New era of driver licencing ushers in one-stop shopping

Expanded consumer choice of locations and service, better identification security

A new one-stop shopping model for Manitobans’ licence and insurance needs will increase customer choice, expand hours of service and improve personal identification security, Manitoba Public Insurance announced today.

Within about a year, the corporation expects that Manitobans will begin to receive their licence and insurance renewal information in one envelope and be able to do both renewals at the same time and place. Customers will have the choice of more than 320 service providers as the licencing service network expands to include all brokers representing Manitoba Public Insurance. The move will provide 178 additional outlets for licencing services in urban centres, and more than double the number of outlets available province-wide.

“The goals of the merger were to expand customer service and choice without increasing costs and this accomplishes both while also increasing the security aspects of the Manitoba licence,” said Marilyn McLaren, Manitoba Public Insurance President and CEO. “As a first step, we are turning to proven technology and proven delivery mechanisms and we will build from there to add value for Manitobans.”

The strategy is the biggest tangible consumer benefit to date of the year-old merger between Manitoba Public Insurance and Driver and Vehicle Licencing. The improvements will affect the look of the Manitoba driver licence as well as how it is produced, distributed, renewed and financed. The changes will also enhance the security of the Manitoba driver’s licence and help Manitoba keep pace with international identification standards – an increasingly important concern in the post 9/11 era.

The plan builds on the convenient service model that has been used successfully in rural Manitoba for decades. The biggest impact will be in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Dauphin and Portage la Prairie where customers are currently unable to renew driver’s licences through the brokers.

McLaren said the licence system redevelopment is expected to cost between $6 million and $7 million with a payback period of about three years. The work focuses on a number of fronts:

  • Teams are writing computer code to transfer the administration of the licence system from an aging mainframe computer to the proven technology of Autopac On-Line.

  • Another team is working on a new photo card system that will introduce digital technology to each broker outlet and allow for centralized printing and electronic storage in a secure central database. Short-term measures are being taken to extend the life of the current system until this new technology is introduced.

  • The corporation will synchronize insurance and driver’s licence expiry dates so customers can receive both renewals in one envelope and renew both at the same time and location.

  • The corporation is also exploring opportunities for ongoing improvements of the delivery network, licence card specifications and security measures.

“We know that time is valuable and Manitobans believe they should be able to complete multiple transactions at the same time, and either pay for them all at once or arrange for a single financing arrangement,” McLaren said.

While the new service model will require fewer employees, the efficiencies will be realized without layoffs of existing permanent employees, McLaren said. Natural attrition and a proactive employee training program will help the small number of affected employees who will be positioned to move to positions in other parts of the corporation.

“We have been working with employees for several months to develop individual career plans and to help them through the transition,” she said.

All licencing transactions will be processed in “real time,” improving law enforcement efforts. The single system also means that customers will have greater choice of financing options.

About MPIC: Manitoba Public Insurance is a nonprofit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. More information at