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Okanagan woman born overseas to military parent struggling to get B.C. ID

Click to play video: 'Woman born to military parent struggling to get BC ID' Woman born to military parent struggling to get BC ID
WATCH: An Okanagan woman says her birth overseas to a Canadian military parent has left her tied up in bureaucracy trying to access a B.C. driver’s licence. The senior, who recently moved to B.C., says she's having trouble getting in her new province despite living in Canada since childhood. – Feb 11, 2022

An Okanagan woman says her birth overseas to a Canadian military parent has left her tied up in bureaucracy trying to access a B.C. driver’s licence.

The senior, who recently moved to B.C., says she’s having trouble getting ID in her new home province despite living in Canada since childhood.

Since she became a full-time resident of B.C. last year, Debra Hooykaas has spent months trying to get a B.C. driver’s licence and health care card.

“They have given me a temporary driver’s licence with no picture ID on it, and I have to renew it every three to four months, and they will not give me my BC health care card,” said Hooykaas.

The Lake Country resident had a Canadian passport and Alberta driver’s licence, but because she was born in Germany to Canadian parents while her father was serving in the Canadian military, she’s having trouble meeting ICBC’s ID requirements.

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Read more: Okanagan father struggling to get Canadian citizenship for son born overseas

Because she was born in Germany, Hooykaas has a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad, not a birth certificate.

“I just have a piece of paper from Ottawa that is stamped and signed that I was born in Germany. It has my parents’ names on it. It proves that I am a Canadian. ICBC decided that all the documentation that I’ve had for 65 years is not enough,” she said.

Often ICBC would accept a Canadian passport instead of a birth certificate as a primary piece of ID.

However, in Hooykaas’ case, because she’s been married and changed her last name, her passport is not in the same name as her Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad.

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So ICBC won’t accept the passport as a primary ID.

“ICBC issues photo cards in a person’s foundation name from a Canadian birth certificate or Canadian Citizenship and Immigration documents in order to prevent multiple identities being created for one person, either unwittingly or fraudulently, and therefore serves to reduce or prevent unauthorized access to government services and/or criminal fraud,” ICBC said in a statement.

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Hooykaas has applied for a Canadian Citizenship Certificate as further proof of her identity and citizenship, but the federal government says it takes more than a year — typically 15 months — to process certificate applications.

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While she waits for the federal citizenship certificate, Hooykaas is getting by with a temporary licence and a health care number.

However, the situation has left her stressed.

“My dad fought for Canada and he was in the military his whole life and now his child is struggling to get a basic driver’s licence and health card. I have all the documentation, but it is not good enough for ICBC. I don’t understand truly why it is not good enough,” Hooykaas said.

“I’ve lived in Canada my whole life except for the first year when I was born in Germany.”

ICBC says the ID requirements are not meant to be an inconvenience but to prevent fraud and ensure the security of government-issued ID and it can continue to renew Hooykaas’ temporary licence until she can obtain her Canadian Citizenship Certificate.

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