For reasons I am not sure I fully understand, I have applied for an Enhanced Driver’s License. For an additional $35 (on top of the $75 I already have to pay for a new license), a 2-hour invasive interview and giving up my right to any sort of expectation of privacy, I will perhaps be issued a fancy microchipped official government ID that will allow me to .. walk or float into the US without a passport.
I made an appointment for next Monday, where I will be locked into a dark, windowless room and be asked questions by men in dark suits and sunglasses. I may or may not wear a skirt and go commando, just in case the opportunity to cross my legs suggestively presents itself. The questions I will be asked include things like:
- Are there outstanding criminal charges against you in Canada?
- Are you forbidden to leave Canada?
- Are you currently in jail?
- Did you renounce your Canadian citizenship?
- Were your parents spies?
- Do you understand the appeal of Nickelback?
- William Shatner: The greatest entertainer of all time. True or Totally True?
- Do you jaywalk? (this is a trick question – real Canadians don’t jaywalk; it isn’t polite)
This is going to be grueling and potentially devastating. What if I fail? I don’t think I could take the shame of not being worthy of government survaillence around the clock. Not to mention the fear – the woman on the front of the ICBC EDL flyer looks a LOT like my mom. She may be smiling now, but I just know her other unseen hand is gripping a wooden spoon and will lash out to slap me across the knuckles if I don’t wash the dishes or bring a hammer or buy her a little man on a horse. I’m afraid. Maybe I should cancel this appointment.
I’m sure it’ll be fine, though. I mean, if I pass the rigorous testing, just look at the benefits I can look forward to!
- a convenient wallet-sized card that serves as your licence to drive and
denotes your identity and citizenship
- a viable alternative to a passport for business or pleasure travel to the U.S. by land or water
- less expensive than a passport for entry into the U.S. by land or water
- latest security features to prevent fraud and identity theft
- makes family travel easier
See? If I pass, I .. won’t have to carry my passport when I drive to Seattle! YEAH! Take that, limited pocket space!
I love the “less expensive” line. Sure, it’s less expensive than a passport – except it’s only good for land or water travel. If I have to fly anywhere, I’ll need a passport. Mine expires next year, so regardless of my fancy mircochip status, I’ll still have to hand over the $87 for a new one. I haven’t flown anywhere in over 2 years, but what if I need to? You can’t not have a passport. It makes things very, very difficult when you want to leave the country and be inspected by 13 different security checkpoints.
Oh well. The government doesn’t seem to be doing anything with my DNA; what possible harm could there be in allowing them to track my every move by satellite?