State PhotoIDs as Proof of Identity


I can no longer drive due to illness and my driver’s licence has long expired. My Passport has also expired. However, I do have a photo ID issued by Services NSW. I am an Australian citizen

I went to register my Covid vaccination status on Services NSW and it asked me for proof of identity, which included a driver’s licence and passport amongst other things.

Not having my driver’s licence or passport in date, I tried to use my photo ID. However, Services NSW does NOT accept the photo id as a replacement for the driver’s licence.

In fact, as proof of identity, Services NSW did accept my well out of date Driver’s Licence!!!
I had the same issue with the NAB, where they would not accept my photo ID but did accept the details on my expired driver’s licence as proof of my identity.

So, I have to ask what is the relevance of a photo ID?

Apparently, Services NSW know there is an issue with photoID (wrt proof of identity) yet to be resolved. I have written to my local member explaining the situation and he has passed the info on to the relevant Minister. Hopefully, PhotoID will be accepted as Proof of Identity in the future

Can Choice investigate this matter as it affects quite a number of NSW citizens?


Is there a document or web reference you can point to that can clarify the outcome the card will not be accepted? It seems odd when the following is what the NSW Govt has to say.

My Mother in Law has had one of the NSW cards for a number of years. She has never had a license. The card has been accepted in NSW and in QLD without a problem. She obtained it from the Motor Registry/Licensing in Newcastle. Our understanding is similar cards are available in each state or territory for the same purpose. Older Australian’s who no longer drive or travel OS are unlikely to have any other form of ID with a photo.


There are many requirements for photo ID where the only online choices that can be used are drivers licenses, passports, and medicare cards.

I just scanned Victoria and the closest I could find to a generic state issued ID is a Proof of Age card described as being for entering licensed venues. Auspost has one called Keypass but I do not recall having ever seen it as an option.

This should be an interesting topic because there does not seem to be a standard for ‘not a driver license ID’ accepted as a driver license equivalent for ID for online verifications. Knowing what is available and accepted would be valuable information for many older readers as well as those without drivers licenses, as well as could be input for all those entities needing verified IDs.


Queensland, one size fits all providing you are at least 15 years old and a QLD resident.

Note the card options have been updated to provide for persons 15 years and older. Available for Seniors or younger Australians for proof of age. My Dad had one after he gave up his license. Applying for one is easier if you have a recently expired license with photo or passport. There is an alternate set of EOI options for anyone who has no previous or existing photo ID documents.


That is Qld’s position on the card. How does it go for (esp online)

Medicare accepts a ‘Certificate of Identity’ as one ID but what that is is not defined.

If someone enters their Qld card as a Qld DL will the drivers license database confirm it?

You can see where this train of question is going?


For the NSW Services app there are only about 5 primary one and some secondary ones but definitely not the ID (proof of age one). At least one Primary was required so I had to dig up our passports as we while we reside in Qld had to have the app when visiting relatives in NSW.

They even avoid it when it comes to normal registration for service with NSW Services


Yes. By sharing different pieces of information and comparing observations we will build a more complete picture. (No pun intended) hopefully helpfully and better informed.

A further question is how do we identify which services genuinely cannot accept proof of identity without an existing photo ID? An existing photo ID can make an application more convenient. Is it the only option? If the photo ID provided is not accepted, it’s important to ask what alternate EOI is acceptable.

EG Services NSW accepts a number of alternatives.

Are there limitations? Apparently, for some services only, as Services NSW does advise.

Happy to accept the correction. The unknown is the extent of the services for which the card is not accepted, or possibly accepted.

Noted @grahroll observations and the possible contradictions within Services NSW own online content. It does seem rather pointless as a product? OTOH Suncorp recognised MiL NSW issued card without any problems.


I do NOT have any documentary proof wrt to PhotoID acceptance or not. I describe my own experiences when I tried to use my PhotoID wrt to ‘proof of identity’. Plus my conversation with a support person employed by Services NSW - who told me that there was an issue with PhotoID acceptance, and it had not been resolved.


My apologies. Your frustration is shared by others. I was hopeful that services NSW had provided you with some further references to why there was a problem with using your ID card on line to register your Covid vaccination status. The cards have been promoted as replacing a DL for identification purposes.

It is evident from the content provided by two Services NSW web pages (per my prior post) the cards according to the first are not acceptable for identification. The second (*)qualifies use of the cards when used for identity purposes in accessing services. As you have pointed out the card was not able to be used in several situations.

(*) for the second web page there us no linkage or further detail of which services the card can be used for, although it refers to ‘online’ services. There is no mention of any restrictions for over the counter/in person use. Noting both your banking and @grahroll experiences suggest otherwise.


What about using the Medicare Card with the Services NSW online interface?

There should be a positive correlation between “no longer drive or travel overseas” and making frequent use of Medicare. :frowning:

While the OP asks about photo ID, I don’t think the photo part of it is relevant. Whatever card you use, they won’t be comparing your current live appearance with what is on a card.

The only relevant consideration in this scenario is … what online interfaces are available to Services NSW for verification purposes?

In other words, they capture

  • a type of card
  • the unique id that applies to your card of that type
  • some information associated with that card that “only” the legitimate holder would know

and ship it off via the applicable online interface to get a valid / invalid response.

At the end of the day, you make an entirely valid point but only Services NSW can fix this (if only the left hand would talk to the right hand) so it is the right approach to take it up with your local state MP. Please report back with any developments.

Even if Services NSW online fixes this so that they accept a NSW photo id, it would be a longer time still, if ever, before all states and territories talk to each other so that you could use a photo id from one state with the online services of another state.

With an ageing population, the issue that you highlight is going to increase in frequency.


Each state has some form of state issued photo ID that in theory could or should be equivalent to a drivers license as an ID, but is not universally accepted as an online verification card and may or may not be accepted in person by governments or businesses.

Absolutely. It isn’t like this should not have been obvious decades ago and steps taken to develop a DL equivalent for ID. In some countries the DL offices issue such cards and the card numbers are confirmed just like a DL would be. It should not be a difficult problem to solve that way, yet here we are.


The big issue with the Qld ID card, and may be the same for other States’ ones, is that it does not have the address of the holder on the card. So when needing to prove ID and address, two forms of ID are needed, with the non State ID one verifying the address. In contrast, a drivers licence contains both the ID verification, and address confirmation.


Universal acceptance is not a problem that Services NSW can fix. The particular problem that the OP complained about is.

Perhaps Australia Card set it back by decades. :wink:

… which is both a good thing and a bad thing. If you are in a position of needing to prove that that is your address, the lack is a bad thing.

If you are needing to supply some other information (e.g. age or date of birth or unique identifier) then being forced to divulge your address in addition is a bad thing, particularly depending on whom you are providing proof to.

There are technological approaches that solve all this and more - but maybe for the target market just getting the damned NSW Photo ID card to be accepted by Services NSW is enough. :wink:


Get a Keypass from AustraliPost
This is an extract from their website
“ A Keypass ID is a valid proof of age and identity card that can be used across all states in Australia. A Keypass is accepted for a variety of life moments. You can also use Keypass digitally, as a part of Australia Post’s Digital iD™ App.


The card or digital product, however does have limitations. Note the following list of uses.

Currently it is not listed as suitable for use by Services Australia (EG CentreLink).
Proving your identity in person for a Centrelink payment - Commonwealth Seniors Health Card - Services Australia

Someone might be able to clarify if this is correct? Several sources suggest the subtle difference is the issuing authority requirements acceptable for the ID card are a Commonwealth, State or Territory Govt. AP is not on the list.


Per the previous posts the principal complaint was the card was not able to be used for an online ID to update your Covid Vaccination status.

The ID card is intended to be used over the counter with Services NSW as well as for identity purposes when using their on line services. The card’s usefulness varies depending on which service and the particular action/procedure is involved.

The NSW ID Card and the other state or territory equivalents are certainly going to be convenient where they are accepted. They are not the only option available. There may be greater inconvenience in providing other primary L1 documents such as a full birth certificate, proof of citizenship etc.


We now seem to have more competing alternatives than before. Curiosity is there are anomalies. EG A birth certificate which does not include a signature, address or photo ID may be an alternative to a Driver’s License as is a Passport which does not require a current home address.

As an aside, it’s possible the universal national solution is converging on using driver licensing. IE photo ID, name, signature, address and dob. The NSW ID Cards and some others are currently issued through the respective state or territory motor licensing services.

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I have had the Victorian Proof of Age card for quite a few years. I obtained it via the Post Office, They took the photo, the form and after waiting a few weeks I received the card, which has been very useful and it seems to be accepted by all bodies that require a photo id.

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That PoA card was issued by the Vic government not Auspost. Auspost acted as an agent for the government in the same way they accept passport applications but the federal government issues the passport.

Government ID requirements generally accept state/territory issued proof of age cards but the Auspost Keypass is not issued by a government/territory. Therein lies a problem using Keypass for federal government requirements.

As an example, from the ATO

Keypass ID cards are proof of age cards issued by Australia Post, not state or territory governments, and therefore cannot be accepted.
Where you would like to use a proof of age card, it must be issued by a state or territory government

In person and online requirements also differ. For example drivers licenses, passports, and medicare cards can be validated in real time while documents that cannot are not accepted for online requirements.


Hi PhilT, I might not have given a full explanation. I realize that it was issued by the Victorian Government. However, I meant to demonstrate that it was so easy to get, because AusPost did all the work. I only had to go there and have my photo taken and it was very cheap. I have actually used my Proof of Age card for the ATO (when my husband died). At the time I went to the Post Office to get a photo for Keypass and they informed me that I should get a Proof of Age card instead.


This a constant issue, mainly with the elderly proving who they are with all levels of Government. It has become even more difficult for regional and country areas because there are no government offices to ask for help. Even though residents have for decades been receiving pensions, medicare benefits, have expired drivers licenses or passports and living in the same place, they are not good enough.
Another problem area is many State electronic birth or marriage certificates have incorrect information because of sloppy transcription from paper to computer. Just try getting errors corrected! This is a important area for Choice to sort out with Governments. There needs to be better systems put in place.

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