NSW puts digital driver's licence on a blockchain

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NSW puts digital driver's licence on a blockchain
Source: Service NSW

Expected to underpin statewide rollout.

The NSW government’s digital driver's licence will be underpinned by blockchain technology developed by Australian firm Secure Logic.

The company today revealed a new platform it is calling TrustGrid is one of the key architectural components of the electronic vehicle licence, which is expected to be in place statewide before the end of next year.

The blockchain technology was used in the Dubbo trial earlier this year where around 1400 motorists opted in for the digital driver's licence.

Secure Logic is now preparing for the first metro trial of the digital driver's licence in Sydney’s eastern suburbs from November this year.

The expansion will see more than 140,000 drivers from the Eastern Beaches region entitled to use the opt-in digital driver's licence for police checks and to gain entry to pubs and clubs in the trial area.

The TrustGrid platform is described by its creator as “a secure, decentralised and immutable ledger of transactions”.

Secure Logic CEO Santosh Devaraj said in a statement that the platform would "help put a stop to sophisticated fraudsters who can conjure up fake identities with relative ease".

"Too often licence details are only checked superficially and this can now be replaced with cryptographic mechanisms," he said.

Devaraj is pitching the blockchain platform more broadly at the public sector, where he believes there are a number of additional potential use cases.

"The era of standing in line to file government paperwork is coming to an end. As is our reliance on physical identification cards to establish your identity or proof of age with law enforcement or at licenced venues," Devaraj said.

“These are mistake prone, time-consuming, expensive and impractical ways to offer services.”

A Service NSW spokesperson told iTnews the TrustGrid platform was one of a number of security technologies used to protect the digital driver's licence, which "is not a native blockchain application".

"The Digital Driver Licence has a range of security technologies protecting the integrity of the system and privacy of a customer's identity," the spokesperson said.

The NSW government handed the Department of Finance, Innovation and Services $9.3 million to expanded the digital driver’s licence trial in this year’s state budget.

It plans to make digital driver's licences and digital photo cards available to citizens across the state by the end of 2019.

The underlying legislation for the statewide rollout was passed in May, and requires citizens to ensure they can produce either a digital or physical version of their licence when requested to do so by police.

It also addresses privacy concerns by only requiring the driver to display their digital licence to police.

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