A driver’s licence* represents independence and freedom for most people since it allows them to drive anywhere and anytime they want. It is not surprising that the elderly feel a sense of loss when surrendering their licence due to gradually declining health. If your parent or family member owns real property and is facing this situation, you should be aware of an important option before turning in their Ontario licence.
Selling Real Estate in the Province of Ontario
An Ontario Driver’s Licence contains a photo-ID of the licence holder. Therefore a licence has an important secondary use as a form of identification and not just for use as a driver. For example, a photo ID of a seller is required by the real estate lawyer handling the sale. This is to comply with the regulations issued by FINTRAC. All three levels of government are involved when a property is sold. Appropriate departments within Municipal, Provincial and Federal need to be notified of the change in ownership. Once a Driver’s Licence is turned in, there is a good chance that the licence holder may have no other photo ID. This puts them in a difficult position when closing a real estate transaction with their lawyer. A Canadian Passport is an excellent alternate document for Proof of Identity since includes a photo-id. However, not all home sellers have a passport. Those who do may have a passport that expired many years earlier.
A little-known identification document is an Ontario Photo-ID Card. This card contains an official photo of an individual and can be used instead of other photo-ID cards such as a driver’s licence or passport for identification purposes when selling real estate. (See FINTRAC’s information page on “Methods to identify individuals“.) The ideal time to obtain an Ontario Photo-ID card is when surrendering Ontario Driver’s Licence since it is possible to exchange the existing licence for a new Photo-ID card at a cost of $35 (2018 fee). However, the licence holder needs to visit a Service Ontario location to have a photo taken for use with the new card. It is not possible to possess both a Driver’s Licence and a Photo-ID card at the same time. Please note that the exchange is not immediate. It will take 4- 6 weeks before you receive the Photo-ID card. For further information, check the Province of Ontario website.
This information has been gathered from sources deemed to be reliable at the time of publication. Since government rules and regulations change periodically, I recommend that you check with official sources before taking any action based on this information. If you are unsure of the required documents for selling real estate in Ontario, please check with the lawyer who will be handling the sale on your behalf.
*You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.
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Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.