Digital licences: early adopters bank on obsolescence


South Australia joins other states in adopting digital drivers’ licences. But their value will only be realised, the agency says, when most users decide to ditch the plastic versions for good.

4-inch-iPhone-5-Screenshot-2Digital copies of cards like licences and proof-of-age cards for display on a mobile device are emerging, but their value will only be realised when most users decide to ditch the plastic versions for good.

The South Australian government is following New South Wales in moving towards online versions of the various plastic cards it issues, starting with “digital licences for tradies” which are being investigated by the Office for Consumer and Business Services, according to Public Sector Minister Susan Close.

NSW will issue digital versions of responsible service of alcohol, responsible conduct of gambling, and recreational fishing licences later this year. Another five common licences out of the 769 issued in NSW are expected to roll out next year, and the driver’s licence in 2018.

One of the chief reasons for digital cards cited by authorities in both states is reducing the cost of producing them in plastic, which of course involves face-to-face service delivery, photographs, computer systems and physical materials.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.