Bolted lap joints have significant influence on the dynamical behaviour of the assembled structures due to creation of strong local flexibility and damping. In modelling the dynamical behaviour of assembled structures the joint interface model must be represented accurately. A nonlinear model for bolted lap joints and interfaces is proposed capable of representing the dominant physics involved in the joint such as micro/macro-slip. The joint interface is modelled using a combination of linear and nonlinear springs and a damper to simulate the damping effects of the joint. An estimate of the response of the structure with a nonlinear model for the bolted joint under external excitations is obtained using the method of multiple scales. The parameters of the model, i.e. the spring constants and the damper coefficient, are functions of normal and tangential stresses at the joint interface and are identified by minimizing the difference between the model predictions and the experimentally measured data.