NSW Roads and Maritime Services opens up DRIVES

API layer opens up new opportunities for innovation on top of key licence and registration system, RMS says

Work on adding an API layer for one of the key systems used by NSW Roads and Maritime Services has opened up new ways of interacting with the agency’s services.

DRIVES — the DRIver and VEhicle IT System — is the central system for motor vehicle registration and driver licensing in NSW, including collecting associated revenue and recording driving infringements.

The system deals with almost $4 billion in revenue and holds the registration details of almost 4.5 million people and 4 million licence holders, according to RMS.

“Only last week the learner driver logbook was launched, allowing learner drivers the freedom of doing away with the paper logbook and to choose from three downloadable apps – the first of many IT innovations in the works and all thanks to some tinkering to the back-end of DRIVES,” said RMS executive director, business services, Matt Fuller.

RMS now officially endorses three independently developed log-book apps: L2P, Licence Ready and L Roundtrip.

The three apps are accepted by RMS and Service NSW as evidence for the 120 hours of driving experience required by most Learner drivers before they apply for a Provisional licence.

The work by RMS has also paved the way for an upcoming rollout of digital driver’s licences.

New South Wales in November launched its first wave of digital licences, with the state’s residents able to store a digital version of their fishing licence, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) competency cards on a tablet or smartphone.

The digital licence system is linked to the MyServiceNSW single customer account launched by the state in early 2016.

In March, the NSW government revealed that more than 20,000 people had taken advantage of the new system. Support for boat licences and vessel registration was rolled out in July this year.

The state government has announced that in November it will stage a trial of digital driver’s licences in Dubbo.

“DRIVES has historically been a closed system but recent work has allowed these projects to be enabled by providing the integration API which external users, such as app developers, can use in developing their own interfaces,” Fuller said.

“It wasn’t designed to be modern and allow others to integrate and transact, so we’ve worked hard to provide this API layer on top of DRIVES to provide more agility.”

The integration work also enabled the launch earlier this year of a system to streamline the medical assessment of drivers.

From 1 March, medical professionals have been able to submit NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment forms online, which according to RMS means that some 400,000 motorists will not need to visit a service centre in person.

“It’s fully integrated and a good example of how we want to work with industry to digitise the process and allow customer better experiences,” Fuller said.

“One of our key outcomes for DRIVES is to automate, digitise, and place the customer at the centre as much as possible, removing manual processes to improve the customer experience and reduce costs,” he said.

In April, RMS brought on board a new chief information officer: Former Etihad Airways technology and innovation VP Rob Putter. (Putter replaced Joe Attanasio who left RMS in November.)

Putter was tasked with overseeing the rationalisation, consolidation and modernisation of RMS’s technology environment, including legacy systems transformations,

Fuller said that under the new CIO’s leadership RMS had had some success in luring “some key high level IT specialists” from the private sector.

“These are exciting times,” Fuller said. “These projects are about starting to really enable third-party capabilities to integrate safely with the data in DRIVES to allow application innovation on be built on top.”

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