DIN deadline fast approaching – director identification number mandatory from 30 November 2022

By Oliver Jankowsky, Chris Wright and Anne Utecht

The final deadline to obtain a director identification number (DIN) is creeping up on us. Directors of Australian companies (whether registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006) appointed on or before 31 October 2021 must have applied for a DIN by no later than 30 November 2022.

Directors appointed after 31 October 2021 should already have a DIN.

Please see our previous article, Director Identification Numbers incoming, for further details of the DIN regime, including who needs to apply for a DIN and a more detailed discussion of the obligations the regime imposes.

If you are a director of an Australian company and you do not already have a DIN, you should apply for one now. After 30 November 2022, it is a criminal offence to not have applied for one.

How you have to apply will vary on whether you live inside or outside Australia. We have outlined the high-level process for each scenario below.

Since the purpose of this exercise is to verify your identity, you need to apply for the DIN yourself. Unfortunately, Hall & Wilcox cannot act as your agent. However, we are happy to guide you through the process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Before you apply for your DIN

  1. You will want to make sure that your director information, which is currently on the public register in Australia for each company you are a director of, is correct and up to date.
  2. If there is a discrepancy in this information, the relevant company will need to correct it, and may be required to pay late fees to correct the register.
  3. Discrepancies could consist of:
    3.1. your birth date;
    3.2. your birth place;
    3.3. your birth or current name; and
    3.4. your current address.

Application from directors residing in Australia

If you are residing in Australia and have an Australian tax file number (TFN), as well as at least two Australian identification documents (such as a passport and a Medicare card or a driver’s licence), you can easily apply online via the Australian Registered Businesses Services website. The fastest way to do this is online using the myGovID app to verify your identity.

This process should take you no longer than 10 to 30 minutes, provided you have the above documentation to hand. Setting up a myGovID (if you don’t already have one) takes a similar length of time and again can be done online.

Application from directors residing overseas

Note that the application process for overseas residing directors without the ability to set up a myGovID is more bureaucratic and cumbersome.

You will need to:

  • select two different identification documents (such as a passport, a driver’s licence, a national ID card etc) which will serve to verify your identity;
  • obtain certified copies of each of the selected identification documents from a notary public or the Australian embassy, high commission or consulate in your country of residence (DO NOT send the original documents – if you do, there is a strong possibility they will not be returned);
  • obtain certified translations if the documents are not in English; and
  • fill in the application form provided by the ABRS which needs to be signed in wet ink – pen on paper.

Please note that you might need to get an apostille on the notarised copies and send all documents via post to the ABRS depending on your country of residence.

In our experience in assisting with lodgements prior to now, this whole process may take three months or more until you will receive a letter with your personal DIN in the mail. Given the fast approaching 30 November 2022 deadline, don’t wait on lodging your application!

Hall & Wilcox has extensive experience assisting entities with corporate governance and legislative requirements. If you require any assistance with these matters, please contact us.

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