Applying for a visa? Moving abroad? There are many reasons why you may need to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). What you might not know is that the South African Police Service (SAPS) recently changed the police clearance certificate application process. Here’s what you should know…
Getting your police clearance certificate
This might be the first time you read about police clearance certificates. If so, then it’s worth knowing two things:
- A police clearance certificate (PCC) is a document issued by the SAPS Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management. It contains details of any criminal offences recorded against the person.
- In the old days (up until a few months ago), unless you wanted to go through the lengthy process of submitting your PCC application in person at the Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria, screening companies would run through the process of obtaining police clearance certificates on your behalf – with the added benefits of speed and efficiency.
Now before we continue, it’s important to distinguish between a police clearance certificate, and a police clearance report.
A Police Clearance Certificate is best suited for travel, and requires a hard copy of your fingerprints.
Police Clearance Reports, on the other hand, are more suited for use within South African borders (such as applying for or renewing SACE registration or a pre-employment criminal record check), and can be completed by means of electronic fingerprint submission within 48 hours. (Get in touch here if you require a police clearance report.)
Given the change in procedure – the reason of which is to minimise the potential for identity theft – the weight of the application procedure for a police clearance certificate is now on the shoulders of the applicant alone. It requires that you follow the process outlined below:
- Visit your nearest SAPS station and state that you wish to apply for a police clearance certificate.
- Remember to bring your ID or passport and R114 per application.
- You will be directed to the relevant SAPS member assigned to police clearance certificate applications.
- Your fingerprints will be taken to complete form 91a (the police clearance certificate form)
- A copy of your ID or passport will be made and certified, and attached to the application
- You will need to provide a statement regarding any prior criminal convictions
- You will need to indemnify SAPS against any liability which may result during this process
You will be contacted as soon as your police clearance certificate is ready for collection. Remember to bring your ID or passport along for identification purposes.
Expert advice & consultation
If you’ve read between the lines, you’ll realise that SAPS essentially just freed up a lot of time for those individuals who’ve been handling the application process on behalf of clients for years. But that doesn’t mean all the valuable skills and knowledge need go to waste.
Expert advice and guidance on the application process is now available to anyone in need of assistance with their police clearance certificate applications. After all, while the process may seem pretty straightforward, experience suggests it can be anything but, and seasoned expertise may be just what you need to move things along a little faster.
As such, if you have any questions about the process or require expert insight, call us on 0861 274 911 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting your police clearance certificate application at SAPS.