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Historical Background to Proof of Identity

Last amended 
7 December 2017
Current policy

DVA's current categories of proof of identity documentation can be found in the CLIK Policy Library at 2.2.4 Categories of Proof of Identity. 2.2.4 Categories of Proof of Identity also provides information about the number and range of documents that must be used to establish the proof of identity of a claimant, agent or trustee.  


History to whole of government approach to proof of identity

In 2001, a whole of government approach to proof of identity led to a commitment to develop a cross agency framework which outlined different categories of acceptable proof of identity documentation. This framework was fine-tuned over time through Council of Australian Government (COAG) discussions.

This culminated in the Gold Standard Enrolment Framework, published in 2007, and adopted as the recommended whole of government framework for establishing proof of identity.     

Cross agency framework

The cross agency framework proposed four separate categories of proof of identity documentation.

Category of Documents

Evidence provided


Category A documents

Provide evidence of commencement of identity in Australia

Birth certificate

Records of immigration status including foreign passport, current visa, citizenship certificate or similar

Category B documents

Provide a linkage between identity and the person (photo and signature)

Current Australian passport

Australian driver's licence

Category C documents

Provide evidence of an identity operating in the community

Medicare Card

Security Guard or crowd control licence

Category D documents

Provide evidence of residential address (this category is only used if proof of address in not provided by category B or C document)

Utilities notice

Rent details

The Repatriation Commission adopted this model and modified it to include three categories of documents to better meet the needs of DVA clients.


History of Repatriation Commission decisions over time

Departmental Instruction 41/98 outlined acceptable proof of identity documentation for income support payments. At this time, category A documents were regarded as sound because of the difficulty in obtaining them. Category B documents were regarded as acceptable because of their personal nature or because of the time they needed to have been held.

In May 2003, new proof of identity requirements were approved by the Repatriation Commission. These were based on the cross agency framework for proof of identity, with some tailoring based on consultation with DVA staff. Differences included a wider range of documents in category C than the cross agency framework. The Repatriation Commission then agreed to wait for further development of the whole of government approach to proof of identity by the Attorney General's Department.

In May 2004, the Repatriation Commission agreed to adopt the cross agency framework proposed by the Attorney General's Department, with some minor modifications. The modifications included:

  • revision and merging of cross agency framework document categories B and C. These were re-labelled category B documents, and
  • creation of new category C, for documents providing evidence of residential address. Acceptable documents in this category were also modified to cater for the needs of people living in nursing homes.

The Repatriation Commission has maintained a consistent approach to proof of identity since 2004. DVA's proof of identity document categories are now closely aligned with the whole of government Gold Standard Enrolment Framework published by the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department.

In March 2011, the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission agreed that, to ensure alignment with Centrelink policy, an Australian passport can be provided as either a category A or a category B document for whole of department proof of identity purposes. A document which establishes commencement of identity in Australia, such as a full Australian birth certificate is preferred to a current Australian passport as a category A document as this is more consistent with the Gold Standard Enrolment Framework. However in order to remove barriers to DVA clients, particularly younger serving members, being able to establish proof of identity, a current Australian passport can be accepted as a category A document if other category A documents are difficult to access, not available, or not submitted with a claim.

Gold Standard Enrolment Framework

The cross agency framework was refined through COAG discussions and culminated in the Gold Standard Enrolment Framework published in April 2007 by the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department. DVA's approach to proof of identity is consistent with the Principles for Identifying the Applicant (principles 4 – 6) outlined in the Gold Standard Enrolment Framework.

Gold Standard Principle

Evidence provided

Equivalence to DVA document categories

Principle 4

Gold standard enrolment will need to establish evidence of a person's commencement of identity in Australia. In most cases, this will involve verifying a person's name and gender as registered with a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or in the case of people born overseas, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship


Category A documents – for example, an Australian birth certificate or foreign passport and current Australian visa

Principle 5

Gold standard enrolment will need to establish evidence of a person's identity operating in the community. In most cases, this will involve verifying a person's social footprint from credentials or other information establishing a person's use of identity in Australia over time

Category B and C documents – for example, a Medicare card, ADF identity card, and a rental agreement containing the person's address.

Principle 6

Gold standard enrolment will need to establish evidence of a linkage between the applicants and the claimed identity. This will usually involve the presentation of government-issued proof of identity credentials embodying photographic or biometric identity features

Category B documents – for example, Australian passport, or Australian driver's licence

Current categories accepted by DVA

The current categories of proof of identity documentation accepted by DVA are described in the CLIK Policy Library at 2.2.4 Categories of proof of identity.   


Amendments for current serving members and eligible reservists

Current serving members, reservists and trainees who hold a purple or orange ADF ID card can fully satisfy DVA's POI requirements through the in-person presentation of a current, valid, purple or orange ADF ID card to a DVA staff member when making their claim

This streamlined process acknowledges the close linkages between DVA and the Department of Defence and is designed to assist in ensuring a smoother transition between the two Departments.  This is an additional POI channel available for eligible clients; it does not supplant the existing Gold Standard Enrolment Framework.


Streamlined POI for clients eligible to use MyService

Clients with a PMKeyS number are eligible to submit their claims online via MyService. Claims submitted through MyService undergo an online, streamlined POI checking process at the time an account is created. This process is Commission approved.

When a client creates an account on MyService, their POI details, such as their PMKeyS number, driver’s licence number and Medicare details, are validated online through the Department of Defence and the Attorney-General’s Department. If the details match, the account will be created. If not, the client will be notified with an error message and will not be able to proceed with their account creation until matching data is provided.

Clients will also be able to be registered in MyService through the Early Engagement Model, or as protected identity members using an approved manual upload.  These registration and identity methods have also been approved by the Commissions.

Once a client is registered in MyService, they have satisfied all POI provisions for DVA. There is no requirement to request additional documents or undertake additional POI checks for these clients. Clients who register through MyService will need to have a new notification recorded in VIEW of ‘MyService registration POI’ under ‘POI Obtained’.