Queensland's new driver licence will utilise high-end facial recognition technology in a bid to stamp out fraud and identity theft in the state.
The new licence, which features an embedded chip storing the driver’s personal information, security PIN and shared secrets, also utilises 16 point facial recognition technology.
When drivers renew or apply for the new licence, a digital photograph will be taken and centrally stored. Each subsequent renewal of the licence will reference the image and using the facial recognition technology to ensure the driver is who they claim to be.
The new licence will also utilise a hologram, special inks, a watermark and shadowing to help combat identity fraud.
According to Queensland Minister for Transport, Rachel Nolan, existing laminate driver licences have been in existence for close to a quarter of a century and were in “drastic need of a major overhaul”.
Reinforcing the point with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, Nolan said there were 87,000 victims of personal identity fraud in the state during 2007.
The licence, though more secure, will be more expensive for drivers in the state. Currently, a five-year licence costs $73.30. The new licences will initially cost $96.05 for five years.
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads staff will take part in an initial trial of the new licences in August this year, with a full roll out to all drivers in 2011.
In April, last year Queensland Transport inked a five-year deal with Unisys to design and build the new facial recognition and biometric matching platform for the state's smartcard drivers' licence.
In January this year the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) said a rollout of facial recognition technology across its network had been completed after initially being slated for deployment mid-2010.