New uses for driver’s licence ahead

Cards and passwords may be used to make medical appointments and apply for student loans or register to vote

Technology

With one million of its new high-tech drivers’ licences in use, the B.C. government is preparing to use them for access to medical records, applying for student loans and a range of other uses.

The new driver’s licence was introduced a year ago, with a digital chip that replaces the existing medical CareCard system, which had run out of control. The health ministry estimated that there were more than nine million CareCards in circulation, about twice as many as there are residents of B.C.

Andrew Wilkinson, minister of technology, innovation and citizens’ services, released results of a public consultation on the new cards this week. With digital security similar to bank cards, he said the public appears prepared to use them to apply for prescription renewals, birth, death and marriage certificates, voter registration and criminal records checks.

Secure online access to such government services would require passwords to be issued, “robust” computer programs to be completed and at least half of B.C. residents to have the new cards, Wilkinson said. They are being issued as current drivers’ licences expire, and the new services could be available by the end of 2015.

Proof of identity for medical care may also be used for online booking of medical appointments.

“First of all we need to make sure that only people who are entitled to health care services in British Columbia are getting them, and secondly we have to make sure that we have the right person, the right John Smith who shows up in the emergency room after an accident and can’t speak for himself,” Wilkinson said. “With the services card they’ll have a unique identifier that connects them with the proper medical records and establishes that they’re entitled to care.”

The cards are issued to replace the current driver’s licences, for the same $75 fee. For people who don’t drive, a similar card with only medical identity is available at no charge.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles dominate round robin playoff games on home ice

“The guys knew this was a big game and we came ready to compete”

Ninth annual Victor’s Secret Fashion Show raises $11,690 for North Island cancer patients

“I am overwhelmed, that in tough times, you still pull through to help this event”

LETTER: Loaves and Fishes competing with Harvest Food Bank?

“Is this a political move by Food Banks BC to increase its profile”

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for playoffs

The bantams will be playing their first two playoff games in Port McNeill this weekend.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The top of Mt. Wolfenden

“A few shots at different focal lengths and then I was back inside editing with a coffee in hand”

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

Most Read