Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is looking at introducing digital driver's licences, with the possibility of a pilot program being introduced in the second half of next year.
TMR minister Mark Bailey said physical licences won’t be phased out, but Queenslanders are increasingly adopting digital technology and looking to interact with the government online.
He added that a digital option on drivers’ phones could be more practical and secure for users.
“Like any personal data used for digital transactions, we must ensure customer information is protected to the highest standard,” Bailey said
“Unlike a physical driver licence, the digital wallet gives you control about how much information you allow a third party to see, copy and retain.”
He noted that since licences are the primary form of identification for most people, a digital wallet that can be verified by a QR code or other means could show proof of ID and age without disclosing a driver’s address or other details.
“For example, to prove you are over 18 to access a venue, you could do that without having to show your address or date of birth. You could simply show your phone, with a photo and an indicator would to confirm you are over 18.”
An industry briefing event will be held on 26 October to begin the process of engaging a vendor to develop the digital wallet solution.
Following a co-design and user testing process to determine what functionality and accessibility features the public would like, a pilot program could be ready in the second half of 2019, Bailey said.
“It will likely start with learner licences and proof of age cards, before looking to expand to other licences, products and functionality at a later stage.
“There will also be the opportunity to include other services in the future, including allowing customers to change their address, renew their licence and pay their registration fees through the digital wallet.
“The way we use driver licences today is different from when they were first introduced in 1910 in a paper format,” he added, saying the digital version might one day also be used to open bank accounts or book accommodation.
NSW is currently expanding its blockchain-enabled digital licence trial which kicked off in the rural town of Dubbo earlier this year.
Despite some police officers refusing to accept the electronic formats, the trial has been brought to Sydney.