Ontario's Digital IDs Are Coming This Year & Here's What We Know So Far

We have some answers to your questions!

Ontario's Digital IDs Are Coming This Year & Here's What We Know So Far
Toronto Associate Editor

Earlier this week, on September 8, the Ontario government announced that digital IDs will soon be available for all Ontarians who wish to trade up their plastic cards for something more mobile (literally).

Narcity readers sent us their questions about the digital ID program on Instagram. We went through all of the government's news releases about digital IDs and spoke to a representative from the office of Kaleed Rasheed, the province's Associate Minister of Digital Information.

Since the digital ID program is launching later this year, more detailed information will be out when it gets closer to the pilot launch date which has not yet been determined. Here's what we know so far.

How can I get my digital ID?

When the program rolls out, you'll need to download and install the Ontario digital wallet app onto your phone or computer.

Government of Ontario

You will then need to sign up and verify your digital ID online or in person. Once you've been verified, then you can add your new electronic identification card and credentials right into your mobile wallet.

Can I apply with any form of ID?

It sounds like any trusted government ID should suffice.

"Digital ID is an electronic version of trusted government ID that provides better safety, more security, and stronger privacy than physical ID cards or documents," provincial government officials wrote.

Is getting a digital ID mandatory?

Nope. You don't have to get one if you don't want to!

Digital ID will serve as an optional convenience that will let you prove who you are in person without exchanging any physical documents. The province says you'll be able to use it to make age-restricted purchases, pick up your packages at the post office, open a bank account, and apply for government benefits and assistance, among other things.

What about data security & privacy?

The Ontario government says they are going to ensure that your privacy and personal information will be protected "according to applicable laws, standards and best practices."

Ontarians will be in charge of their own digital ID and manage it themselves. The government will ensure that essential privacy, security, and interoperability measures are embedded into the digital identity system and technologies.

Digital IDs will also only be stored on your mobile device and not onto a central database, and you will have the power to turn it off. If your device is lost or stolen, you'll be able to remotely turn your digital ID off as well.

Will this track my location?

The electronic IDs will not act as a tracker and will only be usable with your consent.

Will this replace my current ID?

"Introducing digital ID is adding another option," a spokesperson for the Associate Ministry of Digital Government told Narcity via email. "[It] is not replacing existing forms of government validated ID."

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor