Queensland paves the way for digital driver's licences

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Queensland paves the way for digital driver's licences

Introduces legislation ahead of trial.

The Queensland government has introduced legislation to support the state-wide rollout of its future digital driver’s licence.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey introduced the Transport and Other Legislation (Road Safety, Technology and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2020 in parliament on Tuesday.

He said the bill would amend existing laws to recognise the digital driver’s licence app currently being built by French tech and engineering heavyweight Thales as a valid form of identification.

“As a result of these amendments, when you need to prove your identity to government you will be able to use the app in the same way you would use a physical product such as a driver’s licence,” he said.

The app, touted as the country’s first ISO-compliant digital licence solution, is expected to initially provide access digital passes for driver’s licences, photo ID cards and recreational marine licences.

It will also send reminders to individuals when a vehicle or vessel registration is due, a fine needs to be paid or a licence becomes invalid.

A future version of the app could also include access to other online government services, allowing the state’s 3.7 million citizens to update their details, renew a licence and pay registration fees.

“We want to make it easier for Queenslanders to interact with their government and this initiative aligns with our responsive government advancing Queensland propriety,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the Department of Transport and Main Roads would begin a “controlled pilot” of the digital licence app on the Fraser Coast in April, several months later than first anticipated.

The pilot will be used to “help finalise the design of the app and ensure legislation is appropriate before the app is rolled out more broadly”.

Maryborough and Hervey Bay residents have been asked to register their interest in the trial, which is expected to expand to other locations and licences in the future.

However, they will be expected to continue carrying their physical licences, as the legislation will not be in place for the start of the trial.

When the trial begins next month, Queensland will become the third state or territory to introduce a digital licence.

It follows in the footsteps of NSW, which set its long-anticipated digital driver’s licence live last October, and South Australia.

Over a million motorists have now downloaded a digital driver’s licence in NSW, significantly more than the 750,000 Service NSW initially estimate would take it up in the first 12 months.

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