ACT Government wants electronic driver licences rolled out by 2021

Lachlan Roberts 25 July 2019 137

It is still a requirement to carry and produce a driver licence when asked. Photo: Supplied by Service NSW.

Motorists in the ACT may soon be able to use driver licences on their phones instead of the plastic licence as New South Wales rolls out digital driver licences next month.

As of next month, Service NSW will offer an electronic version of the plastic driver licence, made available on a smartphone or other electronic device through the Service NSW app.

A spokesperson said the ACT Government is “enthusiastic about moving to digital driver licences” in the nation’s capital and hopes to roll out the digital licences in the 2020-2021 financial year.

“We recognise driver licences serve many purposes, including proof of identity and proof of age, and we want to ensure digital licences could be used and accepted in all the same contexts that printed cards are today,” the ACT Government spokesperson said.

“We would like to design this shift with the local community and industry groups.

“The ACT Government is committed to moving the delivery of more community services online and this project is being considered for commencement in the 2020-2021 financial year.”

According to NSW laws, when requested to produce a licence, holders are not required to hand over the electronic device that is displaying the licence, but if the police officer or authorised person directs them to refresh the licence by swiping down on the screen, they must comply.

If the screen of the device on which the licence is displayed is unable to be read due to cracking, dimming, dirt or any other fault, damage or obstruction, the licence is deemed not to have been displayed, incurring a fine.

If the holder of the digital driver licence fails to comply with a reasonable request to facilitate the reading, copying or scanning of the whole or any part of the licence or if the holder refuses to comply with a reasonable direction to refresh the display, the holder may also incur a fine.

NSW electronic driver licences will be used in addition to, and will not replace, the current plastic licences. The requirement to carry and produce a driver licence when asked has also not changed.

An ACT Policing spokesperson said any questions related to the potential introduction of digital driver licences in the ACT would be a matter for Government but said the NSW rollout will not adversely affect ACT Policing.

“The upcoming rollout of the Digital Driver Licence (DDL) in New South Wales will not adversely affect how ACT Policing deals with motorists from NSW,” the spokesperson said.

“Prior to the official rollout in August, ACT Policing Traffic Operations will disseminate an information bulletin to all ACT Policing members for their awareness regarding the DDL.

“If there is any doubt regarding a driver licence status, ACT Policing members will still have access to RTA databases to validate Australian driver licences.

“As per information available on the Services NSW website, NSW drivers are encouraged to carry their plastic licence when travelling interstate, as well as ensuring their phone screen is not cracked and that their phone is sufficiently charged.”

The ACT Government wants to introduce electronic licences within the next two years. Is this a good idea?

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137 Responses to ACT Government wants electronic driver licences rolled out by 2021
Sarah de Bear Sarah de Bear 8:40 am 27 Jul 19

Danielle Caesar, I wished it and it came true

Monica Millgate Monica Millgate 9:58 pm 26 Jul 19

What if you’re phone is flat

    Bob Brewer Bob Brewer 1:51 am 30 Oct 19

    Monica Millgate keep your phone charged while you’re in the car, firstly, and secondly carry the physical card if that’s a problem for you.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:04 pm 26 Jul 19

I’ve done it already. Simply photographed both sides of my drivers licence with my mobile phone and saved the images.

Ray Young Ray Young 3:29 pm 26 Jul 19

Oh brother...

David W Jones David W Jones 12:12 pm 26 Jul 19

Totally against this!!!!! With no imbedded security holographics, the details can be too easily changed to be deceptive.

Officer: Please show me your licence.

Driver: Sorry, my phone is flat and that is the only I'd I have!

    Jamie Carl Jamie Carl 10:10 pm 26 Jul 19

    Current licence technology has not advanced to the point of using imbedded security holographics anyway. We're still using embedded ones. Sad.

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 5:04 pm 25 Jul 19

What happens when the organisation wanting your ID says they have to photocopy your Driver’s License? It has happened plenty of times for me at car-hire places. Also the current plastic DL is accepted overseas as a valid license. Imagine trying to show it on your phone in a developing country.

    JC JC 4:13 pm 26 Jul 19

    It doesn’t replace a plastic licence! Why is this so hard for people to understand?

    It is an option for those who want the convenience of having it electronic. But still need to have a physical one you will have it.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 1:51 pm 25 Jul 19

Heh. I thought it was illegal to even touch ones phone in a running car.

    Marissa Booth Marissa Booth 3:07 pm 25 Jul 19

    Yeah- and when you use the hands-free you also get stung for using your phone. If you challenge them, then they threaten you will a police record!!!!! Been there, done that!

    Marissa Booth Marissa Booth 3:08 pm 25 Jul 19

    Ohhh and what happens when you still use an old Nokia?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:11 pm 25 Jul 19

    Marissa Booth you hand over your plastic drivers licence.

Frederica Heacock Frederica Heacock 1:49 pm 25 Jul 19

Fantastic! I use my phone for everything.

Rhonda Maxwell Rhonda Maxwell 1:37 pm 25 Jul 19

My husband would be stuffed as he doesn't have a mobile.

Tim Songp Tim Songp 12:15 pm 25 Jul 19

Now I have my full right to have my phone while Im driving.

Dave Lenihan Dave Lenihan 9:49 am 25 Jul 19

For once, a good idea coming out of London Circuit.

Josh Dean Josh Dean 9:11 am 25 Jul 19

Katie King then they get you for being on your phone while showing them 😑

Glenn Beaumaris Glenn Beaumaris 7:21 am 25 Jul 19

doesn't NSW have electronic driver licenes? what has the experience been there?

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:07 pm 24 Jul 19

Driving licences are not just for Australian use, but are used when hiring a car overseas. How would that work?

Larissa Melnyk Larissa Melnyk 10:47 pm 24 Jul 19

Carly Tahana like they read my mind

Mick Johnson Mick Johnson 10:39 pm 24 Jul 19

i don't own a phone, what then?

Sheryle Moon Sheryle Moon 10:01 pm 24 Jul 19


Annette Lee Annette Lee 9:10 pm 24 Jul 19

I don't want one thank you

Stu McRae Stu McRae 8:21 pm 24 Jul 19

If I don't have a smart phone or a flat battery then what?

Kieran Mackay Kieran Mackay 7:58 pm 24 Jul 19

Jason I might need to move back 😂😂😂😂

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