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OUR SERVICES

Identity Matching Services - what are they?

​​The Identity Matching Services compare the personal information on your identity document against existing government records, such as passports, driver licences and birth certificates. They can be used to help verify your identity, and in limited cases, to identify unknown people.

The services are provided through secure, online systems that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The services are provided through a partnership between the Australian Government, state and territory governments, under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Identity Matching Services.

The full range of services will become available to government agencies over the next two years.

Document Verification Service

The Document Verification Service (DVS) checks whether the biographic information on your identity document matches the original record. The result will simply be ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The DVS does not check facial images.

The DVS makes it harder for people to use fake identity documents.

The DVS has been operational since 2009. Both the public and private sector use the DVS. 

Face Verification Service

The Face Verification Service (FVS) compares your photo against the image used on your identity documents, usually with your consent. The FVS can:

  • make access to government services more convenient for customers by avoiding the need to attend a shopfront
  • help victims of identity crime reclaim their identity faster
  • help prevent identity theft by detecting fake or stolen documents.

The FVS can currently only be used by government agencies. In future, some local government and private sector organisations will be able use the FVS, but only with your consent.

Face Identification Service

The Face Identification Service (FIS) compares a person’s photo with other photos held in government records to identify them or detect multiple fake identities. The FIS: 

  • canonly be used by national security, law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies under limited circumstances.
  • can't be used to investigate minor offences or conduct live facial recognition of people in public places (or what some people call mass surveillance).

Local government and private sector organisations will not have access to the FIS. 

All FIS responses will be reviewed by a person specifically trained in facial recognition and image comparison, to help protect against the possibility of false matches—an identity decision will never be made by the technology alone. 

Find out more about how your information might be used in the FIS on the For Individuals page.

What documents can the Identity Matching Services verify?

The Identity Matching Services can currently be used to check information on the following documents.

DVS

  • birth certificates
  • Centrelink concession cards
  • certificates of registration by descent
  • change of name certificates
  • citizenship certificates
  • driver licences
  • ImmiCards
  • marriage certificates
  • Medicare cards
  • passports
  • visas

FVS/FIS

  • passports (FVS only)
  • citizenship certificates
  • visas

Where is your data stored?

Each government agency that issues your identity documents has its own secure system to protect the original record.

In most cases, the Identity Matching Services access information direct from these systems.  The exception is driver licence information (see below).

All Identity Matching Services requests and responses are transmitted in an encrypted format.  As the operator of the Identity Matching Services, the Department of Home Affairs can’t view, edit, or modify this information, or track an individual's use of the services.

What systems do we operate?

The Identity Matching Services use what we call hubs, which are technical systems that act as ‘routers’ to securely transmit matching requests between the organisation which is using the service and the agency which holds your information used on your identity document.

These hubs do not store or retain your identity information. They only retain transactional data for a limited period for auditing purposes.

The DVS hub

The DVS hub transmits matching requests containing biographic information on your identity documents from organisations that use the DVS.

The DVS accesses driver licence information from the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). This is a separate system operated by Austroads Limited on behalf of all states and territories.

The Interoperability hub

A separate interoperability hub transmits matching requests containing your facial image and biographic information from agencies that use the FVS and FIS.

National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution

To support the FVS and FIS, state and territory road agencies will gradually come on board to provide us with copies of your driver licence photos and related identity information. These are stored in the National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution (NDLFRS).

The Department of Home Affairs manages this system on behalf of all states and territories. The NDFLRS centrally stores biometric templates created from facial images provided by states and territories. Each road agency retains complete control over the facial images and other identity information associated with their driver licences. 

Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia have now provided data into the NDLFRS, with other states and territories to follow in a phased roll-out over the next two years. 

In the initial phases of building the NDLFRS, only the state or territory that uploaded the data will have access to it. This means that driver licence images are not yet available through the FVS or FIS.

Find out more about how your information is handled in the NDLFRS on our For Individuals page.