In today’s competitive job market, a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) plays a pivotal role in securing employment opportunities. This official document, which outlines an individual’s criminal history, is a requirement for various purposes, including job applications, immigration, and travel. In South Africa, the process of obtaining a PCC is overseen by the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR & CSM) department of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Understanding the Importance and Purpose of a Police Clearance Certificate:

A Police clearance Certificate is a crucial document that verifies whether an individual has any criminal convictions or records. Employers, both local and international, often require job applicants to submit a Police Clearance Certificate to ensure the safety and security of their workplace. This certificate becomes instrumental in assessing an applicant’s character and suitability for employment.

1. Gathering the Required Documents:

To commence the application process, meticulous preparation of the following essential documents is crucial:

    • Full Set of Fingerprints on a SAPS 91a Form: If you are residing in South Africa, it is imperative that your fingerprints are taken by the South African Police Service. This can be done at your local police station or, if you find yourself outside South Africa, at any local police station or the South African Embassy. The SAPS 91a form is the designated document for recording these fingerprints, ensuring accuracy and adherence to official procedures.
    • Completed Application Form: The completion of the application form is a fundamental step in obtaining your Police Clearance Certificate. This document serves as the formal request for your background check and requires accurate and truthful information. Double-check the provided details to minimize delays in processing.
    • Certified Copy of Your Identity Document or Passport: Submission of a certified copy of your identity document or passport is mandatory. This serves as a primary means of identification and is essential for the verification process. Ensure the copy is certified by a relevant authority to attest to its authenticity.
    • Supplementary Documents, Such as Marriage Certificates (if applicable): Depending on your personal circumstances, additional documents may be required. For instance, if you are married, a certified copy of your marriage certificate might be necessary.

2. Making the Required Payment:

The application fee for a Police Clearance Certificate is R170.00. Payment can be made in cash at the nearest police station or through electronic transfer.

For electronic payment, utilize the following banking details:

ABSA cheque
account number 4054522787,
branch code 632005, and

Ensure to include the reference “PCC” followed by your initials and surname when making an electronic payment.

3. Submitting the Application:

Once you have gathered all the required documents, the next crucial step is submitting your application. The process differs for applicants residing abroad and those within South Africa. Here is a detailed breakdown of the submission options:

  1. Applicants Residing Abroad: If you find yourself outside the borders of South Africa, you can conveniently send your application and accompanying documents directly to the CR & CSM department for processing. While this option provides flexibility, it is essential to note that applications received from abroad will not be returned to the applicant. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain proactive communication and verify the progress of your application through the SAPS website.
  2. Applicants in South Africa: For those residing within South Africa, there are several submission avenues available to ensure a seamless application process:
    • Request Local Police Station Assistance: You can opt to request your local police station’s assistance in forwarding your application to the CR & CSM department in Pretoria. The advantage of this method is that it usually comes at no additional cost to you. Local police stations are well-versed in the submission process and can facilitate the efficient transfer of your documents to the central processing unit.
    • Personal Delivery to the CR & CSM Department: Another viable option is to personally deliver your application to the CR & CSM department in Pretoria. While this may require some time and effort on your part, it provides a direct and hands-on approach, ensuring that your application reaches the designated department promptly. Be sure to check the department’s operating hours.
    • Utilize Postal or Courier Services (at your own expense): If neither of the above options suits your preference, you can choose to send your application via postal or courier services. This method allows for flexibility but comes with the associated cost of the chosen service. Ensure that you use a reliable and traceable courier service to safeguard your documents during transit. Clearly label your package with the necessary details and address it to the CR & CSM department in Pretoria.

4. Tracking the Application:

Opt to receive SMS notifications about your Police Clearance Certificate application’s progress by providing your cell phone number (currently available only in South Africa) on the application form. Additionally, regularly check the status of your application through the SAPS website.

5. Collecting the Police Clearance Certificate:

Once processed, collect your PCC either in person, through a nominated individual, or via a chosen courier service. Bring proof of identity when collecting the certificate. Certificates not collected within three months after finalization will be destroyed.

Securing a Police Clearance Certificate is indispensable for job applications requiring proof of a clean criminal record. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the application process smoothly. Ensure all necessary documents are gathered, the required payment is made and choose the appropriate submission method. Stay informed about your application’s progress and collect your PCC within the designated timeframe. Best of luck with your job application!