Director Identification Number (DIN) regime

The Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2019 has passed parliament, which means that a new Director Identification Number (DIN) regime will go into effect.

All existing and new directors of registered bodies will now be required to link their identity to a unique Director Identification Number.  The DIN has been created as part of anti-phoenixing measures.  It should help reduce time and cost for administrators and liquidators during the insolvency process and can be used to trace and track a director's relationship across companies, with the purpose of monitoring directors of failed companies.  The DIN will also help prevent the use of fake identities, such as Elvis Presley or Bob Marley, and should end the practice of innocent people being signed up as directors without their knowledge.

Individuals will keep their unique DIN permanently, even if they are no longer directors.  The number will never be issued to another person. 

The law requires director's details to be lodged with the ASIC, however the regulator is currently not required to verify the identity of the directors.  

The law is due to take effect in June 2022.  New directors will need to apply for their DIN before they can be appointed a director of a registered body, unless the period is extended by the regulations or unless they are provided an exemption or extension by the registrar. Those appointed as a director within the first 12 months of the new regime's operation will also be granted an additional 28 days to apply for a DIN. A transitional period for existing directors will be specified by a legislative instrument made by the minister.  

A "registered body" is a company, registered foreign company, a body registered under the Corporations Act or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.

There are civil and criminal penalties for directors who fail to apply for a DIN within the applicable time frame, and also for misrepresenting a DIN.

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