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Establishing Proof of Identity

Last amended 
11 December 2017
Types of proof of identity

There are four types of proof of identity (POI) checks which can be carried out:

  • automatic POI (for current and former serving members who have joined the ADF from 1 January 2016 and/or separated from 27 July 2016);
  • a standard POI check (where the claimant can provide standard documents);
  • a non-standard POI check (for claimants who cannot produce standard documents); and
  • streamlined POI checking processes:
    • for current serving members, reservists and trainee who hold a current, valid purple or orange ADF ID card
    • for clients with a PMKeyS number who submit their claims via MyService.
Standard proof of identity documents

There are three different categories of standard POI documents:

  • documents from category A provide evidence of birth or arrival in Australia,
  • documents from category B provide evidence of identity existing in the community as well as evidence of a linkage between an identity and a person, and
  • documents from category C provide evidence of residential address, or residence in an aged care facility.  
Non-standard proof of identity documents

Documents not falling into categories A, B or C are classed as non-standard documents.    

Levels of proof of identity check

The levels of identity check are:

  • full POI check
  • modified POI check, and
  • no POI check.
Degree of check required

The level of POI check required varies depending on:

  • the type of claim being made
  • the type of payment (if any) already being received, and
  • what level of POI check (if any) has previously been carried out.
Automatic POI for members who have joined the ADF from 1 January 2016 and/or separated from 27 July 2016.

POI is automatically established for current and former serving members who have joined the permanent forces or commenced a period of Continuous Full-time Service from 1 January 2016 and/or separated from 27 July 2016.

DVA will rely on the identification and security clearance procedures used by the ADF to satisfy DVA identity requirements.  Under this arrangement, members will not need to provide any POI documentation when making their claim.  This will be accepted as full POI for DVA purposes and the POI check marked as complete for that client.


Streamlined POI for current serving members, reservists and orange who hold a current, valid, purple or orange ADF ID card

Current serving members, reservists and trainees who hold a current, valid ADF ID card are able to fully satisfy DVA's POI requirements by presenting their purple (for current serving members and reservists) or orange (for trainees) ADF ID card.

The DVA staff member will then authenticate the photo ID on the card and copy the card to send along with the client's claim.  If a delegate is satisfied that the information on the card aligns with personal information obtained from their ADF PMKeyS record, then this ID card is to be accepted as full POI for DVA purposes and the POI check marked as complete for that client.

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 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’.

Proof of identity for partner new claim

When a veteran or member is already in receipt of a DVA pension or benefit and their partner applies for DVA pension or benefit, the partner is required to provide POI. The level of POI check required depends on the partner's own circumstances.    

Dependent children of claimant

When a claim for payment or benefit is made in respect of a dependent child, POI is required of the child. Proof of the relationship to the veteran or member is also required. The documentation required differs according to the type of claim being made. For a dependant over 18 years of age, a full POI check is required.    

Applications made by a trustee or agent

If a claim for payment or benefit is made as part of the process of appointment of the trustee or agent, a full POI check is required.  A full POI check of the agent or trustee must be made on all applications.

Proof of identity and change of name

In cases where the name has changed since birth, certified copies of documents verifying the name change (e.g. deed poll, marriage certificate) are required. A statutory declaration may also be sufficient in exceptional cases.    

STATUTORY DECLARATIONS REGULATIONS 1993 Schedule 2 Persons before whom a statutory declaration may be made


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In cases where a person's name has not changed since birth, but they would prefer to be known by a name other than their first name, then this can be actioned as long as:

  • the delegate is reasonably satisfied that the preferred name is part of the person's full name
  • the person's VIEW record is changed to their preferred name
  • there is a note added to VIEW comments detailing the person's full name and that they prefer to be known by a name other than their first name, and
  • the person's preferred name is used for all departmental purposes, including on any cards to which the person is entitled, such as a Gold Card.

A further proof of identity check is not required where there is reasonable satisfaction that the preferred name is part of the person's full name.

In some instances a person may have been known to the department for many years, but has never provided proof of identity documentation as this was not required at the time of their initial claim. In such cases, a modified proof of identity check may be required if a delegate is unable to establish a link between the person's preferred name and their full name, and is not reasonably satisfied as to the person's identity in their preferred name.

Note: When a person prefers to be known by a name other than their first name, they should be made aware that when they receive concessions from other providers (e.g. energy companies), it is likely they will be required to have an identical name on the card as they have recorded with the other providers, otherwise they may not receive a concession.  DVA does not determine what concessions are available from concession providers nor their concession policies.

Proof of identity and sex affirmation surgery

If a person has undergone sex affirmation surgery (also known as sexual re-assignment surgery) and the sex on their original birth certificate no longer corresponds to their affirmed sex, one of the following forms of evidence can be accepted as verification of their sex:

  • an updated Australian birth certificate or current Australian passport indicating the affirmed sex of the person, or
  • a statutory declaration or medical report verifying the sex affirmation surgery from a medical doctor registered with a medical registration board in an Australian state or territory. This verification process can cover surgery completed either in or outside Australia.

Where a transgender person has not completed their sexual reassignment, but has had a formal change of name to match their “preferred” gender, their records should be changed to reflect their new name, but their gender should not be changed until the sex affirmation surgery is completed. The exception to this is if the person's gender, as recorded on their passport, reflects their preferred gender. From September 2011, sex affirmation surgery is no longer a prerequisite to a passport being issued in a person's preferred gender. However, a person's birth certificate cannot be altered until sex affirmation surgery has been completed. Where two different genders are recorded, the person's gender should be changed to reflect that recorded on their current passport. This is because this more accurately reflects the person's identity in the community.

Where a transgender person has not completed their sexual reassignment, but has had a formal change of name to match their preferred gender, the person's title should reflect their “preferred” gender. A note should be added to VIEW to the effect that the person's salutations on any letters from the department should reflect their “preferred” gender and identity in the community.

Australian Defence Force service records do not match claim details

A veteran of the Australian Defence Force, especially during World War 2, may have enlisted under a different identity or date of birth. When lodging a claim for pension or benefit, inconsistencies between the identification details provided in a claim and those recorded in the service documents are to be accounted for by the claimant.    


Establishing proof of identity during phone contact

Security checks must be conducted when someone contacts the department to provide information about a client or enquire about a client's personal information. The client must provide at least two client-specific pieces of information, as proof of identity. Where details of investments or accepted disabilities are provided, it is not essential that a person list all details, but more than a bare minimum of information is preferred to ensure that the delegate is able to be satisfied as to the identity of the person.

Note: For more details, see CLIK Procedure Library Part 2/Chapter 2/Section 6.