Next NSW Election Could Decide If State Gets Digital Drivers Licences

Next NSW Election Could Decide If State Gets Digital Drivers Licences
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Fancy swapping your plastic vehicular permission slip for an electronic one? NSW drivers could find themselves in a few years’ time pulling out their smartphones rather than their wallets when asked for ID, if the state government survives this month’s election.

Image: NRMA Motoring and Services / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.

According to Ben Grubb over at The Age, the idea is being considered by the NSW state government, currently helmed by Premier Mike Baird. The article mentions that savings of “tens of millions of dollars” are possible, though it’d take four years for the transition to take place.

Dominic Perrottet, NSW’s Minister for Finance and Services, provided the following explanation for the proposal:

“Customers are doing more and more transactions on their smartphones,” Mr Perrottet said. “From cafes to banks, businesses are offering customers the opportunity to access their services, loyalty programs and payment systems through smartphone apps.

“While the private sector has shifted to digital, the NSW government must do the same.”

Even then, regular drivers wouldn’t be the first recipients; apparently, other “common licences” such as those for fishing and boats, would be handled first. They also wouldn’t be mandatory and those preferring the feel of a regular licence would be catered for.

Would you opt for a digital licence? I’m not sure my wallet could handle the jealousy.

The Age [The Age]


  • Will you get fined if your battery dies or you lose your phone? Not everything has to be digital.

  • Now this beckons an interesting question, how would any authoritative person check your ID if your phone battery died/phone got lost/erased etc?

    Having said that, I like the idea as it would lighten the wallet a bit.

    • How heavy is your license? Mines gotta be under 5 grams… My entire wallet probably weighs as much as my phone if not less..

      • Yea it is not OVERLY heavy, I more meant “lighten the wallet” as far as removing just one of the many cards it currently has in it. Anything that removes a card from my wallet is a blessing.

  • This would be great. Ive almost been able to get rid of my wallet all together.
    If your phone dies, gets erased etc you can always have the physical backup. If its law enforcmwnet then they can look up your license details online anyways right?
    If your battery dies there’s a number of places you can charge it…

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