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Aviation reference number frequently asked questions
- What is an aviation reference number (ARN) and why do I need one?
An aviation reference number (ARN) is similar to a customer number. You will need an ARN if you intend to hold any sort of authorisation (such as a permission or licence) with us.
ARNs can be issued to both organisations and individuals. The only pre-requisite is that the party must be a legal entity. This means that ARNs are not issued to business names, consortiums or partnerships. Only one ARN will be issued for each legal entity.
- How can I find out what my ARN is?
If you applied for your ARN after 2 July 2018 you can check the number of your ARN by logging into our ARN online application portal.
If you got your ARN before 2 July 2018, you can email us at email@example.com to ask us to provide you with your ARN.
- Does everyone need an ARN?
- Anyone who holds or intends to hold an authorisation (such as a licence or permission) with us will need to have an ARN. Organisations who hold an organisational permission will need an organisational ARN. If you work in an administrative role for a company with an organisational ARN, you will not need an individual ARN.
- What identification do I need to apply for an ARN?
You will need to have your Australian or foreign passport, Australian birth certificate, Australian citizenship certificate or ImmiCard handy to verify your application.
If you do not have one of these documents, you will need to provide 100 points of identification and complete a paper form. Applications using 100 points of ID will need to be manually processed using Form 1162 and will take about five days.
Applications for an organisational ARN can use their ACN, or a copy of a certificate of incorporation. For government bodies, we will need a copy of the establishing statutory provision which proves it capable of exercising statutory rights in its own right. For foreign corporations, a copy of a certificate of incorporation, or equivalent document will be required.
- Why do you require identification?
We’re working to make all of your interactions with us easier. To do this, we need you to provide us with proof of your identity when you first formally interact with us. This will usually be when you apply for an ARN. We won’t ask you to provide us with proof of your identity again, but we may need to check you are who you say if you ring us or email us.
If you apply for an ASIC or AVID card you will need to comply with the provider’s identification requirements.
- My ID for my ARN application needs to be manually checked – how long will this take?
- If you fail the automatic document verification checks within the ARN application portal your certified documents will need to be manually verified by a Client Services Centre Officer. This will take up to five days.
- Why have my identity documents failed the automatic validation?
- We use the Australian Government’s document verification system. There are a range of reasons why your identity documents may fail the automatic document verification. The main reason is likely to be that the document is not recognised by the system. This will often be the case for foreign documents. You will need to upload a certified copy of your documents if your documents fail automatic verification.
- Who can certify my documents?
- There are a range of people who can certify documents. View our list.
- How do I update the personal details on my ARN?
Keep your contact details up-to-date to avoid licences, certificates and registrations being sent to the wrong address. It’s a legal requirement to tell us if your details change if you hold any authorisation from us.
If you applied for your ARN after 2 July 2018 using our online application system, you can update your contact details in the system.
Find out more about changing your details.
- Why are you asking me what my sex is when I apply for an ARN?
- We require information on an applicant's sex to inform medical questionnaires as part of flight crew licence applications. We will only ask you for this information once. We comply with government guidelines when we ask for this information and in how we use it.
- What if I don't want my ARN anymore?
If you or your organisation is no longer involved in the aviation industry and you'd like to have your ARN closed, please email us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might be asked to provide additional information. This is because some licences and certificates are perpetual, even though the rights of the licence or certificate cannot be exercised unless all conditions are met.
You'll also need to let us know if your organisation is no longer a legal entity, for example, if it's been de-registered by ASIC. Any certificates, licences or permissions issued in this name will need to be closed or transferred to the name of another party.
Information on what to do if an ARN holder is deceased can be found on our changing your details page.
- Why have you changed the identification requirements?
We want to make your interactions with us as easy as possible by reducing the number of documents you need to provide to us. This will make it faster for you to get an ARN and increase the number of applications that can be processed automatically.
- I'm an Indigenous Australian and don't have a passport or birth certificate. I also don't have 100 points of ID. What other options are available?
If you don’t have enough documents to identify you, please call us on 131 757 to request a form be mailed to you.
We may need you to ask an authorised referee to verify your identity on the form – such as a council chairperson, community manager, school principle, minister of religion, doctor, senior nursing sister or authorised government officer. Your referee must have known you for 12 months or more. These applications will be processed manually and may take up to 10 days.