Identity Theft - NSW Driver Licences Used

An article regarding NSW driver licences being used for identity theft.

Hard to believe that NSW refuses to allow residents to change their licence number following identity theft.

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Sometimes what we see is not what we get?

Great General interest story @Fred123 for those who do not read the ABC on line.

Not too Grumpy!
Although in this instance I noticed the link is nothing to do with the ABC! It is from ‘’. The article from the ABC has been repackaged in an MSN wrapper, complete with all the S???t that comes with MSN.

It might avoid confusion if when any of us link news items we do our best to find the original source and link to it more directly. In this instance the ABC does not get the credit it deserves directly, and the ABC’s added value content is not exposed to the reader. Instead we are building love for MSN? The ABC needs to stay. MSN IMHO could be burnt at the virtual IT stake and I would not notice the loss.

The MSN web page seamlessly merges the end of the ABC attributed item without any clear end point to the following bolded line.
Pictures: 29 simple tips to prevent you from fraud

This is not part of the ABC’s report or advice?

In reality how many of us will live the rest of our lives recalling all 29 tips in turn at every instance we are exposed to a possible fraud risk. Further consider when someone finds a 30th or 31st way to outwit or outplay the average consumer? The use of the word “prevent” is misleading. The outcome of any list is not assured.

Being informed, acting with caution and staying alert is great advice. Being perpetually paranoid can lead to a need for medical assistance.

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A classic case of-

or at least MSN itself.


It’s a bandaid solution anyway. It completely fails to address the underlying problem, which is the use of a document that is ostensibly for the purposes of licensing drivers instead for the purposes of identification.

Ever wondered how many people have access to a copy of your drivers licence (which also gives access to your full name and date of birth and address and signature and photo)?

State governments need to ban the use of such documents for identification, reissue every single person with a new licence, and implement appropriate network services for doing identification properly. Yeah not going to happen. :slight_smile:


In Queensland, driver’s licences are used and endorsed by goverment as ID for licenced premises. Furthermore, the government supports and requires their scanning and retention by the licencee in safe night precincts…

I no longer frequent such places any more for this and other reasons…as it is a good way to lose personal information to those one might not want to disclose/hold such information.


The following is from a VicRoads letter (about a year ago) following my request for a new driver licence number:

“ In order for VicRoads to consider your request you will need to provide evidence that supports your claim of fraudulent use of your driver licence information to illegally secure or obtain services as outlined in the examples below.
The evidence must be a report or confirmation from the service provider or organisation indicating that they have investigated your claim and confirm that your driver licence details were used or attempted to be used by a person other than yourself, to illegally obtain benefit of some type.
Examples may include:

Credit card fraud, in which case a letter from the bank confirming fraudulent use of your details.
Obtaining a mobile phone account,
in which case a letter from the phone company confirming fraudulent use.

Together with:
A written report signed by a Victoria Police Officer confirming the report of fraud and any relevant details to indicate that investigation is taking place or that fraudulent use of the driver licence is confirmed. “

It was a long road, but I’m glad to say that a new Licence with a new number was finally issued to me.


Some years ago, I read an article regarding a Sydney resident who was a victim of identity fraud.

The first he knew about it was when a cop operating a speed camera rang him up after midnight and claimed he had just speed past his speed trap at a very excessive speed and if he did not get straight back there, the cop would punch his lights out.

He asked the cop what time and location he claimed the offence occured at, and when told it was around 30 minutes ago, he asked the cop how he could possibly be at his home which was over an hours drive away.

He subsequently found out that some low-life grub had stolen his identity and that the HSV sedan which drove past the speed camera had been fraudently bought in his name and had been registered using his driver’s licence on a loan was just the tip of the iceberg.

As the total fraud came to light, his life descended into a living hell which took years to try to rectify.

And now many years later, NSW is still incapable of even issusing new driver’s licences.



My presumption is the sanctity of the DL number is as much to collect revenue as anything but is a convenient bit of ID since government issues them, and we can all trust government, right.

Without that magic number, when snapped or stopped many of us have common names so the ‘data matching and ID confirmation’ is apparently too hard even in these days of facial recognition and voice prints. Then privacy issues of keeping that data anywhere, and ‘anywhere’ can be hacked.

I and a gentleman with the same first and last name and age moved to a US city within 3 weeks of each other. He was single and I was married. He was a big league sports agent. Neither of us had used our middle names most times. My partner was not impressed so many young ladies were ringing me (looking for him). Life is not fair because a few years of this and I was divorced but he was married so no more calls :frowning: That was when I first realised that despite what I always though to be a fairly unusual name was not, and there are a number of ‘me’ in the US wild including unrelated Hollywood/TV producers as well as the sports agent. When he (the sports agent) was being sued you guessed it, they found me first to serve papers. Since then we both always used our middle initials if not middle names all the time.

Bottom line, considering logistics, economics, and all the factors, if not a drivers license, what then for ID? National identity cards (eg passports or passport cards or similar) that would become no more secure as they became a norm, got lost, stolen, or copied?

Back to facial recognition - oops, serious facial trauma from an accident or cancer or just a nose job - how to prove who you are to update. More stress and worries. DNA? Identical twins? No answer solicited, just making the point that no matter what is used it is going to be imperfect, even ID-chip implantation at birth would be compromised given the chances. Big brother would take on entirely new dimensions.


I appreciate what you are saying but I was merely pointing out that NSW is the only state that refuses to re-issue licences to victims of identity theft.

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Is part of the concern with a DL that it contains personal identification information such as address and d.o.b. that are routinely asked for as part of verification? Does this information even need to be readily displayed on the card or accessible via a simple chip reader? If Plod, surely the number on the DL should enable such pertinent and more detailed information to be retrieved from their data base instead.

Alternately given access to a d.o.b. and address is so often requested, and the last needed often, perhaps we need to stop using these for any type of secure identity verification, and treat them as public ID openly as for our first and last name?

In either instance it does as you suggest invite a more challenging range of questions about the alternate options?

It may come to pass that which ever mobile phone company and app is first to widespread acceptance biometrically locking a user to the device wins the battle. It is a given that once set up some banks will accept your use of their app on your mobile, plus a remembered PW/pin/print, as giving you wide ranging access to all your banking needs. Your ID in their world is proven. It only needs to be shared as needed for any other ID purpose outside their ecosystem to become a universal and supposedly unique identifier.

Perhaps in the interests of national security such an approach will even receive govt support (big brother) where there is a reverse sharing between the App owner and the Govt. A process to ensure you can only ever receive one such ID on one device, perhaps keyed back to our unique social security number. Already the bank knows our dob, address, mobile, email, and TFN! And perhaps several other details including our DL number and passport details or place of birth, depending on which ID we originally used to get our points score up?

With the Alphabet Inc, soon to be trademarked ‘NatFace’ :roll_eyes: national identity sharing service and app there will be one less thing for Canberra to worry about? One more they could contract out or sell off similar to the state sales of land titles registration?

Are you on NatFace? Join now and don’t miss out. :upside_down_face:

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As you suggest, there is no point replacing the current usage of drivers licence with the same usage of any other similar card or document.

What I suggested above, but perhaps too obliquely, is that the appropriate network identification protocols already exist, they just aren’t offered as services by the government.

The key point here is that you can prove your identity and validity of entry to “a non-local club”, for example, without “said club” necessarily even knowing your identity, let alone having access to all your personal details (such as date of birth and name and address and signature, which are an obvious free kick for an identity thief), bearing in mind that the requirement for said club to identify you arises largely from government legislation i.e. it is a government-created problem.

(It could be argued that, in other scenarios, if the only point of identification is to prove that you are over 18 then even this is overkill. Again, this is a government-created problem because the need arises largely from government legislation.)

To solve any of this though would require government to be both innovative and determined to protect privacy. Yeah not going to happen.


An aspect of ID many on the forum are not blessed with is the l.o.n.g arm of US law. I have posted it many times - FATCA - and the world ‘salutes’. That goal is to stop money laundering and collect taxes, not prove much of anything else such as being old enough to drink…

Are there alternatives to the present norms? It would require Uncle Sam to lead the change. How comfortable would we all be with that?