Change coming to Aussie licences

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Victoria’s driver’s licence system is about to step into the technological era, with the Andrews Government announcing it will become the fourth Australian state to trial digital licensing.

Motorists living in the regional town of Ballarat will be the first Victorians to test the scheme with the shake-up first taking place as a six-month trial before a statewide rollout by 2024.

From June, those living in the region who are in possession of a full driver’s licence will be invited to participate in a pilot program due to commence in July.

By registering their interest, these drivers will be able to securely store a virtual version of their licence on the Service Victoria app or the upcoming VicRoads app.

“Full licence holders will be able to use it as a digital licence, as well as a proof of age in venues,” Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted.

The system will be available on the Service Victoria app. Picture: SuppliedThe system will be available on the Service Victoria app. Picture: Supplied

The shift to digital will enable drivers to have their licences updated in real time if a condition needs to be added or address needs to be changed.

The new system will also reveal if there’s a suspension or cancellation on the licence, and features a QR code that can be scanned by police or licence validators to verify authenticity.

“This is world-class technology – the digital driver‘s licence has a constantly refreshed unique QR code and the customer has control over the level of personal information shared,” Government Services Minister Danny Pearson said.

While fully licenced motorists can use their digital licence at a traffic stop or to get access into a restricted venue, it’s still recommended a physical copy of the licence is carried.

As for L-plate and probationary licence holders, these drivers will still be required to carry their physical licence as it’s an obligation under Victorian law.

Part of the Ballarat trial will include the Government seeking feedback from participants in regards to whether the system is accessible and secure.

Comments on the program will also be obtained from police, retailers who require proof of driver’s licence for their services and licensed venues.

“We know Victorians want digital driver’s licences and that’s why this trial is such a big step before further rollout occurs,” Roads and Road Safety Minister Melissa Horne said.

“A digital driver’s licence will make it easier and more convenient for Victorian motorists and it will help businesses and authorities to verify identity with minimum time and fuss.”

Victorian motorists will soon be able to access their licence on their phone. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Luis Enrique AscuiVictorian motorists will soon be able to access their licence on their phone. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Luis Enrique Ascui

The highly anticipated change will see Victoria join NSW, Queensland and South Australia in rolling out digital licences.

South Australia was the first Australian state to introduce the new technology in late 2017, followed by NSW with the Berejiklian government implementing the system in late 2019.

Drivers who hold licences in these states can access their permits via the mySAGOV app and Service NSW app respectively.

In NSW, there is the option to upload multiple licences and credentials, including driving, boating, high-risk work, recreational fishing and individual contractor licences as well as responsible serving of alcohol and responsible conduct of gambling certificates.

Digital seniors cards, white cards and working with children checks are also available on the Service NSW app if uploaded.

A similar trial is under way in Townsville, Queensland. Picture: SuppliedA similar trial is under way in Townsville, Queensland. Picture: Supplied

The trial in Victoria comes as the Queensland Government expands its current digital licensing trial, with some selected Townsville residents currently taking part in the scheme.

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It’s expected digital licensing will be rolled out statewide by the end of this year, after a pilot program was conducted on the Fraser Coast in 2020.

Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are yet to implement the digital system.

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