Last year, Service NSW made Digital Driver Licences (DDLs) available to registered motorists in the state. The electronic vehicle licence is available on Android and iOS devices via the Service NSW app and can be downloaded free of charge. Here's how to set it up on your phone.
After successful trials in selected suburbs, New South Wales brought DDL to all driver licence holders statewide in October last year.
There are several benefits to having a DDL on your phone. For starters, it allows changes to your licence - such as a new address or a licence renewal - to be updated in real time. It's also harder to steal due to inbuilt security protection from the Service NSW app.
Here are the main things NSW drivers need to know about their electronic licence (including how to get it on your phone.)
What is the Digital Driver Licence (DDL)?
As its name suggests, the NSW Digital Driver Licence is a digital version of your NSW Driver Licence. It is available for all driver licence holders in NSW. The DDL is entirely optional and does not replace your existing, plastic licence.
How much does the Digital Driver Licence cost?
As mentioned above, the Digital Driver Licence is provided to NSW drivers at no additional cost.
How to download your NSW Digital Driver Licence
The NSW Digital Driver Licence is available via the Service NSW Mobile App. You can download it on most Android and iOS devices. To get your DDL, simply log into the app with your MyServiceNSW Account details and follow the prompts.
NSW Digital Driver Licence for Android
NSW Digital Driver Licence for iPhone
How is the Digital Driver Licence different to a regular licence?
The NSW Digital Driver Licence includes QR codes for law enforcement officials to scan your licence more quickly. Apart from that, it has all the same information you'd expect from the physical one you've had for years.
Can the Digital Driver Licence be used for proof-of-age?
Yes. The NSW Digital Driver Licence is accepted by most licensed venues in Australia including bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants. You can also use it as a form of ID. (When checking into a hotel, for example.)
However, be prepared for some initial confusion from licence checkers who might not be familiar with the rollout. As Service NSW notes on its website:
It may take some time before all organisations will be ready to accept the digital driver licence. In the meantime, we recommend you also carry your plastic card to avoid inconvenience.
Do I still need to carry around my plastic driver licence?
No. You can legally drive without your plastic driver licence provided the DDL is accessible on your phone. This means your phone must be charged and have a screen that's clearly visible. (e.g. - not cracked.) With that said, it never hurts to have a backup in your wallet.
Can you access your Digital Driver Licence while driving?
No. It’s illegal to access your Digital Driver Licence when driving. This includes when your vehicle is stationary, unless you’re asked to access it by a police officer. (Presumably, full licence holders may access their DDL if their phone is secured in an approved cradle, but don't quote us on that. We've reached out to Service NSW and will let you know when we learn more.)
What about when there's no data coverage?
Provided you're logged in, the Service NSW app is available for offline viewing. To access your digital driver licence, simply type in your PIN.
After successful trials in selected suburbs, New South Wales is looking to launch the digital driver licence statewide by the end of this year, which means you won't need to carry around a physical licence any longer. The option is already available in South Australia and other states and territories are set to follow. Here's how it all works.
This story has been updated since its previous publication.