RACQ supports $152 licences for Qld motorists

The RACQ supports the new “smart licences” for Queensland drivers — despite the high cost.

A five-year driver’s licence that today costs $73.30 will cost $152.50 in 2014-15.

RACQ spokesman Jim Kershaw said the motoring organisation welcomed the new cards despite the price hike.

He said the technology was long overdue.

“At least the cost is a one-off every five years, unlike rego and petrol costs,” he said.

Mr Kershaw said it was too early to gauge public reaction as yet, but issues raised could be dealt with as they arise during the trial introduction.

“It may take more time to renew or register for a licence; there might be longer waiting times to get a photo taken,” he said.

“We hope the rollout is handled competently by the Department, in a way that doesn’t inconvenience the public too much,” he said.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan announced the new licences in State Parliament today and said the Main Roads Department would trial the system in August.

Ms Nolan said the secure technology used in the cards included an embedded microchip containing detailed information and facial image recognition.

“Having online, on-the-spot access to these images will give us another tool in the fight against criminals trying to steal identities and obtain multiple cards under different names,” she said.

The added security, a response to higher security demands by banks and other institutions worldwide, was worth the cost, Ms Nolan said.

But shadow Minister for Transport Fiona Simpson slammed the 108 percent price increase, calling it “another cash grab by a government that keeps spending more than it earns”.

The Department of Main Roads and Transport will start rolling out the cards from the second half of 2010, with licence holders getting the new cards once their existing licence expires.

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