Identification with your photograph issued by a governmental authority is required to do business with Galbraith Law. Whether completing a real estate purchase or sale, signing a new will or incorporating a new business government issued photo ID is essential. And it must be current in most cases. For example, most mortgage lenders will not advance the loan money if the photo ID is an expired driver’s license or passport.

A tip: do not renew your driver’s license anywhere near the time when legal events are about to happen in your life. When you renew, the Alberta government will ask you to turn in your current driver’s license and issue a temporary piece of paper with no photo until you receive your new driver’s license in the mail several weeks later. If a driver’s license is your only form of photo ID, during those weeks of waiting you will be without any government issued photo ID.  

We sometimes encounter people who, for various reasons, do not have a driver’s license and they are at a stage in their life when they have no plans to travel so they have no passport. They have no other forms of photo ID and wonder how they can do business with our office. There is a solution. The Government of Alberta does issue identification cards that have the same look and feel as a driver’s license. These cards include a photo. They can be obtained at any registry office for a reasonable fee. Since people who have these identification cards do not have a driver’s license, many people jokingly refer to them as a walking license.  

By way of background, the requirement has been in place with most banks for several years and the importance of it was brought home by a recent case. A lawyer signed a mortgage for a husband and wife. The only identification from the wife was items such as a credit card and social insurance card, neither of which had a photo. The mortgage was registered and the money was advanced. It turns out the woman signing the mortgage was the husband’s girlfriend and now the wife is suing, among others, the lawyer. Hence, the reinforced need to include current government issued photo identification as an essential requirement for doing business with Galbraith Law.  

Acceptable forms of photo identification include the following:
1. Driver’s license

2. Provincial identification card aka Walking license

3. Passport

4. Permanent Resident Card

5. Firearms license