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Copies of identity documents for applicants outside Australia

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

Last updated 5 June 2023


Getting certified documents

You must get copies of your identity documents to support your applications.

The copies must be certified as true and correct copies of the original document by an approved certifier.

Certified copies of digital identity documents will not be accepted.

The documents also need to meet the certification and translation requirements.

You may also need to provide identity documents where you make a request in writing for another purpose. For information on the type and number of identity documents you need, see Proof of identity – for individuals and businesses resident outside Australia.

If you post certified copies of documents to us, we may not return them to you unless you specifically request us to. Include a return postal address and a note asking us to send them back to you.

Don’t send your original documents to us as we cannot return them to you.

Who can certify documents?

The following people are authorised to certify your identity documents outside Australia:

  • notary publics
  • staff at your nearest Australian  
    • embassy
    • high commission
    • consulate – including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls.

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, you 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.

For a list of Australian embassies, high commissions and consulates by country – go to, Link.

Copies bearing an apostille

If your country is a party to the Hague Apostille Convention, you can ask the competent authority in your country to certify a copy of your documents by way of an apostilleExternal Link.

An apostille is a type of certification that a competent authority can issue, chosen by the state in which a document was issued.

We will accept both paper and electronic documents certified by an apostille.

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.

Approved translation services

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.
  • overseas – contact your nearest Australian embassy, high commission, or consulate to find an approved translator in your country.

For a listing of these offices by country, go to Link.

Lodging your certified documents

Send your certified identity documents or copies bearing an apostille, to the address listed on the application form. Alternatively, use the address below for your registration type.

For TFN applications for an individual attach the certified documents to the application and mail them to the address:

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 9942

For ABN applications, you need to attach a coversheetExternal Link to both:

  • your non-resident ABR application reference number
  • the certified documents.

Then mail them to the address:

Australian Taxation Office
Non Resident Registrations Team
PO Box 3373

Send your proof of identity supporting documents as soon as possible after you submit your ABN application to allow sufficient time for processing.

If we don't receive and process your supporting documents within 43 days, your application will be refused.

For ABN applications, you can email us any electronic copies of documents bearing an electronic apostille to:

This mailbox is for electronic apostilles only.

If you phone us from outside Australia, phone +61 2 6216 1111 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.