The Victorian government recently announced a pilot program for digital driver licences, set to be conducted in the regional city of Ballarat. The initiative follows the successful implementation of similar schemes in other Australian states and emphasises the importance of secure identity verification, as provided by companies such as Verify 365.

Key takeaways:

  1. Digital driver licences will be stored on smartphones.
  2. A statewide rollout is planned for 2024.
  3. The trial begins in Ballarat from July.

Rudi Kesic, CEO of Verify 365, a leading company offering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) ID checks and client onboarding software, praised the move. “In an increasingly digital world, secure and easily accessible forms of ID are vital. This initiative aligns with our mission at Verify 365 to provide reliable, digital-first identity verification solutions.”

Starting from June, full licence holders in Ballarat can register for the pilot program. Danny Pearson, Minister for Government Services, anticipates that a significant number of people in greater Ballarat will participate, providing valuable data regarding usage.

Pearson clarified that physical licences would still be used, stating, “It’s about giving people choice.”

The digital licences are expected to offer “superior security features” according to government sources. They will be updated in real time to reflect changes, such as new residential addresses, and will disclose if a licence has been revoked or suspended. However, they can still be used to prove identity or age even when not active.

Mev Dzihic, Director of Verify 365, commented on these features. “These security measures align with best practices in identity verification. At Verify 365, we’ve always believed in a multi-faceted approach to security, incorporating real-time updates and other advanced features. It’s encouraging to see these principles being applied on a government level.”

The digital licence will also include a QR code, which can be scanned by licence validators, including police and licensed venues, as a fraud prevention measure.

Despite the benefits, learner drivers and those on probationary licences will still need to carry a physical licence. Additionally, the digital licence won’t be available through popular platforms like Apple Wallet or Google Wallet.

Pearson explained, “As a community, we want to ensure that our data is treated responsibly. Citizens would prefer the government to be held accountable for data management, rather than relying on large tech organisations.”

Digital driver licences have already been successfully introduced in other states. In New South Wales, 4.4 million digital driver licences have been issued since November 2019, covering nearly 75% of all NSW drivers. In April, Townsville became the first city in Queensland to trial the technology, despite delays due to data breaches involving Optus and Medicare.

“This trial in Victoria and the success of digital licences in other states underline the growing importance of digital identity verification,” concluded Kesic. “At Verify 365, we’re committed to staying at the forefront of this movement, providing secure, efficient solutions for businesses in Australia and worldwide.”