28 September 2022

Optus breach: NSW Government encouraging new cards but unclear if licence numbers will change

| Lottie Twyford
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Despite the NSW Government’s early movement on the issue, questions remain about whether NSW residents impacted will be able to get a new licence number or just a card number. Photos: NSW Police.

NSW residents are being actively encouraged to replace their driver’s licences if caught up in the Optus data breach.

But it’s still unclear if this will mean customers are able to get a new licence number.

The state government yesterday evening apologised for the time it had taken to set out a “pathway forward” for an easy licence replacement scheme.

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello confirmed people would be contacted by Optus in the coming days to be told whether their licence needed to be replaced.

He said an interim card number would be issued instantaneously via the Service NSW app and a new card would be issued within 10 business days.

NSW will charge a $29 replacement fee, which it said would be reimbursed by Optus.

However, there has been no clarification about whether NSW residents will receive a new licence number, which generally remains the same throughout a person’s life.

Region has reached out to Mr Dominello’s office for comment.

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Many affected customers had called for licence numbers to be changed in the wake of the major data breach, which could have compromised the personal data of up to 10 million Australians.

It’s now under investigation by the Australian Federal Police and overseas law enforcement agencies, including reportedly the FBI.

The Queensland and South Australian state governments have confirmed residents affected by the breach will be able to receive free licence number replacements, with Victoria indicating it expects the telco to foot the bill. They will be further able to flag their licence record in case of future fraud.

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The ACT Government continues to “work through” questions relating to potentially compromised licence and card numbers.

In a statement released yesterday evening, the Territory government said it was “closely following the Optus data breach” and was working with relevant authorities on the next steps.

“We are aware that this is distressing for many Canberrans who have been contacted by Optus about personal information they have provided to Optus,” the spokesperson said.

A further update is expected from the ACT Government in the next 12 hours.

Customers should contact Optus via the My Optus App or by calling 133 937 if they require further assistance or advice regarding the status of their case.

People living in NSW who require assistance in replacing their driver’s licence or birth certificate should call ID Support NSW on 1800 001 040 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm).

More to come.

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