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Vancouver leads the development of digital credentials technology with provincial partners to improve municipal services

May 2 2024 –

The City of Vancouver is spearheading the use of digital credentials to reduce the need for manual verification steps in permitting and licencing services. This work is being done in collaboration with Technical Safety BC, Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA) and the Ministry of Citizens’ Services.

“We’re proud to be leading the development of digital credentials along with our provincial partners,” says Mayor Ken Sim. “It’s about modernizing City services to make it easier for businesses, homeowners and permit applicants. Digital credentials represent a transformative shift, reshaping the way we do business and paving the way towards a smarter, more connected city.”

Digital credentials are issued by recognized authorities to the BC Wallet mobile app. The information is encrypted and secure, allowing organizations that accept digital credentials to trust their legitimacy without contacting the issuing authority. Digital credentials can be used to fill out forms with trusted information, eliminating the need for manual verification, saving staff time and delivering services faster.

“LTSA is committed to working with partners such as the City of Vancouver to ensure the accessibility and security of land title information,” says Al-Karim Kara, President and CEO of LTSA. “Through innovative solutions like Digital Credentials, we can achieve our vision of a real property market that is trusted and transparent.”

In December 2023, the Province initiated a Digital Business Card pilot program for sole proprietorships. The City of Vancouver became the first municipal government to accept this credential, allowing applicants to use it when filling out applications for new business licences and as proof of business ownership.

Work is underway to further explore applications of similar digital credential technology, including:

  • Digital Business Licences: The City is working with other municipal governments towards enabling a digital business licence credential. If adopted across local governments, it will help standardize and streamline the steps required when businesses expand operations across municipalities.
  • Digital Certificate of Qualification: In partnership with Technical Safety BC, this will streamline the validation of worker qualifications, support customer protection and streamline permit applications by reducing manual verification.
  • Digital Home-Owner Credential: Partnering with LTSA, the City is exploring a digital credential for homeowners to simplify services requiring applicants to show proof of home ownership.

The City looks forward to working with its partners and will provide updates throughout the process.