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Arriving back in Australia? Brace yourself for the Australia DPD experience

Gone are the days when you could scribble your arrival card using a borrowed pen during the final approach into Sydney airport. The new Australia Digital Passenger Declaration is somewhat more complicated.


The most important tip I can give you is to allow yourself plenty of time to complete this whilst you have a good internet connection. The application does not work in Airplane Mode! You can complete your DPD up to a week prior to arrival and must be submitted before you depart for Australia.



After you have downloaded the Australia DPD app (1 star rating on Apple App Store) create a user account. The one account can be used for yourself and your family members. This will be your permanent account for future trips so don’t forget the password.


To create a new DPD you will need the flight number and date of flight, your passport, a PRINT OUT of your international vaccination certificate and a working camera on your phone.


The process is fairly straightforward and takes about 5-10 mins per application. Make sure you read the instructions and questions carefully.


The application uses your camera to scan your passport and the QR code on your vaccination certificate. It also uses your phone to scan the chip in your passport (don’t ask me how). We found that we needed to position the phone a few different ways on the passport before the chip was found and scanned.


You can also complete the form via the website. I assume in this case you need to upload a photo of your passport / vaccination certificate.


Once you have completed all the requisite steps you are given a DPD ID. The website recommends you print out the DPD summary to show at check-in and on arrival into Australia although it does mention that you can also show the screen on your phone. To show the summary using the app you must have internet access. To ensure offline access I tried to screenshot the summary on my phone but it takes up more than one screen. You cannot save a PDF from the app but you can from the website. I saved the PDF on the web browser (recommend 60% scale to fit it all on one page) and uploaded to my phone.


See this link for DPD FAQs. Good luck if you don’t have access to a smart phone or internet.


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Published: 20 April 2022

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