Registration and maintenance authorities

Registration authorities assign globally unique codes or numbers to organizations and documents based on international standards. Maintenance agencies maintain lists of codes but have no responsibility for content.


See the list of national and international registration authorities and maintenance agencies


The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is one of the best-known examples of this system. An ISBN is based on an ISO standard that provides a numbering system for published books. Every book receives a unique code that distinguishes it from other books. It is a registration authority’s job to assign the numbers and ensure that there are no duplications.


SCC is Canada’s member body to ISO. We oversee the work of some registration and maintenance agencies by acting as the sponsoring authority in Canada. 


A sponsoring authority reviews applications to join a system and manages the registration database.

  • In some cases, such as the Issuer Identification Number described below, SCC is the sponsoring authority. 

  • In other cases, such as ISBNs, another organization takes on the role as sponsoring authority. 

Issuer Identification Number

A unique Issuer Identification Number (IIN) is used to correctly identify a card issuer. For example, banks issue credit cards and stores offer gift cards. 

Each issuer can have only one IIN. The IIN is not used to differentiate between products, services or geographical locations. 
These standards are used for unique identification cards:

  • ISO/IEC 7812-1:2017: Identification cards — Identification of issuers — Part 1: Numbering system
  • ISO/IEC 7812-2:2017: Identification cards — Identification of issuers — Part 2: Application and registration procedures

For more information on IIN registrations in Canada, including how to apply and to update identification details, contact

How to apply for an Issuer Identification Number

Complete the application form and submit to with the $1,000 (CAD) application fee. Your application must include one of the following forms of proof that your organization is a legal entity authorized to carry out business in Canada:
•    GST/HST registration
•    master business licence
•    certificate of status
•    listing in a federal, provincial or territorial register of corporations

Object identifiers

The role of an object identifier (OID) is to provide a globally unique identifier for any object in a hierarchy. The OIDs that SCC issues begin with 1.2.124.

The standard used for OIDs is:

  • ISO/IEC 9834-1:2012: Information technology — Procedures for the operation of object identifier registration authorities — Part 1: General procedures and top arcs of the international object identifier tree

For more information on OID registrations in Canada, including applications and updating identification details, contact

How to apply for an object identifier

Complete the application form and submit it to The application fee is $1,000 (CAD).