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In order to sign up with some businesses, such as phone companies or internet providers, consumers are often required to be able to prove their identity. This can be problematic for people who do not have the typical standard identification documents such as a driver licence or a passport.

This tip sheet is intended to outline alternative methods that are accepted by telecommunications companies, specifically, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

Pre-paid mobile service

When getting a pre-paid mobile phone or mobile broadband service the law requires businesses to verify a customer’s identity at the time the service is activated. There are a number of different documents that can be used to verify who you are for the purpose of activating a pre-paid mobile service.

These include the following:

Category A documents

  • An identification card issued in the name of the purchaser by a tertiary education institution.
  • A licence or permit issued in the name of the purchaser under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
  • A passport issued in the name of the purchaser.
  • A statement issued under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law to the effect that the purchaser is entitled to receive a financial benefit.
  • A birth certificate in the name or former name of the purchaser.
  • Any other document that is recognised as a proof of identity under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
  • Example: A Keypass card issued to a resident of Victoria or a proof of age card issued under a State or Territory law.

With all forms of ID, make sure that it has not expired (the expiry date should be in the future).

When activating a new pre-paid mobile service the business is required to ask how many pre-paid services the customer already has, If this new service brings the customers total pre-paid mobile services to 5 or more the business is required to ask for additional identification.

Post-paid mobile phone or internet services

When setting up a post-paid service such as a mobile phone contract or internet service, companies will generally require more information about who you are. This is in part how they are able to know that you will be responsible for paying your bill each month. This is often referred to as the ‘100 point identification check.’ These documents are usually divided into two separate categories, primary identification documents and secondary identity documents.

The most common way of gaining the required 100 points of identification is to provide one primary document and one or two secondary documents. The primary document is one with your photo on it. Typically documents such as driver licences or passports are primary documents. Secondary documents may have your photo on them however this is not a requirement of a secondary document.

Typical secondary documents include (but are not limited to):

  • A valid credit or debit card in your name
  • A valid University or TAFE identity card in your name
  • Valid leases and utility bills

While it is easier to get a service if you have the typical photo ID it is not essential. Below are the ways you can still sign up for a post-paid service with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Each of these telecommunications companies has a different process.

Optus

Typically, you can pick and choose from a minimum of one primary ID. When choosing your primary ID, make sure that it has your photograph and shows your name, date of birth and signature.

If you don't have any primary ID, the Optus customer service agent can discuss your suitability using the secondary ID that you have available.

Forms of ID accepted by Optus
Primary ID Secondary ID
Australian Driver's Licence Medicare Card
Australian Learner's Permit Australian Government issued benefits card
e.g. Pension Concession Card, Health Care Card (with current address)
Australian Boating Licence Australian Private Health Insurance Card
Australian Shooter's Licence Credit / Debit or ATM Card
Keypass (with photo and date of birth) Current Bank Statement or Online Financial Statement
Personal Information Card (Tasmania) Bank Welcome Letter (issued in the last 30 days)
- Must be accompanied with matching Credit / Debit / ATM Card
Proof of Age Card (with photo) Mortgage Documents (with current address)
Australian Passport Birth Certificate or Original Birth Extract
New Zealand Passport Marriage Certificate
Other International Passport (with valid VISA) Citizenship Certificate
Blind Citizens Australia Identity Card Current Utility Bill (issued in the last 90 days)
- e.g. Electricity, Gas, Rates Notice, Telecommunication
Vision Impaired Transport Concession Card Tertiary Student ID Card (with photo, student number and institution)
- e.g. University or TAFE
Working with Children Card Confirmation of Tertiary Enrolment
Working with Vulnerable People Card Rental Agreement / Bond Notice
Australian Military Identification Taxi Licence (with photo)
Australian Defence Force Driver's Licence DFAT issued Diplomat Card (with photo)
Australian Police Identification  

Telstra

Telstra’s typical 100 point identity check includes a single primary document such as a driver licence or passport along with one or two pieces of secondary identification.

For consumers with a disability who do not have a primary document with photo, Telstra has an exemption process for meeting the 100 point identification check.

Exemption Process

If a customer with a disability cannot provide a form of Primary ID Telstra can accept three forms of Secondary ID that total 100 points or greater.

The secondary ID should include a form of ID which confirms they have a disability (for example, a Disability Support Pension Card which has the letters DSP).

Secondary Identification accepted by Telstra
Document Type Description




Points
Current Telstra Customer Must be more than six months 70
Police/Defence Force ID With Photo 60
Credit Card with photo Credit cards should only be obtained from the customer as a last resort if they can't produce another Secondary ID type 50
Aged Pension card   40
Credit, Debit, or ATM card Australian financial institution cards only
Credit , Debit or ATM cards should only be obtained from the customer as a last resort if they can't produce another Secondary ID type
40
Medicare card   25
Disability Pension card   25
Health Care card   25
Social Security Card   25
Birth Certificate If the name changes, they need to provide a marriage certificate 40
Mortgage Document   35
Certificate of Title Title Number, issuer and issue date 35
Valid Australian Proof of Age   35
Employment ID card With Photo, Employee number and employer 40
Employee ID No Photo   30
Tertiary Student ID card With Photo, Student Number-Issuing body such as University or TAFE 25
Drivers Licence (International / Overseas)   25
Private Health Insurance Membership card   25
Local Council Rates notice   25
Gas, electricity, vehicle registration bills Less than six months old 25
Drivers Licence Paper   25
Adoption/Marriage certificate   25
Electoral Roll record With issuing body and issue date 25
Financial Institute account Statement With issuing body and issue date 25

Vodafone

Vodafone business process requires certain ID for the 100 points ID check. For consumers without a Driver Licence or passport, an Australian Government Proof of Age card, Photo Card, Keypass is required. This must be submitted with a Green Medicare Card plus a credit or debit card or other document type listed below.

Primary documents accepted by Vodafone
Document Points
Valid (not expired) Australian/New Zealand Passport 70 points
Valid (not expired) International Passport 70 points
Drivers Licence or Permit issued by the Australian Government, including Learners Permit 70 points
Valid Police/Defence Force ID photo 70 points
Australian Government Proof of Age card/Photo Card/Keypass (must be submitted with a Green Medicare Card or a Passport to prove Permanent Residency) 60 points

 

Secondary documents accepted by Vodafone
Document Points
Credit Card - Australian or International Bank issued (max 1 per Customer) 40 points
Green Medicare Cards are the preferred form of secondary ID 30 points
Interim (Blue) and Reciprocal (Yellow) Medicare Cards are acceptable only in conjunction with a Passport , as they denote Temporary Residency 30 points
Current Australian Pensioner Card 30 points
Original full (not extract) Australian Birth certificate 30 points
Valid NSW Birth card with photo issued by NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 30 points
Current Australian Healthcare Card 30 points
Current Australian Bank or Card Statement (submit under Bank Statement) 30 points
Current Australian Bank Transaction listing (submit under Bank Statement) 30 points
Rates Notice (<12 months, name/address) 25 points
Current Australian Utility or Telco invoice 25 points
Valid Private Health Insurance Membership Card 25 points
Tertiary Student ID Card (name and photo) 25 points
Tertiary Certificate of Enrolment (submit under Student ID) 25 points
Debit/ATM Card - Australian or International Bank issued (maximum 1 per application, and International ATM cards must display the “PLUS” logo) 20 points

Organisation

Role

Web Address

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Telecommunications Regulator

www.acma.gov.au

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Peak telecommunications consumer organisation

www.accan.org.au

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Australian peak organisation representing the disability sector

www.afdo.org.au

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Government funded organisation representing and protecting Human Rights

www.humanrights.gov.au

Brain Injury Australia

Peak organisation representing Australians with acquired brain injury

www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au

Carers Australia

Peak organisation for carers

www.carersaustralia.com.au

Centrelink

Australian Federal Government social security agency

www.centrelink.gov.au

Communications Alliance Ltd

Communications ALLIANCE is the primary telecommunications industry organisation in Australia

www.commsalliance.com.au

COTA (Council on the Ageing National Office)

Represents interests of older australians

www.cota.org.au

Department of Communications

Australian Federal Government department of Communications

www.communications.gov.au

National Disability Insurance Agency

Implementing Australian Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme

www.ndis.gov.au

Department of Social Services

Australian Federal Government Department of Social Services

www.dss.gov.au

Independent Living Centres Australia (inc)

Provides independent information about assistive technology products through State and Territory offices

www.ilcaustralia.org

JobAccess

Australian Federal Government workplace modifications program for people with disability

www.jobaccess.gov.au

Media Access Australia

Australia's only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability.

www.mediaaccess.org.au

Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative

Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) informs consumers about the various accessibility features of mobile phones

www.gari.info

National Council on Intellectual Disability

Peak organisation representing interests of people with intellectual disabilities

www.ncid.org.au

National Disability Services

peak body for non-government disability service organisations

www.nds.org.au

National Ethnic Disability Alliance

Peak organisation representing people from non- English speaking backgrounds with disability

www.neda.org.au

NRS (National Relay Service)

Australian Government relay service providing telecummunications service for Deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired consumers

www.relayservice.gov.au

Physical Disability Australia

Peak organisation representing interests of people with a physical disability

www.pda.org.au

TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman)

fast, free and fair dispute resolution service for small business and residential customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service

www.tio.com.au

Women with Disabilities Australia

Peak organisation representing interests of Australian women with disability

www.wwda.org.au

Telstra

Disability Equipment Program

Rental telephone equipment for access to fixed line service (home phone line)

Includes:

  • Large button phone
  • Volume control phone
  • Teletypewriter
  • Flashing light alert

For enquiries about the program, eligibility, to order a product or to trial a product: Contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

You can also find more information on the Telstra website.

Directory Assistance Helpline

A live directory assistance service for people who have trouble using Telstra's White or Yellow Pages directories (phone books).

  • Provides phone number and physical location of listing.
  • Requires pre-registration

For enquiries about eligibility and registration contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

Call connect fee exemption

A call-connect service for registered users available to people who cannot use a phone keypad or otherwise make a phone call on their home phone.

  • Requires pre-registration
  • Requires certification by a suitably qualified medical practitioner

For enquiries about eligibility and registration contact the Telstra Disability Enquiry Hotline on:
1800 068 424 (Voice)
1800 808 981 (TTY only)
1800 814 777 (Fax)

Priority Assistance

Priority assistance for registered customers with a diagnosed life threatening illness.

Includes:

  • Connection of first standard telephone service
  • Repair of a fault on one nominated standard telephone service where no other telephone services are working

For more information call: 132200 or visit the Telstra support page.

Optus

Disability Equipment Program

Telephone equipment for access to fixed line service.

Includes:

  • Cordless telephone with features to assist people who have trouble using a standard handset
  • Teletypewriters - rental

For more information on Optus TTY call:
1300 301 937 (Voice)
1800 500 002 (TTY)

You can also find more information on the Optus website.

Operator-assisted directory service

Free directory assistance for people who have trouble using directory services.

For more information see Optus Disability Services or call 133 937 (general inquiries option) to apply for a free operator-assisted service.