Smart drivers licences' days may be numbered

QUEENSLANDERS could see their new smart card drivers' licences scaled back as the State Government investigates how to combat a cost blow-out.

The smart card drivers' licence system was implemented in 2010 under the former Labor government.

The cards were initially spruiked for their new technology and security features, including an information chip which stored personal information.

As a result of the shiny new cards, Queenslanders were expected to see the cost of a driver's licence rise to $152 by 2014-2015.

But the cards failed to impress the incoming LNP Government, which is looking at scaling back the two-year-old cards.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson told an Estimates hearing on Thursday morning (18/10), the smart card licence system had cost $140 million and three loans to fund.

"TMR is currently investigating scaling back the embedded smart card technology," he said.

"But it is not going to be easy because of what the previous government did in the course of their bungling of the new Queensland drivers' licence."

Mr Emerson said the first loan would be paid off by June 2018 while the final $54.707 million loan would not be paid off until 2037.

"A quarter of a century before we pay off the final loan for Labor's failed implementation of the new Queensland driver's licence," he said.

Mr Emerson said over 1.3 million new technology licences had been delivered out of the existing 3.2 million customers.

The Auditor-General Glenn Poole found in his review of the licence system last year the scheme had experienced delays and cost blow-outs.