Submitting a Claim

Here’s the three-step process for claiming an unclaimed balance.

1. Complete the claim form

After you have identified a balance by searching the registry:

  1. Answer the guided questions to generate the appropriate form.
  2. Print the form, fill it out and sign where required.

2. Gather the supporting materials

The required documentation and proof of ownership and entitlement that you must submit to support your claim will be identified on the form.

Required documentation

The documentation required depends on the type of claim you’re making.

Individual claims

Information and documents requested may include:

  • Two forms of valid ID for each claimant (such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate) issued by different government organizations (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal or local equivalent abroad):
    • One must bear the claimant’s photo.
    • One must include the claimant’s current address.
  • An original bank passbook or bank statement, if the claim is for an account
  • Proof of investment
  • Proof that the balance holder once resided at the address noted in our records.

Estate claims

Information and documents requested may include:

  • An original bank passbook or bank statement, if the claim is for an account
  • Proof of investment
  • Proof that the balance holder once resided at the address noted in our records

Any representative who is authorized to settle the estate (such as an executor, trustee or liquidator) must submit the following documentation along with the claim:

  • Two forms of valid ID for each claimant (such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate) issued by different government organizations (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal or local equivalent abroad):
    • One must bear the claimant’s photo.
    • One must include the claimant’s current address.
  • Evidence that you are authorized to act on behalf of the estate

The required legal documentation regarding the balance holder will vary, depending on whether they had a Last Will and Testament and which province they lived in at the time of death. Specific examples include:

  • Death Certificate
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Will Search Certificates (Quebec only)
  • Proof of Probate/Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will
  • Declaration of Heredity or Letters of Verification (Quebec only)
  • Letters of Administration/Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will
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Legal documents submitted to the Bank of Canada will not be returned to claimants. We strongly recommend that only certified or notarized copies of legal documents be submitted with a claim. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Other claims

Information and documents requested may include:

  • Status of the organization (active or dissolved corporation, for example)
  • Proof of signing authority
  • An original bank passbook or bank statement, if the claim is for an account
  • Proof of investment
  • Proof that the organization’s address matches the information listed on our unclaimed balance registry

The required documentation will vary, depending on the type of balance and the type and status of the organization holding the balance.

For example, if the business has been dissolved or is inactive, it must be revived in order for the Bank of Canada to proceed with the claim; documentation confirming the status of the business will be required. (Otherwise, all funds for dissolved/inactive business entities vest with the Crown). To find out how to revive a corporation, please contact the applicable provincial corporate registry office or Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Specific examples of documentation may include:

  • Corporate Profile
  • Registered Charity/Registered Non-Profit Information Return
  • Association Bylaws
  • Minutes of most recent Annual General Meeting
  • Partnership Agreement
  • GST/HST Registration

Proof of ownership and entitlement

You must demonstrate the balance-to-owner relationship by providing supporting documents such as an account passbook, bank statements, the original instrument, etc. The documents required for the type of claim you are making will be listed on the claim form generated by the online claim submission process.

If you are unable to provide proof of ownership and entitlement, you may be required to obtain a Bond of Indemnity (BofI) to guarantee the claim and to provide the Bank with recourse should the claim subsequently be found invalid. If a BofI is required, further instructions will be provided by the Bank of Canada after your claim has been fully reviewed.

You may incur fees as you obtain the necessary legal evidence proving your ownership.

3. Mail the complete package

Submit the signed claim form and supporting documentation to the Bank of Canada by mail.

Processing time

If you have supplied us with your email address, you will be notified when the status of your claim has changed.

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Due to the high volume of claims we receive, our response time is approximately 6 to 8 months. The time required to fully process a claim depends on its complexity, and the degree to which the claim package has been properly and fully completed by the claimant.

Payment

If a claim is approved, a cheque in Canadian funds is mailed to you.

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