Queenslanders could be next to get digital driver's licence

Pilot slated for late-2019.

queensland-adult-proof-of-age.jpg

Queensland Adult Proof of Age card

Image: Queensland government

The Queensland government says it is "well on the way" in the development of a digital identification for the state, announcing locals could "soon" have the option to store their driver licences digitally on their mobile devices.

The licence would be available via a digital wallet, with the state government currently preparing to go to market for vendors to develop the solution.

A pilot program is pencilled in for late 2019 and will likely start with learner licences and proof of age cards before looking to expand to other licences and functions at a later stage, the government said.

"This initiative aligns with the community's growing preference to have a digital option for how they manage their affairs, including government transactions," Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.

"The way we use driver licences today is different from when they were first introduced in 1910 in a paper format.

"Queenslanders use their driver licence to rent a house, open a bank account, book Airbnb, or check-in to a hotel. A digital driver licence will allow people to do all of this via their mobile device."

Sending the ID digital won't result in the phase out of physical licences, however.

Bailey said security of personal information would be a "critical feature" in the design of the digital wallet. He also said that unlike a physical driver licence, the digital wallet will give the individual control over how much information is provided to a third party.

"Like any personal data used for digital transactions, we must ensure customer information is protected to the highest standard," Bailey said

"A digital wallet can be more secure than a physical licence as security features include the ability to verify a digital wallet by scanning a QR code or similar. For example, to prove you are over 18 to access a venue, you could do that without having to show your address or date of birth -- you could simply show your phone, with a photo and an indicator would to confirm you are over 18."

The procurement process to find a vendor to develop the digital wallet will start soon, with those short-listed expected to help determine what features it will include.

The New South Wales government recently announced it would be kicking off a metro trial of a digital driver licence in November across Sydney's Eastern Beaches, allowing more than 140,000 licence holders in the region to ditch the plastic identification card for a smartphone-rendered copy, available via the Service NSW app.

ZDNet revealed in February that the state government had pencilled in mid-2018 for the go-live date of digital licences, after trials in Dubbo had proven successful.

Participants in trial are able to use their digital driver licence for proof of identity and proof of age to gain entry into pubs and clubs, as well as for roadside police checks.

South Australians have had the option to hold digital driver's licences on their phones since September 2017.

The SA app presents driver's licences in real time, with expired or suspended licences showing a large orange or red bar at the bottom. It also has a "shake to animate" feature to show the licence is not a photo or a screenshot -- the screenshot function is actually disabled within the app.

The app generates a one-time barcode, which refreshes every 30 seconds, to prevent counterfeit licences from being used. Anyone, including pubs and clubs, can scan the licences to ensure that they are genuine.

Meanwhile in Victoria, locals are able to use Australia Post's Digital ID as a proof-of-age card to enter a pub, using an on-screen animation that prevents replication and creates a temporary QR code that can be scanned to verify age.

SEE ALSO

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