Mike Stevens | Sep 4, 2009

Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today announced that from November, a revised version of the Victorian driver's licence will be launched.

Produced at what the Minister described as a "centralised, secure facility", the new cards will have improved security features designed to combat identity fraud.

Mr Pallas said that, while the licences would look and feel similar to the existing cards, the most obvious evidence of the new security features would be a see-through strip in the middle of the card.

The Minister said that as society becomes more technologically aware, the Government needs to "stay a step ahead of the game". As part of the new licence initiative, facial recognition technology will be added to VicRoads' systems to catch fraudsters using multiple licence identities.

Facial recognition technology works by analysing almost 170 points on the human face, translating the information into a mathematical formula and searching the database for matching details.

“The technology will be applied to about the first quarter of (about 750,000) Victorian drivers this year,” Mr Pallas said.

“VicRoads will then investigate any potential matches and hand over suspected fraud cases to Victoria Police. This work will make it harder than ever for people to collect a number of licences for multiple identities.”

The introduction of the new licence means that, due to the off-site production of the cards, licences will no longer be issued over the counter at VicRoads' offices.

“There have been a number of cases of people who have attempted to break into customer service centres to steal licence printers to produce fake licences," Mr Pallas said.

“Bringing the production of all driver licences into a centralised and more secure facility allows VicRoads to include more sophisticated security features when the cards are processed and keeps us one step ahead of the fraudsters.”

To accommodate this change, drivers needing a new licence can attend a VicRoads office to have their photo taken, and be given a receipt that will allow them to drive while they wait for their licence to be mailed out.

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