Document of Identity (DOI)
A Document of Identity (DOI) is issued under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 9 to:
- Australian citizens where the issue of an Australian passport is unnecessary or undesirable:
- and in very limited compassionate circumstances, to people who possess the nationality of a Commonwealth country and have an urgent need to travel, see ‘ Compassionate issue of DOI to persons from Commonwealth countries ’.
A DOI does not request the competent authorities to afford the bearer protection and freedom of passage. Some countries do not accept it as a valid travel document or do not accept it for entry purposes unless it is endorsed with a visa or meets other special requirements.
DOIs are not to be issued in lieu of an Emergency passport.
DOIs are issued free of charge to Australian citizens who intend to travel to Norfolk Island and have a maximum validity of three years. Applications for DOI’s required for travel to Norfolk Island can be lodged at Australia Post outlets or a Passport Office. See ‘ Travel to/from Norfolk Island:DOI ’.
All applications for DOIs involving different destinations or circumstances must be referred to a Passport Office.
Who can be issued a DOI
The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 9 and the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 6.3 allow for the issue of a Document of Identity (DOI) and may be issued in the following circumstances:
- To an Australian citizen to whom the issue of an Australian passport is unnecessary or undesirable, for example:
- Australian citizens whose travel the Minister believes should be restricted;
- Australian citizens being repatriated or deported to Australia;
- Australian citizens travelling to/from Norfolk Island (gratis issue, valid for three years), see ‘ Travel to/from Norfolk Island:DOI ’.
- Australian citizens who are sex and gender diverse—i.e. who are living in the identity of a member of the opposite sex (refer to ‘ Change of sex: sex and gender diverse ’ and ‘ ’);
- People who are required to attend a passport interview but are not in the possession of a valid travel document to allow them to travel to the interview;
- A person who possesses the nationality of another country that is a member of the Commonwealth and cannot obtain a valid travel document for the country or countries of which he or she has nationality.
Compassionate issue of DOI to persons from Commonwealth countries
The Australian Passport Office will consider the issue of a Document of Identity (DOI) in very limited compassionate circumstances to people who possess the nationality of a Commonwealth country and who have an urgent need to travel but cannot obtain a travel document from their own embassy/country.
Note: Commonwealth countries for this purpose can be found at www.thecommonwealth.org using a search for ‘members’.
Criteria for issuing Document of Identity – compassionate circumstances
- Death or serious illness likely to lead to death of an immediate family member (i.e. father, mother, spouse, husband, wife, brother, sister), where the applicant’s government is not represented in Australia and it is not possible to obtain a foreign-national travel document in time to meet the emergency travel needs. The applicant must provide a statement from a medical authority confirming the situation.
- Where it can clearly be shown that an approach to the person’s own government (usually due to a sudden overthrow of the former government) for a travel document would represent a serious threat to that person’s life or wellbeing.
Any application that does not meet these criteria should not be accepted by a Passport Office and the individual referred direct to their own government for a solution.
Delay is not an acceptable reason for entitlement to a DOI. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that it is not unreasonable to wait six months to be issued a passport from the country of nationality.
One-way travel and validity period of Document of Identity for approved applicants
Where DOIs are approved for issue to persons who meet the limited criteria outline above, the document should be restricted to one-way travel to their country of nationality or to a country where they can obtain their own passport. A maximum validity period of 3 months is sufficient in most cases.
Details shown in Document of Identity
Nationality and place of birth - The applicant’s nationality and place of birth is shown in the DOI.
Sex – The sex field is always left blank.
The Authorised Officer has discretion to restrict the time and geographical validity of a Document of Identity (DOI) for reasons set out in the Minister’s Determination. In most cases a DOI is issued for a short-term or one-way journey only generally due to a history of multiple lost or stolen passports or consular considerations.
A DOI does not request the competent authorities to afford the bearer protection and freedom of passage and all applicants who are eligible to apply for a full validity passport should be advised of this.
- Do not accept it as a valid travel document; or
- Do not consider it a travel document for the purpose of entry unless it is endorsed with a visa or meets other special requirements.
Travel to/from Norfolk Island:DOI
Documents of Identity (DOI) for travel to/from Norfolk Island are issued where an applicant who is an Australian citizen needs to travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island.
No fee is payable unless the client requests the priority processing fee service.
An observation should be placed in the document stating “Valid for travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island only.”
Countries that accept/not accept DOI, COI and Emergency Passport
WARNING: It is the responsibility of the holder to ensure the travel document is suitable for entry, exit and transit for any ongoing travel, including visa requirements.