This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
McGuinty Government Protecting Health and Safety of Province’s Youth
Ontario is making it easier to identify when someone is of legal age when buying alcohol or tobacco.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, a new identifier on Ontario driver’s licences and photo cards will clearly show when card holders turn 19. The identifier will read “age 19” followed by the exact date the card holder turns 19, all in bold letters. It will be located near the bottom of the card, beside the date of birth.
Helping prevent youth from smoking and drinking is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to keep families safe and healthy, at home and on the road.
“Our government has heard from the retail sector and public health units across Ontario. We’ve taken action to keep youth in Ontario safe by including the date a person is 19 years of age on Ontario’s driver’s licence and photo cards.”
— Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Transportation
“Ontario’s new age identification on driver’s licences and photo cards is just one more way we are helping to reduce under-age smoking and drinking and keep our roads safe.”
— Dwight Duncan, Minister of Government Services
“Injury and substance abuse prevention are key priorities for the public health system in Ontario. This initiative will help keep Ontario’s youth healthy and safe.”
— Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health
· Only driver licences and photo cards issued on or after Jan. 1, 2013 will have the new identifier. Existing cardholders who wish to have the identifier applied to their card can pay a replacement fee to have a new card issued.
· Drivers under 19 years of age who are drinking are two times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision compared to older drivers.
· Approximately 150,000 cards are issued each year to drivers under the age of 19.
· Driver licence cards in all Canadian provinces except Quebec include an age identifier.
How to get an Ontario Driver’s Licence
Find out about Ontario’s Photo Card