NSW to launch digital driver’s licence
NSW government to bring in legislation that allows the use of digital driver’s licences.
In just two weeks, the NSW government will establish legislation that enables a staged introduction of Digital Driver Licences (DDL).
Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said this was a first of its kind trial for Australia and that the move was in response to more and more people using their smartphones in place of a wallet.
“Smartphones have become de facto wallets and we’re using cutting edge technology so that drivers can use a digital licence in everyday scenarios,” Dominello said in a statement.
A large-scale trial for digital licences ran in the NSW regional city of Dubbo from October 2017 to February of this year. More than 1,400 Dubbo inhabitants participated in the trial, which resulted in an 83% customer satisfaction score. The test aimed to determine how well a DDL works in real-world scenarios, as well as how licence holders and those who need to check licences responded.
Dominello commented on the pilot scheme:
“The Dubbo trial was a big success and drivers gave it the thumbs up. The legislation will enable expansion of the trial so that other NSW drivers can opt-in to access a digital licence.”
Benefits of using a digital driver’s licence
Why would you want to use a DDL? Here are four benefits:
- A lighter, less bulky wallet. You’ll have one less card to stuff into your purse or wallet, so you can trim it down or maybe even do away with it altogether. A digital app replaces your plastic card and is a legally acceptable way to prove your age, identity and driving credentials.
- Added convenience. You can quickly update details or renew a licence from your smartphone.
- Security. The NSW government were keen to highlight the extra protection a digital licence delivers. Without a physical card to steal, it could reduce identity theft risks. Details are securely stored in a managed NSW government data centre.
- Up-to-date information. Receive reminders for renewals and access real-time licence specifics.
Currently, the state has no plans to phase out driver’s licence cards and will continue to issue them to motorists. Digital licences will be created on an opt-in basis
How do I get a digital driver’s licence?
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until the government makes DDLs available outside the Dubbo trial. The Service NSW site lists the expected launch as "by 2019".
How will the digital licence work?
It's likely you’ll need to use the Service NSW app on either an Android or iOS device and have a MyServiceNSW account. The app already has a licensing and regos tab, which displays linked licences. Right now, the app supports digital Boat Driving licences, Vessel Registrations, Recreational Fishing fees and Alcohol or Gambling competency cards.
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Digital driver’s licences will make your wallet lighter. Failing to shop around at insurance renewal time will also empty your wallet – but in a bad way.
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