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  • Copies of identity documents for applicants in Australia

    As an Australian resident applying for an Australian business number (ABN), a tax file number (TFN) or registering for goods and services tax (GST), you need to provide certain identification documents. These documents need to meet the certification and translation requirements.

    On this page:

    Getting certified documents

    Copies of documents you provide to support your applications must be certified as true and correct copies of the original document by an authorised certifier. To certify your document, photocopy it, (ensuring any text and photograph is clear and identifiable), then take the copy and original to one of the certifiers listed below.

    You can provide these documents by mail – they must be certified copies as outlined below.

    An authorised certifier in the presence of the applicant should certify that each copy is a true and correct copy of the original document, by:

    • sighting the original document
    • stamping, signing and annotating the copy of the identity document to state
      'I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true and correct copy of the original document sighted'
    • initialling each page
    • listing their name, date of certification, telephone number and position.

    The stamp must show the certifier's qualification, contact details including telephone number, and reference number (if applicable).

    If the stamp does not include their name or contact details, they should print them underneath their signature.

    A certifier should never witness documents:

    • for their family, business, clients, employer or any other person where it could create a real or perceived conflict of interest
    • connected with matters in which they have an actual or perceived personal or financial interest.

    We can't accept copies certified by a registered tax agent as your ongoing commercial relationship could create a real or perceived conflict of interest for them.

    Don't send us your original documents. Certified copies of documents you mail to us may not be returned to you.

    A document that has been altered or corrected and initialled is not acceptable.

    Approved certifiers

    The following people can certify copies of your original identity documents as true and correct:

    • Barrister
    • Solicitor
    • Medical practitioner
    • Judge
    • Justice of the Peace
    • Minister of religion (who is authorised to celebrate marriage)
    • Police officer
    • Bank, building society or credit union officer with at least five years of service
    • Sheriff's officer
    • Commissioner of Declarations (in Queensland only).

    Documents in languages other than English

    If your identity documents aren't written in English, you must provide a certified copy of the original document and also arrange for the documents to be translated into English. Translations must be completed by an approved translation service and certified as a true and correct copy by the service.

    For example, an appropriate embassy, or a professional translation service accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI).

    The translation should also display an official stamp, or similar that shows the certifier’s accreditation.

    If you are obtaining the translation in Australia, contact NAATI for a list of approved translators using one of the following options:

    Lodging your certified documents

    Send your certified identity documents to the address listed on the application form.

    See also:

      Last modified: 18 Sep 2020QC 23245