Optus SIM card requirements
Getting a SIM card from Optus is a simple process, but things can change quickly when you decide to activate it. For instance, you could easily have a SIM card sold to you from several online merchants, but in order to actually use it, you’ll have to activate it. That’s where the requirements kick in.
While there was a time when you could purchase and activate a SIM without much info, that isn’t the case anymore. In those days, prepaid SIM cards didn’t require identity checks – only postpaid SIM cards did. But today, both prepaid and postpaid SIM cards from Optus require an ID check before activating your service.
This isn’t just an Optus requirement – it’s actually mandated by the Australian government. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has set rules that require telcos to check your ID when you activate both postpaid and prepaid mobile services.
As a result of the ACMA rules, you can’t activate your Optus SIM without ID. While this might seem inconvenient – especially for prepaid users who pay before service – it is actually for good reason.
These days, fraudulent activities are on the rise, and phones have become a significant tool for such crimes. For instance, SIM swap hacks can result in your phone number being used by someone else for fraudulent purposes. In such a case, your ID can come in handy when verifying that you’re the actual owner of that phone number when you want to recover it after it has been fraudulently ported. Recently, a South Australian woman lost her $43,000 in life savings to a SIM swap scam – yes, it is that serious.
Any cyber fraud news or evidence can put the need for ID checks into perspective. When a scammer uses a SIM to commit a crime, the ID check makes it easier for the authorities to determine who the fraudster actually is.
ID checks for SIM plans are not that inconvenient
While the hassle of having to provide ID for activating a SIM might seem inconvenient, it’s actually quite straightforward. The ACMA has provided different alternatives to simplify the process.
Telcos are allowed to either do a visual check on your ID, but they can also use government services such as IDMatch’s Document Verification Service to perform an ID check instead. This service verifies your ID and information with the issuing agency in order to protect your identity. If a fraudster gets a hold of your personal information, they can use it to activate a SIM and commit crimes with your ID. Such ID services can help prevent that from happening.
Also, if you already have an existing postpaid or prepaid account with your telco, that account can be used to verify your ID on a new SIM from that same telco.
How to activate Optus SIM card
After you receive your SIM card, you’ll need to activate it before you can use your SIM plan. Optus makes this process easy for both postpaid and prepaid customers. In both cases, you will need to provide a government issued ID for verification (Passport, Drivers Licence/Photo Card, Medicare Card or Debit Card, or a combination of some of these), along with some other personal information.
Postpaid customers go through the ID and credit check prior to the SIM card being delivered. As a result, all a postpaid customer has to do is plug the SIM card into the phone and it will be activated within 4 hours. However, if you purchase your Optus SIM from a third party, you’ll have to complete the activation process here.
Prepaid customers will need their Optus SIM card, along with a government-issued ID in order to activate their Optus SIM plan. And if you want to keep your current phone number, you’ll need your current SIM to be in the device while you activate your new Optus prepaid SIM. You can activate your Optus prepaid SIM by entering your SIM number here.
You’re going to need ID to activate not just an Optus SIM, but any SIM. In fact, it’s not even an Optus requirement – the telco regulators insist that every SIM be associated with a person. You’ll even notice, working through the checkout process that they establish how many SIMs you have in your own name when you’re buying SIM cards, because they want to make sure you’re not doing anything naughty – like changing your phone number all the time to avoid police surveillance.
We’ve been selling SIMs for a while now in Australia – more than 30 years. In that time, the authorities have figured out a thing or two about how the services telcos sell can be misused. The ID requirement is one way to make sure that, if the system is abused, they have an individual they can find to discuss the matter with.