A police clearance certificate, also known as a ‘no objection certificate’ or a ‘certificate of character’ is a form that confirms the criminal status of any individual who wants to travel, live or work outside of the country. In order to receive one in South Africa you will have to be a South African citizen.
If you are going outside of the country you may require a police clearance certificate for court requirements, securing employment or obtaining residence permission. It is entirely the responsibility of the applicant to get the police clearance certificate and not the South African government or the South African Police Services.
Who authorises police clearance certificates?
You can apply for your police clearance certificate from the South African Police Services (SAPS) Criminal Record Centre. The centre is located in Pretoria, Gauteng.
What is the procedure of getting a police clearance certificate?
Before sending in your application for a police clearance certificate you must make sure of the following:
- The application must be sent directly to the South African Police Services Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria, Gauteng.
- If you are couriering the application from outside of the country, a reputable courier service must be used and the service must be prepaid for both the trip there and the delivery back to you.
- You must ascertain whether authority requesting the police clearance certificate requires the certificate to be legalised or authenticated as this would mean submitting the original certificate to the Legalisation Section in the Department of Foreign Affairs. If this is required it must be clearly stated in the application so that the police clearance certificate can be forwarded for legalisation before it is sent back to you.
Once you have taken care of the above considerations, you can begin the application process. The steps are as follows:
- You will need to present yourself at the South African Diplomatic and/or Consular Representatives with either your South African Identity Book or your passport as proof of identification. They will then take your fingerprints.
- You must then write a request letter to the South African Police Services Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria explaining what you want and why you need it.
- You must compile and list the following information: your surname, maiden name (if applicable), your given names, your date of birth, your place of birth, your South African identity number, your last residential address in South Africa, the address of your last employer or place of work in South Africa and their telephone or other contact numbers, the date, your signature, your mailing address in the country you are currently in, your postal code and your telephone or other contact numbers.
- Compile the above information, your request letter, a set of fingerprints, a self-addressed and stamped envelope if you want the application to be returned to you by post and the below fees and send them to the South African Police Services Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.
- R59 in either a South African bank guaranteed cheque, a bankers draft, a money order or an electronic payment.
There is no form to fill in for the application for a police clearance certificate.
You can send the above documents, information and fee to the following address:
The Head (Attention: Police Clearance Certificates)
Criminal Record Center – SAPS
1st Floor, Room 14 Botongo Plaza West
271 Schoeman Street
Republic of South Africa
Once you have sent your application in it will take between six and eight weeks for it to be processed from the day it was received.