Mandatory Director ID Initiative

Executive Summary

  • From 1 November 2021, directors of Australian corporations will be required to be registered under the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) Department with a Director Identification Number (DIN).
  • Directors appointed to Australian corporations prior to 1 November 2022 must eventually obtain a DIN by 30 November 2022 (that is unless such a director is appointed to another company prior to then, in which case that director will need to apply for a DIN on or before their appointment to that other company).
  • Australian resident directors must have a myGovID before they can apply for a DIN.
  • Foreign directors of Australian corporations will also be required to obtain their own DIN within the same timeframes as summarised above.
  • This measure is designed to safeguard all company stakeholders from fraudulent and unlawful director activities.


In June of last year, new legislation was passed that will require new and current directors to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN) which is unique and permanent (that is, the DIN will be active even after the individual ceases to be a director), similar to that of a tax file number.

The measure is designed to be a traceable outlook of a director’s association across all companies, allowing better monitoring of directors of unsuccessful companies and will prevent the use of fabricated identities.

Additionally, the measure will significantly limit the number of illegal phoenixing activity (whereby directors wind up a company to avoid legal recourse of its outstanding debts, only to incorporate a new company to carry out the same business without those prior debts).


From 1 November 2021, the DIN application has been made available to all new and current directors. The requirement to apply for a DIN is dependent on when you were appointed as a director, as summarised below:

Date of Appointment Application Requirement 
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

Under the regime, any director who does not register for a DIN within the listed timeframe may be issued with an infringement notice or face criminal or civil penalties.

Australian Resident Directors Applying for a DIN

In order to apply for a DIN, individuals must first possess an active myGovID account, an identification tool which grants Australian individuals access to a number of online Australian Government platforms.

After obtaining a MyGovID account, an individual may apply for a DIN by using the new Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) platform.

This full process must be completed by the individual director, and not through a third-party.

Foreign Directors

Foreign directors of Australian corporations will need to lodge a paper application and provide the following documentation:

  1. A certified copy of one primary document – for example, a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport; and
  2. A certified copy of one secondary document – for example, a national photo ID, driver’s license.

Only the following individuals are authorised to certify identification documents outside of Australia:

Only the following individuals are authorised to certify identification documents outside of Australia:

  • Notary publics; and
  • Staff at the nearest Australian embassy, high commission, or consulate – including any consulate lead by Austrade honorary consuls.

Any identification document not written in English must be translated into English. All translations must be completed through an approved translation service. These translations are required as a supplement to a certified copy of the identification documents in their original language.

The paper application is available through the ABRS website.


The new regime is expecting to cover over 2.5 million directors, roughly 10% of Australia’s national population as announced by the Treasury last month.

Whether you are a foreign or Australian director, please contact us if you have any further questions regarding your officeholding, the DIN or other corporate governance issues.

Ciaran Simpson
Senior Client Services Coordinator