What if my identity documents are in different names?

police check identity documents

I need to conduct a Police Check – documents in different names?

Anybody applying for a National Criminal History Check will be required to provide 4 documents to prove their identity, no matter which service they use. But we are often asked  -What if my identity documents are in different names? – Can I still compete a police check ?

The requirements for a National Police Check are coordinated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and must be followed properly. The rules are in place to protect the identity of individuals and to prevent cases of fraud. If there are issues with your ID documents, you may be required to obtain new ones. One main cause of problems with identity documents is the names displayed. All details including names, must be accurate and consistent throughout.

What If My Documents Are In Different Names?

When you apply for a police check online, you must provide 4 identity documents to complete your application. All 4 of these documents must be in your primary name. However, sometimes your name may be different on documents. This could be from taking your partner’s name after marriage, or having your name changed for other reasons.

In this case, you will be required to provide an official marriage certificate, or a change of name certificate. This will verify that the names on the documents match to the same person, i.e. you.

You should ensure that you have access to the required certificates if your documents are in different names, as you will not be able to continue with the police check application until all the requirements are met.

It’s important to note that alternative spellings of your name, or any misspellings, punctuation or spaces can all affect your application and result in difficulties processing your police check.

Do I Need To Provide All My Names?

As part of an Australian  National Police Check , it is mandatory for you to provide some personal information to verify and confirm your identity. This information includes your legal names, as well as any previous names. For instance, if you are married and have taken your partner’s name, you will need to provide your maiden name. If you have had your name changed legally for any other reason, you will need to provide your previous names.

All names must be spelt correctly and consistently. If Worker Checks or the alternative NPC provider you have used believes any of the information you have given to be inaccurate, you will be contacted to discuss the problem.

What If I Have Had My Name Changed?

Many people change their name for different purposes, usually for personal reasons. Anybody can change their name officially by lodging a legal name change application, provided that it is not for fraudulent purposes. Following a successful application, you will receive a certificate documenting your name change.

If you have had your name changed and are applying for a National Police Check, you will need to provide a copy of the name change certificate to demonstrate that the different names in your ID documents belong to you.

How Do I Get a Name Change Certificate?

You will usually obtain a change of name certificate when you apply for a name to be changed legally. If for whatever reason you do not have access to the certificate, you should contact the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Each state and territory in Australia is responsible for the provision of certificates, so you should contact the relevant agency.

What If I Am Married?

If you are married in Australia and have taken the surname of your spouse, the names on your documents may still show your maiden name. When applying for a police check online with documents in different names due to marriage, you must provide an official marriage certificate.This proves your name change by marriage and will verify and protect your identity.

How Do I Get A Marriage Certificate?

If you have lost or misplaced your official marriage certificate, you can request a replacement certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You will need to apply through the website of the relevant state or territory in Australia.

What Is The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages?

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry is a government agency which allows people to do the following:

  • Register a birth, death or marriage
  • Apply for a certificate
  • Change names
  • Search family history
  • Register adoptions
  • Register changes of sex or gender

Please note that the individual state and territory governments in Australia are responsible for the provision of certificates. You will need to contact the relevant authority. For more information, visit the Australian government website.

What If My Name Is Spelt Wrong?

An Australian National Criminal History Check is an official document. For this reason, the contents of the National Police Certificate, including all personal information and identity documents must be fully correct.

It’s very important that you spend time checking your application carefully before you submit your online police check . You should check for any inconsistencies, typing errors and spelling mistakes throughout the form.

Any differences, no matter how minor can cause problems with your police check. This will cause delays and it cannot be determined how long you must wait for your national police clearance. Inconsistencies with formatting, spacing, hyphens, different spellings and more will be problematic. Please enter your information carefully.

What If An Alternative Spelling Of My Name Has Been Used?

If you receive your National Criminal History Check and an alternative spelling of your name is printed, you must contact Worker Checks, or the relevant NPC provider as soon as possible. The identity requirements for a National Police Check are strict and in line with Australian government, and must be followed correctly at all times.

What Documents Do I Need?

Anybody who applies for an Australian National Police Check needs to provide 4 ID documents. These include the following:

  • 1 x Commencement Document
  • 1 x Primary Document
  • 2 x Secondary Documents

For a full list of suitable documents for each of the 4 categories mentioned above, visit the Police Check  Identity Frequently Asked Questions page on the Worker Checks website.

Why Do I Need To Provide a Selfie?

As well as the personal information and identity documents, you are also required to upload a selfie when completing your police check online.

The selfie is a method used to compare your appearance to the photograph in your identity document. This is another form of identity verification which is in place to verify and protect your identity, and to stop any other individual from claiming your details as their own.

The process for the selfie is as follows:

  • Take a photo of yourself holding one form of photo ID, such as your passport or driver’s licence
  • The photo is compared against the photo of you in your ID document, and cross checked electronically using automated tools
  • The automated system will also recognise if the photo ID document has been altered in any way

What If I’ve Made a Mistake In My Application?

Once your police check has been submitted, you will need to wait for police clearance following a background check using the identity information you supplied. If you realise you have made a mistake in your application, or you believe there could be a mistake, you must contact the relevant agency you used to apply through immediately.

No matter how small the mistake, it is important to alert the relevant NPC provider to have it rectified. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner the mistake can be amended, and your application will be able to progress.

What Can I Do If I Don’t Have The Right Documents?

If you need to obtain a National Police Check, you have to supply the right documents as required in the application. Whichever provider you use, the documents and information required are exactly the same, as the requirements are set out by Australian government.

If you find that you do not have the right documents, you may need to apply for new documents from the relevant agencies. If you have the right documents but they have expired, you will need to obtain updated documents, as expired documents will not be accepted as part of your police check, with the exception of a passport expired under 2 years ago.

For problems relating to your name or names on documents, there may be an option to have them changed to the correct name. Contact us for any queries or concerns you have about documents and we will advise you the best possible way to move forward with your check.

Why Was My Document Not Accepted?

There are many reasons why a document you have given as part of your police check online may not be accepted. In these cases, the relevant agency will contact you directly using the email address or phone number you provided in your application. You will be informed of the problem, and advised and assisted in how to move forward with your Police Clearance. In some cases, there may be alternative documents which will be accepted.

One reason as to why a document will be rejected is because of issues with your name. If the document displays an abbreviation or alternative spelling of your name, this will be flagged as an inconsistency. Another possible reason for rejection is that the name on the document or any other personal information such as date of birth, may be displayed wrongly.

Other reasons for an unaccepted document can include the following:

  • It is not written in English
  • It is not an accepted form of ID
  • It is expired/no longer valid or it has been cancelled
  • It has been provided in the wrong category (each of the 3 categories – commencement, primary and secondary must have the correct type of document)

Why Do You Need My Documents?

All organisations and providers of Australian police checks must follow the strict application process for identity information. Each provider, including Worker Checks Pty Ltd, has a legal obligation to request and access your identity documents in order to verify your identity.

Every applicant must follow the same process and provide the right documents, or they will be unable to get a National Criminal History Check.

In certain situations, you may have special circumstances which warrant special provisions to be made if you cannot provide the required documents. If you believe you have a genuine reason or inability as to why you are unable to produce the documents, you should contact our customer service team for advice.

Please note, special circumstances are rare and will be reviewed carefully for accuracy. Lost, stolen or expired documents will not be accepted as valid reasons for special provisions.

Who Do I Contact For More Help?

For those who have applied for a National Police Check with Worker Checks, contact our customer service team via phone, email or using the online contact form.

For details, visit the Contact Us page.

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