Reliable and independent documentation and electronic data
Part of your AML/CTF obligations is to collect and verify customer KYC information to make sure customers are who they claim to be. You must use reliable and independent documentation or electronic data (or both) to verify information about the customer and beneficial owner.
Reliable and independent documentation
The ‘reliable and independent documentation' that you can use to verify customer identification information includes:
- original primary photographic identification document
- original primary non-photographic identification document
- original secondary identification document.
The above is not an exhaustive list. You may rely on other documents if this is appropriate for the level of money laundering/terrorism financing risk associated with the customer, the transaction and the designated service.
The documentation must be current – although passports can be used if they are no more than two years past their expiry date.
An original primary photographic identification document can be:
- a driver’s licence or permit from Australia or overseas, including a digital driver’s licence
- an Australian passport
- a government proof of age card issued in Australia
- a foreign passport issued by a foreign government or the United Nations
- international travel documents issued by a foreign government or the United Nations
- a national identity card issued by a foreign government or the United Nations.
If a travel document or identity card is in a foreign language, the customer must provide an accredited English translation if the person verifying the documents doesn’t understand the foreign language used. Read our English language translation policy.
An original primary non-photographic identification document can be:
- an Australian birth certificate, birth extract or citizenship certificate
- a foreign birth certificate or citizenship certificate
- a government issued concession card, such as a pensioner concession card, a health care card, or a seniors health care card.
If a foreign birth certificate or citizenship certificate is in a foreign language, the customer must provide an accredited English translation if the person verifying the documents doesn’t understand the foreign language used. Read our English language translation policy.
An original secondary identification document can be:
- a notice from the Australian Taxation Office or other government agency, such as Centrelink, that contains the person’s name and residential address, issued in the past 12 months
- a municipal council rates notice or a utilities bill (such as a water, gas or electricity bill) that contains the person’s name and residential address, issued in the past three months
- for a person aged under 18, a letter from a school principal issued in the past three months that details the person’s name, residential address and when they attended the school, or a student card if available.
Reliable and independent electronic data
To determine whether electronic data is reliable and independent you must consider whether the data is:
- kept up-to-date
- comprehensive (for example, how many listings are included in the data and the period over which it has been collected)
- verified from a reliable and independent source
- maintained by a government body under legislation
- able to be additionally authenticated.
Document Verification Service – individual customer and beneficial owner identification
One option for verifying individual customer and beneficial owner identification using electronic data is the Document Verification Service (DVS). This is a secure online system managed by the Department of Home Affairs. The DVS matches government-issued identity documents directly with the government organisation that issued them. This lets you check in real time that the document is current and not lost or stolen.
The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.