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Australia aligns on ISO mobile driver’s license standard as NSW leads on digital ID

Australia aligns on ISO mobile driver’s license standard as NSW leads on digital ID

The road for digital driver’s licenses in Australia continues to widen, with the announcement that state and territory governments have agreed to adopt international security standards for mobile licenses (mDLs). This improves the chances of nationwide acceptance of digital licenses as part of a new verifiable credential strategy, says a report from InnovationAus.

Cybersecurity experts have called on governments to adopt ISO/IEC 18013. Queensland has a compliant digital driver’s license program, but New South Wales and South Australia have yet to adopt the standard, having launched before its publication.

New South Wales (NSW), however, is pumping money into decentralized digital identity, including $62.5 million (US$41.5M) for transitioning to an online licensing and compliance system, which is likely to factor in standards.

NSW project lays groundwork for seismic shift in online licensing

The cash will help add an additional 80 licenses to the Licence NSW system, which will host most of the state’s regulatory permits, according to a report from The Mandarin. These will include not just driver’s licenses and ID cards, but everything from registering as a licensed mortician to applying for a license to be a beekeeper.

The transition is being closely watched by other states, which have previously looked to NSW as a leader on digital credentials. Its focus on back-end development of a system for digital credential transferability means it could provide the foundation for a nationwide digital transformation in online credentialing and authentication.

In addition to the digital licensing program, NSW’s budget allots $21.4 (US$14.2) million to a NSW digital ID and identity wallet, $15 (US$9.9) million to improve customer service in its digital identity and verifiable credentials program, and an additional $146.7 (US$97.6) million apiece to support digital delivery and regulatory transformation, and to enhance regulatory efficiency and user experience in digital licensing.

In total, it is a whopping load of money that the state is investing in the digital transformation of its online credentialing system, and stands to put NSW at the forefront of Australia’s digitization.

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