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Copies of identity documents for applicants in Australia

Check the certified identity documents you need to apply for a TFN, ABN or register for GST as an Australian resident.

Last updated 5 June 2023

Getting certified documents

You must get copies of your identity documents certified to support your applications. The copies must be certified as a true and correct copy of the original document by an approved certifier.

Certified copies of digital identity documents will not be accepted.

To certify your document:

  1. photocopy it (ensure text and photographs are clear and identifiable)
  2. take the copy and original to one of the approved certifiers in the list below.

You can send these certified copies by mail.

Don't send us your original documents as we cannot return them.

We can't accept a document if you alter or correct it, even if you initial the changes.

Approved certifiers

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

  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Medical practitioner who has a general or specialist registration with the Medical Board of AustraliaExternal Link (this doesn't include pharmacists)
  • Judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Minister of religion (who has the authority 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 (only in Queensland).

An approver certifier should never witness documents if:

  • it could create a real or perceived conflict of interest
  • the documents have a connection with matters they have an actual or perceived personal or financial interest in.

A tax agent can't certify a document. This is because we can't be certain that the agent has no conflict of interest or commercial relationship with the entity and representing their tax affairs.

Details you need from an approved certifier

An approved certifier must certify that each copy of an original document is true and correct, by:

  • physically sighting the original document and the copies of the front and back at the same time
  • stamping (if available), signing and annotating the copy of the document with wording similar to 'I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true and correct copy of the original document sighted'
  • providing the following details  
    • full name
    • telephone number
    • qualification
    • registration number (if relevant)
    • date of certification.

As the certifier, if the applicant presents you with an original document with more than one page, the certifier must:

  • initial or sign the bottom of each page of the copy (front and back)
  • number each page if the pages are not numbered.

Delays in processing occur where documents you provide to us don't meet our certification requirements.

Documents in languages other than English

Where your identity documents aren't written in English, you must:

  • give us a certified copy of the original document
  • arrange for the translation of your documents into English.

Translations must be done by an approved translation service. The translation must also be certified as a true and correct copy by the service.

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

If you are getting the translation in Australia, go to the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATIExternal Link) website and search the online directory for an approved translator.

Lodging your certified documents

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