In early 2016, recreational fishing or responsible service of alcohol or gambling licences went digital. The next type of licence to go digital will be your drivers licence, depending on the results of a trial in Dubbo.
The Dubbo trial is voluntary and will last for 3 months, beginning in November 2017. People who are willing to take part have to:
- Install the trial app
- Register a MyServiceNSW account
- Add their NSW driver licence details.
Volunteers can then use their digital drivers licence for evidence with police, or as proof of age at venues that require evidence.
As with any trial of new software, not everyone is in favour. People without a smartphone may resist the idea of being forced to buy one. Others claim mobile reception in their area is not reliable enough for this service. Moreover, some are concerned about privacy of their information and whether digital is safe.
In fact, you will still be able to get physical licences. You will not need mobile reception once you have installed the software and put the licence on your phone. Authorities say the information is safer in digital form than if you carry a card in your wallet, because it is easier to lose.
Perhaps the main problem is being out of battery when somebody needs to see your licence.
While NSW expects to be the first state to offer digital licences in 2019, Iowa and Delaware states in America have already done so. As our earlier blog said, Iowa was working on a privacy feature that locks the motorist’s smartphone once the digital licence appears on screen. This prevents a police officer from seeing other content on the device.
Other states and territories in Australia will need to cooperate if digital licences are used in NSW. This is because many organisations rely on licences to check identities.
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