Enrol or re-enrol in Medicare

Enrol to get a Medicare card and Medicare benefits.

Before you start

To enrol or re-enrol, all people over the age of 15 must visit a service centre.

You should:

  • check if you’re eligible for a Medicare card
  • read why you might be different
  • find the information you need to enrol, if you think you’re eligible

What may be different

The way to enrol a newborn is different. Read about adding a newborn to your Medicare card.

Information you need to enrol

You’ll need your bank account details. This is so we can pay your Medicare benefits directly into your account.

We’ll need other information if you’re:

  • a permanent resident
  • applying for permanent residency
  • visiting Australia
  • a New Zealand citizen living in Australia
  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident returning to live in Australia
  • enrolling an adopted child
  • an Australian citizen who’s never been enrolled

Permanent residents

For each person you want to enrol, you need to give us a:

  • passport, travel document or Immicard, and
  • visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirming permanent residency

Applying for permanent residency

For each person you want to enrol, you need to give us a:

  • passport, travel document or Immicard
  • valid visa, and
  • proof from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection you’ve submitted a valid permanent residency application

This includes you if you’ve applied for a combined spouse visa 309/100 or 820/801.

If your visa doesn’t let you work in Australia, you must prove you have a relationship with a parent, spouse or child who’s an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen who lives in Australia. This proof can be a:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage certificate
  • joint bank or utility account statement, or
  • proof you own a home together

Visitors

The documents you need to give depend on where you’re from. Read more about Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.

New Zealand citizens

Read Medicare enrolment for New Zealand citizens.

Returning to Australia to live

You can enrol if you’re:

  • an Australian citizen, returning to live in Australia after 5 years or more overseas
  • a New Zealand citizen, returning to live in Australia after 12 months or more overseas, or
  • a permanent resident, returning to live in Australia after 12 months or more overseas

For each person enrolling you’ll need to give us a:

  • passport and
  • previous Medicare card number, if they had one

Let us know if you had a card, but don’t have it anymore.

You also need to give us 2 residency documents. They can be:

  • 2 Australian documents, or
  • 1 Australian document and 1 from where you last lived
Documents from another country Documents from Australia
Proof you sold your property Rental or lease agreement
Proof you ended your lease Bond receipt
Proof you ended your job Proof of your job
Proof you moved household goods or furniture Proof your child’s in school or childcare
A statement showing you closed your bank account A statement from your bank or health, property or contents insurance
Proof you cancelled health, property or contents insurance Gas, electricity, water or rates statement

Children adopted from overseas

You’ll need to give us:

  • your child’s passport, travel document or Immicard
  • proof of adoption or that you’re adopting the child, and
  • your Medicare card

You’ll also need your child’s:

  • permanent resident visa, or
  • temporary visa and proof you’ve applied for a permanent resident visa

Children adopted in Australia

You need to give us different documents depending on if your adoption process is in progress or finalised.

Adoption is in progress

If the adoption hasn’t been finalised, you’ll need to give:

  • a Voluntary Care Agreement
  • a letter from the adoption agency confirming:
    • you’re adopting the child
    • the name and date of birth of the child
    • the adoptive parents details
    • the child needs a Medicare card
  • a proof of birth document

If the adoption’s in progress, the child will have their own Medicare card and can have your family name on the card. Once the adoption is final, you can add your child to your family Medicare card using your child’s new legal name - the name on the adoption papers.

If you want your child to have a name different to their legal name, adoptive parents must agree and provide a signed written request.

Adoption if finalised

If the adoption is finalised, you’ll need to give:

  • the birth certificate
  • a document confirming you adopted the child
  • the Medicare card of adoptive parents

Australian citizen

For Australian citizens who’ve never been enrolled and haven’t been living overseas, you need to give us:

  • current passport
  • birth certificate or extract
  • current driver’s licence
  • marriage certificate
  • change of name certificate
  • proof of age card

You also need to give us any 2 documents proving you live in Australia.

If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and you can’t give standard identity documents, you can complete the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicare enrolment and amendment form.

Apply

Complete a Medicare enrolment application form or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medicare enrolment and amendment form.

Submit your application

You need to give us:

  • your form, and
  • other documents we’ve asked for – either originals or certified copies

You can do this at a service centre. All people on the form who are 15 years old or older need to come with you. This is because:

  • you need to prove your identity
  • you need to prove you’re in Australia

If you can’t go to a service centre

You can post your application and certified copies of documents if:

  • you live in an area far from a service centre, or
  • there’s a medical reason you can’t attend - you need to tell us why

Wait for the result

If you’re eligible, we’ll give you a Medicare number to use straight away. We’ll send your Medicare card to you in 3 to 4 weeks.

You can register for a Medicare online account through myGov.

Use the Express Plus Medicare app to get a digital copy of your Medicare card.

Page last updated: 31 May 2017

This information was printed Tuesday 27 June 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/enrol-medicare It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.