Somebody help me. Waterloo can’t

Birth certificate and OHIP not enough ID to pick-up student loan


Somebody help me. Please. Because the University of Waterloo certainly can’t.

When I recently made an appointment to pick up my student loan from OSAP, I noticed that I’ll need government-issue photo ID before they’ll release my funds. The problem is, I don’t have government-issue photo ID. My OHIP card actually doesn’t have a picture, and I don’t have a driver’s license. Yet.

In fact, when my parents recently renewed their auto insurance, they learned that if I, at 16, had a driver’s permit, their rates would go up. A lot. And since I don’t drive yet anyway, it would have been stupid to invest that extra money in their auto insurance, right?

So I called the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office at Waterloo a few minutes ago, explained the situation about why I don’t have the required picture, and offered my birth certificate instead. But that isn’t enough. Instead, Waterloo suggested that I get a passport. As in, spend money in order to get the money that I’m borrowing. And then hope the passport arrives within a week.

I asked “Alice” if she could please consult with a supervisor, and hopefully, come up with a plan that would satisfy their need to make sure I am who I claim to be when I show up (to sign my cheque over to them). After a nice long wait on hold, twice, Alice came to share what “Maureen,” her supervisor, seems to think is a good solution.

“Contact your local MPP and express your concerns about….”

I admit, I blanked out the rest once it became clear that Waterloo wasn’t going to be able to help. But I wish I had remembered to ask for my local MPP’s home number. And, uh, name. Then again, I don’t know why Waterloo seems to assume that he or she is going to be willing to come with me for my appointment and vouch for me.

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Somebody help me. Waterloo can’t

  1. Hey Scott, it seems that your exceptional situation is the result of your exceptional status.

    You’re significantly younger than most of your peers which is a big factor in this. At age 18, you’re required to update your OHIP card and you end up with a picture card at that point. You’re not yet 18 but, being the smart guy you are, you’re an university student anyway.

    The University of Waterloo cannot make any exceptions to the government identification requirements. They cannot request an exception either.

    The best advice I can give you is to contact your local MPP
    Elizabeth Witmer.

    Your in luck, Witmer is one of the most knowledgable and effective MPPs in Ontario. I’ve dealt with her many times and have great admiration for her.

    Her office will be able to direct you in the right direction for assistance.

  2. Thanks Joey, I just emailed her. Hopefully she’ll be able to help.


  3. Hi Scott,
    Did your MPP Witmer help you? I hope it works out for you.

  4. Hi Diana,

    Thanks for asking. I sent her an e-mail Thursday and then called Friday, but apparently her office is closed on Fridays for the summer. Since Monday is a holiday, the earliest I can expect to hear back from her is Tuesday. I’ll post about anything as soon as it happens.


  5. get them to get an affadavit for you from the university lawyer it should be enough identification

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