NSW to issue digital driving licenses in 2016

November 25, 2015

Dominic Perrottet, New South Wales Minister of Finance and Services has announced the changes at the GovInnovate forum in Canberra today that plastic driving licences are set to swept away with the New South Wales Government set to become the first state to make the documents fully digital.As it will be an opt-in system, physical licences will still be available.According to Perrottet, the technology will allow our citizens to display, apply, update and renew their licences using their smartphone, with real time information also available. In the past, anyone wanting to obtain an Responsible Service of Alcohol(RSA) or Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) licence had to visit a Service New South Wales centre, though this isn’t always possible for those living in rural areas.Perrottet also revealed the digital licences will have “security safeguards” built into them so it will be easier for authorities to verify their validity and added that for those concerned about carrying a digital licence,they must remember most of our information contained on a licence is available online or in a digital capacity.“In 2015 our citizens are mobile and digital and that’s where the government should be too,” said Mr Perrottet.“The introduction of the NSW Digital Licence will mean the days of multiple plastic cards clogging up precious wallet space are numbered.”

Sydneysiders will be among the NSW residents who will get digital driving licences mid 2016
Sydneysiders will be among the NSW residents who will get digital driving licences mid 2016

Mr Perrottet said the initiative was more than just displaying licences on a smartphone and also assured the New South Wales residents that the digital driving licenses would be available in a digital format from mid-2016.Fraud exists no matter if the licence is plastic or digital.Statistics available shows the New South Wales government issues about 23 million licences each year with nearly 770 different types of licence and identification cards available.Another batch of common licence categories are expected to roll out by early 2017 but the Digital Driver Licence is not expected to be available until the end of 2018.The move, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird’s government predict will save tens of millions of dollars.Inside source who attended the event told your blogger the state government is working on making all available by the end of 2018. As an expert, she predicts that it’s likely Australians can expect that digital licensing will become common throughout Australia in the next decade.Her views is that Laws would also need to change in New South Wales because it is actually an offence to drive without having license on you as a person. She believes that bringing up your license on your phone would be just like pulling out a photo copy of your license which isn’t acceptable by laws.The transition if successful will make New South Wales one of the first places globally to give residents the option of displaying their licences on their smartphone.

Contador Harrison