So I found out that Ontario Driver's Licences have the following format: LXXXX - NNNIY - YMMDD

L - first letter of last name XXXX - number referring to your last name NNN - number referring to your first name I - number referring to your middle initial (0 if you don't have one) YY - year of birth MM - month of birth - add 50 to month if you are female DD - day of birth

My question is, what is the encoding system they use for the first 5 alphanumeric digits? The first letter is the first letter of your last name, but what about the numbers? Everyone with the same last name will have the same first 5 alphanumeric digits. I used to think Ontario had propitiatory system with a database of last names, and attached a number onto them, but I discovered that New Jersey and Quebec uses the SAME system as well by looking at their sample licences on google. I wonder if anyone knows how the name is encoded. I've found something about the SoundEx system, but I don't think it applies in this case. This question has been brought up once at Decoding New Jersey Driver's License Codes but they did not manage to crack the code. Thanks!

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2 Answers 2


I know this is an old thread and probably you either figured it out on your own or gave up and dgaf anymore. But this is I believe Soundex code (It absolutely is the case for the Quebec drivers license atleast), which is based on how names sound rather than spelling.

For Quebec: SSSSL DDMMYY NN - soundex last name + license type, DOB, NN

Hope it helps someone.


The NNNI part is wrong, my D/L has my middle name on it and the I position is a 0, you are correct for the First 5 as the Last name and the Last 6 are the birthdate.

  • It could be that when the name was entered into the computer, it was entered as a part of your first name (this is the case for me), not a middle name. The lady at DriveTest asked me specifically if the second part of my name was my first name or my middle name, which I presume would be encoded differently.
    – jerry70450
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 23:21

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