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Apply for a field agent licence

You must have a valid licence to work as a field agent. If you don’t have a licence, you must apply for one.

Application for an individual's licence (PDF, 369KB)

Authorised activities

A field agent is licensed to:

  • find and recover goods (repossession)
  • collect debts face to face
  • serve documents (process serving).

Alternatively, you can work as a collection agent if you only:

  • collect debts (and do not repossess goods or do process serving)

and

  • contact debtors over the phone or in writing.

You do not need a licence to perform evictions or vacant repossessions of real property.

Find out about collection agent work.

You must have a licence (or in some cases a subagent registration) to do any other type of work as a debt collector or process server.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a field agent licence, you must be 18 or older.

Suitability

You are not suitable to hold a field agent licence if you:

  • are an insolvent under administration
  • are currently disqualified from holding a licence or registration certificate
  • have been convicted of a serious offence within the past 5 years.

We also consider if you:

  • have a criminal history
  • have been an executive officer of a corporation that has gone insolvent
  • were the cause of a successful claim fund action
  • are subject to a court or tribunal order due to your involvement as a marketeer
  • have been previously disqualified from holding a licence or registration certificate
  • are disqualified from being a company director
  • are incapable of satisfactorily doing the job of a licensee
  • are unsuitable because of your character or the character of your business associates
  • are allowed to work in Australia.

Serious offences

A serious offence is anything punishable by 3 or more years in prison, including:

  • violent offences (including threats to use violence)
  • fraud and dishonesty
  • drug trafficking
  • extortion
  • arson
  • unlawful stalking
  • offences of a sexual nature.

Receivership or liquidation

You must tell us if you have ever been an executive officer of a corporation that:

  • was previously licensed
  • has gone into receivership or liquidation.

If so, you will need to tell us:

  • what circumstances caused it to happen
  • whether you took all reasonable steps to avoid these circumstances
  • what assets you had available to distribute
  • how much money (if any) you paid in dividends
  • whether you broke any laws relating to these circumstances
  • whether you are disqualified from being a company director or other officer.

You must also include a report from the receiver or liquidator that gives us:

  • a detailed list of your creditors
  • the amount of money you still owe to each creditor.

Non-citizens

If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you need to:

  • give us a certified copy of your passport
  • have a visa that allows you to work in Australia.

Lodgement

When you lodge the form, you will need to attach formal identification. These documents must be original or certified copies.

Your identification must be a certified copy of 1 of the following 4 documents:

  • Birth certificate or extract
  • Driver licence
  • Passport
  • Citizenship certificate

You will need to pay certain fees when you lodge your application. These include:

  • the licence fee of $1,483.70 for 1 year or $2,781.70 for 3 years
  • a criminal history check fee of $39.45.

You will also need to attach your proof of qualifications.

Criminal history check

To confirm your suitability, we will submit your application for a criminal history check. This will be thorough and may be time consuming.

If you were born in New Zealand or have a New Zealand passport, you need to get a copy of your criminal history or a letter indicating you have no criminal history from New Zealand. For more information, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Justice website.

You don’t have to pay any fees to get a New Zealand criminal history check. We can only accept original documents dated within one month of the date you send them to us. Please note it takes 20 working days to process a request for a New Zealand criminal history check.

Photographs

You will need to attach 2 passport-sized photos of yourself.

They must be certified by a person who:

  • is 18 or older
  • has known you for at least 12 months
  • is not your spouse or de facto partner
  • is not any other family member (by blood or marriage).

Processing time

The processing time is 4–6 weeks. This can take longer if your application is not complete. This might be because of:

  • missing information
  • unpaid fees.

We will contact you if you submitted an incomplete application. You will need to complete the application before we can proceed. Otherwise, we may withdraw your application.

Refunds

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to a partial refund if:

  • you withdraw your application
  • we refuse your application.

You may also get a refund on the fee for your criminal history check if it hasn’t been started yet.

Training

You do not need any training for this licence.