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

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

First court date in Chilliwack for man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance Wednesday

Another successful year for Chilliwack’s ‘We Got Your Back’ backpack program

Sponsored by local businesses, program stocks backpacks with school supplies for students in need

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read