How to Get Your ID on Your Phone

This article is sponsored by Australia Post

The fear of misplacing your passport on a night out and the frustration of having to continually scan and upload identification documents are two particular annoyances for international students across the world. Luckily, in Australia, there are several apps that allow you to upload your official identification, therefore using your phone as your ID online and in-person. Read on to discover your digital ID options in Australia and rest easy knowing you can leave your passport safe at home.

Do I need a physical identification (ID) in Australia?

You will be required to show sufficient photo ID in a few circumstances in Australia. These include picking up your mail from Australia Post, or entering licensed venues like pubs, clubs and music venues including festivals and gigs. Unless you acquire an Australian driver’s licence, you will be required to present your passport in these circumstances, as foreign driver’s licences and student/tertiary cards are generally not accepted as official forms of identification.

Given your passport is such an important document, many international students prefer not to take it out and about with them in order to keep it safe. This makes digital ID systems perfect – you can upload your passport or other accepted forms of ID to the app and then use your phone for identification, rather than having to keep your passport on you at all times.

What is digital ID?

Digital ID platforms allow you to present a digital version of your physical identification documents (for example, your passport, licence and student card) stored on your smartphone.

What are the digital ID options in Australia?

There are three official digital ID solutions in Australia: Australia Post’s Digital iD™, the Australian Government’s myGovID and state-based digital driver’s licences. 

1. Digital ID by Australia Post

Digital iD™ is a free app launched by Australia Post that allows you to upload formally accepted forms of photo ID onto your phone to use, instead of the physical version of the card/passport. This is a safe and secure option, due to Australia Post’s rigorous regulations on privacy and the collection of personal information, ideal for international students seeking a digital ID app in Australia,

You can download the Digital ID™ app to your smartphone following these three simple steps:

  1. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play
  2. Have two identification documents handy to verify your identity in the app. International students generally use a foreign passport and tertiary student card.
  3. Smile for a selfie to verify that you are who you say you are. As an international student, you will likely need to visit your local post office in order for trained staff to confirm that your photograph is legitimate and provide you access to the app. 

Where is Digital ID™ accepted?

  • When making online transactions with over 100 participating online organisations, including Travelex and Airtasker. You can use your pre-provided details on any website that has the Digital iD™ logo as proof of your identity, rather than having to repeatedly submit your details, making online shopping and transactions much quicker and easier.
  • When picking up mail or parcels from your local post office, or when you need to redirect or put your mail on hold.
  • As proof of age when entering a licensed venue such as a pub or club, or when you are purchasing takeaway alcohol and need to prove you are 18+ (the legal drinking age in Australia). Please note that this function is not available in Western Australia, and is not able to be used for takeaway alcohol purchases in the Northern Territory.

2. myGovID by the Australian Government

myGovID is the Australian Government’s digital identity platform and allows users to easily access government services such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). myGovID was created in conjunction with the government’s Digital Transformation Agency and allows users to create a digitised version of the 100-point identification system that Government services require to provide access.

You can download myGovID to your smartphone in three easy steps:

  1. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play
  2. Input your basic information including full name, birth date and email address
  3. Upload two verified forms of Australian ID, including your student visa (using your foreign passport) and an Australian Driver’s Licence. It is very important to upload this identification in order to gain ‘Standard Access’, which unlocks access to all relevant government services. You can verify your documents by either uploading images or manually inputting the document details.

Where is myGovID accepted?

  • Use your myGovID to log into your MyGov account which offers the option of linking many government services you may need to access during your time in Australia, such as the ATO, My Health Record and national/state-based housing support.
  • Access the Unique Student Identifier (USI) Portal using your myGovID. Your USI is your lifelong education number and is required if you are a higher education student graduating in 2023 or beyond, undertaking nationally recognised training or are seeking Commonwealth financial assistance.

3. Digital Driver’s Licences

If you hold a New South Wales or South Australian driver’s licence, you have the option of digitising your licence and carrying it on your smartphone. Your digital licence can be used to both prove you are legally permitted to drive in Australia, and also to prove your identity and age when entering licensed venues, concerts, festivals or picking up your mail from a post office.

Click here for more awesome apps that will make your life easier when living and studying in Australia.