Government upgrades virtual identification options to obtain BC Services Card

VICTORIA — The B.C. government says it is upgrading its virtual identification system to make it easier for people to apply to access online services on their mobile devices during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Citizens' Services Minister Anne Kang says more people want government services during the pandemic and the introduction of a remote identity-verification option speeds up the application process to activate a BC Services Card for online use within hours.

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Kang says sending a short personal video or photo to Service BC as part of the application process eliminates the requirement to visit the government office for an in-person verification to receive the card.

She says a Service BC representative will review and verify a person's identity and activate the mobile BC Services Card for online use within hours.

The Citizen's Services Ministry says the BC Services Card was launched in 2013 and allows people in B.C. to access government services online and in person while protecting their privacy and data.

The ministry says the card's mobile app was launched in 2018 and more than 125,000 mobile BC Services Cards have been activated to date.

"I know that these are uncertain times and things can be difficult for people right now," Kang told a news conference on Tuesday. "We recognize the value of improving access to the services you need to help alleviate some of the pressures of daily life."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020.

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