It’s Time to Renew

I got this in the mail before the holidays:

Time to Renew Your Driver's License

and promptly decided this was much too boring to worry about over the holidays. But now is solidly “after the holidays” and it’s time to deal with such mundane things as making sure that I continue to be licensed to drive.

The annoying thing about having to renew my driver’s license by this Friday – well, other than the actual renewing of the license part – is that the BC government recently announced that they are going to be amalgamating the current BC driver’s license and the BC Care Card1 into a single “BC Services Card”. But they aren’t starting that until Feb 15 – one month and 4 days *after* I need to renew my license. And since license renewals last for 5 years, I won’t get one of these swanky new BC Services Cards – and thus will be carrying around two cards like a sucker! – until 2018!!!

More of a travesty, however, is that I will have to give up my pretty driver’s license card – the old school one with the nice water and mountains in the background – for the new ugly one2.

The other thing that this whole issue reminds us – and probably this is the most important part – is that it’s only two days until Bethmas!

  1. I.e., the card that you use to get your wonderfully free universal socialized medical care in the province []
  2. Although there is some consolation in the fact that the new BC Services Card are also ugly. So I’m not missing out on card beauty by being one month and 4 days too early to get a BC Services Card. []

3 Replies to “It’s Time to Renew”

  1. I must pick the tiniest of bones with your first footnote – our lovely, socialized, universal healthcare isn’t free. Each citizen (who is deemed financially able) pays a monthly premium ($54 for a single person, around $150 for a family I think). Some employers cover this, most don’t.

    It’s still a damn good deal, but important to note, since the mandate for everyone to pay a little into the same single-payer system is what keeps the premiums low!

    I myself am still a little sad to be putting away my care card. As far as I can tell, I don’t actually get an NHS card to cart around. The number and tracking all seem to live in the computers.

  2. Point taken. And really, it’s not free in that our MSP premiums make up a tiny proportion of what’s spent on health care – the lion’s share comes from our tax dollars – and I still think it’s a good deal.

    As someone who works in health care (and, in particular, some one who needs access to data to *evaluate* what’s going on), the idea that all the tracking could live in a computer sounds like heaven. My kingdom for an electronic medical record system!

  3. I have a bone to pick: it hasn’t been $54 a month in AGES… it was $64/month until this month… now it’s $66.50 (all for individuals) http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/premium.html

    Also, in most provinces it *is* free… in the sense that there’s no user fee for it (although obviously it is paid for by taxes). It’s only in BC, Ontario, and I think one other province which I honestly… oh wait, looked it up: shocker, it’s ALBERTA–that a fee is charged for our healthcare “service.” Which is a cash grab since, as Beth points out, the fee only covers a tiny portion of the costs. But yeah, don’t get me started on neoliberal detaxification of services so they can be made into regressive user fees.

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