Selected NSW providers enrolled in digital birth certificate trial
The Sector > Provider > General News > Selected ECEC providers part of digital birth certificate trial for NSW

Selected ECEC providers part of digital birth certificate trial for NSW

by Freya Lucas

April 18, 2024

Families with children enrolled, or seeking to be enrolled in Affinity Education Group, KU or TAFE NSW early childhood settings will be part of a new trial of digital birth certificates as part of a broader rollout of digital identity systems by both the NSW and Commonwealth governments.


Open to the parents of more than 18,000 children accessing the service providers listed above, the trial will explore the benefits of having a digital birth certificate when it comes to ‘everyday’ moments in a child’s life such as enrolling in early childhood services, registering for junior sport, accessing a unique student identifier number, or applying for a loan. 


The new technology is an Australian first and is being delivered by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, supported by the Department of Customer Service.


Rather than replacing the traditional paper version of birth certificates, NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages’ Theresa Fairman explained, the certificates are intended as ‘another option’ for NSW residents. 


“Digital birth certificates will sit alongside the paper certificate, but provide customers with another option when they need to present this document,” she said.


“Under legislation, the NSW Government has enshrined its equal legal status to the paper document, making it easier and more attractive for businesses and other government agencies to come on board and start accepting the digital birth certificate as part of a future rollout.”


The NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages currently issues more than 210,000 paper certificates each year, including 120,000 re-issues due to loss or damage. Between 2019 and 2022, more than 12,500 replacement certificates were ordered following natural disasters like fires and floods.


Offering a digital version of a birth certificate, Acting Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Penny Sharpe said, would offer additional security to people living in disaster-prone areas.


“The rollout of the Digital Birth Certificate is a milestone in the state’s journey to improving digital identity credentials,” she said.


“This will be incredibly valuable in times of disaster, giving people one less thing to worry about if their physical birth certificate is damaged or destroyed.


“In the future, it could also be used for everything from school enrolments to passport applications, paving the way for secure and convenient digital solutions.”


A birth certificate is one of the few high-value identity documents available to people who are blind or have low vision, and as part of the pilot phase around 100 Vision Australia members will also have the opportunity to test the product’s accessibility features.


The Digital Birth Certificate app has been designed so it can be used in future by anyone born in NSW, and includes accessibility features such as large text, voice-over and the ability to use external keyboards across both iOS and Android apps.


The digital birth certificate will inbuilt security features including a hologram, timestamp and identity proofing features.


It will be hosted in a standalone app which allows the certificate to be viewed in ‘preview’ mode. This omits non-essential personal information, but still allows its use as an identity document.


Users can create a personal account in the app which is secured with multi-factor authentication, a six-digit PIN and biometrics like face or touch ID. 


For more information about Digital Birth Certificates please see here


Image shows NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello with the a prototype of a digital birth certificate.

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