If you’re getting a prepaid mobile service, you’ll have to provide some ID to your mobile provider before the service can be activated.
Identity checks help to prevent the anonymous use of prepaid mobile services and allow law enforcement and national security agencies to obtain information about the identity of customers, where needed, for their investigations.
These identity checking requirements are set out in the Telecommunications (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017 (the Prepaid Determination).
What information will you need to provide?
The information required, and how your ID is verified, depends on whether your mobile provider verifies your identity as the purchaser or the service activator of the prepaid mobile service. Definitions of these terms can be found in the Prepaid Determination.
Requirements for purchasers
If you are the person paying for the prepaid service, your mobile provider may verify your ID as the purchaser. They will need to obtain certain information before your service can be activated, including:
If you pay for the prepaid mobile service using a credit or debit card, and have less than five prepaid mobile services activated, no further verification is required.
If you don’t pay with a credit or debit card, or you have more than five prepaid services activated, your mobile provider will need to see additional identification documents. The number and type of documents you’ll need to provide will depend on the number of activated prepaid mobile carriage services you have. You should ensure that the documents are current and have not expired.
Requirements for service activators
If you are seeking to activate a service, your mobile provider may verify your ID as the service activator. They will need to obtain certain information before your service can be activated, including your:
How will my provider verify my ID?
Mobile providers are able to use any of the methods set out in the Prepaid Determination to verify your ID. However, they are not required to implement all of these methods. Your provider may use the following to verify your ID:
a government online verification service—for example, a government-issued document such as your driver’s licence contains unique information, which may be checked against the Document Verification Service as part of a ‘blind check.’
a financial transaction
an existing postpaid account
an existing prepaid account (subject to certain arrangements)
a visual document check.
What happens to my information?
The Prepaid Determination protects your privacy by restricting the recording and keeping of certain information provided by you. For example, mobile providers are not permitted to copy or reproduce the identifying number of a government document unless they are authorised to do so under law.
Mobile providers are required to keep your information for as long as your service is active.