FREE.

  1. I want to store my ID with The ID Bank. How does that work?

In order to store your ID with the ID Bank, meet with the ID Bank worker and sign a storage contract. Your ID will be stored securely on-site at all times. When you need to use your ID, you sign it out and return it when you are done.

Connect with us:


1725 Venables Street

Second floor

Vancouver, BC V5L 2H3


Monday, Tuesday 9:30am-4pm

Thursday 9:30am-4pm

Closed for lunch 12pm-1pm

Sign up at 9:30am to secure an appointment


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