DFAT – passports.gov.au

Terms of Use

1 Introduction

1.1 About these terms of use

1.2 About using passports.gov.au

1.3 Changes to passports.gov.au and these terms of use

2 Your responsibilities

2.1 Accessing and using your account

2.2 What to do if someone you know cannot access the services at passports.gov.au

2.3 Keeping your passports.gov.au Security Details safe

2.4 What to do if you think your account has been compromised

2.5 Responsibility for access and use of your passports.gov.au account

2.6 How you must not use passports.gov.au

2.7 Information that you provide on the passports.gov.au and compliance with laws

2.8 Availability of your passports.gov.au account

3 Our responsibilities

3.1 What we are responsible for

3.2 What we are not responsible for

3.3 Security

3.4 Privacy

4 How we will communicate with you

4.1 Communicating with you

4.2 Phishing scams

5 Use of your information and privacy

5.1 Passports.gov.au and privacy

5.2 Collection of your personal information

5.3 Personal information collected other than about you

5.4 Personal information collected other than from you

5.5 Why we collect personal information

5.6 Consequences if you do not provide personal information

5.7 Who we disclose your personal information to

5.8 Disclosure of personal information to overseas recipients

5.9 Why do we disclose your personal information?

5.10 Your consent to us using and disclosing your personal information for limited purposes

5.11 Privacy Policy

6 General

6.1 Suspension or termination of your passports.gov.au account access

6.2 Laws relating to these terms of use

6.3 Getting help

6.4 Complaints and feedback

7 Definitions

1 Introduction

1.1 About these terms of use

These terms of use describe what you need to know and understand about your rights and responsibilities as a user of passports.gov.au.

Some of the words in these terms of use have a particular meaning. These words, and the meaning of these words, are set out in the definitions table at section 7 of these terms of use. You should refer to the definitions table when reading these terms of use. You can skip to the definitions table by selecting 'Go to definitions' at the end of each section.

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1.2 About using passports.gov.au

Passports.gov.au is operated by the Australian Government, as represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the department).

To use certain services on passports.gov.au you will need to create an account.

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1.3 Changes to passports.gov.au and these terms of use

The department may change, add or remove any of the functionality of passports.gov.au, or make changes to these terms of use at any time.

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2 Your responsibilities

2.1 Accessing and using your account

You will need to:

  • be a natural person over the age of 18 years to register an account at passports.gov.au; and
  • use your Security Details for passports.gov.au to access your account.

You must only use your account to perform the Designated Activities specified below, in connection with:

  • your own personal Australian passport;
  • an Australian passport for a child for whom who you have parental responsibility for; or
  • an Australian passport on behalf of an adult who is physically or mentally unable to use the services at passports.gov.au.

You must not use your account to perform Designated Activities in connection with anyone else's Australian passport.

The Designated Activities are:

  • commence, resume, update, fill-in and print an online application form for the issue of an Australian passport;
  • track your passport application;
  • fill-in and print a child alert request form;
  • pay the priority processing fee;
  • check the details of an Australian passport; and
  • report as lost or stolen an Australian passport.

You must not:

  • access or try to access any other person's passports.gov.au account; or
  • allow any other person to access your passports.gov.au account on your behalf.

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2.2 What to do if someone you know cannot access the services at passports.gov.au

If someone you know cannot access the services at passports.gov.au, rather than allowing that person to access your account, which is not permitted, you can tell them to contact the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) on 131 232 in Australia. If they do not speak English well, APIS can arrange an interpreter through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) at no cost. To contact APIS with the assistance of a phone interpreter, call TIS on 131 450.

If they are overseas, they can contact the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.

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2.3 Keeping your account Security Details safe

You must:

  • keep your Security Details for passports.gov.au secure at all times and not share them with any other person; and
  • not allow any other person to use your Security Details for passports.gov.au.

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2.4 What to do if you think your account has been compromised

If you think that the security of your passports.gov.au account may have been compromised (for example, if your Security Details for passports.gov.au have been, or may be, accessed by another person without your permission) you should tell the department as soon as possible.

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2.5 Responsibility for access and use of your passports.gov.au account

If you don't keep your Security Details for passports.gov.au safe (see your responsibilities at section 2.3), and someone else uses them, you will be responsible for everything they do with your account.

If you deliberately allow someone else to use your passports.gov.au account, which is not permitted, you will be responsible for everything they do with your account.

If you comply with the security requirements in these terms of use, you will not be responsible for any unauthorised access to your account. For example, if your account is accessed by an unauthorised person, as a result of fraud, you will not be responsible for the actions of that unauthorised person.

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2.6 How you must not use passports.gov.au

You must not use passports.gov.au :

  • in a way that infringes anyone else's rights or prevents them from using the passports.gov.au;
  • in any way which may harass or cause distress or inconvenience to anyone;
  • to cause disruption to the passports.gov.au or any Commonwealth website;
  • to post or transmit unlawful, defamatory, obscene, offensive, or scandalous material;
  • to participate in any illegal (including fraudulent) activity; or
  • to post or transmit material that breaks or encourages breaking the law.

If you use passports.gov.au or your passports.gov.au account to do any of the above things, your passports.gov.au account may be locked, suspended or terminated and you may even face civil or criminal penalties (depending on what has happened).

You must not use any software (for example, bots or scraper tools) or other automatic devices to access, monitor or copy the passports.gov.au or its contents.

You must not use passports.gov.au to verify or seek to verify personal information of individuals, either manually or using software (for example, bots or scraper tools) or other automatic devices. You must not do this even if you have the individual's consent. Organisations wishing to verify personal information of individuals are directed to the Document Verification Service, managed by the Australian Government's Attorney-General's Department, the national online system that allows organisations to validate a person's identifying information with a government record.

The department may monitor use of passports.gov.au and your passports.gov.au account for the purposes of ensuring compliance with these terms of use.

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2.7 Information that you provide on the passports.gov.au and compliance with laws

You must comply with all relevant laws when using passports.gov.au, including but not limited to the Passports Act.

In particular, you need to provide complete, true and accurate information when using your passports.gov.au account. Providing incomplete, inaccurate or false information to passports.gov.au will be treated in the same way as providing incorrect information on a form or in person.

It is a criminal offence under the Passports Act to make false or misleading statements or to provide false or misleading information (there are penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of 1000 penalty points, or both).

The Passports Act also allows the department to refuse to process an application for an Australian passport if it has reasonable grounds to suspect fraud or dishonesty in an Australian passport application.

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2.8 Availability of your passports.gov.au account

If passports.gov.au is not available for any reason or you wish to close your passports.gov.au account, you can communicate directly with the department in writing, by telephone or in person by using the details at Getting help.

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3 Our responsibilities

3.1 What we are responsible for

The department will take reasonable care in providing information and services through passports.gov.au.

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3.2 What we are not responsible for

The department is not responsible for ensuring:

  • that passports.gov.au is error free;
  • that any defects in passports.gov.au will be rectified;
  • that there will be no connectivity problems with accessing passports.gov.au;
  • that you will have continuous access to passports.gov.au; or
  • that passports.gov.au cannot be hacked or attacked.

The department is not responsible for any Loss that could arise as a result of:

  • your use of passports.gov.au, except where these terms specifically say that the department is responsible; or
  • your inability to access passports.gov.au.

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3.3 Security

The department is responsible for taking all reasonable steps to ensure the security of information while it is being collected by, stored on or passing through passports.gov.au.

Your passports.gov.au account information can only be accessed by department officers who are allowed to access this information. All access by department officers to passports.gov.au is checked by the department and officers are trained on a regular basis about their privacy and security obligations.

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3.4 Privacy

Your personal information is protected by law, under the Privacy Act and is managed by the department as set out in section 5 of these terms of use.

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4 How we will communicate with you

4.1 Communicating with you

By creating a passports.gov.au account or by accessing passports.gov.au you are agreeing to receive at your nominated email address and mobile phone number, emails and text messages from the department in connection with:

  • your Australian passport application and your Australian passport;
  • an Australian passport application or Australian passport for a child for whom you have parental responsibility for; or
  • an Australian passport application prepared by you on behalf of, or the Australian passport of, an adult who is physically or mentally unable to use the services at passports.gov.au

If you incorrectly receive an email or text message addressed to another person, you must tell the department straight away and immediately delete the email or text message.

We will send emails to you from the following domains: passports.gov.au, dfat.gov.au and humanservices.gov.au . We recommend that you:

  • add these domains to the list of safe senders so that communications from the department are not redirected to your junk mail; and
  • check your junk email folder regularly, for any communications from the department.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you read all communications from us in a timely manner. The department is not responsible for any Loss that may arise as a result of you not accessing an email or text message including if it is directed to your junk email folder, or if there is a delivery failure, or as a result of you allowing someone else to access your email account or mobile phone.

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4.2 Phishing scams

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information.

The department will never send you an email asking you to log in to your account by clicking on a link or to provide or confirm your personal details. If you receive a phishing email or something that you suspect may be a phishing email, please tell the department straight away.

For more information about phishing scams, see Scamwatch.

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5 Use of your information and privacy

The department handles and protects your personal information in accordance with the Passports Act, the Privacy Act and the department's Privacy Policy.

We take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

5.1 Passports.gov.au and privacy

Where you are providing personal information about another person via passports.gov.au, for example referees and other persons with parental responsibility for a child:

  • you must advise the person about this privacy information set out in section 5 of these terms and conditions; and
  • all references to personal information in this section need to be read as including a reference to the personal information of that person.

If you have any questions or concerns about how your personal information is dealt with by the department, you can contact:

Communications Unit
Australian Passport Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221

Email: passports.australia@dfat.gov.au

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5.2 Collection of your personal information

The department collects personal information about you when you use your passports.gov.au account, this information includes:

  • basic identifying information, including your name and email address, when you create an account;
  • the detailed personal information you provide when you are applying for an Australian passport, including identifying information, citizenship information, the details of your identification documents and your answers to our questions in the application form;
  • personal information used to verify your identity when you check Australian passport details, report a lost or stolen Australian passport or ask a question; and
  • information about your user activity while using passports.gov.au is retained in an audit log, including your IP address, your log in and attempted log in records and other technical information relevant to the operation of your account and use of the system.

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5.3 Personal information collected other than about you

Where you are accessing services on passports.gov.au on behalf of someone else, we will collect personal information about that person from you.

The department also collects personal information about people who are not applying for an Australian passport when those people are named in an Australian passport application. This may include referees, people with parental responsibility (for child Australian passport applications), an applicant's parents or grandparents to establish citizenship, lodging person details if they are not the applicant, or a person with parental responsibility and emergency contacts.

If you provide information using the passports.gov.au about an individual other than yourself, you must advise the individual about the terms and conditions set out on this website, including those relating to privacy, and have the individual's consent to the department using their personal information as set out in the terms and conditions.

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5.4 Personal information collected other than from you

In accordance with the Passports Act, we will also collect personal information about you from individuals, entities, as well as government and law enforcement agencies for a number of purposes, including to verify the information you have given to us in an Australian passport application or where those agencies believe there are reasons related to law enforcement or security for refusing or cancelling a travel document.

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5.5 Why we collect personal information

The department collects personal information to issue and administer Australian passports and for other consular purposes. For example, the department collects emergency contact details so it can contact someone if you are involved in an incident while overseas. As part of the Australian passport application process, we need to perform data verification and fraud related checks in relation to the information you provide in the application form.

We also collect information about your user activity when using passports.gov.au for security and fraud related purposes, as well as to allow us to undertake testing and improve users' experience when accessing the system.

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5.6 Consequences if you do not provide personal information

The department must verify identity and citizenship details for an Australian passport to be issued. If you do not provide the requested personal information, we cannot confirm these details and we cannot issue an Australian passport.

If you want to use passports.gov.au to: check Australian passport details, track your passport application; fill-in and print a child alert request form; pay the priority processing fee; report a lost or stolen Australian passport; or to ask a question, the department will ask for further personal information to verify your identity. If you do not give us this information, the department may not be able to help you.

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5.7 Who we disclose your personal information to

Once you have lodged your passport application, and in accordance with the Passports Act, the department can disclose your personal information to a number of individuals, entities and Australian and foreign government agencies, including:

  • the Australian Electoral Commission;
  • the Department of Immigration and Border Protection;
  • State and Territory police, and the Australian Federal Police;
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission;
  • State and Territory registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages;
  • State and Territory road traffic authorities;
  • State, Territory and federal Courts; and
  • entities or individuals who issued or signed a document that was part of an Australian passport application or who are mentioned in that application.

We may also disclose your personal information if it is requested by another government agency and where disclosure by the department to that agency is authorised by law, for example to the Australian Taxation Office.

Individuals who provide their Australian passports to public or private sector organisations as proof of identity may be asked to consent to have the data verified by the department via the Document Verification Service (DVS), the national online system that allows organisations to validate a person's identifying information with a government record. Provided the organisation is an approved DVS user, the department will verify the data and confirm the validity of the document.

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5.8 Disclosure of personal information to overseas recipients

Once you have lodged your passport application, the department may disclose your personal information to overseas recipients where authorised by law, including under the Passports Act and the Privacy Act. These overseas recipients may include Interpol, as well as foreign governments and agencies.

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5.9 Why do we disclose your personal information?

Under the Passports Act, the department is authorised to use your personal information:

  • to confirm or verify information relating to an Australian passport application or Australian passport;
  • to confirm or verify information relating to an applicant for, or holder, of an Australian passport
  • to provide advice about the status of an Australian passport;
  • to facilitate or assist with your, or another person's, international travel; and
  • for law enforcement, family law and related matters, or for the purpose of other laws.      

We may also use or disclose your personal information where it is authorised by the Privacy Act, including where authorised under law, where the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to lessen or prevent a threat to the life, health or safety of an individual, or to public health or safety or where the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary in order for the department or another government agency to take appropriate action in relation to suspected unlawful activity or misconduct.

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5.10 Your consent to us using and disclosing your personal information for limited purposes

When you lodge a passport application you will be asked to consent to the department using and disclosing your current and past personal information that you provide when applying for an Australian passport for training and research purposes, and to investigate and undertake any prosecution related to your passport application (for example, fraud investigations). This information may be used even in the situation where the application containing your personal information is withdrawn.

If you object to your personal information being used in this way, please call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 once you have lodged your passport application.

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5.11 Privacy Policy

See the department's Privacy Policy for further information, including how to:

  • access and seek corrections to your personal information; and ·
  • complain about a possible breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we deal with such complaints.

You can obtain further information about your rights under the Privacy Act from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

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6 General

6.1 Suspension or termination of your passports.gov.au account access

The department may lock, suspend or terminate your passports.gov.au access or account at any time without notice. If your account is locked, suspended or terminated, you will see an on-screen message informing you of this when you attempt to log in to your passports.gov.au account.

The department is not responsible for any Loss that could arise as a result of the department locking, suspending or terminating your passports.gov.au access or account.

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6.2 Laws relating to these terms of use

Any legal questions about these terms of use will be decided by applying the laws of the Australian Capital Territory, Australia (ACT). You submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the ACT in relation to these terms of use.

However, the department will consider any reasonable request to bring legal action in a different State or Territory if there are appropriate reasons for doing so (for example, if you are unable to travel due to medical reasons).

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6.3 Getting help

If you require assistance with passports.gov.au you can contact the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) on 131 232 if you are in Australia. If you do not speak English well, APIS can arrange an interpreter through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) at no cost to you. To contact APIS with the assistance of a phone interpreter, call TIS on 131 450.

If you are overseas, contact your nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.

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6.4 Complaints and feedback

Your feedback is important to us, we value your opinion and want to hear what you think about the quality of the department's service. The department will use your feedback to improve its services.

You can leave your feedback online, by phoning APIS on 131232, sending an email to passports.australia@dfat.gov.au or writing to:

Australian Passport Office – Communications Section
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221

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7 Definitions

Term Meaning
AccountYour passport.gov.au account provides you with a secure means to make an application for a passport and access passport related services.
Australian passportFor the purpose of these user terms and conditions an Australian passport is taken to include a travel-related document as defined in the Passports Act.
CommonwealthThe Commonwealth of Australia
department, us, we, ourThe Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or any Australian Government department which takes over the functions of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Designated Activities

The Designated Activities are:

  • commence, resume, update and submit an online application form for the issue of an Australian passport;
  • track your passport application;
  • complete a child alert request form;
  • pay the priority processing fee;
  • check the details of an Australian passport; and
  • report as lost or stolen an Australian passport.
LossAny loss, damage, cost or expense (to any person or property), including: loss of profits or revenue, loss or denial of opportunity, loss of use, loss of data, and any indirect, remote, abnormal or unforeseeable loss
passports.gov.auThe Australian Government online Australian passport portal and services accessible using that portal
Passports ActThe Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth)
Privacy ActThe Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
Security Details The username, password/PIN and secret questions used to access your passports.gov.au account
You, YourYou, the reader of these terms of use and user of passports.gov.au

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