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April 3 2014

High Tech B.C. Canada Drivers Licenses to Include Criminal Records

With one million of its new high-tech drivers' licenses in use, the B.C. government is preparing to use them for access to medical records, applying for student loans and a range of other uses.

The new driver's license was introduced a year ago, with a digital chip that replaces the existing medical CareCard system, which had run out of control. The health ministry estimated that there were more than nine million CareCards in circulation, about twice as many as there are residents of B.C. Andrew Wilkinson, minister of technology, innovation and citizens' services, released results of a public consultation on the new cards.

With digital security similar to bank cards, he said the public appears prepared to use them to apply for prescription renewals, birth, death and marriage certificates, voter registration and criminal records checks. Secure online access to such government services would require passwords to be issued, "robust" computer programs to be completed and at least half of B.C. residents to have the new cards, Wilkinson said. They are being issued as current drivers' licenses expire, and the new services could be available by the end of 2015.