You’re applying for a job working with young children at a creche, but the creche owner says you can’t get the job unless you have a Police Clearance Certificate. What on earth is this? And, how can you get it?

Don’t worry, we’ve got some quick answers for you…

What is a Police Clearance Certificate?
A Police Clearance Certificate is an official document stating whether a person has ever been convicted of a criminal offence.

For the offence to be recorded, the person must have been found guilty – either by pleading guilty or having been judged guilty in a court of law. However, if a person has NOT been found guilty of a criminal offence, it will not appear on their record.

You can only get a police clearance certificate through the SA Police Services. The issuing of the certificates is managed by the SAPS Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management in Pretoria.

You may need to get a Police Clearance Certificate if you are wanting to emigrate or apply for certain VISAs, or as part of a security declaration, or for employment purposes. Very often people who work with children or in private security will require a Police Clearance Certificate but any employer/potential employer may require you to get one.

A Police Clearance Certificate is valid for a period six months, starting from the date of the application having been received in Pretoria.

How much does it cost? And how does one pay?
A Police Clearance Certificate costs R114. You can take that amount in cash to pay at the police station when you apply or you can pay it ahead of time by direct deposit or electronic transfer into the following bank account:

Account holder: National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
Bank: ABSA
Account Number: 4054522787
Reference: Your Name
Swift code (for payments from outside South Africa): ABSA ZAJJ

If you pay ahead of time make sure you print out your proof of payment and take it with you.

How do you apply for your Police Clearance Certificate?
1. Go to your closest police station and tell the police officer that you want to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate.

a) Your ID book or ID smartcard
b) R114 in cash OR, if you paid ahead of time, your proof of payment.

3. The police officer will take a full set of your fingerprints on a SAPS 91 (a) form.

4. They will also need to add your full name, surname, date of birth, place of birth and ID number on the form.

5. Also ensure that they include your cellphone number on the form. This means that you’ll be notified by SMS indicating that the application was received and it will give you the reference number for your certificate. (Be sure to keep this SMS until you get your certificate.)

6. The police station will send your application documents to the SAPS Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR & CSM) in Pretoria.

7. You will receive a follow-up SMS to let you know when your application has been completed. By using the reference number, you can follow up on the progress of the application through SAPS’s website.

8. The completed Police Clearance Certificate will be sent back to the local police station where the application was submitted. So, you can collect it from there. In order to receive your certificate, you will need to bring along your ID for confirmation of your identity.

It takes about 15 working days (which is approximately three full weeks) from the day of submitting your application to the day on which the certificate is issued.

Good luck!


Tell us: Have you had to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate? How was your experience?