Driving licences on smartphones are coming to Australia's most populous state

Motorists in Australia’s most populous state will soon be carrying their driving licenses on their smartphone.

The state government today announced a programme to transition away from traditional identification cards, starting mid-next year.

The first licenses to go online will be for fishing, responsible service of alcohol, and responsible conduct of gambling.

Driving licenses will go digital in just over two years, in 2018.

For now, the digital license will be optional and not an end to printed licences. But it will mean renewing licenses will not require visits to physical offices.

“This technology will allow our citizens to display, apply, update and renew their licences using their smartphone, with real time information also available,” NSW Minister of Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet said at the GovInnovate forum in Canberra today.

While some have expressed their concerns about the security risks associated with the new system, Perrottet said “security safeguards” would be put in place to ensure authorities can verify their validity.

While Australia is trailing other countries in implementing a fully-digital identification system, doing so could help to tackle the rise in identity fraud, shorten waiting times for services, reduce paper use, and save a lot of money.

After the NSW government made an election promise to make the online shift, police commissioner Andrew Scipione said he supported the transition.

NSW currently issues more than 23 million licences each year, covering 769 different licence types.

Now read: Australia trails other countries in creating digital identities.

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