Taking your photo
Roads and Maritime Services is authorised under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998 and the Photo Card Act 2005 to take and use photos of people it issues with photo cards. This includes holders of and applicants for:
- Driver and rider licences
- NSW Photo Cards
- Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) cards
- Firearms and Security Industry licences
Roads and Maritime Services strictly controls the use of and access to your photo, in line with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998 .
Facial Recognition System
All photographs in the Roads and Maritime Services system are analysed by a facial recognition system (FRS) to check for potential identity fraud. Facial recognition works by measuring the distances between facial features (eg eyes, nose, and mouth), and then comparing the measurements to look for possible duplicates.
In order to ensure the effective detection of possible identity fraud, it is important that the photos we take meet international standards for pose and quality.
See Identity fraud for more information.
When we take your photo, we will ask you to pose according to the following guidelines:
- Sit up straight and look directly at the camera with your eyes open.
- Don’t smile, but have a neutral expression on your face with your mouth closed.
- Remove all glasses and sunglasses, even if you need your glasses for driving.
- Make sure your hair isn’t covering your face, particularly your eyes.
Hats, caps and other headwear
We will ask you to remove hats and caps. Head coverings worn for religious reasons may be worn, but must be adjusted so that your whole face is visible, ie from the bottom of your chin to the top of your forehead and both edges of your face. There should also be no shadows cast on your face. Hair accessories are acceptable provided they do not obstruct the view of any facial feature.
Exemptions from having your photo taken
In some exceptional circumstances, a temporary exemption from having your photo taken may be granted for medical reasons. An interim driver licence payment receipt will be issued. No photo licence will be issued until a photo is taken. Mobility Parking Scheme applicants may also be exempt from having a photo taken under certain circumstances. Phone Roads and Maritime Services Contact Centre on 13 22 13 for information, or go to your nearest registry.
There are no photo exemptions for other types of photo cards.