New BC CareCard now available

British Columbians can now replace their CareCard with the new BC Services Card.

"Starting today, the old CareCard will be replaced by the BC Services Card, a highly secure form of identification," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid.

"This new card will be a secure piece of photo identification with many anti-fraud and security features including secure design, an expiry date and enhanced features which will help to protect citizens' personal information."

Most adults will need to re-enrol in the Medical Services Plan over the next five years.

The easiest way for British Columbians to enrol is to do so when renewing their driver's licence and opt for the combined card that includes both a driver's licence and BC Services Card. People who do not drive can still enrol at the nearest location where driver's licences are issued.

The current CareCard was introduced in 1989 and has not been significantly updated over the last 20 years.

The new BC Services Card takes advantage of significant advances in technology, to provide a secure piece of photo identification with enhanced features to protect citizens' personal information.

The new card features a photograph of the beneficiary, secure design and an expiry date.

"We have been engaging with the information and privacy commissioner on this program for more than two years and I am pleased that she agrees from a privacy and security point of view we are ready to offer the BC Services Card to citizens," said Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government Ben Stewart.

"We are happy to work with government on issuing the new BC Services Card to British Columbians," said ICBC interim president and CEO Mark Blucher.

"The added convenience of getting a combined BC Services Card and driver's licence will be a welcome feature for many of our customers. Just come into an ICBC driver licensing office when it's time to renew your licence, and we will issue the new card."

Once a person enrols, they will be mailed a new BC Services Card, and will need to re-enrol and get a new card every five years.

Children and certain groups of adults, such as the elderly or those in residential care or extended hospital care - for whom renewed enrolment would be impractical or present a hardship - will be exempt from re-enrolling or managed through special arrangements.

The BC Services Card also provides the foundation for supporting the potential future development of more convenient access for citizens to new online government services.

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