This is my first time moving to a new province as an adult, so yesterday I got to experience getting a new, new driver’s license, and a brand new health card. Looking at these new pieces of ID, I gotta ask: Manitoba, what’s up with the paper?
I first saw a Manitoba driver’s license right after I moved to Winnipeg. The license itself seemed pretty normal, until I was told it was one of two pieces, and the card needed to be housed in a plastic sleeve with a piece of paper with your address and personal info. The plastic card part of my license won’t arrive for another few weeks — I get to cruise around in my non-car with just the paper part. It’s better than the carbon-copy style print-out you get in BC when waiting for a new license, but a little odd to have as part of the permanent set.
However, I can see one big benefit to the two piece system: address updates. The only piece of the license that has your address on it is the paper part, so when you move that’s the only part that needs to be replaced. It’s also the part that expires yearly; as any place that sells car insurance in MB can also handle driver’s licenses, it’s pretty easy to get updated.
BC’s system, by comparison, doesn’t seem as well thought out. Every time I moved in Vancouver, I’d get a dot-matrix print out of my new address stuck to the back of my driver’s license. This could only be done at an official Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) office, which was a bit of a hassle — or at least that’s my excuse for why the address stuck to the back of my old license is three apartments old. Because of this alone, MB licenses will probably grow on me, once I get used to the bundle.
The health card, on the other hand, I really don’t understand. It’s basically a piece of card-stock with perforated edges and three folds, listing some personal information and an expiry date. It seems like it would be crazy-easy to forge, and that it’s going to get thrashed in no time if I carry it around with me. My old BC CareCard was a credit-card style piece of plastic that I’ve had since they were first issued in the early 90’s, and that has survived, amongst other things, a trip through a washer/dryer.
Does anyone know the story behind the MB driver’s license or health card? Or better yet, recommendations for keeping them both in one piece?