Applying for an maritime security identification card (MSIC)

New discretionary MSIC application form

Application process

From 15 December 2015, you may be able to apply for an MSIC through an MSIC issuing body before you have an operational need to hold an MSIC.

Applicants for an MSIC need to apply to an MSIC issuing body. Once you have lodged your application, the issuing body will undertake the following processes before deciding whether to issue you with an MSIC:

  • confirm your identity;
  • confirm your operational need for an MSIC;
  • request a background check through AusCheck; and
  • if necessary, confirm your right to work in Australia.

You may choose to apply for a two or four year MSIC.

If you apply for a four year MSIC, you will undergo a follow-up background check. This will occur on the second year anniversary of the date of issue of your MSIC. The follow-up background check assures that the holder continues to be eligible to hold an MSIC.

Cost of an MSIC

MSIC costs vary between issuing bodies. Applicants should contact issuing bodies directly for their current prices.

Background checking process

AusCheck, a Division within the Attorney-General's Department, is responsible for coordinating the background checks of MSIC applicants and people who are involved in the issuing of MSICs.

The background checking process includes:

  • a criminal records check undertaken by CrimTrac, which is used to determine if an applicant has an adverse criminal record;
  • a security assessment conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO); and
  • confirming that the applicant has a right to work in Australia if they are not an Australian Citizen.

Obtaining more information about your application

For information on the progress of your application, contact your MSIC issuing body.

What if I am found to be not eligible to hold an MSIC from AusCheck?

If your application for an MSIC is refused, you will be told of the reason for that decision and your legal rights for a reconsideration or appeal. For more information refer to MSIC discretionary cards or contact your issuing body.

If you believe that your criminal history certificate has offences listed incorrectly, you should contact AusCheck to arrange a correction to your record.

If you would like to submit an application for a discretionary MSIC you can now either:

  1. complete an application online


  1. print out and complete the MSIC discretionary application form PDF: 1636 KB ReadSpeaker
  2. and send it back:
    • as an attachment via email or
    • fax: 02 6274 7097 or
    • post to GPO Box 594, CANBERRA ACT 2601.

If you have any questions please call the Department on 02 6274 7748.

What if my MSIC is cancelled?

If your MSIC is cancelled due to an adverse criminal record, you may apply to the Secretary of the Department to set aside the cancellation and have your card reinstated. For more information refer to MSIC discretionary cards or contact your issuing body.

  • Maritime Security identification Card (MSIC)—Reinstatement of Cancelled MSICs PDF: 358 KB ReadSpeaker

International scam alert: MSICs for working on cruise vessels

The Department has been made aware of possible scams originating from overseas where an individual is asked to pay money for an MSIC and Australian work visa to gain employment on cruise vessels. The scam may be in the form of an email and often asks people to fill out an application form.

MSICs are only issued by organisations based in mainland Australia—there are no foreign MSIC issuing authorities.

MSICs are only required for workers who need unescorted access to maritime security zones:

  • on Australian regulated ships;
  • at Australian security regulated port facilities; or
  • Australian security regulated offshore oil and gas facilities.

Individuals who need an MSIC should only approach approved MSIC issuing bodies.

If you suspect a fraud, contact your local police authority.

For further information or assistance about Australian work visas, contact the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection.