All directors of Australian companies and registered bodies will soon be required to apply for and hold a Director ID Number or DIN.
Strict penalties will apply for failing to comply with the requirement, so existing and would-be directors should take steps to ensure they meet the requirements as the regime is phased in.
Timing of the Rollout
The Director ID Number regime is being progressively rolled out between and . (Extended deadlines apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations)
From , an individual must have applied for a Director ID before they are appointed as new a director of a company.
Existing directors must also apply for a DIN, but the deadline for doing so depends on when they were appointed to the directorship of the relevant company.
For more information about the Director ID Number regime, and the deadlines, please read this related post.
How to Apply for your DIN
If you are eligible to hold a Director ID, you'll need to follow the process below to apply for your DIN. Unfortunately, the process involves many steps, and generally requires access to your own smartphone or tablet.
Importantly, the DIN process can only be completed by the individual director personally. It is not possible for an agent (such as a lawyer, accountant or tax agent) to apply for a DIN on anyone's behalf.
While it is possible to apply for a DIN on paper or over the phone, this guide only covers the online steps. Foreign directors without access to Australian identity documents may need to apply for their DIN over the phone or by using the paper process.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
An individual is eligible to apply for a DIN if they are, or intend to become, a Director (including an Alternate Director) of an Australian company.
However, you will not be eligible to apply for a DIN if:
- you are not eligible to be a director (eg individuals aged under 18 years)
- you are disqualitified from acting as a director of a company (either in Australia or overseas); or
- you already hold a DIN (it is an offence to knowingly apply for more than one DIN).
Step 2: Gather the Identity Verification Documents you'll need
Before you begin, you'll need access to the following documents or information.
To set up the myGovID App (if not already completed), you'll need two or more of the following Australian identity documents:
- Australian driver's licence or learner's permit
- Australian passport (current or expired within the last 3 years)
- Australian government-issued foreign visa
- Australian citizenship certificate
- Medicare Card
- Australian state or territory government-issued birth certificate
To apply for your DIN, you'll need the following documents and information:
- Australian tax file number (TFN)
- Residential Address (matching your records held by the ATO)
- Information from two or more of the following:
- bank account details
- ATO Notice of Assessment
- superannuation account details
- dividend statement
- Centrelink payment summary
- PAYG payment summary
Step 3: Set up and activate the myGovID App
If you have already set up the myGovID App, you can skip to the next step.
The myGovID App is an Australian Government identification service which can be used to sign in to many government websites and portals. (The myGovID App is not the same as the well-known myGov portal.)
To set up your myGovID, you will need to download and install the myGovID App on your smartphone or tablet.
The myGovID App must be linked to an active email address (Note: The government recommends using a private email to which you will have permanent access, rather than using a shared email address or an email address provided by your employer or internet service provider).
Once the app is installed, create an account using your full name and date of birth. (Note: The name you provide should exactly match the details in your ATO records.)
Initially, the myGovID Account will have Basic "Identity Strength". To apply for a DIN, you will need to update the "Identity Strength" to at least Standard.
This can be done by verifying at least two identity documents from the list at Step 2 above.
Visit the myGovID website for further details and instructions to download and set up the myGovID App.
Step 4: Apply for your DIN
Once your myGovID App is set up, you can apply for your DIN.
DIN Applications are processed by Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS).
- To begin, visit the ABRS Website.
Click Apply for your director ID.
Then scroll down, and click Apply now with myGovID.
- Launching the application will require you to sign-in with your myGovID App.
On the first screen, enter your email address and click Login to continue.
- You will then see a myGovID App code prompt.
Open the myGovID App on your smartphone or device and enter the code to complete your log in.
You will then be taken back to the DIN Application.
(Note: If you already hold a DIN, the application will display an error message. You are not able to apply for multiple DINs.)
- Accept the terms and conditions of use and privacy notice.
- ABRS will confirm your full name and date of birth against the ATO Records.
- Enter verification information from your documents (See Step 2 above)
- Confirm your eligiblity to hold a DIN and acknowledgement of Corporations Act obligations.
- Confirm your full name and date of birth. Then enter any previous names and your country and place of birth.
Enter your residential address details.
Enter a preferred postal address (if different from your residential address).
Enter your contact details (phone numbers and email address).
- When complete your Director ID Number will be displayed. Make sure to keep a copy in your records.
Finally, check the declaration and click Submit.
Step 5: Using your DIN
Once you have your DIN, you should keep it secure in a safe place. A DIN is sensitive information, so it should be treated confidentially. Your DIN should only be disclosed to trusted persons. Offences and penalties may apply to misuse of DIN information.
You may need to notify any existing companies to which you are appointed that you have applied for and hold a DIN. They may ask you to provide them with a copy.
If you are appointed as a director of a new company, you may be asked to confirm that you hold a DIN and/or provide the company with a copy.
Remember that the usual director obligations continue to apply, including the requirement to adhere to statutory directors' duties, and notify the company, ASIC and/or other government agencies of any changes or updates to your contact details.
The ATO has released a Video with further guidance.
Cover Image Credit: Jan Huber via Unsplash.