26 September 2023

DoT upgrades driving tests and eases bookings

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The security of online clients of the Department of Transport (DoT) is to be strengthened and the practical driving assessment (PDA) online booking system improved.

From 1 July, learner drivers will require a DoTDirect online account to book, change or cancel a PDA booking, while two-factor authentication will be required to access all DoTDirect accounts, and a new licence block function will protect customers from being a victim of identity fraud in the event of a data breach.

In conjunction with two-factor authentication adding an extra layer of security, moving learner driver access to the PDA booking system into DoTDirect will further restrict the use of bots that sweep the current system for available spots.

All DoTDirect customers will be prompted to turn on two-factor authentication the next time they log into DoTDirect and enter a verification code sent to their mobile number every time they access their account.

In a statement, the Department said the licence block enabled DoTDirect customers to take control of their identity security by placing a block on their driver’s licence details from being used online for identity verification purposes through the Australian Government’s Document Verification Service.

“The new function, similar to placing a block on a lost or stolen credit card via a banking app, can be switched on or off at any time,” the Department said.

“This means customers can be proactive and put the licence block in place to protect themselves should their licence details be lost, stolen or compromised in a future data breach.”

It said the blocked driver’s licence could still be used as an authorisation to drive and for identity verification purposes where a visual check of the licence was sufficient, such as picking up a parcel or buying alcohol.

Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti said DoTDirect contained sensitive personal information, and the extra checks to prove the person attempting to log in to DoTDirect was the genuine account holder helped to keep their personal information safe.

“We also want to make sure there is a level playing field when it comes to the availability of PDA bookings, and moving to DoTDirect means people won’t be disadvantaged by unscrupulous operators using bots to sweep our system for available bookings,” Ms Saffioti said.

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