Prepaid Mobile Starter Kit

I received in interesting Chat Request last night that I thought many people visiting or settling in Australia would be interested in.

This particular person was from India and was about the settle in South Australia. He obviously hadn't purchased a mobile phone plan in Australia and wanted to find out what ID was required to get one.

Fact is that you simply can't visit a convenience store in Australia and buy a prepaid mobile sim kit without ID. Now I am unsure how much checking takes place at the convenience store but what I can assure you of is that if you buy online or visit a branded store eg Optus, Telstra or Vodafone, you will be required to complete an Identification Form for Prepaid Mobile Services. This is an Australian Government Form.

This is what the form says. "By law your prepaid mobile telephone account cannot be activated unless you provide the requested information. Knowingly giving false or misleading information may be a serious offence ...imprisonment for up to 12 months.

This is the information that you need to have with you when you complete one of these forms in the store.

  • Given Names, Surname, Address and the country that you are living in. It looks as though it doesn't need to be an Australian address.
  • If paying by credit card, your credit card details are also requested. This is then the only ID required from you.
  • If you are paying with cash, you then need to also provide some form of ID, eg Passport, Centrelink/pension/health care card, Government ID, Birth Certificate, Drivers Licence, Tertiary ID Card.
  • If you have none of these, you can also provide two of these, Debit Card, Medicare Card, Bank Passbook, Council Rates and Landline Phone Account.

It actually gets a little more complicated than this, as the ID required has also to do with the number of prepaid mobile plans you have running at the moment. If you have 5 or more, you must show multiple forms of ID regardless of how you pay.

After handing over all of this ID, the retailer will record the sim card number on the form and then mail it to the Australian Government.

In reality the process takes just 5 minutes to complete and if you do it online, the only ID they ask for is Drivers Licence. If you don't have one of these, then you will probably need to call them up directly to have your ID accepted.

I provided our friend heading the Adelaide with what he required and wished him well. I have no doubt he will be able to get himself sorted easily enough when he arrives.

If you are traveling to Australia and are bringing your mobile with you be sure to look into your roaming rates. Unlikely that they are cheap so take a look at some prepaid mobile offers to save you money whilst you travel.


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