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Director Identification Numbers (Director IDs) are now here. We take a look at what directors need to know about Director IDs, and when they can apply.

  • Director ID applications open from November 2021. Existing directors will have until 30 November 2022 to apply, while new directors appointed between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will need to apply for a Director ID within 28 days of their appointment. Penalties apply for not having a Director ID.
  • Director ID requires a myGovID which is separate from the MyGov account used to access Commonwealth services such as Medicare.
  • Director IDs must be personally applied for by directors and are subject to proof of identity requirements.

What is a Director Identification Number?

A Director ID is a unique 15-digit numerical identifier that will be assigned to eligible directors as proof of their identity based on a one-time application. Directors will keep their Director ID forever, regardless of whether they change directorships, change names or move overseas.

The Director ID requirement is a component of the Government’s Modernising Business Registers Program (MBR Program) aimed at preventing the use of fraudulent director identities and making it easier to track unlawful activity, including phoenix activity. 

The Director ID regime will be administered by Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS), a newly established function of the ATO.

Strict rules will apply to how director IDs can be used. For now, the ABRS advises that Director IDs will not be searchable by the public.

Who needs to have a Director ID?

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

  • a company, which will have an Australian company number (ACN);
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • a corporate trustee, for example, of a self-managed super fund;
  • a charity or not-for-profit organisation that is a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation;
  • registered Australian body, which will have an Australian Registered Body Number (ABRN). 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
  • a foreign company registered with ASIC and carrying on business in Australia (regardless of where that individual lives).

A Director ID is not required for those who are:

  • a company secretary but not a director;
  • acting as an external administrator of a company; or
  • running their business as a sole trader or partnership.

For further information on who needs to apply for a Director ID, see the AICD’s FAQ page here.

When do I need to apply for a Director ID?

When eligible directors must apply for their Director ID depends on the date that individual becomes a director:

Existing Directors

  • Existing directors under the Corporations Act, or who are appointed as a director on/before 31 October 2021, will have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
  • Existing directors under the CATSI Act, who are appointed on or before 31 October 2022, will have until 30 November 2023 to apply.

New Directors

  • Individuals appointed as a director under the Corporations Act between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 will need to apply for a Director ID within 28 days of their appointment as a director.
  • Individuals appointed as a director under the Corporations Act after from 5 April 2022 will need to apply for a Director ID prior to their appointment.
  • Individuals appointed as a director under the CATSI Act from 1 November 2022 will need to have applied for a Director ID prior to their appointment.  

Importantly, eligible directors who fail to apply for their Director ID by these deadlines could be issued with an infringement notice or face civil or criminal penalties.  

How do I apply?

Directors can start to apply for their Director ID from 1 November on the ABRS website.

In the meantime, in order to prepare to make an application from November 2021, the ABRS recommends that eligible directors set up their myGovID if they have not already done so.

It is important to note that MyGovID is different to MyGov, which is commonly used to access existing services from the ATO or Medicare. The ABRS website has more information about setting up a myGovID here.

Directors must apply for their own Director ID, as there are proof of identity requirements that cannot be completed on an individual’s behalf (including by authorised tax or ASIC agents, although agents may assist their clients understand the new requirement and provide support around how and when to apply).

To complete the Director ID application online, individuals will need their tax file number, residential address and other personal details, such as a recent dividend statement or superannuation account details. There will also be the option of applying over the phone or via mail. There is no cost for applying.

Further information

The ABRS website provides further information to assist directors in understanding the new requirement and how to apply for a Director ID.

We will continue to update the AICD’s Director ID resources page with further information on what directors need to do, and by when.

For now, if you are an eligible director and do not already have a myGovID, you can get ready for applications opening and set your myGovID up here.