Australia’s Director Identification Number (DIN) regime came into effect on 1 November 2021 and will require Australian resident and non-resident directors to register for a Director identification number (Director ID).
A Director ID is a 15 digit identifier that, once issued, will remain with you for life regardless of whether you stop being a director, change companies, change your name or move overseas.
The DIN is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) but created through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
For those concerned about their privacy, the Director ID will not be searchable by the public and will not be disclosed without the consent of the Director.
Important to note: directors must apply for their Director ID themselves because they will need to verify their identity.
Who needs a director ID?
All directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will need a Director ID. This includes directors of a corporate trustee of self-managed super funds (SMSF).
For more information on the impact and rollout of Director IDs, please refer to our previous article – Introduction of Director IDs.
Foreign directors of Australian companies have the same requirements and deadlines as Australian resident directors, however, the verification process is different. Please see section below titled “Australian Non-Residents: How to set up a Director ID” for your specific instructions.
Australian Residents: How to set up a Director ID
To establish a Director ID, you will need to verify your identity and ensure that this information matches the records held by the ATO.
1. Verify your identity
If you establish your Director ID online, and you have not already set up myGovID, you will need to download the app onto your phone or device and create an account.
The myGovID does not create your Director ID – the app’s only purpose is to validate your identity, and once validated, issue a code that can be used to identify you on government online services without going through the same verification process.
myGovID uses your phone/device’s camera to scan your forms of identification such as your passport, driver’s licence and/ or visa to validate who you say you are. Be careful when you are scanning your documentation as the system does not always read the scan correctly.
You can check the documentation requirements here
2. Apply for your Director ID through ABRS
In addition to your myGovID, you will need to have on hand documentation that matches the information held by the ATO. If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you can find the details on your profile. You will need:
- Your tax file number
- The residential address held on file by the ATO; and
Two documents that verify your identity such as:
- Your bank account details held by the ATO (on your myGov ATO account, see ‘my profile/financial institution details’)
- Dividend statement investment reference number
- Notice of assessment (NOA) – date of issue and the reference number (on your myGov ATO account, see Tax/lodgements/income tax/history)
- The gross amount from your PAYG payment summary
- Superannuation details including your super fund’s ABN and your member account number
The final stage requests your personal contact details (not the company’s).
Once complete, your Director ID will be issued immediately on screen. This information should be provided to your company secretary or office holder.
If any of your details change, for example a change of residential address or phone number, you will need to update your details through the ABR. You will also need to notify your company within seven days (14 days for CATSI Act directors) and the company will then need to notify the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) within 28 days.
Applying by phone or using paper forms
You can choose to verify your identity and apply for your Director ID by phone (13 62 50) or on paper (find the paper form here ). You will need to have your identification documents available (see the list here). If you are applying using the paper form, your identity documentation will need to be certified by an authorised certifier such as a Barrister, Justice of the Peace etc.
Australian Non-Residents: How to set up a Director ID
All foreign directors of Australian companies are required to apply for their director ID using the paper form (Australian resident directors can apply online).
The Director identification application form is accessible here:
The application form will need to be accompanied by copies of one primary and one secondary form of identification that have been certified by a notary publics or by staff at the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls.These include:
|Primary identification||– Foreign birth certificate
– Foreign passport
– Australian full birth certificate (extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
– Australian passport (including passports that have expired in the past two years)
|Secondary identification||– National photo identification card
– Foreign government identification
– Driver’s licence, as long as the licence address matches the address details on your application
– Marriage certificate, but if you use this document to verify your change of name, you can’t use it as a secondary document
If you have changed your name, you must also provide another document showing the change such as a marriage certificate, deed poll or change of name certificate.
Certifying your identification documents
In your presence, the authorised certifier must:
- Certify that each copy is a true and correct copy of the original document by sighting the original document;
- Stamp, sign and annotate the copy of the identity document stating, ‘I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true and correct copy of the original document sighted’;
- Initial each page listing their name, date of certification, phone number and position.
If your country is party to the Hague Apostille Convention, you can ask the competent authority in your country to certify a copy of your documents by using an apostille.
The list of Australian embassy and consulates is available here:
Translations required for identity documents not in English
If your identification documents are not in English, they will need to be accompanied by a translation. Translations must be completed by an approved translation service and certified as a true and correct copy. Each translation should display an official stamp (or similar) that shows the certifier’s accreditation.
Once completed, the identification application form and the accompanying certified copies of your identification documents need to be sent by mail to ABRS using the details provided on the form.
If we can assist you with the application process or with any questions you have about the regime, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Share this article on LinkedIn: