Deadline Looming for Directors to Apply for a Director ID

By 30 November 2022, any individual who acts in the capacity of a director of an Australian company (irrespective of type) must have registered for a standalone and unique director ID. This obligation applies to all individuals who are directors, regardless of their place of residence. This reminder follows our earlier commentary in January 2021 when the requirement was first introduced.

Importantly, failure to register for a director ID by 30 November 2022 may result in a civil penalty of up to 5,000 penalty units (currently, $1,110,000), disqualification as a director, and/or a criminal penalty of 60 penalty units (currently, $13,320).

How to apply

You must apply for the director ID yourself.  A tax or BAS agent, lawyer or similar cannot lodge the application on your behalf as you need to prove your identity at the time of making the application. We can however provide guidance on the process (outlined in further detail below).

There are several ways to apply for a director ID:

  1. Online: The easiest way to apply for a director ID is online via the ABRS website if you have MyGovID, or are eligible to obtain a MyGovID.
  2. By phone: If you do not have, or cannot get a MyGovID, but you do have an Australian Tax File Number (TFN), you can apply by phone.
  3. By paper form: If you do not have a TFN, you will need to apply using the Australian Business Registry Services’ (ABRS) paper form and provide certified, translated (if necessary) proof of identity documents. A copy of the paper form is available on the ABRS website here.

Foreign directors that have never lived in Australia (and thus do not have a TFN) will have to file a paper application. Filing a paper application is a longer process as identity documents may need to be translated into English and are required to be certified. Directors located outside of Australia that need to have their identity documents certified may do so through a notary public, or staff at an Australian embassy, high commission or consulate. Copies of the identity document in the original language must also be certified.

If you need to apply using the paper form, the process will clearly be slower and you should act now to apply for your director ID to ensure your application is submitted before the deadline.

For more information or assistance in preparing your application, please contact a team member at Hamilton Locke including Nick Edwards, Kassandra Adams, Michael Jefferies or Lucy Hallwright.


Partner, Head of Restructuring & Insolvency

Senior Associate