Understanding Australia’s NEW Director Identification Number (Director ID)

The Australian Business Registry Services is an ATO governing department established to bring together the Australian Business Register (ABR) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers into a single registry, in order to streamline how businesses register, view and maintain their business information with the government.

The ABRS will introduce and maintain the Director Identification Numbers.

Here is what you need to know.

1. Director identification number definition

The Director Identification Number is a 15 digit unique identifier that will help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities with the new registry services of the ABRS. This will make it easier to trace Director’s relationships with companies, identify and eliminate their involvement in illegal activities such as illegal phoenix activity. It safeguards your identity and reduces the chance of identity fraud.

All Directors will be required under the law to apply for a Director ID.

A Director ID will only be given to an individual who has verified their identity with the registrar of the ABRS.

An individual will only need to apply for a Director ID once and will keep it forever even if they change companies, stop being a Director, change their name or move interstate or overseas.

Individuals will need to apply for their own Director ID. Agents or advisors cannot apply for a Director ID on behalf of a client.

2. Who must obtain a director ID

You need a director ID if you’re an eligible officer of:

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

An eligible officer is a person who is appointed as:

  • a director
  • an alternate director who is acting in that capacity

You don’t need a director ID if you’re:

  • a company secretary but not a director
  • acting as an external administrator of a company
  • running a business as a sole trader or partnership
  • referred to as a ‘director’ in your job title but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or the CATSI Act
  • a director of a registered charity with an organisation type that is not registered with ASIC to operate throughout Australia
  • an officer of an unincorporated association, cooperative or incorporated association established under state or territory legislation, unless the organisation is also a registered Australian body.

Find out more on who needs to apply and when, at the Australian Business Registry Services site.

3. When you need to apply

Starting in November 2021 you must apply for a director ID if you meet the director criteria outlined above. Your deadline depends on the date you became a director. If you became a director under the Corporations Act, then:

  • On or before 31 October 2021, you must apply by 30 November 2022
  • Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, you must apply within 28 days of appointment
  • From 5 April 2022 on, you must apply before appointment.

If you became a director under the CATSI Act, then:

  • On or before 31 Oct 2022, you must apply by 30 November 2023
  • From 1 November 2022, you must apply before appointment

For more information on the CATSI Act, visit the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) websiteExternal link

4. How to apply

The fastest way to do this is online using the myGovID app.

To apply:

  1. Set up your myGovID – don’t have a myGovID, you can find information on how to download the app at How to set up myGovID
  2. Gather your documents, including your tax file number (TFN), your residential address – information from two documents to verify your identity.
  3. Login to ABRS and apply – The application process should take less than 5 minutes.

How to apply if you cannot get a myGovID:

If you can’t get a myGovID with a Standard or Strong identity strength, the best way to apply for a director ID will depend on your situation.

Apply by phone:

You can apply by phone if you have:

When you have the information you need to apply, contact us.

Apply with a paper form:

If you can’t apply online or over the phone, you can apply using a downloadable form – Application for a director identification number (NAT75329, PDF, 306KB). This is a slower process and you will also need to provide certified copies of your documents to verify your identity. If you have issues completing the form, you can find help on our Accessibility page.

It is free to apply for your director identification number, but you must apply for your own number and verify your identity. No one else can apply for the ID on your behalf.

Final thoughts

For more information on the director identification number, visit the Australian Business Registry Services or the Australian Government Australian Taxation Office on Modernising Business Registers site with a full overview of the Director Identification Number process.