15 May 2024

Northern Territory to invest in smartphone digital ID technology

| Andrew McLaughlin
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NSW digital driver licence on a smartphone

NSW introduced digital driver’s licences in 2019, and the NT is set to follow suit. Photo: Service NSW.

The Northern Territory Government has announced it will come into line with some other state jurisdictions by investing $20.66 million to establish digital identification cards for use on smartphones.

The budget announcement will allow Territory residents to store nationally recognised digital driver’s licences and Evidence of Age cards in a digital wallet, and to integrate the digital licences with other NT Government systems, including the Banned Drinker Register and NT Police portable devices.

Hard copies of licences and Evidence of Age cards will still be issued, but the Territory Government says the digital versions will help protect people’s important identity information and give them control over what information is shared with commercial identity verifiers.

A pilot program is expected to be rolled out in 2025.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler said the government was making it faster and easier for Territorians to produce ID anywhere required.

“We want Territorians to have access to the best technology. This is why we are investing $20.66 million into this digital licence development,” she said.

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Minister for Corporate and Digital Development Selena Uibo said the NT digital driver’s licence was aligned to the NT Government Digital Transformation Plan, and it would be easy to use, robust, trusted and secure.

“The digital driver’s licence will follow the design and launch of ‘Territory Services’, a central digital platform created for all NT Government Services,” she said.

Hospitality NT CEO Alex Bruce welcomed the plan.

“Already tourists come to the NT with digital IDs and we know from states that have rolled them out that a lot of people choose to leave their purses and wallets at home when heading out for the night,” he said.

“With an average 450,000 BDR [banned drink register] scans a month, we look forward to our customers also being able to head to their local bottle shop just with their smartphone should they choose to.”

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