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Police Clearance Certificates: Applying for a Police Clearance Certificate

This service is available to people who require confirmation of their criminal status for emigration purposes or for working abroad. A certificate stating whether any criminal offences are recorded against the applicant, will be issued. Fingerprints are taken at the nearest police station, whereafter they will be analysed and the certificate will be issued. Only the SAPS’s Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria may issue police clearance certificates.


The applicant must provide a full set of his/her fingerprints, preferably taken at their nearest police station. The applicant’s full name, surname, date of birth, place of birth and identity number must also be recorded on the fingerprint form.  A copy of the applicant’s identity document or passport must accompany the application.  The applicant must present their identity document at the police station, as proof of identity will be required.

South African citizens living outside the Republic, may apply at any police station in that country or at the South African Embassy.  Fingerprints should be taken on the official fingerprint forms of the specific country.  The fingerprint form must be signed by the person who took the fingerprints.  The application must be accompanied by a completed set of fingerprints and a copy of the applicant’s identity document or passport.

If the applicant provides his/her cell phone number (currently only South African numbers) on the application form, he/she will receive an sms indicating that the application was received, as well as the reference number that will be allocated to his/her certificate.  The applicant can then determine, by using the reference number provided and the facility on the SAPS website, when his/her police clearance certificate has been issued at the police clearance office.

Click here to do an online enquiry

The police station where the applicant applied, will send the complete application to the Criminal Record Centre.  Alternatively the applicant may deliver the completed application in person or mail the application to the following address if he/she is in South Africa:

The Head of the South African Criminal Record Centre
(For attention: Police Clearance Certificates)
Private Bag X308

If he/she is overseas, mail the application to –

The Head of the South African Criminal Record Centre
(For attention: Police Clearance Certificates)
Private Bag X308
0001 Pretoria

The application may also be delivered by courier to -

The Head of the South African Criminal Record Centre
(For attention: Police Clearance Certificates)
Bothongo Plaza West
CRC Client Service Centre
1st Floor, Room 14
271 Frances Baard Street

Hours: New applications for Police Clearance Certificates may be handed in and completed certificates collected 24 hours, seven days a week.


This service is rendered at R59,00 per application payable by bank guaranteed cheque, banker’s draft or electronic payment into the South African Police Service’s account.

The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
ABSA Cheque account
Account number 4054522787
Branch code 632005
Swift code ABSAZAJJ

In the case of an electronic payment, the initials and surname of the applicant must be indicated as the reference. The letters PCC must be added as reference, which will indicate that the payment is for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC).  An applicant who prefers to make an electronic payment abroad, may approach any bank which can make a telegraphic transfer and request that the relevant fees be paid into the above bank account. Proof of payment must be sent to this office before the processing of the application will take place.

On completion, the certificate will be mailed to the applicant by post.  Individuals abroad are responsible for their own postage.  Applicants may arrange for the certificate to be collected by a courier service at their own expense.  A Police Clearance Certificate can be reissued within six months of the original application, yet an additional cost of R59,00 will be required.  After six months of the date of the original application, a new application must be submitted.

Contact Information:


    + 27 (0) 12 393 3928
    Fax: + 27 (0) 12 393 3909

How long does it take before the Clearance Certificate is issued?

The average time is approximately 14 working days from the day that the complete application is received at the Criminal Record Centre until the Clearance Certificate is issued.

Applications for Apostille Certificates or Certificates of Authentication on Police Clearance Certificates are issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).


Consular Services (Legalisation Department)
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg

Contact details:

    Tel: + 27 (0) 12 351 1726/1232/1231/1268/1269
    Website: - under Consular Information - Legalisation of Documents

Original (valid) Police Clearance Certificates for use abroad should be submitted to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) - Legalisation Section.  Any/all arrangements for the submission and collection of Police Clearance Certificates should be made by the applicant and is not the responsibility of the Legalisation Section nor the South African Police Service’s Criminal Record Centre.  Customers may submit their documents to the DIRCO Legalisation Section in person, through registered mail or through a courier.  (Please visit the website - consular information - legalisation of documents for important procedures to be followed when submitting your documents).

Only original certificates will be accepted. Opening hours are from 08:30 to 12:30 on weekdays, except for public holidays (for same-day processing of one - five documents, documents must be submitted by 12:00).

Documents submitted between 12:00 and 12:30 will be ready for collection on the next working day (during business hours).  Processing is between 30 - 45 minutes and the service is free of charge.  It is imperative to know in which country your Police Clearance Certificate will be used.  Please contact the DIRCO - Legalisation Section should you require any additional information.  Please note that this service is only available in Pretoria.

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