The Government of Manitoba (MB) has announced the elimination of the Manitoba Enhanced ID Card (EIC) program. This has been a great program that has allowed residents in Canada and the USA to travel easily across the border without a passport. For business travelers who may forget their passport or from residents who were used to the “good old days” when they could cross the border with a Driver’s Licence, the Enhanced ID was a great option.
The government announced the Enhanced ID program was simply not popular enough to justify the costs. Due to COVID-19 and the impacts it has been having on immigration and other programs, the government is looking to cut costs. As reported, only 12,000 Enhanced IDs were in circulation in 2020 which accounts for only 1% of total IDs.
Alternative #1: NEXUS
This is a very good option. In fact, it is better than the Enhanced ID as it can be used for flights as well as crossing at land and water ports of entry. As reported by CBC News:
The ministry points to Canada’s simplified passport application process and 10-year passport option as well as the growing popularity of the NEXUS expedited border control card which covers all methods of entry into the U.S.
Alternative #2: FAST
The Free and Secure Trade program (FAST) is for commercial truck drivers only. We have many clients in the transportation industry and this is a very good system. It allows drivers to move quickly and easily across the border with their goods.
Currently, we work with Owners on these applications that are bundled with other applications.
What if you have an Enhanced ID?
If you are one of the 12,000 people in Manitoba with an Enhanced ID, such as myself, you will be getting notification from the government. You will need to choose another option starting in 2022.