Lost Identification Can be Hard to Retrieve for Permanent Residents
Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye, Immigrant Settlement Services Coordinator reminds all of us how important it is to make sure we protect our identification. Kim can be reached at 250-706-3143 or email her at email@example.com to learn more abut Immigration Settlement services.
Stolen wallet, a house fire, lost in the shuffle of a move…these are just a few of a hundred different ways people lose their identification. When identification expires it becomes more complicated to replace, especially for immigrants. People born in Canada can apply for a copy of their birth certificate easily enough, especially if you were born in British Columbia where you do not need to show identification to obtain a copy. Canadian birth certificates are considered Primary Identification by ICBC and can be used to obtain a Secondary piece like a non-photo BC Services card. These could be used together to obtain a new Driver’s License. Foreign birth certificates, however, are only classified as a Secondary piece so this strategy will not work. It is important to replace your identification as soon as it’s missing because it may be retrieved in the computer system. If you move Provinces, your existing Driver’s License can be used to obtain a new one but if that expires, it can make getting a new one very difficult. For Permanent Residents who have been in Canada for many years and who do not have a passport or a Permanent Resident card (maybe never had one) this process could become nearly impossible. Many Permanent Residents are told by Provincial services to obtain Federal identification such as Permanent Resident card or a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship in order to replace their Driver’s License. An immigration landing document may work if it is original but many people no longer have this or immigrated as a child with their parents and this document is long gone. The trouble with all of these options is that when applying people are faced with the same dilemma; they cannot obtain ID without ID. Permanent Residents need to keep their identification valid, have more than one piece of Primary identification, and should not keep all pieces in the same place. This is one of the reasons people decide to apply for Canadian Citizenship and with the recent announcement that citizenship will be made more accessible this year it may be something to consider. Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy offers free support in 100 Mile House for people who need to retrieve identification to drive, work, get medical coverage, and other benefits.