Ontario driver's licences will go digital as part of major government services overhaul
TORONTO -- The Ontario government has announced its plans to digitize a number of government services as part of its “people-focused” action plan.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at Queen’s Park on Monday afternoon. He said that while the work had already begun as soon as he took office in 2018, it was accelerated in the face of COVID-19.
“Whether you’re getting married or renewing your driver’s licence or health card or filing paperwork for your business: We want to make services more accessible, more reliable and more convenient for you,” Ford said.
“From banking to groceries, businesses have adapted their operations to meet their customer’s needs online and government must do the same.”
The plan, dubbed “Ontario Onwards: Ontario's COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government,” includes 30 different projects aimed at improving the way people and businesses interact with government.
One such project teased by the government Monday includes the development of a “digital wallet,” which could hold resident’s driver’s licences and birth certificates.
“This new technology would allow you to securely access new services online where previously, you may have needed to go in-person to prove your identity,” Ford said.
The action plan is divided into four separate categories that the government says will help to reduce “red tape," improve government purchasing and create more responsive and flexible public services.
Other highlights of the announcement include improving access to broadband and cellular services for communities in areas of Ontario that need access to internet and allowing pharmacists to prescribe certain medications for certain minor ailments.
"The world has changed, and government must change with it. Building on what we've learned, we are undertaking an across-the-board modernization of the entire government," said Minister Bethlenfalvy, president of the Treasury Board and Chair of the Future State Modernization Committee, who was also in attendance at Monday’s announcement.
"This includes major efforts to expand the range of programs and services available online and simplify the government's role in people's lives and their businesses. Our aim is to put the people at the center of everything we do."
A full list of all the government service projects can be found here.