Photo card holders in NSW will be able to ditch their physical ID for a digital alternative later this year and join the more than 1.4 million motorists already in the state’s digital licence ecosystem.
The NSW government is preparing to offer card holders a digital alternative to the physical photo card, which is held by around 1.6 million people across the state.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello took to social media on Wednesday to reveal that the alternative form of photo identification was next on Service NSW’s hit list.
“I will digitise the NSW Photo Card this year - I will keep you posted,” he said in a post on LinkedIn.
The commitment to digitise photo ID cards this year follows the successful state-wide launch of digital driver’s licences last November after two years of testing.
More than 1.4 million motorists - or 25 percent of NSW’s approximately 6.2 million drivers - have opted for an electronic vehicle licence in the first seven months.
This is more than twice the number of people Service NSW had estimated would adopt the licence in the first 12 months.
The digital licence, which is available through the Service NSW app, offers a range of privacy enhancing features, including holograms to ensure the ‘liveness’ of the identity document.
Digital photo cards were originally slated to become available to citizens alongside boat driver and recreation fishing licenses in 2017, well before the launch of digital driver’s licences.
However, they are much more similar to the driver’s licence than other licences, offering the same security features and photo identification.
Other digital cards currently available through the Service NSW app are for responsible service of alcohol, responsible conduct of gambling and working with children.
Service NSW is also continuing to develop a ‘copy solution’ as an alternative method for businesses to confirm an identity in situations that require a photocopy of a driver’s licence.
The solution is aimed at boosting acceptance of the opt-in electronic vehicle licence, which until now has largely been restricted to police checks and gaining entry to licenced venues.