British Columbia

B.C. phasing out enhanced driver's licence and ID cards used for land entry into U.S.

A statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says the enhanced driver's licence and enhanced identification card are being discontinued because other travel documents are more cost effective, remain valid longer and cover air travel.

B.C.'s enhanced licences and ID cards will be phased out over the next 5 years

B.C. says the enhanced driver's licence and enhanced identification card are being discontinued because other travel documents are more cost effective, remain valid longer and cover air travel. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The B.C. government says it is phasing out two types of travel identification cards that allowed easier entrance into the United States.

A statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says the enhanced driver's licence and enhanced identification card are being discontinued because other travel documents are more cost effective, remain valid longer and cover air travel.

The cards allowed the holder to enter the U.S. through land crossings or marine ports without needing to present a valid passport, but couldn't be used to travel by air. 

The documents haven't been available since last March when ICBC, which manages the program, curtailed numerous services as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.

The ministry points to Canada's simplified passport application process and 10-year passport option as well as the growing popularity of the NEXUS expedited border control card which covers all methods of entry into the U.S.

B.C.'s enhanced licences and ID cards will be phased out over the next five years ending in September 2025, matching similar phase outs in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba where the cards were offered by those governments.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now