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National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution

The South Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) has joined the Commonwealth Government’s National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution (NDLFRS).

The NDLFRS will protect South Australians from identify theft, prevent crime, increase road safety and improve identity verification.

One in four Australians will be a victim of identity crime at some point in their lives, costing the Australian economy more than an estimated $2 billion per year.

Under an Intergovernmental Agreement, all Australian States and Territories agreed in October 2017 to participate in the Commonwealth Government’s NDLFRS to share and match identity information.

The NDLFRS is hosted on a Department of Home Affairs platform. It is part of the Commonwealth Government’s National Face Matching Services.

How the SA government will use the NDLFRS

Once in use, the NDLFRS will mean:

  • South Australians are better protected from identity theft and crime.
  • Detecting dangerous drivers trying to avoid disqualifications will be easier.
  • Increased capabilities to prevent, detect and investigate identity crime.
  • Everyone can easily and securely verify their identity.
  • Locating missing persons will be easier.

The NDLFRS cannot be used for mass surveillance.

Once implemented, approved Government agencies can use advanced face matching technology to review specific photographs. The system identifies distinctive facial characteristics, which can then be compared against driver’s licence images and images from other credentials. This technology is already in use in Australia for passport and immigration purposes.

How DIT will join the NDLFRS

DIT will join the NDLFRS in two stages.

Stage 1

This stage is currently underway and includes the upload of South Australian driver licence, learner’s permit and proof of age data linked to the most recent image on an individual’s driver licence, learner's permit, proof of age card, motor driving instructor or passenger transport driver accreditation.

Traffic infringement details or demerit points and licence classes will not be uploaded.

The Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 (the Data Sharing Act) (refer link below) provides the legal authority for this data to be uploaded. It's not possible for a person to ‘opt-out’ of the NDLFRS.

South Australia will not share data via the NDLFRS to agencies outside of South Australia until the Commonwealth Identity Matching Services Bill (refer link below) becomes law. The only access will be provided to SA Police (SAPOL) for general law enforcement purposes restricted to investigating serious offences.

Stage 2

Following passage of the Bill, DIT and SAPOL will enter into arrangements to access the uploaded images and data with Commonwealth, State and Territory Government agencies.

It is anticipated that the NDLFRS will be in full operation (all States and Territories) towards the end of 2021.

How your personal information will be protected

South Australian data will be stored in a secure system.

The security of this system complies with Commonwealth Government security requirements, has been reviewed by an independent security specialist, and assessed as secure by the South Australian Government.

In the unlikely event that the system is hacked, you will be notified of any serious data breach involving your personal information and recommend the steps you should take in response.

The Data Sharing Act allows the sharing of the above images and data via the NDLFRS.

In doing this The Department is complying with the Australian Privacy Principles in Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) (refer link below), which apply to The Department as both a provider and user of the data in the NDLFRS.

More information

The NDLFRS is just one part of the Commonwealth Government's National Identity Matching Services. A new website——will provide the community with more information on how the Solution works and how your personal information will be shared and protected.