B.C. phasing out enhanced driver’s licence and identification cards

The provincial government is phasing out its enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) and enhanced identification cards (EIC), introduced in 2008 || Stock photo

B.C. will phase out its enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) and enhanced identification cards (EIC) over the next five years.

The cards, which allow for entry into the U.S. through ports and land crossings, have not been issued since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial government said the introduction of travel documents, such as 10-year passports and a simplified Canadian passport application process were among the reasons for discontinuing the cards. 

Active cards will remain valid through their expiry, but existing cards will not be renewed and applications are no longer being accepted, according to the provincial government.

The province said use of the cards declined by 26 per cent in the last two years and in 2019 only 40 per cent of expiring card holders chose to renew.

The program has run deficits consistently since 2014 and the province has paid $7.5 million to cover ICBC’s costs of administering it.

B.C. introduced the EDL and EIC in 2008 in response to new laws requiring travellers to present a passport or other secure document when crossing the U.S. border.

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