Late last year, the NSW Government announced that certain licences such as Recreational Fishing and RSA licences would become digital licences within the Service NSW smart phone app. This is addition to being able to manage your fines within the same app. This was a promising sign that our driver licences that we must carry with us every time we drive, would also go digital.
Today, EFTM can exclusively reveal that in fact, testing of digital driver licences has commenced involving Service NSW and the NSW Police.
With a lot more banks coming on board with Apple Pay and Android Pay, there is fast becoming a time when we’ll have little need to carry a wallet, except for the need to carry your driver licence. All that is about to change with the Service NSW app that will allow you to add a digital coy of your driver licence that will remove the need for you to carry your physical driver licence. This is a move to a full wallet-free future.
The NSW Police have been testing the feature that should you get pulled over, they would grab your details by scanning your digital licence with a QR code reader. Your details would then transfer to their mobile device.
For people that have been unlucky enough to be pulled over recently by NSW Police and issued a ticket, you would know that you no longer get handed a ticket on the side of the road. Instead, the Police put your details into their mobile device and the ticket is either posted to you or sent directly to your email.
The digital licence will make that process a lot faster and you will be back on your way quicker (which is probably important as you were obviously in a rush to begin with). There are moves to legislate that if your mobile phone is flat or unable to display your licence to the Police then that would carry the same penalty as if you were unable to produce your physical licence now.
A spokesperson from Department of Finance, Services and Innovation confirmed to EFTM the trials had commenced and legislation was pending to begin public trials.
“On Tuesday 30 May a first technology trial of the digital driver licence was conducted with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation and NSW Police using artificial data and test systems. The purpose of the trial was to help inform the final design of the digital driver licence.”
EFTM understands the testing took place in a controlled environemnt at Eastern Creek in Sydney’s West.
“There was an afternoon and an evening session where role plays were conducted to test the interactions that will occur when using a digital driver licence.”
What comes next are real world trials with members of the public
“The next phase of the digital driver licence is to trial a prototype driver licence with a small group of NSW citizens, using real licence data.” the spokesperson added.
“Legislation to allow this trial was recently introduced to NSW Parliament. If this legislation is approved, the trial is expected to happen later this year as an opt-in process. The location of the trial is yet to be decided.”
“The NSW Government has committed to introducing a digital driver licence by 2019. There are no plans to phase out the physical drivers licence.”
This is a solid leap forward to a fully digital future when forgetting your wallet won’t be an issue. But make sure your phone has charge!
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.