All four Atlantic provinces will introduce a new system to help make provincially issued identification more secure and prevent identity theft.
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, issued a joint tender today, July 15, to find a single supplier to produce driver’s licences and photo identification cards for all four provinces.
The change is expected to save Nova Scotia $1.2 million over five years.
Most Nova Scotians use their driver’s licence or government-issued photo identity card as a way to prove their identity. With growing concerns around identity theft, fraud and forgery, the centralized system will better protect Nova Scotians.
The tender proposes a process where cards would no longer be printed at Registry of Motor Vehicles and Access Nova Scotia Centres, but would instead be printed at a central facility and sent to customers through the mail. Clients would be given a temporary document at the service counter that will be valid until the card arrives. The rest of the application and renewal process will remain the same.
The primary goal is to protect against identity theft and fraud.
Issuing cards centrally protects in several ways:
— it makes it more difficult to forge or tamper with drivers’ licences or IDs by producing these documents with additional and more sophisticated security features.
— it keeps drivers’ licences and identification cards out of the hands of identity thieves through an image verification process that happens before the final card is issued. Image verification has proven very effective, but it cannot be completed while a client waits.
— it will allow Nova Scotia to keep better pace with the security advances that help protect against identity theft, fraud and forgery.
With the exception of the Yukon and the Atlantic provinces, all other Canadian jurisdictions have adopted a central issuance for licences. Most places in the United States also use the central issuance system.
Nova Scotians will not have to obtain a new licence or identification cards right away. The new system is expected to be implemented next summer. The new, more secure cards will be issued when existing cards are up for renewal.
Deadline for submissions is Aug. 31. Details of the Request for Information are available at