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Examples of Government Issued Photo Identification

When you are required to verify the identity of individual clients or third parties, you can use the government issued photo identification method. This method of verification requires licensees to verify a client’s identity by relying on a valid, original, and current federal, provincial, or territorial government issued document containing the individual’s name, photograph, and unique identifier number. A foreign government issued photo identification is acceptable if it is equivalent to a Canadian issued photo identification document. However, photo identification documents issued by a municipal government, whether Canadian or foreign, are not acceptable. Privacy laws in Ontario also prohibit the use of an individual’s health card for identification or verification purposes (see the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s website).

The government issued photo identification document must show the individual’s name, include a photo of the individual, and have a unique identifier number. To assist licensees in complying with the government issued photo identification method of verification, below are examples of acceptable government issued photo identification documents that may be used for verifying the identity of an individual. Licensees should note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Federal Documents 

  • Canadian passport
  • Permanent resident card
  • Citizenship card (issued prior to 2012)
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • The Department of National Defence (DND) 404 Driver’s Licence

Provincial Driver's Licenses 

  • British Columbia Driver’s Licence
  • Alberta Driver’s Licence
  • Saskatchewan Driver’s Licence
  • Manitoba Driver’s Licence
  • Ontario Driver’s Licence
  • Québec Driver’s Licence
  • New Brunswick Driver’s Licence
  • Nova Scotia Driver’s Licence
  • Prince Edward Island Driver’s Licence
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Driver’s Licence
  • Yukon Driver’s Licence
  • Northwest Territories Driver’s Licence
  • Nunavut Driver’s Licence

Provincial or Territorial Identity Cards 

  • British Columbia Enhanced ID
  • Alberta Photo Identification Card
  • Saskatchewan Non-driver Photo ID
  • Manitoba Enhanced Identification Card
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • New Brunswick Photo ID Card
  • Nova Scotia Identification Card
  • Prince Edward Island Voluntary ID
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Photo Identification Card
  • Yukon General Identification Card
  • Northwest Territories General Identification Card
  • Nunavut General Identification Card

Provincial Services Cards 

  • British Columbia Services Card

Foreign Government Documents 

  • United States Global Entry Card
  • NEXUS (United States or Canada)
  • France driver’s licence
  • United States passport
  • Australian passport
  • Pennsylvania driver’s licence

This resource has been adapted for Ontario licensees with permission from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Guidance for the Legal Profession (February 19, 2019). The information in this resource was originally sourced from FINTRAC.
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