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Aussie state makes big change to driver's licences

In a bid to tackle cyber safety, licences will no longer be an acceptable form of ID in Queensland without providing the two unique numbers.

Calling it a new "two-factor" verification, the move comes after the massive Optus data breach in September, which had thousands of people fearfully apply for new licences over the last month, as well as taking other measures.

The Optus data breach potentially exposed the personal data, including the driver's licence numbers, of 10 million Australian customers, affecting almost 665,000 Queenslanders, according to the government's own estimates.

A photo of a sample driver licence.
As of Thursday, the Queensland government have tightened driver's licence ID rules in a bid to help protect people from data breaches. Source: Queensland Government

How the licence ID system will it work?

Now as of Thursday, the Queensland government hopes this new system will help protect residents from similar instances when trying to open a bank, internet, phone or utilities account.

"From today, you'll be asked to provide your driver licence number (customer reference number) *and* the card number to verify your identity with organisations like banks," Transport and Main Roads Queensland said on their Facebook page.

"We've added an extra layer of protection to help keep your identity safe. It's great news for all Queenslanders, especially those customers affected by the Optus data breach."

The Queensland government is suggesting those who have not been affected by the data breach don't have to replace their card, as the customer reference number (CRN) will stay the same. However, people still can go get their CRN changed if they want, which will be free-of-charge for those impacted by the breach.

The transport department, which usually processes about 30 licences a week, has received more than 170,000 applications since September 28.

Despite the added protection, Transport and Main Roads Queensland still warns people to stay cautious. "While this change reduces the risk, it’s important you stay alert and vigilant to suspicious activity," they said on Facebook.

With AAP

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