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.

 

Just Posted

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

Vikes ready for Queen’s in Game 1 of national men’s rugby championship

From mid-terms to national championships, it’s a rugby life

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read