Apply Today For Your Enhanced Driver's Licence

    McGuinty Government Launches Convenient Passport Alternative For Ontario

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ -


    Ontario drivers who are Canadian citizens can now apply for the Ontario
Enhanced Driver's Licence.
    Nine ServiceOntario centres are now accepting applications for this
passport alternative, which can be used at Canada-U.S. land and water border
    An enhanced driver's licence is completely optional, and is an additional
$40.00. Those who wish to apply for a licence should visit to book an application appointment. Appointments will be
available starting May 19, with the first batch of licences projected for
delivery by June 1.
    As of June 1, 2009, the United States government's Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires Canadian citizens entering the United States
by land or water to present a valid passport or approved secure document that
establishes the bearer's identity and citizenship. A valid passport is still
required to enter the U.S. by air.


    "As a convenient, affordable and secure alternative to a passport,
Ontario's enhanced driver's licence will help keep goods and people moving
safely and efficiently across our borders."
    - Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation.

    "ServiceOntario is excited to be able to offer this product to Ontarians,
as part of making it easier for people to get a wide range of services,
including birth certificates, driver's licences, business registrations, and
now enhanced driver's licences."
    - Ted McMeekin, Minister of Government Services.


    -   Appointments will be available at nine ServiceOntario locations:
        Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, St. Catharines, Toronto
        Downtown, North York, Kingston, Cornwall and Ottawa.
    -   In a typical business day, Ontario issues almost 15,000 driver's
    -   Almost 35 million passenger cars cross Ontario - U.S. borders each
    -   The busiest crossing is the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor with more
        than 6 million passenger vehicles crossing each year.


    -   How to apply for an enhanced driver's licence
(<a href="$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf">

    -   Visit the Canada Border Service Agency's website for more
        information on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, including
        new rules for traveling to and from the U.S.

                                                      Disponible en français




    An Ontario enhanced driver's licence (EDL) contains the same information
as a regular Ontario driver's licence but also includes a machine readable
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip that denotes Canadian citizenship.
This additional information will allow the driver to use their EDL as a
passport alternative when entering the U.S. by land or water.

    Why an Enhanced Driver's Licence?

    Starting June 1, 2009, the United States government requires all Canadian
citizens entering the U.S. by land or water to present a valid passport or
other approved secure document that denotes the bearer's identity and
    The enhanced driver's licence was developed by the Ontario government, in
consultation with the Government of Canada and United States Government, as a
passport alternative for Ontarians who are Canadian citizens to use when
entering the U.S. by land or water.
    Changing to an enhanced driver's licence is completely voluntary. It is
ideal for a licensed driver who frequently travels to the U.S. by motor
vehicle. It's less expensive than a passport and can be conveniently stored
inside a wallet just like a regular driver's licence.

    Can the EDL be used by Canadian citizens to enter the U.S. by air or when
    traveling to countries other than the U.S.?

    The EDL cannot be used when flying into the U.S. A valid passport or a
NEXUS card is required to fly to, through or from the U.S.
    Countries have different entry requirements and travelers should check
which documents they need before leaving home.

    Can anyone get an EDL?

    To be eligible for an enhanced driver's licence you must be an Ontario
resident, hold a valid Ontario driver's licence (standalone M1 licence holders
are not eligible), be a Canadian citizen and not have any travel restrictions.

    How does the EDL card work?

    The enhanced licence card looks similar to a regular driver's licence
except it has the words "enhanced' in the title and CAN in the corner to
identify the bearer as a Canadian.
    A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip is embedded into the card.
The chip contains only a unique identification number - there is no other
personal information on this chip. At the U.S. port of entry, an RFID reader
retrieves this number and transmits it to the U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) network. CBP then queries the Canada Border Services Agency
database in Canada, and the EDL information is then securely transmitted back
to the CBP.
    The enhanced driver's licence contains the same state-of-the art fraud
prevention measures already in place on the regular Ontario driver's licence.
For added protection the EDL card comes with a security sleeve to prevent the
RFID chip from being read by unauthorized sources.

    How do people apply for an EDL card?

    Appointments can be booked online at to attend an
in-person application at one of the ServiceOntario centres offering EDL
services. An Applicant's Guide
(<a href="$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf">
5009E%7E1/$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf</a>) and application
forms can be downloaded from the same site.
    The first appointments will begin on May 19, 2009, with the first batch
of EDL cards projected for delivery by June 1.

    How much does it cost?

    The fee for an EDL card is $40.00 in addition to the cost of renewing a
driver's licence.

    For more information:

                                                      Disponible en français



    The Ontario Enhanced Driver's Licence (EDL) is a passport alternative
only for Ontario drivers who are Canadian citizens crossing into the United
States at land or water border entry points.
    ServiceOntario centres in seven border communities, as well as two in
Toronto, offer the enhanced licence.
    Changing to an enhanced driver's licence is a matter of choice. To apply,
the applicant can make an appointment to attend an in-person screening at one
of the nine ServiceOntario centres. The Applicant's Guide
(<a href="$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf">
5009E%7E1/$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf</a>), Appendix B gives
a list of locations.

    Eligibility requirements

    The applicant must:
        -  be a Canadian citizen
        -  hold a valid Ontario driver's licence (standalone M1 licence
           holders are not eligible)
        -  be an Ontario resident
        -  have no restrictions to travel outside of Canada due to any
           government ordered travel restrictions, and
        -  sign a personal information consent form.

    Booking an appointment

    Appointments must be booked prior to attending a ServiceOntario centre
offering EDL services. They can be made beginning today by going online at or by phoning ServiceOntario at 416-235-2999 or
toll-free in Canada at 1-800-387-3445.
    A driver's licence number is required to complete the online booking
application. At the appointment, you will need to provide a printed version of
the required questionnaires, all forms and receipt of your appointment
    Appointments will begin on May 19, 2009.

    Completing the EDL questionnaires and forms

    You need to download and print copies of the documents listed below and
complete the information before attending your scheduled appointment. The
forms must not be signed in advance as the applicant will be required to sign
them during the in-person application interview.

    Required forms
        -  Citizenship Questionnaire
        -  Personal Information Consent Form
        -  Entitlement to Travel Questionnaire

    Proof of identity (legal name, date of birth, signature) must also be
provided and documentary evidence of Canadian citizenship. Only original
documents are accepted - copies are not permitted. There is a list of
acceptable documents in the Applicant's Guide
(<a href="$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf">
5009E%7E1/$File/023-05009E-EnhancedDriversLicenceGuide.pdf</a>), Appendix A.

    The appointment

    The appointment will take approximately 15 minutes.
    During the first part of the application process, the applicant will be
asked to provide proof of identity and documentary evidence of Canadian
citizenship and to sign the required forms and questionnaires.
    They will also be asked to pay the required $40.00 fee (cash, credit
card, money order, certified personal cheque or debit card are all accepted).
    Documents will be reviewed and questions will be asked relating to
citizenship and eligibility.
    If all these requirements are met, the applicant will then continue with
the application.
    During this part of the appointment, the applicant will be asked a number
of additional questions to verify identification and confirm evidence of
Canadian citizenship.
    Once all requirements are met, a photo of the applicant will be taken and
the signature recorded.
    A temporary driver's licence will be issued for use until the enhanced
licence is processed. The card will be mailed to the applicant by secure
delivery within a couple of weeks.

    NOTE: Temporary driver's licences are not acceptable for entry into the
United States.

    If at the time of application the driver's licence is up for renewal, the
applicable driver's licence renewal fee will be added to the enhanced licence
fee and the expiry date will be the driver's licence expiry date.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Ministry of Transportation: Nicole
Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416) 327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications
Branch, (416) 327-1158; Ministry of Government Services: Greg Dennis,
Minister's Office, (416) 327-3072; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416)

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