Optus hack: Can I get my driver’s licence replaced?

Woman on laptop looking out of window.

Driver’s licence numbers are among the most sensitive identity documents that have been leaked in the recent Optus data breach, but affected Australians will be happy to hear they might be able to get new ones at no cost.

By now, customers whose driver’s licences (as well as other important documents such as passports) were compromised should have received emails or SMS messages from Optus alerting them of the fact. 

While the states and territories usually charge residents who wish to have their driver's licences reissued with a fresh number, there’s currently a lot of pressure on Optus to foot the bill.

Here’s what we know so far about how you can go about replacing your licence and whether or not you’ll be expected to pay.

NSW

NSW residents will be able to apply for a new licence via Service NSW.

Impacted customers will be contacted by Optus in the next few days to confirm the need to replace their driver’s licence, according to Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello.

“The cost to replace your driver’s licence is $29 and will be charged by Service NSW at the time of application – reimbursement advice will be issued by Optus to customers in the coming days,” he said in a recent Twitter thread.

Victoria

The Victorian government has confirmed it will be supporting impacted customers who wish to have their licences replaced, but advises against using the usual licence replacement channels.

Concerned residents can request to have their licence flagged on the Victorian and national licence databases, as a measure against potential fraud. The form to do so is available here.

While this won’t protect you from any malicious activity by a third party, it will prevent people from making unauthorised changes or accessing individual information through the Victorian licence database.

VicRoads said it plans to release more information on licence replacements shortly.

ACT

Customers in the ACT have been advised to call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or visit the Access Canberra website for information on how to get their licence re-issued with a new number.

Queensland

In Queensland, affected customers can get their licence re-issued with a new number by the Department of Transport and Main Roads at no cost.

You’ll need to visit a Customer Service Centre with written confirmation from Optus or an enforcement authority that your information has been compromised 

For urgent inquiries, Queensland residents can also call the dedicated hotline that has been set up for this matter on 3097 3108.

Western Australia

Prior to the Optus data breach, technical limitations prevented WA drivers from ever changing their licence number. 

But Premier Mark McGowan said system updates currently in the works will soon allow residents to get their licence numbers reissued.

"People have lost their driver’s licences and their identity through no fault of their own, so we’ll provide a new driver’s licence with a new number as soon as we can get the system up and operational,” he said.

"I expect that will be quite quick."

South Australia

South Australian drivers who were caught up in the Optus data breach will be able to get their driver’s licence replaced free of charge. To do so, you’ll need to visit a Service SA centre with documentation you’ve received from Optus.

“Once your licence number has been changed, a new driver licence card will be produced and posted to you,” Service SA said.

Your new licence will be immediately available digitally through your mySAGOV account and on the mySAGOV app.”

Tasmania

The Tasmanian premier has announced that impacted customers can arrange to have a new driver’s licence and number issued at no cost. This can be done at any Service Tasmania Shop.

Residents also have the option to pay the prescribed licence fee (excluding the photo fee) and have their licence renewed for a period of either 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 years, depending on when their current licence expires.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has not yet announced specific measures for residents hoping to get their licences reissued with a new number.

The Optus data breach has caused widespread panic among current and former customers alike. For more information on how to navigate the security issues that have cropped up, read our Optus cyber attack guide.

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