Records 1985

Photographic drivers licence

In May 1985, Cabinet considered a proposal to introduce photographic drivers’ licences, an initiative which had recently been taken up in Victoria and New South Wales.

The submission to Cabinet argued that the existing drivers’ licence issue procedure was open to manipulation such as substitute applicants sitting for licence tests, obtaining additional licences with different names, and licence swapping when proof of identity or age is demanded such as when purchasing liquor.

Weaknesses in the existing system imposed investigatory burdens on the police and, while it was acknowledged the problems would not be totally overcome by including photographs on licences, a substantial decrease in offences based on the lack of identification was anticipated.

Cabinet approved the introduction of photographic drivers’ licences, at a cost of $228,000 in the first year.

Read the Cabinet decision - submission number 3512 and decision number 4083 of 21 May 1985 PDF (4.3 MB).

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Last updated: 14 April 2021

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