The cards are plastic and credit card-sized, and are embedded with a mini computer chip. The cards have various visual and technological security features, which help make it easier to identify forgeries. These security features ensure the cards are extremely difficult to tamper with or duplicate.
The technology and security features include:
- software to measure key facial features and compare your photo with others held by the department
- a computer chip that securely stores card and personal information
- a variety of visual security features such as holograms and special inks
- digital photos and digitised signatures that are securely stored by the department
- a Personal Identification Number (PIN) – a four-digit number selected by you, which allows you to give someone else access to protected information stored on the chip
- shared secrets – answers to two questions from a list of security questions that will assist you to perform online transactions with the department.
This technology is successfully used in:
- Australian passports
- credit cards, such as those issued by large financial institutions.
For more information on the security features of your card please see the security features fact sheet.
The laminated licence became increasingly vulnerable to tampering and fraud and needed to be replaced with more secure technology.
Relatively unsophisticated equipment can create fake licences, which may be used to commit a wide range of crimes, such as identity theft, identity fraud, creating false identities, money laundering, purchasing age-restricted products and driving illegally.
In November 2010 the Queensland Government introduced new cards that adopted global leading technology to strengthen the integrity of the state’s licensing system. Unlike the old laminated cards, these cards are extremely difficult to tamper with or duplicate providing cardholders with increased protection against identity theft.
Businesses will also benefit from increased assurance that the licence, authority or proof of age cards being presented is genuine and the subsequent savings from a reduction in fraud.
Facial image recognition
Facial image recognition is a form of biometric technology that uses special equipment and software to measure key facial features, such as the distance between your eyes, nose and mouth. The software then compares the characteristics of this photo with the characteristics of the other photos stored on file. It is virtually impossible for two people to share exactly the same facial characteristics, including identical twins.
When you apply for a licence, authority or proof of age card, your photo will be captured digitally and securely stored by the department. Prior to issuing the card, your photo will be compared with the images stored on the department’s database. If there is a match, the card will not be issued and the matter further investigated and, where appropriate, referred to the Police for further action.
Facial image recognition will reduce the likelihood of one person unlawfully holding multiple cards in different names. It will also assist in identifying if people try to obtain cards using fake or stolen identity documents, helping to protect Queenslanders against identity theft and fraud.
Facial image recognition is currently used by:
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade when issuing Australian passports
- VicRoads for the issuing of driver licences
- New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services as part of their licence enrolment process