News

Director Identification Numbers fast approaching

On 5 October 2021, the Corporations (Director Identification Numbers – Transitional Application Period) Instrument 2021 specifying the deadlines for certain existing and future directors to apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN) was registered.

This has broad-ranging implications for company directors, with different time frames to apply for a DIN depending on the type of company involved and the date of appointment as a director.

What is the DIN regime?

The new DIN regime introduced by Schedule 2 of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernisation and Other Measures) Act 2020 (Cth) commenced on 4 April 2021.  The primary aim of the DIN regime is to make it easier to trace a director’s relationship with companies over time (including failed companies) and to prevent fictitious identities from being appointed as directors.

A DIN is a unique 15 digit numerical identifier that will be allocated to each eligible director and kept for their lifetime – even if they cease to be a director or change directorships.  However, a DIN will be automatically cancelled if an individual does not become a director within 12 months of receiving their DIN.

Who will need a DIN?

Under the regime, all directors, including alternate directors, of a company, a registered Australian body or a registered foreign company under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) or a company registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act) must apply for a DIN.

Directors and alternate directors of a company registered under the Corporations Act must apply for a DIN even if it is also a charity registered under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth).

Currently, the DIN regime does not extend to de facto or shadow directors, company secretaries or directors/management committee members of an unincorporated association or of an incorporated association established under State or Territory legislation (unless it is also registered under the Corporations Act as an “Australian registered body”).

When will DINs be required?

The deadline for applying for a DIN depends on the date you become a director. The Corporations (Director Identification Numbers – Transitional Application Period) Instrument 2021 specifies the deadlines for certain existing and future directors to apply for a DIN.

In the light of this Instrument, the application deadlines are:


Corporations Act Directors

Date you become a director Deadline to apply
On or before 31 October 2021 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Before appointment


CATSI Act Directors

Date you become a director Deadline to apply
On or before 31 October 2022 30 November 2023
Between 1 November 2022 Before appointment

Application process

The DIN regime will be administered by the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) which will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office.

DIN applications by current or prospective directors may be made from 1 November 2021 at https://www.abrs.gov.au.  Directors must apply for their DIN themselves so that the ATO can verify their identity. No one can apply on their behalf.  Applications may be made online, over the phone or using a paper form.  The myGovID app log must be used to log in to ABRS online – see https://www.abrs.gov.au/director-identification-number/apply-director-identification-number for more details.

For more information in relation to DINs, please contact John McCombe at jmccombe@aitken.com.au or on 03 8600 6009.