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New ID requirement for directors

Under new legislation introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) in June 2021, all company directors will soon be required to verify their identity via a unique “Director Identification Number”.

What is a "Director Identification Number"?

A Director Identification Number (DIN) is a unique identifier that a director will apply for once and keep forever – which will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities.

Who needs a DIN?

You need to apply for a DIN if you're a director of a:

  • company;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund;
  • charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • registered Australian body, for example, an incorporated association that is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and trades outside the state or territory in which it is incorporated; or
  • foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where you live).

When do I need to apply for a DIN?

When you must apply for a DIN depends on when you were appointed as a director:

  • Existing directors (at 31 October 2021) have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
  • New directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 must apply within 28 days of their appointment.
  • From 5 April 2022, intending directors must apply before being appointed.

The Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) will be responsible for administering the director ID initiative. 

ASIC will be responsible for enforcing director ID offences set out in the Corporations Act 2001. 

 How do I apply for a DIN?

Directors will need to apply for their own DIN. The fastest way to do this is online using the myGovID app. As part of the application process you will need to provide the following information:

  • your tax file number (TFN);
  • your residential address as held by the ATO; and
  • information from two documents to verify your identity.

Examples of the documents you can use to verify your identity include:

  • bank account details;
  • an ATO notice of assessment;
  • super account details;
  • a dividend statement;
  • a Centrelink payment summary; or
  • a PAYG payment summary (this is different to your income statement, and/or your PAYG instalment activity statement).

Once you have your director ID, you can view, update and manage your details online at any time.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

ASIC’s enforcement role with respect to these new laws will cover four new director ID offences under the Corporations Act 2001, including:

  1. Failure to have a director ID when required to do so.
  2. Failure to apply for a director ID when directed by the Registrar.
  3. Applying for multiple director IDs.
  4. Misrepresenting director ID.

Under the scheme, there are both civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance.

The ABRS has indicated that it is committed to providing support and guidance to directors to assist them to understand and meet their director ID obligations.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like to discuss in greater detail how you and your company can ensure compliance with these new identification and DIN requirements for directors.

Article written by David Callaghen (Partner) and Ari Tooth

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."