It was back in the summer of 2009 when all travellers entering the United States (US), by land or water, had to present a passport or other approved document. Four years later, we know to grab our passport before heading across the line.

For British Columbia residents, there is a new piece of BC identification you might be interested in – it is the BC enhanced driver’s licence (EDL). An EDL is a secure identity document for entry into the US by land and water which not only allows you to operate a motor vehicle but it identifies you as a Canadian citizen.

When you have an EDL you can enter the US through the Ready lane. Currently, however, only Blaine-Peace Arch and Lynden have Ready lanes in BC.

No Need To Carry A Passport With An EDL

When your driver’s licence is up for renewal, you can consider applying for an EDL as a less inexpensive and convenient option than a passport when crossing the US border by vehicle or vessel. First-time applicants need to phone for an appointment at one of the 16 driver licensing locations. When you’re renewign your EDL, you can book your appointment online.

You should know that an EDL cannot replace your passport entirely. An EDL is only for personal or business travel to the US.

In addition, to apply for an EDL, you have to drive and be 16 or older. Family members in the car, who don’t drive or are 12 or older, would need an enhanced identification card (EIC).

 Latest Security Features Incorporated In An EDL

In a wallet-sized card, the EDL not only qualifies you to drive but it has moved with the technological times and provides you with the latest security features to prevent fraud and identity theft.

For better or worse – you decide if the EDL is right for you.


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