French Language Characters

Published on September 28, 2020

Friday, September 25 marks Franco-Ontario Day and multiple festivities have been held across the province to recognize the Francophone community. This year has special importance as Bill 182 – Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act received Royal Assent.

As part of the celebrations this government is delivering on it’s commitment to make more services available in French by adding French Language Characters to drivers licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards. The Ontario government has heard from the Franco-Ontarian community about the need to include French characters in government identity documents. As a first step, the Ontario government is adding French Language Characters, such as accents (e.g. ç, è, é, ê, ë), to Ontario driver’s licence cards and Ontario Photo Cards.

Starting September 28, 2020, people with French names may visit a ServiceOntario centre with supporting identification documents to request a free replacement driver’s licence or Ontario Photo Card displaying their name using French Language Characters. Ontario is committed to increasing the number of frontline services available in French and will continue working to expand the availability of French Language Characters on other government ID and products.

It is essential for Ontarians to continue to practice physical distancing and go to a ServiceOntario centre only if necessary. We encourage people who want to add French Language Characters to their driver’s licence or photo card to consider delaying their visit until they need to renew in an effort to reduce crowding and wait times.

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