Enhanced driver’s licences may be eliminated in Ontario

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Ontario is considering eliminating an enhanced driver’s licence that allows people to enter the United States at land and water border crossings without a passport.

The driver’s licence option was introduced in 2009, when the U.S. required passports or other secure identification for anyone crossing into the country by land or sea, but it hasn’t had the anticipated uptake.

British Columbia and Manitoba have enhanced driver’s licences, and Quebec used to, but phased out the program — other provinces rejected the idea because it was too costly or there wasn’t enough public interest.

Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bob Nichols says about 60,000 people currently have the secure ID out of 10.2 million drivers in Ontario.

The enhanced driver’s licence costs an extra $40 above the regular driver’s licence fee of $90.

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It features a radio-frequency chip that includes a unique number for border staff to use to find personal information that identifies the traveller in a secure database.

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