New Canadian “enhanced” driver’s licenses for US border entry
New driver’s licenses for US entry
Last month, British Colombia was the first of the provinces to bring out the “Enhanced” driver’s license. This license acts as a substitute for passports when entering into the US via land or water (you still require a passport at the airport).
So far these licenses are only in beta format (testing) with 500 of these licenses issued to Canadian citizens born in BC. However, if the program is deemed successful, Canadian citizens with valid driver’s licenses will be issued these new licenses throughout BC. Quebec has also just revealed they are also interested in developing this technology, joined by Manitoba and Ontario, where new legislation has been passed to create these high tech licenses. Quebec’s new “Smart” license also known as the “RFID Driver’s License” will allow Quebecois to enter the U.S. via land or water.
“Enhanced” driver’s license provides US border officials with more information
This enhanced driver’s license contains a radio frequency identification chip that when scanned, provides border officials with a special code. The officer can then punch the code into a computer to search a database for information about the cardholder. The information will include the same details contained on a passport such as address, birth date and name thus being able to verify the cardholder as a Canadian citizen.
This new “border-friendly” license having a code rather than explicit personal details, will help protect the privacy of individuals who sign up for the license. Further, it may speed up wait times at the Canada-US borders.As of June 1, 2009, this license will be considered a valid document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) which is a U.S. law that requires Canadian Citizens to present a passport OR the new “smart” license in lieu of a passport along with other approved documents such as the Nexus Card. It will be valid for four years and in order to qualify it may be the case that you will have to prove your Canadian citizenship and have no criminal record.
We will see what the exact conditions are when the new enhanced license is ready for circulation.
Ontario is expected to unveil its own “smart license” some point in early spring. But until this happens, it is important that you have all the necessary documentation with you before attempting to enter the US.Denied Entry to the US? Call Niren and Associates Immigration Lawyers in Toronto for assistance at 416 410 7484.[gravityform id=1 name=Havea Question? ]
The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.
Spectacular experience. Completely smooth process, they were able to answer any of my questions any time and I had peace of mind throughout the application time, which was invaluable. I have recommended them to other friends looking for assistance with their applications, and will continue to do so. Worth every penny.
Here, I would like to say thank you so very much for your kind support on extension my visit visa. I am touched and beyond words, I am grateful and thankful for your always help and cooperation. Have a wonderful day.
Great law firm with great staff. My lawyer Rania did a great job for my Canadian work permit and my daughters study permit. You are great in your work. And my Para Legal officer Alicea, you are just amazing. They did not rest until my job was promptly and properly done. Always there to answer my calls, reply my emails promptly. She tried her best and the results were amazing. I recommend visa place if you need the best immigration job. Many thanks to Rania and Alicea.