Manitoba’s Attorney General Dave Chomiak has announced proposed legislative amendments which would allow Manitoba to develop a voluntary enhanced driver’s licence, as well as an ID card that would meet border travel requirements in the United States.

Chomiak, who is also Manitoba’s minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), said that the province is continuing to make progress towards a system that will offer Manitobans a new, affordable and secure form of identification.

“This system will improve security and facilitate the flow of citizens across the border and meet identification needs here at home,” said Chomiak in a released statement.

Manitoba drivers would be able to choose either a regular or enhanced licence under the new system, while non-drivers would be able to apply for a regular or enhanced ID card.

As of June 1, 2009, all Canadians entering the U.S. by land or sea will have to present an approved document confirming their citizenship and identity. Manitoba is attempting to create an enhanced drivers’ licence as well as an ID card for non-drivers for land or sea entry that will meet U.S. requirements.

“Ensuring the two-way flow of citizens across the border is important to a province like Manitoba,” Chomiak noted. “With only 31 per cent of Manitobans holding passports and the majority of our population living within 150 kilometres of the border, much of the travel is short-term and spontaneous.”

The proposed changes will be phased in over the next two years.

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