How your driver's licence may be about to change

Carrying a plastic driver’s licence could soon be a thing of the past – at least in NSW.

The state government is currently trialling a licence drivers can carry on their smartphone.

The digital version of the licence is set to be released across NSW in 2019 and is “designed to be convenient and make life easier”, according to Service NSW’s website.

While it is already being trialled in Dubbo, in the state’s northeast, a trial for Sydney’s eastern suburbs will take place later this year.

It means drivers will not have to line up at service centres to renew licences either.

Drivers will receive notifications to renew their IDs.

Digital driver’s licences are set to be introduced in NSW. Source: Service NSW

In November this year, NSW Police and anyone checking IDs in Bondi, Bondi Junction, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, Randwick and Waverley will be invited to take part in the trial.

But all drivers will still need to carry the physical licence during the trial.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Corboy said the licence was the same as a normal one but reminded people to keep their phones charged. 

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello compared it to using a smartphone to buy movie tickets or board a flight.

“Smartphones have become de facto wallets and we’re using cutting edge technology so that drivers can use a digital licence in everyday scenarios,” Mr Dominello said.

It means drivers will have to keep their phones charged incase they’re pulled over by police. Source: Getty Images (File pic)

He added anyone with the digital licence would be able to go to a pub or club “in a trial area” and use it to get in. 

The trial will test if any changes need to be made to support a state-wide roll-out. 

Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith told News Corp the digital licence was “more convenient and hassle-free”. 

He encouraged anyone eligible to sign up.

Technology is quickly changing the way we use identification documents.

If a licence expires, anyone with a digital licence will receive a notification to renew it instead of having to check their ID card. Source: 7 News (File pic)

In July, Qantas announced it was trialling new cameras at check-in, which replaced passports with faces.

Facial recognition bag drop kiosks are being tested at Sydney Airport, with hopes to roll the new technology out across the country in the near future. 

While the new plan raised some concerns about privacy, it promised to do away with lengthy queues. 

“It’ll be easier for you to get through and also from the security point of view because they know exactly who you are,” aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas said. 

“We’re already using it with Smartgate to have our passports read and to move through the customs experience.” 

For more information on the digital licence trial click here.