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Enhanced Driver's Licence vs Passport

What is an enhanced drivers licence?

An enhanced driver’s licence is a form of driver’s license that also verifies your citizenship.  It can be used as an alternative to a Canadian Passport when traveling to the United States by land and sea only.

Why Should I Get an Enhanced Driver’s Licence?

I decided to research this and find out why someone would obtain an enhanced driver’s licence, when simply a passport would do.  Here is what I have found:

  • I had a client who called me asking about getting a Record Suspension for a fraud conviction related to lying on a Passport Application.  He told me the fraud resulted in a 5-year ban from possessing a Canadian Passport.
  • I looked up the fee for an Ontario 5-year enhanced driver’s licence.  It’s fee is only $40 compares to the cost of $120 for a 5-year Passport.  Accordingly, it is a low-cost alternative to a passport

However, since the Enhanced Driver’s Licence is only good for travel by land and sea between Canada and the United States, I would bet that the Canadian Passport is the way to go for most Canadians.

How to Obtain a Provincial Enhanced Driver’s Licence

You can obtain an Enhanced Driver’s License in the following Provinces:

Enhanced Driver's LIcence for Ontario

You can not obtain an Enhanced Driver’s Licence in the following Provinces or Territories at this time.

  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut

Federal Government Websites

If you would like to research current Government published information on this topic, please check out the following links:

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5 thoughts on “Enhanced Driver’s Licence vs Passport”

  1. Debbie Ward says:

    Can you get an enhanced driver’s license if banned from getting a passport? This question has been posed to me today…and I learned that someone with a banned passport was subsequently denied a enhanced drivers’ license for the same reason. What does this mean? You might not be able to get around the banned passport problem by getting an enhanced driver’s licence.

  2. Denise Kennedy says:

    Can I get a manitoba enhanced license if I am a permanent resident?

    1. Debbie Ward says:

      Here is the application:

      According to this application, you must be a Canadian citizen.

  3. Noni Gowing says:

    What is the reason for not being able to get an enhanced driver’s license in Alberta, Canada?

    1. Debbie Ward says:

      That is a good question…sorry, but I don’t know the answer.

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