The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces, government privacy officials and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to ensure that all Canadian privacy requirements are met in the development, testing and implementation of enhanced driver's licences (EDLs) and enhanced identification cards (EICs).
Note: all subsequent information about EDLs in this Web section equally applies to EICs.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the intermediary between the provincial licensing authorities and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Provinces share their EDL data with the CBSA and the information is stored in the CBSA's secure database. The CBSA is responsible to ensure that the EDL data records are protected.
Only a limited number of CBSA personnel have access to EDL records. The database is controlled through strict access controls such as passwords, security checks for individuals accessing the data and system audits that track and report on access to the data, including all requests for EDL information made by U.S. CBP. EDL cardholder information that is disclosed to the CBSA is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act and respective provincial privacy legislation.
The EDL features a machine-readable zone and a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. The RFID chip in each EDL has a unique identifier number; no personal information is stored on the chip. Refer to the EDL technology section for more information.
U.S. land border crossings are equipped with RFID readers that will read the unique identifiers from EDL RFID chips as travellers approach. U.S. CBP will use the unique identifier to contact CBSA's secure database and the CBSA will then forward encrypted information about the EDL cardholder to U.S. CBP over a secure line connection.
When an EDL holder seeks to enter the United States by land or water, the CBSA will disclose only the following information to U.S. CBP:
An EDL holder's driving qualifications, driving conviction history, penalties or medical conditions are not disclosed to the CBSA or to any other authority.
Federal and provincial privacy laws do not apply to information in custody and control of U.S. authorities. The Government of Canada has signed an information-sharing agreement with the U.S. government that restricts the use of personal information related to the EDL program. When an EDL holder enters the United States, his or her information is retained in a secure U.S. CBP database as a border-crossing record. This process is no different than if a traveller were to use his or her passport. U.S. CBP may store, use and disclose a traveller's personal information to determine his or her eligibility to enter or remain in the United States or for any other purpose authorized by U.S. law.
Participation in an EDL program is voluntary. EDLs will be issued to Canadian citizens who specifically request them and meet the program conditions. EDL applicants are asked to sign a personal consent form that authorizes the province to share their information with the CBSA, other agencies and U.S. CBP. The CBSA will disclose limited personal information to U.S. border authorities only when an EDL holder seeks to enter the United States.
Refer to the accepted documents section for information about other WHTI-compliant documents.