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Victoria Launches Digital Driver’s Licenses, Sparking Mixed Reactions

Digital Driving Licence

Digital shift welcomed by millions but raises privacy and security concerns among skeptics

Victorians are now able to store their driver’s licenses digitally on their smartphones, a move initiated by the local government to modernize and streamline access to identification.

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This digital transition is available to over 4.5 million Victorians, encompassing fully licensed drivers, motorcyclists, and heavy vehicle operators. To use the digital licenses, residents are required to set up their profiles via the myVicRoads and Service Victoria apps.

The decision to go digital followed comprehensive consultations with various entities that rely on photo IDs, such as bars, restaurants, supermarkets, retail stores, law enforcement, and postal services. The pilot program in Ballarat last year proved successful, with over 15,000 participants adopting the digital format.

Digital licenses boast enhanced security features, including a dynamic hologram and a timed QR code that allows verification of authenticity and aims to prevent fraudulent activities. Moreover, these digital IDs can be updated instantly to reflect any changes in licensing conditions or personal details like address changes.

Despite the broad rollout scheduled by 2025, including for learners and probationary license holders, some Victorians express apprehensions about the digital shift. Critics point to potential privacy issues, fearing that digital storage and transmission of personal data might expose users to hacking or data breaches. Others are concerned about the reliance on digital devices, which could be problematic in situations where phone access is compromised or unavailable.

Melissa Horne, Minister for Roads and Road Safety, stated, “Our Digital Driver Licences will make it easier for Victorians when they go about their day-to-day lives – whether that’s driving around, renting a car, collecting a parcel, or visiting a licensed venue.”

Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Government Services, highlighted the public demand for such innovations, saying, “Victorians have been asking us for a Digital Driver Licence – and now millions of Victorians can access them on their phones alongside other government-issued cards like a Working with Children Check, seniors card, or fishing licence.”

As the digital driver’s license system continues to unfold, it promises enhanced convenience for many, while continuing to raise important questions about privacy and digital dependency among its skeptics.

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