NSW digital driver's licences go live

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NSW digital driver's licences go live

Quietly becomes available statewide.

NSW motorists can now ditch their physical driver’s licence for a digital alternative and use it as a form of ID after the state government finally pressed go on its statewide rollout.

The much-anticipated electronic vehicle licence quietly became available to all citizens outside the state’s three existing metropolitan and regional trial sites on Monday.

It comes almost two months after the state government was forced to push back its original state-wide launch date owing to stability issues with the underlying IT platform.

The opt-in digital pass, which iTnews has been able to successfully create, is available to both iPhone and Android users via the Service NSW app.

A range of security features such as holograms and scannable QR codes are offered to ensure the 'liveness' of the identity document and protect citizens against identity fraud.

Laws passed last year make it legal for citizens to produce either a physical or digital version of their licence for police checks and to gain entry to licenced venues. 

Service NSW is warning, however, that it “may take some time before all organisations will be ready to accept the digital driver licence” and has recommended that a plastic card also be carried, at least initially.

Other conditions include ensuring that your phone screen is not cracked, your phone is charged and that you don’t pick up your phone until a police officer requests it.

Citizens are not required to hand their phones to police.

The government began trialling the digital driver’s licence almost two years ago, having first proposed the concept in March 2015.

Dubbo was the first regional city to take part in the trial in late 2017, followed by Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs last year and the border city of Albury earlier this year.

Around 750,000 NSW citizens are expected to take up the digital driver’s licence in its first 12 months of operation.

It is the second digital driver’s licence to be introduced in Australia, and follows the South Australian government’s, which was introduced in late 2017.

Other digital licences are available to NSW citizen, including recreational fishing licences, responsible service of alcohol competency cards, and responsible gambling competency cards are.

More to come.

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