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Personal Identification

Everyone who has a passport knows how important it is.   Losing a passport (or other important document) can cause many problems.   Often, the best way to avoid losing an important document is to keep it somewhere safe.   This page will talk about some options that will allow you to leave your important documents somewhere safe while still being able to participate in the activities of your choice.

Proof of Age
For those interested in buying alcohol or entering a business where alcohol is served in the province of Ontario, proof that you are at least 19 years old is needed.   Some locations will accept passports (though we recommend you leave it somewhere safe) or even driver’s licences, but there are other types of identification that should always be accepted.
Ontario Photo Card
The province of Ontario offers non-drivers an option for Canadian-issued identification with the Ontario Photo Card.   The application can be made in person at Service Ontario’s office at 1650 Bath Road  or 1201 Division Street.   The cost is $35 and you should be able to use your passport as proof of identification.   Note: This card is not necessary if you have an Ontario Driver’s Licence.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) offers the BYID card specifically to serve as identification that can be used for the purpose of buying beverage alcohol or entering a licenced location (bar) that requires you to be at least 19.  This identification is only available to those aged 19 through 35.

The application process requires confirmation of age.  Normally, that would mean finding a œguarantor that could confirm that you are telling the truth.  Since a guarantor must have known you for at least 2 years and work in certain fields, most students must instead complete a declaration in lieu of guarantor .  This can be done with the help of Queen’s Legal Aid Office.
Ontario Driver’s Licence
Besides being used as permission to drive in the province of Ontario, the driver’s licence is commonly used as proof of age.   If all you need is proof of age, the Ontario Photo Card (above) is probably the best option.   If you are interested in getting an Ontario Driver’s Licence, please visit the “Transportation” page of our Living in Kingston Guide.
Social Insurance Number Card
Information about the Social Insurance Number (SIN) card is available on our “Working in Canada” page.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The ISIC is not generally accepted as proof of identity.   It is usually better to have one of the cards noted above.

Undergraduate students can purchase the ISIC for $20 from Merit Travel (Corner of Princess and Montreal Streets). Just bring a photo and your validated Queen’s student card.  If you can’t bring your own photo, they can take one for you for an additional $5. Graduate students can get the ISIC for free through the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS)

Passport Renewals
If your passport is set to expire during your time in Canada, you may need to renew it through your government’s representatives in (or serving) Canada.  Contact information for “foreign representatives in Canada” is available through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development.

Further Questions?
If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm.

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