You are here:

Non Drivers Id

Editor's Note: Editor's Note; The following joint brief was submitted to the Ontario Minister of Transportation by the Toronto Chapter of the NFB: AE and the CCB on April 20, 1999.

I: Introduction

The blind population and other Ontarians who do not drive a vehicle, are denied access to various services because no recognisable form of identification is available. The National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality (NFB: AE) and the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) in a joint collaboration, request the institution of a Non-Driver's Driving Licence. The Non-Driver's driving licence should resemble a plasticized photo identification card for non-drivers in Ontario. The card should look like a standard driver's license with the exception of an added sticker to indicate its usage for identification purposes only.

Founded in 1992, the NFB: AE is a consumer group of blind and vision-impaired persons who have joined together for the purposes of preserving and enhancing the existing rights of blind and vision-impaired people in Canada through advocacy, public education and other initiatives.

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) is a national consumer organisation made up of blind, vision-impaired and deaf-blind persons advocating for themselves.

II. General Comments

The NFB: AE along with the CCB recommend that the government of Ontario should introduce the non-driver's driving licence for blind and vision-impaired persons and all other non-drivers in Ontario. This official piece of identification has been available in seven other provinces in Canada for many years. The NFB: AE and the CCB are of the opinion that this would be of great benefit to the people of Ontario.

III. Benefits to the card-holder

This identification card is already universally accepted for identification purposes in other provinces. Blind and vision-impaired people whose numbers are quite large (approximately 44,000 registered blind in Ontario) using CNIB registration statistics and an additional 120,000 people according to data received from Statistics Canada, happen to be one of the communities that are denied access to services. For your reference, a list of some services that have been refused are shown below:

(a) Transactions at a financial institution (including cashing of cheques, opening a new bank account)

(b) Cross-border travel through U.S. Customs

(c) Returning merchandise to a store

(d) Obtaining hotel accommodations (without a credit card)

(e) Obtaining a credit card

(f) Renting a video

In addition to the blind, vision-impaired and deaf-blind populations, the refusal of access to service is also a significant problem for other groups of people such as the elderly and epileptics who are not eligible for, or who have never held, a driver's licence. These services which many people take for granted, are being denied to all non-drivers including the blind, vision-impaired and the deaf-blind, simply because they do not have this valuable piece of ID. Despite the fact that a person has stated that they are blind or vision-impaired, they are still asked to present a driver's licence.

IV. Government Benefits

Please bear in mind that the memberships of the NFB: AE and the CCB are certainly willing to pay the same amount for this identification card as a driver would pay for a standard driving licence. Since driver's licence ID cards can currently be issued for identification purposes only, no additional cost to the province would be incurred. Issuing these identification cards to non-drivers would generate additional revenue. Here are some examples for your consideration:

The CNIB has approximately 44,000 registered blind, vision- impaired and deaf-blind clients in Ontario. There are an additional 120,000 blind, vision-impaired and deaf-blind individuals who are not registered with CNIB according to Statistics Canada. If a cost for the licence of $70.00 is assumed, the government of Ontario could receive additional revenues of 3.08 million dollars if CNIB registration statistics are used or approximately $11,480,000.00 if the Statistics Canada data is relied upon.

Even if some blind, vision-impaired or deaf-blind people elect not to purchase the new non-driver's licence, the Ontario government will still raise significant revenue based on the foregoing analysis. Therefore, there is very little danger that the cost of implementing the program will exceed any additional revenue collected by the government, if it implements this program.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.