With cash almost phased out and credit cards poised to transfer over to your phone, wallets are quickly becoming a part of a bygone era. About the only thing they’re used for anymore is to carry your identification, but even that is on its way out the door. Residents of New South Wales in Australia are witnessing the final nail in that coffin being driven in by the roll-out of a Digital Drivers Licence.
“Smartphones have become de facto wallets and we’re using cutting edge technology so that drivers can use a digital licence in everyday scenarios,” stated Victor Dominello, Minister for Customer Service.
The news came as a part of the NSW Budget Announcement and follow trials of the system in Dubbo, Eastern Sydney, and Albury. In total, more than 14,000 drivers have taken part in the trials. Given the success seen in those areas, the government and police force are ready to make the program more public. To get their digital drivers licence, NSW residents will just need to use the Service NSW app.
The digital version gives all the information that a printed licence does, including the holographic Wattle overlay that can be seen as you move the phone. There’s also a large QR code that can be used by the police to scan your licence to check to see if it is valid. The code also works for other digital licence holders. Government officials expect that businesses will use transfer over to using the digital licence for things like bars, banks, hotels, and tobacco retailers. There’s even a “sign in to a venue” option that allows you to sign into registered clubs. And if you’re worried about ID theft, the licence uses your PIN or FaceID to protect against theft or intrusion.
The program will remain opt-in, so if you prefer the paper drivers licence, you can continue to use it. Other states are considering it, with Queensland already piloting a program. South Australia has already rolled out a digital identification program, and Victoria has been testing the technology for almost two years. West Australia brought up the idea in 2016, but like Tasmania and the Northern Territory, no real movement has been made.