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Atlantic provinces introduce new ‘highly secure’ driver’s licence

A sample of the new Nova Scotia driver's licence announced on Oct. 10, 2017. .
A sample of the new Nova Scotia driver's licence announced on Oct. 10, 2017. . Government of Nova Scotia

All four provinces in Atlantic Canada announced on Tuesday that they’ll soon be introducing new driver’s licences and photo ID cards to their respective citizens.

Starting in November, Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers will be able to receive their new cards, which according to the Nova Scotia government will allow citizens to be “better protected against identity theft, fraud and forgery.”

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The “highly secure” driver’s licence will be printed at a central facility shared by all four provinces and mailed out within 14 days.

Citizens aren’t required to get a new card and will receive the new type of licence when they apply for a renewal. When a citizen does apply, they’ll be provided with a 30-day temporary document to use until their new licence arrives.

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“It is essential that our identification documents are modernized to protect New Brunswickers from data manipulation and forgery,” said New Brunswick Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry.

“We have partnered with the other Atlantic provinces to develop a driver’s licence and photo ID card with modern security features.”

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The new cards will be made out of polycarbonate which is tamper-resistant while the photo and personal data on the card are laser-engraved to protect against forgery.

However, you’ll no longer be able to wear eyeglasses in your photo.

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Law enforcement is welcoming the decision by the Atlantic provinces.

“The RCMP is pleased to see any initiative that decreases opportunities for fraudulent activity,” says Chief Superintendent Marlene Snowman, Nova Scotia RCMP Criminal Operations Officer.

“Police officers often rely on the validity of licence information for a variety of reasons so these changes will make a positive difference for frontline officers across the province.”

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It’s expected that the process will take some time for each of the province’s populations to transition to the new cards.

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New Brunswick is set to begin offering the cards at their Service New Brunswick locations at Dalhousie, Bathurst, Perth-Andover, Burton, Dieppe, Hampton and Grand Manan in November. They’ll then roll out the program throughout the province in December.

Nova Scotia said they’ll begin the switch in November with the province’s Access Nova Scotia locations being fully transitioned by the end of December.