South African Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
23 maart 2023 

South African Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

A police clearance certificate (PCC), also referred to as a criminal record check, is a document that states whether an individual has a criminal record. The PCC is issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and it shows if you have been arrested, convicted or served any sentences.

If you've been arrested or convicted of an offence in South Africa, then your PCC will show this information on it. If there are any gaps in your PCC, such as when you were born or moved from another country and didn't update your details with the police yet--or if there's an error on it--you can apply for an amendment to be made by filling out form APS10A and taking it back to where you originally applied for the clearance certificate; they'll amend it then send it off again so that all future requests will reflect this change to

If you have been convicted of an offence and/or sentenced to imprisonment without option of a fine or community service at any time in your life before applying for a PCC, then you may not be able to obtain one from SAPS because they will consider this as "spent" under Section 10(3)(a)(i) read with section 12(1)(b) of The Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (CPA).

Who requires a PCC?

The PCC is required for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Employment. Many employers all around the world require a PCC to verify that you are who you say you are and have no criminal record.
  • VISA application. When you apply for a VISA application many applications require a PCC to verify that you are who you say you are and have no criminal record.
  • Property ownership. If you want to purchase property in South Africa, most banks will require proof of your good character before they lend money on it (or any other form). If someone else owns the property and wants to sell it to you, they may also ask for proof that there aren't any problems with your background check before agreeing on a price. In addition to banks themselves requiring this kind of information from potential borrowers/buyers or tenants/landlords respectively, so do some real estate agents as well; if yours doesn't provide this service then consider finding another agent who does!

How long does it take to process my application?

It depends.

The time it takes to process your application depends on the police station you are applying at or which accredited agency in SA you use, as well as other factors like queue length and staff availability. The more applications there are in a queue, the longer it will take for yours to be processed by staff members who have limited time on their hands because of their workloads.

How do I apply for a PCC at the nearest police station?

You can apply at the police station closest to you (only in South Africa) or when you are located in Europe you can apply at an accredited fingerprint agency who can take your fingerprints. You will need to fill out an application form and pay a fee, which varies depending on where you live (and which agency you are using). The following documents are required:

  • Proof of identity = Copy SA ID and copy valid passport
  • SAPS 91A fingerprint card
  • SAPS application form
  • Marriage certificate (only when you need your maiden name included on the documents and when you are a female).

The certificate can be issued within 10 working days if you choose the right company (but not quaranteed).

Background check

The South African Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a document that confirms a person's criminal record. It is required for employment, marriage registration, adoption and immigration purposes. A PCC can also be used as proof of good character when travelling abroad or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults.

Employment screening

The PCC is used by employers to check if applicants have a criminal record. If you have a PCC and apply for a job, the employer will require it before they can employ you. The certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue and must be updated if there are any changes to your criminal record during this period.

The certificate is not valid if:

  • You are under 18 years old
  • There is a pending case against you

Section: Fingerprints

You are required to give your fingerprints if you are applying for a South African Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). 

Fingerprints must be taken at the police station where you submit your application or at an accredited fingerprint agency when you are located in Europe. |
Taking fingerprints @ Fingerprints & Screening in The Netherlands

Section: SAPS 91A

A SAPS 91A is a form that must be completed by the applicant. It is available at the police station or accredited fingerprint agency and should be filled in correctly, as it will be used to verify information provided by you on your PCC application.

The person who attested to your information (for example, the fingerprint technician) must sign this form as well.

Section: Application form

To apply for a PCC, you must download the application form from the police website and complete it. When you use an accredited fingerprint agency, mostly they have the application form for you at their office.

Marriage certificate (female only)

The Marriage certificate is only required for females who needs their maiden name included on the declaration of good conduct. It's not required if you're male.


The South African Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a document that shows the status of an individual's criminal record. It is issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and must be obtained before marriage registration, employment or any other legal requirement. 

If you need more information about the SAPS PCC application you can fill out the contact form at our website or send an e-mail to

Over de schrijver
Licensed fingerprint technician in The Netherlands. Specialized in taking fingerprints on hard copy fingerprints with ink for police clearance certificates from all around the world. If you need high quality ink fingerprints or need more information about any fingerprint procedure, than this is the place to be!
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