BC Services Card: Your Care Card and More

If you haven’t heard, the old Care Card and Driver’s Licenses are things of the past. As of February 2013 they joined forces to become the BC Services Card. Why the change? Well, the cards haven’t been significantly updated in about 20 years and, over that time, technology has advanced a little (insert sarcasm).

The new card is designed to make it safer and easier for you to access health services and other programs that require photo ID. It can also be combined with your driver’s licence. The benefits of the change: better security. ICBC and the Information and Privacy Commissioner are on board and for you to be, you just have to enroll. By February 2018, all adult Medical Services Plan (MSP) beneficiaries need to renew their enrolment in MSP and get a BC Services Card. To learn more about all that, go to the website.

new Care Card and BC Driver's License
The new BC Services Card

From a transportation perspective, we thought we’d share some of the myths and facts around the cards with you:

Myth: I will need to pay outstanding traffic violations like speeding or parking tickets when I go to re-enrol in MSP?

Fact: ICBC has its own processes in place for collecting outstanding traffic violations. No one will be denied re-enrolment in MSP or a BC Services Card due to an outstanding traffic violation.

Myth: It is mandatory to combine my driver’s licence and my BC Services Card.

Fact: A combined card is optional and entirely your choice. You may combine your driver’s licence and BC Services Card for convenience or keep them independent.

Myth: If my combined BC Driver’s Licence and Services Card is confiscated at the roadside, I won’t be able to get health care.

Fact: Surrendering your combined BC Driver’s Licence and Services Card does not affect your MSP coverage. If you are enrolled in MSP, you can still receive services by providing your Personal Health Number (PHN) plus other identification. If you’ve surrendered your driver’s licence, go to an ICBC Driver Licensing Office, to obtain a standalone photo BC Services Card. It’s free.

Myth: The chip contains all of my personal information.

Fact: The chip does not store any personal or medical information. In the future, the chip technology will allow you to access a service by tapping your card on a card reader.. Access to your records is protected by a pass code, similar to the Personal Identification Number (PIN) you use with your bank card.

Myth: This card will just cost me more money.

Fact: There is no fee for a BC Services Card. If you are combining it with your driver’s licence, you will pay no more than what you pay today to renew your driver’s licence.

Hopefully that answered some of your questions. Looking for more information? The BC Services Card website is your best source of information.

212 comments on “BC Services Card: Your Care Card and More”

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  1. Dear Sir/Madam
    Can I use class 7 BC driver’s licence to rent a car in Vancouver BC?
    Please reply a s a p

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. I had to renew my expiring BC drivers license and Medical Card (combined) and they demanded I surrender it in order to get a new ID. They said it might be “months” until I get my new ID. I’m wondering if that’s true because it is my only valid photo ID and now I have nothing.

    Reply
  3. I got approved for last name change due to getting married do I have to go in and pay for a new bc I’d and bc services card ?

    Reply
  4. My spouse arrived 20 days ago and got the IFHC, But when registering at my family doctor clinic they said he is not covered, I just need his care card No. So to give it to the clinic avoiding to be charged as we are not working and receiving any government assistant , most of the health numbers are not been answered

    Reply
  5. additional training needs to be provided to the motor vehicle agents that issue drivers licenses. Why? Because I was told when I was renewing my DL that combining my BC Service Card with it WAS mandatory! I so did not want the two together.

    Reply
  6. My drivers licence has a lot of personal information on it. If I go to my doctors office are they allowed to photocopy my licensce? The PHN is on the back.

    Reply
    • Hi there Murray – great question. Your doctor and the staff in the office are sworn to protect your health and privacy by the nature of the work they do. They do need to access the PHN on your combined card. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to connect with Services BC staff. Here’s their contact info:
      Ask a privacy-related question

      Questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information.

      Manager, Service Delivery

      Provincial Identity Information Management Program

      Telephone
      Toll free: 1 888 356-2741

      Mailing Address
      PO Box 9412 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9V1

      Reply
  7. Is there a reason why some places count the combined card as a single ID, others count it as two? Do you have a link to official documentation that I could have on that answer?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  8. I need to renew my card, I am in Vancouver bc
    What your address? Where on Burrad street?
    My card expires on December 29/2019

    Reply
  9. My card got cancelled found out in November when I went to renew my license called got it straightened I thought and now I still dont have a medical card how long does this take I have some medical things to look after and can’t because I don’t have a medical

    Reply
  10. Surrendering your combined BC Driver’s Licence and Services Card does not affect your MSP coverage. If you are enrolled in MSP, you can still receive services by providing your Personal Health Number (PHN) plus other identification. If you’ve surrendered your driver’s licence, go to an ICBC Driver Licensing Office, to obtain a standalone photo BC Services Card. It’s free.
    Thanks

    Reply
  11. Hi, my name is Alexander thanachit domingo kongka. I have a BC care card with no photo on it; I applied under study permit. I’m a student going to capilano university.

    I have been paying for the fees for couple months now. I am wondering why is it taking $122.50 from my bank account. Instead of $75 dollars. I am also over 18 years old.

    Reply
  12. I have a bc medical card for both of my children. Their father who lives in BC but in another town, can he order a set of cards for your children for him to keep on file?

    Reply
  13. Hello, I’m wondering why my child’s service card does not have her full name? When she was registered we put in two middle names but her card only shows one. Her father also has two middle names but his has both on the card. Why would this happen? And what are the reprocusions of this?

    Reply
  14. My 90 year old relative is frantic becuase she believes that if the BC Services card expires, there is no health insurance. This is not the case, correct? Maybe you should be clearer in your communication with the public.

    Reply
  15. Currently I am having the new card with both driver’s license and care card in one. Can I choose to have the two on separate cards when I renew my driver’s license next time? This will allow me to have one more piece of ID.

    Reply
    • Hi Ying,

      Yes, you should be able to do that. Just let the folks behind the desk at the ICBC office know you would like to have two pieces of ID and would like to have a card issued for your license and one for your care card.

      Reply
    • Under the Medicare Protection Act, it is an offence to use another person’s Personal Health Number (PHN) or to knowingly allow your PHN to be used by another person. In order to maintain B.C.’s health care plans for the benefit of all residents, the plans must be protected against inappropriate use by those who are not residents of B.C. and, therefore, are not eligible for coverage.

      Reply
  16. Just got my card. On the back side, I noticed is a little space just above where it says “Personal Health Number”. Are we supposed to affix our signature there?

    Reply
  17. When my MSP card expired at the end of February 2018, I had to renew my drivers license. I am one of many that have an “english” name in addition to my chinese name. My citizenship card has my chinese name on the back but on the front (the side with the picture), it includes my “english” name. I didn’t think it would be a hassle so I just shrugged my shoulders and got my new DL without the english name. Since then, it’s been a headache. I’m considering a legal name change but hesitant with the costs involved, both time and money. I’ve read articles here and there (this site, google searches, and bcombudperson site) nothing there are exceptions. This change to exclude my name has essentially created a new identity for me as everything else in my life is under my English name. Is legal name change still my only option, or has ICBC adopted a more reasonable approach to allowing those of us with this problem to have our English names on our DL without having to incur all the headaches of a legal name change and endure the unintended discriminatory nature of this process?

    Reply
    • Hi there – we’re sorry to hear about your frustrating issue unfortunately, we aren’t the folks who can help clarify it for you. Please call ICBC’s driver licensing department and can look into this specific situation further. They can be reached at 1-250-978-8300 or 1-800-950-1498 and are available Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm (Pacific Time) and Saturdays 9:00am – 5:00pm (Pacific Time). We hope that this helps your situation. Thanks for connecting with us here.

      Reply
  18. My BCID card isn’t expired yet. If I go in to renew it, how long do I have to wait until I get the new card? Is it mailed to me?

    Reply
  19. PLEASE HELP!! We recently moved here in Surrey, Bc from Winnipeg, Mb. We’ve been in Canada for more than 9 years. We went to ICBC to switch our driver’s licenses and to apply for BC services card but was denied just because our PR card is expired. My wife is 3months pregnant and need to be seen by obgyn but since we have no BC service card yet she can’t. Applyung for PR card and Proof of Permanent Residence will take 6 months and that won’t work for our situation right now. We also need to switch our driver’s licenses within 90days. Please help us if you know anything else we can do. Should we go to Service Canada or CRA to ask help.

    Reply
  20. Hi there, I’ve recently got my BC Services Card but I’ve been wanting to assume my husband’s last name for a while and just never got around to it (I had no idea there was no need for a legal name change for that). I understand I have to contact MSP and get it changed with them first. But here’s my question, I’m a permanent resident/born outside of Canada, can I still assume my husband’s last name – like Citizens are able to – and get it changed on my Services Card, BCID, SIN etc without having to legally change it? I understand for my PR Card and immigration documents I would need a legal change of name, but I don’t want to do that just yet, so would having my PR card with my maiden name and all my other BC ID under my husband’s last name be a problem?

    Reply
  21. Just got my BC Services Card; it is issued only for a four-year term and not the regular five years. I do not have a DL so there shouldn’t be any issues about matching the expiration dates.

    Reply
  22. Is it that every BC citizen have to renew our Care Card before February 2018? What if we passed that date to renew, will there be any penalty or something? Is it a “must-do” process for BC citizen?

    Reply
  23. i’m a few years late but have a question! lol, i’ll try. so I almost didn’t get inside a place the other day because my driving licence “didn’t look like my face”. it was a friends home where they live with nursing staff who wanted my ID as it’s a known drug hotspot. the photo has me with a hairstyle i do not wear (had to shave head a month before photo) and i’ve gained some weight since i was very ill at time of photo and down in weight, and recently taking hormones did the opposite and put me on a fair amount of weight. my face also changes when i have get puffy from an immune problem that causes allergy type reactions on a chronic basis. so it didn’t look much like me. i’m concerned about it now, as it’s my only piece of photo ID besides my passport, which i can’t carry around. is there a way to get a new photo? i’m carrying a copy of my birth certificate for now in hopes that helps my case. my bank has never had a problem with my card yet. what to do? cheers.

    Reply
    • also my weight was not changed from my last licence. it’s off by almost 20kg. i find that unacceptable that they never asked for my new weight! it’s been 7 years. if i went missing, i assume the police would not use my card as a tool.
      a bit off topic but
      what i do know is they have looked for me before on several occasions of runaways and assume a transgender guy might look female. i don’t, and they then ask what name i use and think i’m a transgender women sometimes. same in hospital the T designation really confuses everyone and i’m treated as if i’m a trans women instead of a transguy based on my masculinity. they really need FTM instead, because even the doctors assumptions have interfered with diagnosis when they thought i would not have ovaries. it was nice that all the nurses tried to call me “she” and stuff but their efforts were a good waste. i never get misgendered in public so it catches me off guard.

      Reply
      • Hi there,

        I suggest contacting ICBC about making changes to your licence. Give their driving licensing info line call. They’d be happy to help.
        B.C., Canada and the U.S.: ​1-800-950-1498​
        ​Greater Victoria 250-978-8300​
        Other countries​ 250-978-8300 (they accept collect calls)

        Hope this helps. Good luck!

        Reply
  24. I have an outstanding SkyTrain ticket due to losing my pass a few years back. My wallet was recently stolen as well. Will this affect my ability to get a BCID?

    Reply
  25. How does one go about renewing MSP and Driver’s License after years of staying outside Canada? I’m a Permanent Resident (BC). Our MSP (with husband) was terminated when we left in 2013, consequently, my DL expired in 2014 and so his (not sure on his year, though). I just came back this month (November) and wondering how to go about doing both. I brought with me the documents for presentation and was advised by friends to go to Service Canada, is that right??? I did not employ myself while I was out of Canada and still unemployed as of this writing.
    Is there any moratorium or leeway on the monthly cost of MSP since (1). We used to pay as a couple. However, I’m by myself now, husband stayed behind and (2). I got no employment yet
    Your immediate advise please. Thanks

    Reply
  26. My 90 year old mother has no picture ID and has lost her Care Card. Is she doomed to not getting a card or what do you suggest she does.

    Reply
  27. I am over 75. My non photo BC Care card expires in Feb 2023.Will they send me a renewal form /reminder in the mail or will it be automatically renewed since it doesn’t require a photo.

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      Good question! Unfortunately, we can’t give you the answer, but if you call Health Insurance BC at 604 683-7151 or 1 800 663-7100 they can give you more information on the non-photo card. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  28. Hello Tranbceditor,

    I am a Canadian citizen and I have lived in BC holding a BC CareCard between 1989 and 1992. Later I have lived in Ontario and in Florida and now I am living in Europe. I plan to move back to Victoria, BC and re-establish residency there in this summer. My question is: How and where will I get back my Personal Health Identification number and my new BC Servcies Card? I do not know my old Personal Health Identification number. What shall I do now? Will Service BC be able to trace back my Personal Health Identification number used in 1989-1992 and issue a new BC Services Card?

    Yours Sincerely:
    Mr. Attila Kiss

    Reply
  29. Am a non-resident Canadian so I don’t have valid care card but only holding valid BCID & Canada Passport. I am planning to come back to BC to renew my driver’s license in 2018. What identification should I bring for the renewal? Thank you!!

    Reply
  30. I’ve applied to get my service card and have been billed but I have yet to receive a physical copy. When will I get my card this is ridiculous.

    Reply
  31. i Just got my drivers licence and service card last week and it expires next year any idea what the reasons for that could be?

    Reply
  32. My daughter went to get her new care card. Her NDL name does not match her Passport and now they say she has to pay $17 to get a new DL because the name doesn’t match and she can’t get a new care card with out paying this fee. This is ridiculous that she has to pay because ICBC has taken over the care cards and the policy has changed. She used her passport to get her NDL and at that time they should have made sure policy was being followed.
    So new care cards do cost $$$$$

    Reply
    • Hello Karen,

      We shared your comment with ICBC directly and they informed us that, due to privacy reasons, they are not able to look into your daughter’s account. Please have your daughter call ICBC’s driver licensing department and they can verify her identity and can look into this specific situation further. They can be reached at 1-250-978-8300 or 1-800-950-1498 and are available Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm (Pacific Time) and Saturdays 9:00am – 5:00pm (Pacific Time).

      Reply
  33. I got my bc Id & my care card renewed yesterday after 5 years & didnt receive either of my old cards back & was not given a temporary id & I need my Id before my new one comes in a month. Am I able to get photo copys of my id’s so Im not idless for an entire month?

    Reply
  34. I recently changed my last name on my licence , as I just got married . I just realized my health care number is not on the back of my licence … what do I use now for my health care ? I dont even know my number …

    Reply
  35. Please help I have lost my bc care card now I only have my birth certificates how can I get a newcare card with only 1 piece of id now?

    Reply