Manitoba edges close to enhanced driver’s licence

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WINNIPEG, Man. — Manitoba has been working with several provinces, the Canadian government and the US, to develop an enhanced driver’s licence that would meet US cross-border requirements under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

The US has stated that, as of June 1, 2009, all Canadians entering that country by land or sea will have to present an approved document confirming citizenship and identity. In response to this requirement, Manitoba plans to create an enhanced drivers’ licence for land entry, which will meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security.

“We are continuing to make progress towards a system that will offer Manitobans a new, affordable and secure form of identification,” said Manitoba’s Attorney General Dave Chomiak, the minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). “This system will improve security and facilitate the flow of citizens across the border and meet identification needs here at home.”

Under the new system, Manitoba drivers would be able to choose either a regular or enhanced licence.

Next year, Manitoba plans to introduce a new one-piece driver’s licence, as well as an enhanced version incorporating the new identity standards and cross-border requirements. This will be combined with a modified merit discount/surcharge program and a streamlined renewal process.

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