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Director IDs: What directors need to know

Key takeouts

  • Australia’s Director identification Number (DIN) regime came into effect on 1 November 2021, requiring all Australian directors (under the corporations Act and including corporate trustees of self managed super funds) to register for an identification number.
  • Those appointed as a director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will need to apply for a Director ID within 28 days of their appointment.

The deadlines by which all other eligible directors will need to have a Director ID are longer.

  • Eligible directors who fail to meet their Director ID obligations could be issued with an infringement notice or face civil or criminal penalties.
  • Directors unable to apply within the required timeframe are able to apply for an extension using the form now available on the ABRS website.

What is a Director ID?

A Director ID is a unique 15 digit numerical identifier that will be assigned to each eligible director (upon a one-off application by the director) as proof of their identity.

Directors will then keep their Director ID regardless of whether they change companies, change their name, cease to be a director or move interstate/overseas. This will make it easier to trace directors’ relationships with companies over time.

The primary aim of the new requirement is to make it easier to track unlawful activity, including phoenix activity, though it’s also expected that it will have other benefits. For example: it is expected to reduce time/cost for administrators and liquidators by making it simpler to track directors and their corporate history.

Once directors receive their Director ID they will need to supply it to the record holder of their company (eg company secretary) and, if appointed as a director to other companies in future, will need to supply it to the record holder of that company.

The DIN is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) but created through the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).

Who needs a DIN?

Directors (or alternate directors acting in that capacity) will need to apply for a DIN if they are a director of either:

  • a company, a registered Australian body (or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act. This includes directors of a corporate trustee of self managed super funds (SMSF); or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the CATSI Act

Timeframes for registration

The deadline for submitting a Director ID application differs according to the date at which directors were appointed.

For Corporation Act directors:

On or before 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Before appointment

For Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act directors:

On or before 31 October 2022 By 30 November 2023
From 1 November 2022 Before appointment


Directors who are unable to apply by the relevant deadline can apply for an extension using this ABRS form.

Penalties for non-compliance

Eligible directors who fail to meet their Director ID obligations could be issued with an infringement notice or face civil or criminal penalties.

Applications are now open

  • The Director ID application process opened on 1 November 2021. Directors, and those wishing to apply before their appointment, are required to make the application themselves.
  • There are three methods of submitting an application: 1) online, 2) over the phone or 3) in paper form.
  • Generally, Australian directors located within Australia can elect to use any of these methods, according to preference. The ABRS website makes clear that applying online is the quickest method.
  • Foreign directors will generally need to submit an application in paper form, or (depending on whether they are able to supply the necessary identity documents to support their application), over the phone. A high level overview of the requirements is below.

Applying online

Directors eligible for a myGovID are able to apply online via the ABRS website.

In order to apply online Directors will need to have a standard or strong identity strength myGovID. In addition, the application process also requires the following other information as proof of identity:

  • residential address (as recorded by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO))
  • specific information as proof of identify from two of the following: bank account details, an ATO notice of assessment, super account details, a dividend statement, a Centrelink payment summary, and/or PAYG payment summary.

Directors also have the option, but are not required, to supply their individual Australian Tax file number (TFN). According to the ABRS website, supplying a TFN will speed up the application process.

You can find more detail around the specific identity information required to support an online application on the ABRS website here.

Applying over the phone

In order to apply over the phone, Directors will need to provide the same information as is required to apply online (with the exception of a myGovID), as well as certain other additional other information as proof of identity including (among other things): specific details from either a Medicare card or an Australian driver’s licence/learner’s permit.

The information provided must match in the information held by the ATO. You can find further details about the requirements for phone applications on the ABRS website.

Paper applications

If Directors are unable to supply the identity documents required to apply using other methods, they will need to submit an application in paper form attaching certified copies of certain additional proofs of identity. In practice, this means that foreign directors located outside Australia will need to apply in paper form.

Details of which documents are required to support paper applications from Directors applying from within Australia and Directors applying from overseas can be found on the ABRS website.

Published On: November 26th, 2021Categories: Uncategorized