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Director Identification Number required from November 2021

As part of the 2020 Budget Digital Business Plan, the Government announced the full implementation of the Modernising Business Registers (MBR) program.  The MBR program will establish the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) and streamline how you register, view and maintain your business information with the Government.


The ABRS will:

  • progressively roll out between 2021 and 2024;
  • introduce the Director identification number (Director ID) initiative; and
  • bring together more than 30 ASIC registers and the Australian Business Register (ABR) into a single platform.


From November 2021, Directors will need to verify their identity as part of a new Director ID requirement.  A Director ID is a unique identifier that a Director will only need to apply for once, and the Director will keep their same ID number regardless of whether they

  • change companies;
  • stop being a Director;
  • change their name; or
  • move interstate or overseas.


The overall objective of this program is to help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities and, in particular, to directly tackle potential phoenix activities.

Who needs a Director ID?

You will need a Director ID number if you are an eligible officer of:

  • a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001; or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

How do you apply for a Director ID?

Directors must apply for their Director ID themselves because they will need to verify their identity.  No one can apply on their behalf.


Step 1:  Set up a myGovID

You will need a 'standard' or 'strong' identity strength myGovID to apply for your Director ID online.  If you:

  • do not have a myGovID, you can find information on how to download the app at https://www.mygovid.gov.au/set-up
  • have a myGovID, you do not need to do anything further at Step 1, and in November you can apply for your Director ID following the next Steps.


Step 2:  Gather your documents

You will need some information the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can confirm against your details when you apply for your Director ID, such as:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • your residential address as held by the ATO; or
  • answers to two questions based on details the ATO will know about you from the following documents.


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
  • PAYG payment summary.


Step 3:  Complete your application

Once you have a 'standard' or 'strong' identity strength myGovID, and your documents, from November 2021 you can go to the ABRS website (click here) and apply for your Director ID.  The application process should take less than 5 minutes.


If you can not get a myGovID, you can also apply for your Director ID using some alternative methods:

  • Apply by phone, from November 2021, if you have:
    • a TFN; and
    • the other documents (listed above) needed to verify your identity.
  • Apply with a paper form, if you can not apply online or over the phone, where you will also need to provide certified copies of documents to verify your identity.  This is expected to be the slowest method of application process.  A downloadable application form will be available on the ABRS website in November 2021.


For full details of the application process, you can visit the ABRS website here.

When will you use your Director ID?

When you receive your Director ID, you need to pass it on to your company record-holder, which may include your company secretary, another director, contact person or an authorised agent of the company.


If you are appointed as a Director of any other companies, in the future, you also need to give your Director ID to the people responsible for maintaining the records of those companies.

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

While the ABRS is responsible for the implementation and administration of Director ID program, ASIC will be responsible for the enforcement of any associated offences.


Under the law, Directors who fail to apply for a Director ID within the stipulated time frames (see below) may face criminal or civil penalties of 5,000 penalty units, which currently stands at $1.11 million.


When you must apply for your Director ID depends on the date you become a Director, as follows:


Date you become a Director

Date you must apply

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

Please do not hesitate to contact your Lowe Lippmann Relationship Partner if you wish to discuss any of these matters further.