Australia

Optus data breach: How you can get a free replacement driver’s licence

Optus has advised that up to 10 million customers could be affected by last week.
Driver’s licence numbers are among the crucial pieces of information that have been stolen by hackers – and allegedly among the data being sold on the dark web.
If you’re among the millions of anxious Optus customers across the country whose licence details have been exposed in the data breach, there’s some good news.

Various state governments have announced you can replace your driver’s licence – in some states, at no cost.

Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re a NSW resident

If you have a NSW driver’s licence, you can apply for a new one via Service NSW.
If you have a digital licence, you can get an interim card number issued instantly via the Service NSW app. You’ll get a new licence card within 10 business days.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said Optus will contact customers in the coming days to confirm whether or not they need to apply for a replacement driver licence.

As to who will pay for the cost, the $29 replacement fee will be charged by Service NSW at the time of application and reimbursement advice will be issued by Optus to customers in the coming days.

But, importantly, there is no clarification if the new driver’s licence will mean a new driver’s licence number, which does not usually change with the issuance of a new card. Only the card number changes.

If you’re a Queensland resident

Queenslanders who have been advised by Optus that their ID information has been compromised can get a free new replacement by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Importantly, it will include a new driver licence number.
“While the Queensland Driver Licence is a highly secure identity document, we understand that some customers who have been impacted are concerned and may wish to get a new driver licence number,” a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said in a statement to SBS News.
Customers wanting a new card need to bring various statements to their local Customer Service Centre, including Optus data breach notice, or written notification from an enforcement authority and evidence of identity.

The department has also set up a dedicated hotline (07 3097 3108) to those who need immediate help.

If you’re in South Australia

Getting a replacement driver’s licence will also be free for South Australian drivers, the premier has announced.

Service SA has advised people seeking a replacement card to attend one of its centres with documentation from Optus.
“Once your licence number has been changed, a new driver licence card will be produced and posted to you,” Service SA said in a statement on its website.
“Your new licence will be immediately available digitally through your mySAGOV account and on the mySAGOV app.”

Those who’ve already paid for a replacement licence can get a refund through Service SA.

If you’re in Victoria

Victorian drivers are being encouraged to report their licence has been breached to the Department of Transport.
This is to prevent any unauthorised changes or hackers trying to access accounts through the Victorian licence database.
If you’re concerned about your licence details and have been notified by Optus that your data has been breached, you can contact VicRoads to have your record flagged and request a replacement.

The department has requested Optus repay the cost of new licenses to the Victorian Government.

If you have an ACT licence

The ACT Government says it’s working through the issue of replacement driver licence cards for those who’ve had both their numbers and card numbers compromised.
There’s no detail as yet on whether a replacement licence will be free or not.
But customers affected have been told they can call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 and leave their details.

“All customers who do this will be contacted by Access Canberra once the next steps are identified,” a statement from the ACT government says.

What about Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania?

There has been no word as of 8pm Tuesday from those governments on what Optus customers can do.

What about my passport?

Optus has also advised that passport numbers have also been potentially breached.
At the moment, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) says people should make their own choice as to whether they want a new passport or not.
But they’ve reassured people fraudsters cannot get a passport with your identity because the Department has “robust controls that protect your passport from identity takeover, including sophisticated facial recognition technology”.
Neither can fraudsters use your passport details to travel in your identity.
“They would need your actual passport, not just your passport details,” a statement on DFAT’s website says.
If you choose to get a new passport, you’ll have to pay for it yourself.
“We weren’t responsible for the data breach,” DFAT says.
“You can discuss your situation with Optus.”

But the federal opposition has called on the Albanese government to waive the new passport fees and expedite the processing of replacement passports.

“Victims of the Optus cyber hack should not have to wait or pay significant amounts of fees to secure their personal information, and obtain a new passport,” Liberal senator James Paterson said in a statement.

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