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ID checks for prepaid mobiles

A telco has to check your identity when you buy or activate a prepaid mobile service.

The Telecommunications Determination on identity checks for prepaid mobiles prevents people from using prepaid services anonymously.

Activating a mobile

If someone else purchased the service and you need to activate it, you need to show proof of your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • home address (or business name and address if you’re activating on behalf of a business)

Purchasing a mobile

If you are paying for the prepaid service, you need to show proof of:

  • your name
  • your home address (or business name and address if you’re purchasing on behalf of a business)
  • how many other prepaid mobile services you have

If you paid by credit or debit card and have 5 or fewer mobile services activated, that's all you need.

You will need to show more identification if you:

  • did not pay with a credit or debit card
  • have more than 5 prepaid mobile services activated

Your identification must be current (not expired) and show your name and/or address.

How the telco checks your identity

The telco may ask you for documents that show your photo, date of birth, name or address to provide your identity. You will need to provide:

  • 2 documents from category A
  • 1 document from category A plus 2 different documents from category B

Examples of Category A identification documents

  • tertiary education card
  • Australian licence or permit
  • Australian passport
  • Australian concession card
  • birth certificate in the customer’s name or with evidence that they have changed their name
  • foreign military ID card
  • other government document such as a photo card or proof of age card

Examples of Category B identification documents

  • credit or debit card
  • Medicare card
  • passbook for a specified financial account
  • statement for a post-paid carriage service less than 12 months old
  • rates statement less than 12 months old

The telco looks at your documents or uses a government service such as the Document Verification Service to check your identity. By law, the telco has to protect the privacy of your information.

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