​Driver's licence renewal goes digital in NSW

The New South Wales government has launched online licence renewals through its Service NSW web and mobile sites.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Driver's licence holders in New South Wales are now able to renew their licences online via their Service NSW digital account.

Previously, all NSW driver's licences had to be renewed in person. The new service now allows those eligible to renew their licence for up to five years. If a customer's existing identification photograph is deemed acceptable, the new licence will be issued by post within 10 business days.

Eligibility to renew online is also based on an individual's particular circumstances, with eye tests still being carried out in a Service NSW shopfront for those with vision impairment.

Similarly, those requiring a medical assessment will need to renew their licence in person, and customers with restricted licences may also need to visit a store.

"Renewing your licence in person at a Service NSW store is already quick and easy -- now hundreds of thousands of people will also have the option of renewing their licences at the click of a button, when and where it suits them," Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet said.

"Since July 2013, the popularity of Service NSW's online transactions has doubled every year, and with licence renewals now online too, we expect it will keep growing."

The Service NSW smartphone app for iOS and Android received an update in February, which now enables users to view, pay, and contest infringement notices.

The update to the app sees a user receive a mobile alert shortly after incurring a road or traffic fine. They will also be able to view photographs of the incident, pay the fine, and nominate the correct driver from the app.

The app update comes as the result of collaboration with the Office of State Revenue and builds on existing features including the ability to view licence and vehicle registration details, check demerit points, and update licence address and contact details with the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS).

Perrottet originally announced last November that the state would begin the distribution of digital licences in mid-2016.

Digital versions of the Recreational Fishing Licence, the Responsible Service of Alcohol Card, and the Responsible Conduct of Gambling Competency Cards will be the first, and will be available on an opt-in basis, with consumers given the choice between a digital licence, a physical card, or both.

The NSW government hopes to add an additional five licences to the digital wallet by 2017, with the driver's licence, flagged as the most popular licence type, scheduled for digitisation in 2018.

In February, Perrottet also launched the first phase of MyServiceNSW, a central customer account for Service NSW.

"Too often online services for different government agencies require different websites and multiple accounts," he said at the time. "But good service means putting the customer at the centre of the experience."

Setting up an online account is optional, and users will be able to store information in their digital profile which over the coming months will be transparent across the different government services covered by Service NSW.

The NSW government became the frontrunner in digitalising its services in July 2014, launching Service NSW to bring together a number of different state services under the one office, including RMS; Births, Deaths and Marriages; and small business support.

In the 2015-16 Budget, Service NSW was slated to receive AU$362 million to increase the number of digital interactions between consumers and government, and to roll out a further 27 one-stop shops across the state.

As of February 2016, the Service NSW website showed that there were 95 shopfronts across the state.

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