New Ont. driver’s licence secure enough to pass WHTI standard

QUEEN’S PARK, Ont. — Ontario has unveiled a new, more secure driver’s licence card, meant to deter identity theft, Transportation Minister Jim Bradley announced today.

Ontario drivers will receive the new card when they renew their licence, beginning this month.

The new card incorporates leading edge security features such as laser engraved photo/signature/personal information, a fine line background, 2D barcode, micro and rainbow printing, secondary photo and signature images and ultraviolet features among others.

These new features bring Ontario in line with new standards for North American driver’s licences developed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Officials are optimistic that the new card will eventually be allowed by U.S. authorities as an alternative to passports, which, under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, will become mandatory next year for anyone crossing the border into the U.S., including American citizens.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently indicated that enhanced driver’s licences would likely be accepted as alternatives to passports.

“The card also uses a secure platform that can be enhanced in the future to include citizenship information,” said Bradley. “The province is working
towards enabling Ontarians to use their driver’s licence as a border-crossing document.”

Ottawa must still approve access to the citizenship data, which could be added to the new licences and perhaps used in lieu of a passport to enter the U.S.

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), in Markham, Ont. is producing the card. The company is a global leader in advanced technology for secure identification.

“The use of such security features will make the production of forged documents that much more difficult for criminals and criminal organizations,” commented Inspector B.R. Baxter, RCMP Commercial Crime Branch.

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