Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

May 05, 2009 21:58 ET

Statement: Minister Van Loan Comments on the Launch of Enhanced Driver's Licences in Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, today issued the following statement regarding the launch of enhanced driver's licences by the Government of Ontario.

"This announcement by the Government of Ontario is welcome news. The launch of enhanced driver's licences by Ontario helps implement the Government of Canada's ongoing work to ensure that trade and travel across our border are not disrupted as a result of the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

Through the efforts of our Government, the United States Government now accepts enhanced driver's licences and enhanced identification cards as an optional and secure alternative to passports at U.S. land and water border crossings.

The Government of Canada has invested $6 million over two years towards federal activities to support provinces planning to introduce enhanced driver's licences.

Today's announcement provides Ontario residents, who are Canadian citizens, with another accepted document option when travelling to the United States by land or water under the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative."

As of June 1, 2009, when seeking to enter the United States at its land or water crossings, Canadian citizens will be required to show a WHTI-compliant document, such as a valid passport, NEXUS card, Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card, enhanced driver's licence or enhanced identification card. Since January 2007, Canadian citizens travelling by air to, through, or from the United States must present a valid passport or a valid NEXUS card.

For more information about U.S. document requirements for Canadian citizens and how to apply for a WHTI-compliant document, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website at

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