SA drivers to benefit from digital driving licences starting this month

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Drivers in South Australia will be able to take advantage of digital driving licences from a smartphone app starting this month.

There are apps for just about everything nowadays, so the concept of a digital driving licence perhaps won’t seem all that innovative for many people. Nevertheless, drivers in South Australia will this month become the nation’s first to be able to virtually get their hands on one.

The digital licences will be made available to drivers in SA through the  mySA GOV app for both iOS and Android devices.

Regular licence holders, learners, provisional and heavy vehicle drivers will all be able to take advantage of the new digital licence when it’s launched,

The rollout of the digital licences follows successful trials with other types of similar documents, including Proof of Age cards, boat licences, land agent and land sale representative registrations and vehicle registrations.

Despite holding a digital licence, drivers in SA are encouraged to keep hold of their physical licences. That’s because the digital app merely complements the state’s traditional licence system.

So why bother with a digital licence if it doesn’t replace your traditional one?

Well, for a start, it’s super safe. The app securely stores your information and allows you to access it instantly whenever you need to. Most people have their smartphones with them all the time anyway and this reduces the chances of a physical licence getting lost or stolen.

Additional security features, such as a one-time barcode that refreshes every 30 seconds, ensure that a fake licence can never be used. Said barcode can be scanned by the police and businesses that are allowed to do so to check the authenticity of a licence. In the case of Proof of Age cards, bars and clubs can also scan the barcode.

Another feature called ‘Shake to Animate’ displays the current the date/time on the app when the phone is shaken to prevent people from showing screenshots.

South Australia Police and Road Safety Minister, Chris Picton, said: “I’m delighted South Australians will be the first in the country to benefit from a state-wide roll-out of this leading technology which will not only streamline licensing services but offer vastly heightened security when it comes to verifying licences”.

A state-wide rollout in NSW will begin in 2019, according to the NSW government.