Queensland biometric driver licence rollout begins

The rollout follows successful trials by the Queensland Government

A biometric driver licence system has been unveiled in Toowoomba as the Queensland Government begins replacing old licences to combat identity fraud.

The cards, which are embedded with a computer chip, store product and personal information.

Transport Minister, Rachel Nolan, said the move was significant, describing the new system as "the most secure driver licence system in the country".

"It will mean a whole range of new cards including a new heavy vehicle licence, marine licence and industry authority cards for people such as bus and taxi drivers," she said in a statement. "And we're replacing the 18+ card with an adult proof of age card."

When Queensland residents apply for their new licence, a digital photograph will be taken and stored centrally, licences will then be mailed to customers within two weeks rather than being issued on the spot.

"It's just like getting your passport or a credit card. Licences will be produced at a central location meaning greater identity security and protection. It's a big change but it will make Queensland licences the most secure in Australia, helping in the fight against fraud and identity theft,” she said.

Along with the computer chip, the licence features a hologram, special inks, a watermark and shadowing, and will cost $96 for five years.

The licences will be rolled out to other transport customer service centres, police stations in remote areas and Queensland Government offices between now and 2011.

The rollout follows trials which took place in August and September.

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