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Police Clearance: Everything You Need To Know

Police Clearance: Everything You Need To Know

A Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a legal document that displays whether you have clear criminal, prosecution, conviction or other police case records. The document is obtained in Pretoria, South Africa. 

According to The South African, many countries refer to a PCC as the ‘Good Conduct Certificate’. It is often asked for by employers, employers and numerous government entities, especially when applying for recruitment, university admission and the visa process. In short, this certificate is an assessment of your life’s history. 

A clear PCC is beneficial if you wish to emigrate or work abroad. The foreign governments need to know you’re trustworthy. Only then, can they consider residency for you. 

One Visa World has accredited the Crime Record Centre in Pretoria for streamlining and fast tracking the PPC application process by collecting and dropping off your documents at a location of your choice. 

How do you obtain a Police Clearance Certificate?

  • An issued PPC is the responsibility of Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management in Pretoria. Your applicant requires a fullest of your fingerprints on a SAPS 91(a) when you live in South Africa. If you live outside of South Africa, your fingerprints are on the official forms of the country you are in – specifically the SAPS 91(a) enquiry too – if the form is available.
  • When you apply for a PPC document, it is done at your nearest South African police station. If you are based in a foreign at the time of applying, you can either go to the South African embassy or any police station in the specific country you are in. 
  • South African citizens, in South Africa or living abroad need the following – a certified copy of your ID or passport as a proof of identity. You also need to fill out an application form downloaded from the South African Police Services (SAPS) website. 
  • Sometimes a maiden surname and/or other surnames must be filled in on the PCC. If so, documentary proof of your maiden surname and /or other surnames be mentioned in the document and attached – for example a certified copy of your marriage certificate).
  • The stipulated price for a PPC form is R160. It is non-negotiable, non-refundable is payable via cash at your nearest police station or an electronic payment is made in the SAPS’ account, favoured by the National Commissioner of the SAPS. Banking details are provided and a proof of payment is requested with the letters ‘PCC’ followed by your initials and surname as their reference. 
  • An application supported by the PCC service process can process between five to seven working days. However, if you have a previous criminal record or conviction, your PCC may only appear by 30 working days or longer. Applicants who are wanted by South African authorities cannot claim a PCC.
  • When your PCC is ready for collection, make sure that you retrieve it within three months. IF you wait longer than three months, the document is destroyed. You can collect the document in person, via a courier service, by a suggested person or returned to the police station you originally filled in the application. An abroad applicant collects their document through a courier service or a nominated individual. 
  • A confirmation of receipt message is sent once you receive your application. It will include an allocated reference sent to your phone number. Another SMS is sent after the completion of your application process. If your application is incomplete, an SMS notifies you and you do not receive a PCC.

Digital fingerprints – are they allowed?

Unfortunately, you cannot submit digital fingerprints for your PCC application. The Criminal Records Centre (CRC) requires ink fingerprints only.  

It is a known fact that you can have your ink fingerprints taken at a police station, but you are able to do them anywhere that notary, public, lawyer or commission of oaths are present. After doing your prints, they sign and stamp the fingerprints as a ways verifying the authenticity of your ink prints. 

Your fingerprints are submitted to the CRC and they convert them to a digital format and store them on the CRC database. 

Submitting your application straight to the CRC

Civilians are not allowed to personally submit their PCC applications to the CRC – only police stations and registered couriers. 

As registered couriers, they can obtain your PCC between five and 30 working days from the day you apply. The registered couriers also authenticate your documents if they are for the purpose of using abroad. 

Validity Of Police Clearance Certificate

Your PCC can last for six months. If you want to emigrate or work in another country, you need to apply for a PCC again. Every new application requires a new ink fingerprints.

South Africa does offer express police clearance. It is great assistance for citizens who need urgent foreign employment or emigration. 

PCC service providers in South Africa are many, but not all can prove their trust. Make sure you do the necessary research and verification before settling for a PCC service provider.

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