Director ID Numbers

All Directors are required to register for Director IDs – a unique identification number that they will keep for life, much like a tax file number.

The introduction of the Director Identification Number (DIN) regime is part of the Government’s Modernisation of Business Registers (MBR) Program, designed to create greater transparency.

Under the new regime, all directors need to have their identity confirmed when they consent to being a director.

You will then keep this number permanently, even if you cease to be a director. The number will not be issued to another person. The result is an ID system that traces a director’s relationships across companies, enabling better tracking of directors of failed companies and prevents the use of false identities and phoenixing.

Who will need a Director ID?

The Director Identification Number is very broad and introduces the concept of an ‘eligible officer’.

An eligible officer is a director who:

  • is appointed to the position of director, or is appointed to the position of an alternate director and is acting in that capacity (regardless of the name that is given to that position); or
  • any other officer of the registered body who is an officer of a kind prescribed by the regulations.

The definition picks up the concept of ‘shadow directors’ who act in the capacity of directors through influence and control but are not directors by title. So it is feasible that someone who is not a director but is seen to be making decisions on behalf of the company can be held to account.

An eligible officer is a director of a:

  • company
  • registered foreign company
  • registered Australian body under the Corporations Act such as an association or a charity, or
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation (which are registered under the CATSI Act).

Directors need to apply for Director IDs through the Australian Business Register system through their myGov account. If you do not have a myGov account, it would be a good idea to create an account and become familiar with how it works, and set up your myGovID.

When you register, you will need to declare that the information you have provided is true and correct, you are or will be an eligible officer within 12 months, and you do not have an existing Director ID (or applied for one). 

The table below outlines the regulations for existing and proposed Directors when dealing with Director IDs.

Date you became a DirectorDate you must apply for your DIN
On or before 31 October 2021By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022Before appointment
Source: Acis

Existing Directors that were appointed before 1 November 2021 will have until 30 November 2022 to acquire a DIN (30 November 2023 for directors of corporations under CATSI). If someone became a Director between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022, they will have 28 days to apply for a DIN from the time of their appointment. From 5 April 2022, you will need to have a DIN prior to being appointed as a director.

Unlike the existing system that merely registers information, the new regime will verify a director’s information and may utilise other sources of information such as your driver’s license and/or link to your client record held by the ATO.

How to set up your Director ID:

Please note that your tax agent cannot apply for a Director ID on your behalf. It must be done yourself.

Step 1: You will need a myGovID to begin the process. You can read our guide to setting up a myGovID here. If you don’t have a myGovID you can apply via phone

Step 2: You will also need to gather your tax file number, your residential address (as held by the ATO) and two other identity documents such as a Notice of Assessment, Super or Bank Account details or PAYG Payment Summary. These identity documents need to match the details the ATO has on file for you.

Step 3: Complete your application online using your myGovID.

Step 4: Let your accountant/tax agent know by forwarding the PDF that details your Director ID Number information. We don’t receive a notification when you get a Director ID, so it’s very important that you forward your Director ID Number and any confirmation documents to us for our records. 

If your personal information in myGov doesn’t exactly match other Government records, there may be additional steps involved in the process. If your application is unsuccessful for this reason, please get in touch with us

A full list of the the step by step guide is also available on the ABRS website.

Non-compliance Penalties:

Regulators will be able to enforce the law with civil penalties if someone fails to obtain a Director ID within the set timeframe. The penalties include:

  • $13,200 fines for criminal offence
  • Fines up to $1,100,000 if the court thinks it is appropriate to apply a penalty.

The failure to register for Director IDs when required is a strict liability and the regulator does not have to prove fault, they will simply issue an infringement notice.