GNWT rolls out new designs for drivers licenses and ID cards

The cards will now have updated security features.

(Photo courtesy of the GNWT)

NWT residents can expect a newly designed driver’s license and identification card issued by Sept. 1.

Now with updated security features like facial recognition and engravings, will make the cards “harder to replicate and alter,” says Kevin Dunbar, director of the compliance and licensing division.

“Our newly designed driver’s licenses and general identification cards are now among the most secure in the world, ensuring the best possible protection to Northwest Territories residents from fraud,” R.J. Simpson, minister of Infrastructure.

“Fraudulent activity does happen, yes, and were trying to mitigate it,” says Dunbar.

Driver and motor vehicle offices will also be issuing temporary driver’s licenses and IDs.

This is something the territory initially made new drivers wait 2 to 4 weeks to process the request.

Now drivers will be given temporary cards immediately to ensure no complications with travel.

Temporary general identification cards will be available mid-November.

The GNWT partnered with the Canadian Bank Note to ensure the security of the design protected the information of residents.

The facial recognition software will allow for a more convenient and accurate profile reading for driver and motor vehicle offices across the country.

The facial recognition software will be implemented mid-November.

‘Highlighting the North’

The new designs incorporate the diamond, the arctic grayling, the mountain Aven, and the fox, the midnight sun, and fireweed.

All official symbols of the territory have been carefully chosen to “highlight the unique aspects of the North,” says Adele Bisaillon, senior creative communications advisor.

In showcasing the landscape and history, Dunbar says, they were unable to use Dene symbols as they may “not be decipherable across the country”.

The new designs took just over two and a half years to develop.

Residents may swap out their old cards for new cards before the given expiry date with a fee of $31.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108