ID checks for prepaid mobiles | ACMA

ID checks for prepaid mobiles

If you’re getting a prepaid mobile service, you’ll have to provide some ID before the service is activated.

These identity-checking requirements—contained in the Telecommunications (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017 (the Prepaid Determination)—help to prevent the anonymous use of these services and to allow law enforcement and national security agencies to obtain information about the identity of customers, where needed, for their investigations.

What information will you need to provide?

The information required, and how your ID is verified, depends on whether you’re the purchaser or the service activator of the prepaid mobile service.

Requirements for purchasers

If you’re the purchaser, before your service can be activated, your mobile provider will need proof of:

  • your name
  • your residential address (or business name and address if you’re purchasing on behalf of an entity)
  • the number of other prepaid mobile services you have.

If you pay for the prepaid mobile service using a credit or debit card, and have fewer than five prepaid mobile services activated, then no further verification is required.

If you don’t pay with a credit or debit card, or you have more than five prepaid service activated, your mobile provider will need to sight Category A and/or B identification documents, which are set out in section 1.8 of the Prepaid Determination. The number and type of documents you’ll need to provide will depend on the number of activated prepaid mobile carriage services you have. Make sure the expiry dates of any documents you show have not expired.

Requirements for service activators

If you’re the service activator, before your service can be activated, your mobile provider will need proof of:

  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • your residential address (or business name and address if you’re activating on behalf of an entity).

Service activators must also provide one of the documents in Schedule 1 of the Prepaid Determination, which include:

  • a government online verifications service (for example, the Document Verification Service)
  • an existing post-paid account
  • a financial transaction
  • an existing prepaid account (subject to certain arrangements)
  • a ‘white-listed’ email address (for example, ending in ‘xx.edu.au’ or ‘xx.gov.au’)
  • a visual document check.

Mobile providers may choose which type of ID they use to verify your identity.

What happens to your information?

The Prepaid Determination protects your privacy by restricting the recording and keeping of certain information provided by you. For examples, prepaid providers are not permitted to copy or reproduce the identifying number of a government document unless authorised to do so under law.

Last updated: 02 November 2017