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.
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.