Option to ditch licence in favour of phone app


Digital driver's licences are set to be rolled out across the state after regulation changes were made that will pave the way for Queenslanders to ditch their physical licences.

The government is yet to set a date for when the new technology will be deployed statewide, despite a recent trial in the Fraser Coast region proving successful - with 94 per cent of participants satisfied with the digital shake up.

The seven month pilot, which wrapped up in September last year, involved more than 750 residents and 120 businesses from Maryborough and Hervey Bay who were able to display their IDs and licences on a smartphone app.

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman confirmed an evaluation of the pilot had been completed, and that it would be used in the consideration of a broader rollout.

"The pilot allowed residents to access their drivers licence, recreational marine licence and photo identification card on the app," he said.

"The pilot concluded on 30 September 2020 with a customer satisfaction rating of 94 per cent.

"The digital licence app includes security and privacy features designed to protect data against cybercrime and theft."

Law changes were made last year, giving the legal authority needed for digital licences to be used in lieu of a physical licence.

And regulation changes were made late last month that prescribed photo identification cards, recreational marine driver's licences, personal watercraft licences and driver's licences as "relevant authorities" that can be used in an approved digital licence app on a smartphone.

Under the reforms, Queenslanders will still have the option of either using their physical identification card or the digital version of it - with the digital authority to be "voluntary" and to "complement" the physical ID.

NSW and South Australia already allow their residents to display their licences on a smartphone app.

When the app was being developed, consultation was undertaken with credential holders, police and people with disabilities - including people who were vision impaired.

It is understood that during the trial, the app used both a pin and a password as security measures.


Originally published as Option to ditch licence in favour of phone app


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