NSW bar tenders, croupiers and amateur anglers can now carry their digital licences on their smartphones or tablets, paving the way for digital driving licences within three years.
From yesterday (Sunday) three licences were available in the My Licences digital wallet with the latest version of the Service NSW app: the Recreational Fishing Fee (fishing licence), Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) Competency Cards.
They represent the first government-issued digital licences in Australia.
Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet called the launch a “quantum leap” in government technology and said it smoothed the passage for introducing digital driver licences by 2019, a slight slippage from his original target of the end of 2018.
The government has also said that driver health checks would also get easier once the digital licence comes in, although this change is slated to come some six months after digital licences themselves.
Some drivers are required to renew their licences annually, such as those over 75 and people with certain medical conditions that could affect their driving, such as epilepsy.
Changes would mean that people would be able to send their medical certificates electronically, for example using integrated GP software, rather than having to present them in person or post them, making it quicker to renew driving licences.
Mr Perrottet said: “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.
“You can renew your licence and update your details with the click of a button, and there’s no need to visit a Service NSW centre or wait for something in the post. It’s all about saving time and making life easier, and these three licences are just the beginning.”
While the upside of a digital licence is a lighter purse or wallet – digital licences can be checked using a purpose-built checker app – the downside is that you must keep your device charged and nearby so the licence can be checked, although Mr Perrottet said it can be checked using another smartphone or tablet by signing into the Service NSW app.
He said the digital licence platform was secure and used “multi-tiered security features” similar to those used by phone banking apps. Licences were securely stored in the user’s MyServiceNSW account and housed in the NSW Government’s data centre, GovDC.
Customers can use the digital platform to view their licence, update their account and find out when their licence was checked.
Physical licences will remain for all licence holders with their digital versions being optional.
For more information or to download the Service NSW app, visit www.service.nsw.gov.au.