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Making, Providing or Possessing a False Travel or Identity Document

Making, providing or possessing a false travel or identity document is an offence under section 73.8 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You made, provided or possessed a false travel or identity document
  2. You intended the document to be used to facilitate the entry of another person into a foreign country
  3. The entry of the other person did not, or would not, comply with the entry requirements of the foreign country, and
  4. You received, or intended to receive, a direct or indirect benefit for your actions.

A ‘travel document’ may include:

  1. A passport, and
  2. A national identity card which can be used for travel purposes.

An ‘identity document’ may include:

  1. A driver or rider licence
  2. A birth certificate, and
  3. A proof of age card.

A travel or identity document is false if, and only if, it or any part of it:

  1. Purports to have been made by a person in the form it was made, or in terms in which it was made, by a person who did not make it in that form or in those terms
  2. Purports to have been made in the form it was made, or in the terms in which it was made, on the authority of a person who did not give that authority
  3. Purports to have been altered by a person, or on the authority of a person, who did not alter it or give that authority
  4. Purports to have been made or altered by a person, or on the authority of a person, who did not exist, or
  5. Purports to have been made or altered on a date, or at a time, place or in circumstances which are incorrect.

To ‘make’ a document includes to alter an existing document.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Necessity
  2. Duress, and
  3. Self-defence.

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