How to Get a GCKey for My Service Canada After You Get Your Personal Access Code, PAC

A bit over a week ago, I applied online for a new Personal Access Code from Service Canada. I need it so that I can get a GCKey which is a userid and password to use when looking up information on the Service Canada website. Specifically, I want to check my CPP contribution history and my expected Canada Pension Plan payments. Once my PAC has arrived in the mail, here’s how I set up a GCKey.

You may want to do this too if you want to check your CPP, EI or OAS online at Service Canada.


What You Need to Register for a GCKey

You won’t want to get half-way through this and find you don’t have what you need, so here’s a list:

  • Your Personal Access Code letter from Service Canada (Need a PAC? Read How to Apply for a PAC)
  • Your Social Insurance Number
  • Your date of birth and province or territory of residence
  • Some idea of what you want to use for your userid (8 character minimum) and password (8 character minimum)

How to Register for a GCKey

  1. Go to www.servicecanada.gc.ca/mcsa
  2. Read the warning messages, if any, about recent frauds.
  3. Click on the link: Are you a first-time user? Register now!
  4. Click on the Access My Service Canada Account

On the Access My Service Canada Account Screen

  1. If desired, to see an example of how to use an Access Key to set up a GCKey, click on the link: Tutorial-transitioning from Access Key to GCKey.
  2. The first step is to register with GCKey. Near the bottom of the screen, look for the message
    To log in or register with GCKey, select the GCKey button below
    And click on the GCKey button.

On the GCKey Log In or Register Screen

  1. Read the message and try to ignore the typo. (“muiltiple” is probably supposed to say “multiple”)
  2. To get a GCKey, in the phrase Register for a new GCKey, click on the link: Register

On the GCKey Registration Step 1 of 2 Screen

  1. Read the Terms and Conditions of Use and if you agree, click on the button: I accept

(You can’t do any of the rest of this procedure if you click the button: I decline.)

On the Create Your Registration Information Screen

  1. In the Create Your User ID field, type the combination of letters and numbers that you want to use when you sign in to your My Service Canada account. Don’t use a userid for email or any other program.
  2. From the Select a Recovery Question drop-down list, click on the downward pointing arrow, then choose which question you want to answer.
    For example: I selected: What is the first musical instrument I ever played.
  3. In the My Recovery Answer field, type the response to this question.
    For example, I typed: xylophone
    (Really! Would an Honest Crooks lie to you? Well, ok, maybe….)
  4. In the My Memorable Person field, type the name of someone you will be able to remember.
  5. In the My Memorable Person hint field, type some clue to that person’s identity.
  6. In the My Memorable Date field, type the date of something memorable to you.
  7. In the My Memorable Date Hint field, type some clue to that date.
  8. In the Create Your Password field, type a long password using uppercase and lowercase letters and some numbers. For safety, don’t use a password you use elsewhere.
  9. Click on the Continue button.

On the GCKey Registration Complete Screen

  • Click Continue.

On the Client Confirmation Screen
Option 1 says I am a new user, or I have forgotten my previous user ID and/or password

  1. Below Option 1, click to select the radio button beside Register
  2. then click on the Continue button.

Read the Personal information collection statement then if you agree, click on the I Agree button.

On the Authentication screen,

  • In the Social Insurance Number field, type your SIN.
  • In the Date of Birth area, type your year of birth, then select the month and day from the drop down lists.
  • In the EI access code/CPP/OAS personal access code field type the Personal Access Code from your letter from Service Canada.
  • From the Province or Territory drop-down list select the place where you live.
  • Click on the Submit button.

On the Confirming Your New User ID and Password Screen

  • Either click on the Continue button to use Service Canada; or
  • to leave the service, click on the button called: Log out

I clicked on Continue.

Read the Privacy Notice and Terms and Conditions.
If they are acceptable, click on I agree.

The My Service Canada splash screen will open.

When you are finished, be sure to click on the Log out button near the top right side of the screen.
Click on the log out confirmation button on the next screen.
For added security, close your browser session.

Coming Up Soon

Soon I’ll be sharing an article about how to look up your CPP contributions online. Honest! I didn’t realize this would all take so long. If you’re in a hurry you may prefer to phone Service Canada and request they mail you your CPP info.


Related Reading

Join In
Do you find it amazingly slow to set up a simple userid and password with Service Canada? Please share your experiences with a comment.

14 thoughts on “How to Get a GCKey for My Service Canada After You Get Your Personal Access Code, PAC

  1. Thanks for your instructions which, BTW, could have been included in the letter with the access code. The absurdly complicated login process must be some sort of filter I guess. No nervous types beyond this point. Gets rid of the elderly right off the bat with the access code/GCKey confusion. God knows what favourite date I gave or favourite person. I’ve signed in this time but next time I’ll phone.

    • Yes, it would be good if the government included instructions with their codes. I try to write down what I discover as I try to use different government services–partly so I can remember in case I need to do it again in the future!

  2. to help plan for retirement i want a copy of pension plan contributions but need the PAC to apply for the GCKEY to begin to look things up but can’t even get a PAC as it says my Mom’s maiden name is wrong. – aargh – how complicated and difficult – so now I have to call them but of course it is always evening in the west when I work on this stuff and they are not working- i don’t even care if someone else knows what my contributions are………………………

    • I’m sorry the Service Canada is making it so difficult for you just to check your numbers. I found it quite a long process, too. I hope you can get it sorted out soon. (I wonder what they think your Mother’s name is?!)

  3. I just got my GC Key today without going through any PAC registration process. There was no request for any PAC information. But when I tried to log in to GC Key site, it claimed my user and password info was incorrect, after having accepted it to confirm my GC Key.

    So I’ve applied successfully for the PAC code, and will try the process again.

    • I hope you have success with this next try. I should check whether they’ve changed the whole process yet again. They do every so often and it’s hard to keep up with.

  4. Just went throught the whole lengthy process to get a GC Key code. During the process it asked for a “EI access code/CPP/OAS personal access code”. To my knowledge I have none of these, so I left it blank. Got to the bitter end finally…. only to find out it would not let me proceed without going back and putting in those access codes that I have never had! What a friggin’ wast of time! Would not recommend this f**king process to anyone!

    • I have had a lot of problems with this whole online access thing too, including they changed their entire security system just after I got it running the first time. Be careful when you file your 2015 income tax return not to include your email address in the first section if you don’t want to HAVE to use the online system: once they have your email address they don’t mail you a “notice of assessment” anymore!

    • No kidding David it’s my 21st attempt to sign in in two days and it keeps coming up with error messages. I phoned my MP yesterday, you should too.

  5. Haven’t been able to access my “service Canada” account since 6 Oct. the site is a joke and the sign in process must be designed by a crack addict or a bureaucrat. Still can’t get in today. They need to fix this useless website.

  6. I want to register but im told I need a PAC. I dont have a PAC so I request one…. “Sorry were experiencing technical difficulties.” Happens every single time and Ive been trying for the past year. So WTF do I do? Cant call them as well because they are to busy enjoying Tim bits to talk to you

    • That’s terrible! I’m sorry you’re having such a problem. I got my code quite a while ago so I hadn’t heard how bad it’s getting. I wish I could help but I’m just a taxpayer–I don’t work there or have any contacts.

  7. Hi, I have lost my username and password for the GCkey.
    So, I have created a new account. When I tired to link my new account with old account its getting denied. All the details entered while link both my account were correct. Kindly help me to solve this issue.

    • I’m sorry but I’m just a taxpayer like you. I don’t work for the government, nor do I know anyone who does, so I can’t help you fix it. You’ll have to contact Service Canada and see what they can do. Sorry!

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