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Birth certificates for the 21st century

Published: 24 April 2021
Released by: Attorney General, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Minister for Digital, Minister for Customer Service

Digital birth certificates could soon be a reality, with the NSW Government spearheading a cross-jurisdictional project to develop a national Digital Birth Certificate.

Minister for Digital and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW-led initiative is currently in the research phase and is on track to deliver a proof of concept in the second half of 2021.

"Having a child is an exciting and busy time for parents. We want to use technology to make life easier for families, so they can spend more time with their newborn and less time dealing with government," Mr Dominello said.

"Any digital solution will be opt-in only and will adhere to the highest privacy, trust and security standards.

"NSW is the most digitally advanced jurisdiction in Australia and has already delivered popular digital products such as the Digital Driver Licence. This is what smart governments do – remove paperwork, save people time and put the customer at the centre."

Attorney General Mark Speakman said community consultation is currently underway, with a focus on schools, junior sports, and Government agencies.

"It's crucial to make any Digital Birth Certificate a highly secure document that is easy to authenticate and protected from fraudsters and criminals," Mr Speakman said.

"That's why we are carefully co-designing this proposal with the community to help prevent identity theft and crime."

A birth certificate opens the doors to schooling, health and other vital government services. It's also needed for a range of life events including applying for a driver's licence and getting a bank account.

Mr Speakman said key priorities for the national project team will be privacy and ensuring any potential solution is accessible to disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

"This would be a world-first. Nowhere else in the world provides a holistic digital solution to identity establishment, verification, authentication and management. We're excited by the prospect of filling this gap," Mr Speakman said.

Find out how you can 'Have your say' on the proposed Digital Birth Certificate.

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