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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    NEW DRIVER’S LICENCE A STEP CLOSER

    Minister for Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable John Mickel

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    NEW DRIVER’S LICENCE A STEP CLOSER

    Transport Minister John Mickel has today introduced legislation to Parliament to clear the way for a new driver’s licence.

    Mr Mickel said the new driver’s licence will have higher security and better protection against identity fraud than the now-outdated laminated cards.

    “We are getting on with the job and advancing our Towards Q2 strategy – the new licence will be smart and secure,” Mr Mickel said.

    The new licence is still being developed but it will be plastic, credit card-sized, and embedded with a computer chip.

    It will replace the current laminated card which has been used in Queensland for nearly 20 years.

    As with the current laminated licence, the new licence will feature an image of the motorist and their signature.

    But by using improved technology, the photograph and signature will be digital – making it much harder to fake.

    "Cards with embedded chips are increasingly being adopted around the world because they provide better security than the traditional laminated cards or plastic magnetic stripe cards," Mr Mickel said.

    Along with the new driver’s licence, the cards will also be introduced for Adult Proof of Age cards (formerly the 18 plus card), driver authorisations for passenger transport, and a variety of licensing industry authorisations.

    "Fake driver licences can be used to commit a wide range of crimes, such as money laundering, creating false identities and identity theft," Mr Mickel said.

    Between July and December 2007, the Queensland Police Service recorded 1193 offences of identity theft.

    In addition, the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Personal Fraud Survey, released in June 2008, showed there were 806,000 victims of personal fraud in Australia over 12 months, costing individuals a combined $977 million.

    Information to appear on the new licence will include the licence number, class, expiry date, name, date of birth, gender and height.

    Minister Mickel said the motorist’s address will not be shown. Instead it will be stored electronically on the smart chip.

    “This new feature is aimed at personal safety and protection of property,” he said.

    “Think of it this way – does your ATM card show your address ? Your credit card ? Your Medicare card ?

    “No – none of these display your home address. From now on, if a person has lost or had their handbag or wallet stolen, the chance of the driver’s licence being used to break into their house is significantly decreased.”

    BACKGROUND

    • The first Queensland driver licence was issued in 1910. The licences were printed on paper, and could be easily forged or damaged by water or general wear and tear.
    • This led to the introduction of the current laminated photograph licence in July 1986.
    • As with the laminated licence, the new licence will feature an image of the cardholder and their signature. Using improved technology, a digital photograph and signature will appear on the new licence.

    ·Digital photographs will be able to be accessed by authorised officers for licensing transactions such as licence issue and renewal and licence-related enforcement. Police access to digital photographs outside of transport-related enforcement and licensing will require a judicial order.

    ·Queensland Police and transport inspectors will have handheld smartcard readers to access the information stored on the chip.

    ·A cardholder may also provide access to third parties by inserting the licence into a smartcard reader, and entering their PIN to authorise information to be read from the chip, such as their address.

    • The capacity to issue the new driver licence will be progressively rolled out to licence issuing centres across Queensland, with implementation complete in 2010. It will take up to five years for all Queenslanders to have the new licence, as drivers will not be required to apply until their existing licence expires.

    Thursday 13 November 2008

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