Going digital: NSW licences

GOING DIGITAL: With more sophisticated security measures, digital licences and permits can be more secure than physical plastic cards and are harder to lose. Picture: Shutterstock.
GOING DIGITAL: With more sophisticated security measures, digital licences and permits can be more secure than physical plastic cards and are harder to lose. Picture: Shutterstock.

I heard something recently about licences becoming digital, but am not sure if this affects me. Can you give me an overview of the changes and what it could mean for me personally and in my business?

There has been some media coverage about this in recent times, it’s most likely that you heard about the NSW digital licensing scheme which is further along the digital licensing journey than other states.

Digital licences essentially allow you to store your licences on your smartphone, thereby removing the need for physical cards and taking you one step closer to doing away with a wallet entirely.

The NSW system requires you to download the Service NSW app, and then link to the relevant NSW agency that is issuing your licence or permit. When it was launched the scheme supported three licences (recreational fishing permit, responsible service of alcohol and responsible conduct of gaming), however in August a trial for digital driver licences was launched in the regional NSW city of Dubbo. If the Dubbo trial is successful, digital driver licences will be rolled out across the state in 2019. The range of digital licences will continue to expand, with the full range of permits being transitioned over time.

Digital licences have the latest in digital security measures, and are actually more secure than a plastic card as they cannot be lost and picked up. The apps should also allow you to securely download your licences on to your phone so that you can still produce them even if you’re out of range.

If you or your employees are required to hold licences (e.g. white card, forklift licence, working with children check) then you might want to look into how these can be stored on your smartphone going forward. That way you will always be able to produce them, and the apps should also remind you when they’re about to expire and simplify the renewal process.

For those of you who don’t use a smart phone, don’t worry – you’ll still be able to obtain a physical licence card if you wish. And while NSW is moving ahead with their digital licencing, other states aren’t far behind.

For more information on digital licences in your state, please contact the relevant authority issuing the licence or your Crowe Horwath adviser on albury@crowehorwath.com.au.

Any information in this article has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material. While reasonable care is taken in the preparation of this information to the extent allowed by legislation, Crowe Horwath (Aust) Pty Ltd ABN 84 006 466 351, accepts no liability whatsoever for reliance on it.