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By Libby Curran
August 20, 2018
By Libby Curran
August 20, 2018

These days, a simple flash of your smartphone can let you pay for stuff without tapping your debit card, see a gig without a hard-copy ticket and even split dinner bills without carrying around a heap of cash. And, thanks to legislation that's just passed through State Parliament, NSW residents could soon leave the old drivers licence card at home, if an imminent Sydney trial of digital licences is successful.

The trial, which is set to start in November this year, will be only available for eastern suburb dwellers — namely Bondi, Bondi Junction, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Randwick and Waverley. According to a statement released by the NSW Government, those willing to participate will have to register for a MyServiceNSW account and install a yet-to-be-released trial app. This will allow them to manage and renew their licence, and show it as proof of identity and age at police roadside checks, bars and clubs. For the trial, the digital licence can only be used in the suburbs listed above.

If the trial is successful, the digital system will roll out across the state in early 2019. This means that any NSW driver would be able to access a digital version of their licence via the Service NSW app on their phone, eliminating the need to carry the original card. How exactly the government will curb the circulation of fake IDs is not yet known, but the statement says it is using "cutting edge technology" to do so. It will be an opt-in service, and all drivers will still be issued with a card regardless.

Plans for the switch to digital were first announced back in 2016, which was followed by a successful trial of the digital licences in Dubbo and subsequent legislation being entered into Parliament earlier this year. The technology is still being developed by the NSW Government, but similar system was rolled out in South Australia in late 2017.

Published on August 20, 2018 by Libby Curran


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