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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

The latest change to the state’s driver’s license means millions of Australians are still waiting

By Vaseline May30,2024

Hundreds of thousands of Aussies have flocked to sign up for a digital driver’s license as yet another state moves to give motorists more options, leaving just a handful of jurisdictions in the country yet to adopt the change.

Victoria on Monday became the latest state to allow digital driver’s licenses, years after NSW and South Australia, while also hot on the heels of Queensland, which rolled out its offering in late 2023. Meanwhile, transport officials in the Northern Territory announced this week that work on digital licensing had already begun, with a pilot due to start in late 2025.

That only leaves eligible drivers in the ACT, WA and Tasmania, where a total of 3.5 million residents do not yet have access to a digital driver’s license. However, it is understood discussions have begun in all three jurisdictions.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a Victorian Government spokesperson revealed that people across the state had signed up in droves since the program went live just three days ago.

“Around 200,000 Victorians jumped on board and downloaded their digital license onto their phones within 48 hours of the national launch,” the spokesperson told Yahoo.

A digital NSW driver's license, as Victoria unveils its own driver's license. A digital NSW driver's license, as Victoria unveils its own driver's license.

More than four million people in NSW currently use a digital driver’s license. Source: NSW Government

More than 4.5 million Victorians who are fully licensed drivers, motorcyclists or heavy vehicle operators will be the first people eligible to use the digital alternative, the spokesperson added. Eligible Victorians can access it after setting up their profile through the myVicRoads and Service Victoria apps.

Students and P-platers will be able to make the switch in 2025.

The digital license displays in real time whether it has been revoked or suspended and can be used as proof of identity. Police, businesses and other authorities can verify its authenticity via a timed QR code.

Consultation with organizations that rely on photo ID, including bars, restaurants, retailers and police, intensified in April ahead of the change.

Cars are stuck in traffic on a highway as Victoria unveils digital driver's licenses. Cars are stuck in traffic on a highway as Victoria unveils digital driver's licenses.

Hundreds of thousands of Victorians have signed up for a digital license in the 48 hours since it was made available. Source: Getty

Meanwhile, government figures in NSW show 4.5 million people – almost 75 per cent of drivers – now use a digital license through the Service NSW app. The state introduced the initiative in 2019, following South Australia, which led the country in 2017 when it was the first to launch the plan.

Queensland formally rolled out digital licensing in October last year.

A spokesperson for the Tasmanian Department of State Growth said this week it is exploring the digital licensing option, but it could be some time before that becomes a reality.

In April, WA authorities announced that a 16-month contract had been awarded to Perth-based software developer GenVis to develop a digital license for residents. While calls are increasing within the ACT, no immediate plans have been made public.

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