Director identification numbers

The director identification number (DIN or director ID) system commenced on 1 November 2021. All directors need to apply for a DIN and existing directors should start preparing their applications now.

DIN is the first service to be delivered by the new Australia Business Registry Services (ABRS). ABRS is a new platform which (between now and 2024) will bring together multiple registers from Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Business Names Register, the ATO, and Australian Business Register (ABR). ABRS and your DIN will streamline all these registers by allowing you to manage your details in one place, with a single identification number. The aim is to improve consistency and efficiency, cutting back administration time and ensuring all your records are updated within required time frames.

Who needs to apply for a director ID?

Register for a DIN if you are a director or alternative director of a:

  • company (will have an Australian Company Number (ACN)),
  • registered Australian body (will have an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)),
  • registered foreign company (will have an ARBN), or
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation (will have an Indigenous Corporation Number (ICN)).

This includes directors of an SMSF or family trust corporate trustee, and charity or not-for-profit organisations that are a company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

How will your director ID be used?

You will only ever need one DIN – think of it like a Tax File Number (TFN) and you will keep the same DIN even if you change companies, change personal details (e.g. name or address), or stop being a director. You will retain the same DIN for all directorships and will keep it for life.

The first stage of the new ABRS platform is set to go live in September 2023. In the interim, any changes to your details as a director will still need to be updated on each company record via ASIC (as currently required), as well as on your new DIN record. Once the system is live, these changes will be streamlined under the DIN system.

The ABRS will issue, maintain and securely store DIN records. The ABRS will not disclose them except with the consent of the person, or to certain government bodies, courts, and tribunals. If you are a Synectic client, you need to advise us of your DIN so we can update your company records in our systems.

DINs will help the ABRS to trace director relationships at different companies, prevent the use of fraudulent identities, and identify directors engaging in unlawful activity, including ‘phoenixing’ (when a company is liquidated, wound up or abandoned to avoid paying its debts, then a new company is started to continue the same business activities without the debt).

When do you need to apply?

When you need to apply for your DIN depends on the date you became a director.

If you were  an existing director prior to 31 October 2021 and then take on a new directorship prior to 30 November 2022, you are required to apply for your DIN within the below timeframes of the new appointment (i.e., within 28 days, or before the new appointment, as relevant).

Corporations Act directors:
Date you became a directorDate you must apply
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

Note that timelines differ for Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) directors. See more here.

If you intend to become a director within the next 12 months, you can apply for a DIN now. The DIN will simply be automatically cancelled if you are not appointed within 12 months of receiving your DIN.

How to apply for your director ID

Unfortunately, we are not able to apply for a DIN on your behalf. All directors must apply for their own DIN to verify their identity. But we can assist you by:

  • helping you determine whether you need to apply for a DIN,
  • advising you of the timelines relevant to your personal circumstances, and
  • clarifying the steps involved.

Applications can be made:

  • Online via the myGovID app
    • For applicants with a TFN and the myGovID app (this is different from your myGov account)
    • This will be the easiest and fastest way for most directors to apply for their DIN
    • Access the online process here
  • Over the phone
    • For applicants with a TFN but no myGovID
    • You will need information to verify your identity, e.g., your TFN, address, answers to two personal data questions (e.g., related to superannuation, tax or Centrelink), and two Australian identity documents
    • When you have your information ready, phone 13 62 50 (in Australia, between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday)
  • Using a paper form
    • For applicants without a TFN or myGovID, e.g., foreign resident directors
    • You will need to complete the application form, plus provide three original, certified (and translated where required) identity documents.
    • This is a more complex process and there are specific requirements regarding how documents are presented. We are happy to offer further guidance.

What next?

Synectic clients, please advise us of your DIN once it has been issued, so we can store it safely against your company records in our systems.

While ASIC have advised they will grant some leniency to foreign directors who have been unable to finalise their DIN application within the required timeframes, financial penalties for non-compliance can be applied to Directors who are viewed as non-compliant.

If you have any questions or require assistance in obtaining your DIN please contact us. Our DIN specialists, Liz and Eve, will be happy to assist.

Need a hand? Synectic can help you to apply for your director identification number.