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Franco-Ontarians can now request ID with French language characters

Those interested can request replacement Ontario driver's licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards
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File photo. Michael Purvis/Village Media

The province announced today that starting Monday, Franco-Ontarians may request new driver's licences or Ontario Photo Cards that include French language characters, such as accents (e.g. ç, è, é, ê, ë).

"Ontario's Francophone community will now see their identity reflected in these products through the use of proper French spelling and characters. This demonstrates our government's ongoing commitment to supporting Ontario's Francophonie," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, in a news release issued today.

Anyone wishing to replace their existing driver's licence or Ontario Photo Card can do so by visiting a ServiceOntario centre with supporting identification documents. However, it is recommended that individuals delay requesting replacements until the cards come up for renewal in order to reduce crowding and wait times.

Full text of the news release follows:

The Ontario government is delivering on its commitment to make more government services available in French by adding French Language Characters, such as accents (e.g. ç, è, é, ê, ë), to driver's licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards. Adding French language characters to Ontario driver's licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards is a first step in the province's plan to make French characters available on all Ontario government products.

"I am so proud to announce on Franco-Ontario Day that our government is adding French language characters to more provincial documents, beginning with driver's licences and photo cards," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "Ontario's Francophone community will now see their identity reflected in these products through the use of proper French spelling and characters. This demonstrates our government's ongoing commitment to supporting Ontario's Francophonie."

Starting Monday, Sept. 28, for the first time, Franco-Ontarians will be able to request a free replacement driver's licence or Ontario Photo Card displaying their name using French language characters.

"Ontario is among the first provinces in Canada to offer French language characters on driver's licences and photo cards," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "We will continue working with our partners to make French Language Characters available on additional products delivered by ServiceOntario."

People who want to add French language characters to their documents are encouraged to consider delaying their visit until they need to renew their driver's licence or photo card to help reduce crowding and long wait times. Customers will be required to visit a ServiceOntario centre with supporting identification documents to request their new ID. The government continues to ask the public to only visit a ServiceOntario centre if necessary and follow all public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing a face covering, and thorough and frequent hand washing.




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