Forging a driver's licence could cost five years in jail, according to new laws introduced yesterday by Federal Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor.
(Theft image by Don Hankins, CC2.0)
Anyone caught "making, supplying or using identification information with the intention of committing a Commonwealth indictable offence" could be sentenced up to five years jail, while those found to possess IDs with the intent to commit identity crime face three years jail.
Those caught with machines capable of forging ID cards or documentation with an intention of committing identity crime also face three years.
The laws created under the Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Identity Crimes and Other Measures) Bill 2010 are designed to tackle the rising incidence of identity theft, O'Connor said.
"Identity theft is a terrible crime that is not only frustrating and time-consuming to remedy, but can lead to serious damage to a person's credit history and reputation for many years," O'Connor said in a statement.
"The new laws are technology-neutral and designed to take account of evolving types of identity crime such as phishing and the use of malicious software.
"Coupled with existing State and Federal offences for theft, forgery, fraud and credit card skimming these new penalties provide a serious deterrent to would-be identity thieves."
Victims can obtain a certificate from a magistrate detailing that their identity information has been stolen.