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Digital Driver’s Licences – convenience or concern?

The NSW Parliament recently passed a Bill allowing for Digital Driver’s Licences to be used for proof of identity and proof of age purposes.

Driver’s will still be issued with a physical card, however, they will no longer be required to carry it on them if they are able to produce a valid digital driver’s licence.

Amendments have been made to the Road Transport Act 2013, Photo Card Act 2005, Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007, and Liquor Act 2007.

Digital Driver’s licences are set to be released across NSW in early 2019. The aim is to save time and make producing identification a little easier.


What should you know before opting in?

You do NOT have to hand over your mobile phone, or any other electronic device, to police that your digital driver’s licence is displayed on.

You DO have to make sure your digital driver’s licence can be viewed. This means, if your phone screen is cracked, or your phone brightness is not suitable, you are considered not to have displayed your driver’s licence.

You CANNOT commit an offence for the use of using a mobile phone if it is in response to a request from a police officer or other authorised person.

Police CANNOT seize your mobile phone, or any electronic device, that your digital driver’s licence is displayed on for the purposes of seizing your driver’s licence.

Police CAN ask you to refresh your Service NSW application to ensure that it is up to date.

You MUST remove your digital driver’s licence from all electronic devices as soon as practicable after being required to surrender your licence.


So, what if you’re caught out?

Under the recent amendments, a person who fails to comply with a reasonable request to view, copy or scan their digital driver’s licence is considered not to have displayed their licence and is subject to penalties.

What does this mean? Potentially, if your phone is out of battery or if you are out of phone reception, you are considered to not have displayed your driver’s licence.


Whilst our phones are able to do just about anything for us, should we be wary about carrying such an important piece of identification on it?



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