Over the next three months, residents of Dubbo, New South Wales, will be the first motorists to trial the state’s digital driver licence.
The trial, which will last until February 2018, means that participants will access their digital driver licence via a ServiceNSW trial app on their mobile phone, and will be able to use it as proof of identity and proof of age.
Digital licence users will still have to carry a physical licence during the trial period.
“This trial is the first of its kind in Australia and we’ve employed cutting edge technology that will allow Dubbo motorists to use their digital driver licence in everyday scenarios with Police and selected licensed establishments,” NSW Finance Minister Victor Dominello said.
The idea is to give motorists the ability to gain instant access to their licence when they apply for it, eliminating the need to wait for the physical licence to arrive in the mail. It also usurps the need to carry around a piece of plastic.
At the same time, the government says the digital license is an opportunity to decrease identity fraud with the added identity security protection that is provided on the digital platform.
The state will draw on learnings from its roll out of digital boating and fishing licences over the last two years.
The maritime digital licence has seen more than 18,000 customer registrations since they became available in July. Users are able to view their licence, update their account and find out when their licence was checked on the digital platform.
Following the digital driver licence trial, the state government plans to review its findings, and has its sight set on a state-wide roll out of the digital licence by the second half 2018.
“Smartphones have effectively become de facto wallets and mobile offices. The trial is highly secure and will make life easier for motorists,” Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said.
“The people of Dubbo have already thrown their support behind this initiative, with more than 1000 people signing up to participate in a short period of time.”
The digital licences, however, will be optional for those who prefer it making it an opt-in program. Physical licence cards will still remain available and valid for all licence holders.