When Ontarians who spell their names using French language characters next visit ServiceOntario for renewal, they can request that those characters are reflected on their eligible identification cards.
The provincial government says it is delivering on its commitment to make more government services available in French by adding French language characters, such as accents (ç, è, é, ê, ë), to driver's licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards. The government says this added option to Ontario driver's licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards is "a first step in the province's plan to make French characters available on all Ontario government products."
Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation said, "Ontario's Francophone community will now see their identity reflected in these products through the use of proper French spelling and characters. This demonstrates our government's ongoing commitment to supporting Ontario's Francophonie."
The French language characters initially were made available to the public through ServiceOntario in conjunction with the celebration of Franco-Ontarian Day in late September and Ontarians are now able to request a free replacement driver's licence or Ontario Photo Card displaying their name using the appropriate French language characters.
However, ServiceOntario asks those eligible to "consider delaying their visit until they need to renew their driver's licence or photo card to help reduce crowding and long wait times," due to increased health protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. "Customers will be required to visit a ServiceOntario centre with supporting identification documents to request their new ID. The government continues to ask the public to only visit a ServiceOntario centre if necessary and follow all public health measures such as physical distancing, wearing a face covering, and thorough and frequent hand washing."
The MTO says it will continue working to update its systems to add French language characters to more products and to make these transactions available online.
"Ontario is among the first provinces in Canada to offer French Language Characters on driver's licences and photo cards," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "We will continue working with our partners to make French language characters available on additional products delivered by ServiceOntario."