If, like many South Africans, you’ve applied for a Police Clearance Certificate a few months back, and you’re still waiting, you’d probably like a good answer to the question: how to check Police Clearance Certificate status?
The answer does depend on which route you’ve taken to apply for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). If you’ve applied at a police station, it’s going to take much longer than if you choose to apply through a third party provider such as Doc Assist.
One of the most important steps involved in the application process is the registration of your application on the SAPS system. However, this only happens once your application has been prepared correctly, and then passed through a significantly long queue.
Once your application is registered on the system, you’ll be given a reference number to use for locating your application on the South African Police website, and if you’ve applied via a police station, it could take a lot longer to get to this point in the process.
How to check Police Clearance Certificate Status?
Before we get back to how to check your police clearance certificate status, let’s take a quite look at exactly what happens once your application has been prepared and is registered on the system;
- Scanning – because SAPS uses digital biometrics systems like AFIS and Crimcheck, your fingerprints have to be scanned into these systems in order to do the cross checking of your fingerprints against the National Criminal Records Database of South Africa, in order to verify whether or not you have a criminal record, or if there is a case pending against you. If there is any criminal record, it will be included in a second page attached to your PCC.
- Cross Checking a criminal record – If there is a criminal record attached to your name, the CRC will have to cross check this against the National Criminal Records Database and the Department of Justice for further details.
- Printing – Because only the SAPS CRC and CSM in Pretoria can print the official PCC, the results of the above-mentioned steps are printed on an official watermarked page, on which all the information that has been cross checked against your application and fingerprints will appear.
- Signing off of PCC – Only a SAPS Official, who is registered at DIRCO, is allowed to stamp and sign the PCC to verify that the details are true and correct, and there aren’t many SAPS Officials with this authority, which further complicates processing times.
- Finalising the PCC – once all these steps have been followed diligently, your PCC will be finalised, after which you should receive an SMS to let you know it can be collected, depending on how you applied for the PCC.
Aside from the fact that the Criminal Records Centre has been plagued by issues such as closures due to non-payment of rent and electricity back in 2022, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the unrelenting blackouts caused by Eskom’s load shedding, the CRC receives thousands of applications for police clearance certificates every week, making the backlog an inevitable part of the waiting game involved in applying for a PCC.
There is a much easier way to apply for a police clearance certificate in South Africa, and that’s by contacting the professional document procurement specialists at Doc Assist!
You’ll cut out any time it may take for your local police station to send your application to Pretoria, and you can rest assured that the registration of your application will be followed up, via the efforts of the team at Doc Assist, who submit applications to the CRC on a daily basis.