The New South Wales government has finally rolled out its first wave of digital licences, with users told to keep their mobile devices charged and ready for viewing by authorities.
The state government revealed its first three digital licences on 13 November, with the Recreational Fishing Fee licences, Responsible Service of Alcohol, and Responsible Conduct of Gambling Competency Cards now available to download onto a smartphone or tablet computer.
Claimed to be an Australian first by the NSW government, the rollout comes months after the digital licences were initially slated to arrive, with the government previously indicating that the state could expect to receive its first wave of licences by mid-2016.
The licences, which are optional for users, are now available through the new “My Licences” digital wallet in the latest version of the Service NSW app.
The NSW plan to introduce digital licences was revealed early last year, with the state government promising to oversee a transition to digital licencing over the following four years if re-elected.
In November last year, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet, announced that the first three government licences will be available in a digital format from mid-2016.
The digital licences can be sighted just like physical licences, and authorities can also verify whether a digital licence is current or has conditions using a purpose-built checker app.
“If you carry a smartphone in your pocket and you’re looking forward to a wallet-free future, digital licences make so much sense – they’re easily accessible, safe and secure, and it’s one less thing to stuff in your wallet,” said Perrottet.
The NSW government said that security had been paramount in the development of the digital licence platform, with multi-tiered security features similar to those used in the banking sector.
Meanwhile, licence data is stored in the user’s secure MyServiceNSW account, and is housed in the NSW Government’s data centre, GovDC, which was designed, implemented, and is now managed by Secure Logic on behalf of the state government.
NSW currently issues more than 23 million licences each year, with 769 different licence types. Additional digital licences will become progressively available to customers, with another five common licence types expected to roll out by early 2017.
The Digital Driver Licence is expected to be available by the end of 2018.