The smartphones’ world domination marches on. The latest card casualty in the expanding digital sphere is the driver’s licence. Residents of Sydney’s east will be eligible to take part in a digital licence trial from November this year. The digital driver’s licence (DDL) is accessible on a mobile phone via the Service NSW app.
Drivers in Bondi Junction, Bondi, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Randwick and Waverley will be able to use the DDL as identification in pubs and clubs and for roadside police checks in the trial area. “Smartphones have become de facto wallets and we’re using cutting edge technology so that drivers can use a digital licence in everyday scenarios,” says NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello. “Parliament has approved new laws to enable a statewide rollout of the technology. This trial will bring us a step closer to delivering on that promise.”
Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith believes the eastern beaches region is ideal for the trial as it incorporates more than 350 licenced venues and will provide added convenience to the 140,000 possible participants. “A digital licence is more convenient and hassle-free … university student, parent or retiree, I encourage all eligible drivers to sign up to this trial and give it a go,” he says Notley-Smith.
However, motorists who opt into the trial will still need to carry a hard copy of their licence — as the scheme is still a trial and is not yet legislated, says Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey. The trial follows on from the successful ongoing rural trial with 1400 participants in Dubbo, NSW. South Australia was the first state to enact digital licence laws but drivers are still asked to carry a hard copy to deal with venues or businesses that aren’t set up to validate the digital version. Late last year, the Victorian government started a digital proof-of-age trial to allow participants to enter licenced venues but this could not be used in place of a driver’s licence.