The director identification number (director ID) was introduced on 1 November 2021 in the government’s efforts to prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. This unique 15-digit identifier is given to a director who has verified their identity with the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
Why do you need a director ID?
The launch of the director ID was part of the Government’s Modernisation of Business Registers (MBR) Program. Aside from helping to prevent the use of false director identities, this initiative is eyed to prevent director involvement in unlawful activities and make it easier for external administrators and regulators to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.
Who needs a director ID?
All directors are mandated by law to verify their identity and apply for a director ID. Note that only company directors can apply for their own director ID and no one can apply on their behalf. The director ID stays with the director for a lifetime regardless of whether they stopped being a director or transferred to another company.
You need a director ID if you are a director of any of the following:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation
- Corporate trustee
- Charity or not-for-profit organisation
- Registered Australian body registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- Foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia
When do you need to apply for a director ID?
Different deadlines are set for the application for director ID, depending on the date you become a director.
For Corporations Act directors, you must:
- Apply for a director ID by 30 November 2022 if you became a director on or before 31 October 2021
- Apply for a director ID within 28 days of appointment if you became a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022
- Apply for a director ID before your appointment if you become a director from 5 April 2022
For CATSI Act directors you must:
- Apply for a director ID by 30 November 2023 if you become a director on or before 31 October 2022
- Apply for a director ID before your appointment if you become a director from 1 November 2022
How to apply for a director ID
Directors who wish to apply for a director ID can do it online using the myGovID app. This application is downloadable on both Android and iOS devices.
Step 1: Set up your myGovID
Download the app and get a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength. Those living outside Australia may need to apply with a paper form and submit certified copies of their identity documents.
Step 2: Prepare your documents
The following are needed to apply for a director ID:
- Tax file number (TFN)
- Residential address as held by the ATO
- Information from any two of the following to verify your identity (bank account details, ATO notice of assessment, super account details, dividend statement, Centrelink payment summary, PAYG payment summary)
Step 3: Complete your application
You may now log in and apply for a director ID on the ABRS website. Use the same email you used to create your myGovID account. Your director ID will be issued immediately after entering all the necessary information.
Getting a director ID is part of your obligations as a director. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and is punishable by law under the Corporations Act. If you have any questions regarding this new legislation or you need assistance in setting up your own director ID, you may reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.