A Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a vital document that verifies an individual’s criminal record status in South Africa. Whether you need it for employment, immigration, or other purposes, it’s crucial to understand what a police clearance certificate looks like, and what elements to check for, in order to ensure its authenticity and accuracy. 

In this blog we’ll explore the key features of a Police Clearance Certificate, with an example of a PCC to show you what it looks like, to help you understand the various key points, as well as what to look out for when you receive your signed off PCC.

What a Police Clearance Certificate Looks Like

As you can see from the example below, this is an official document that proves your information has been thoroughly checked and cross-checked by the SAPS Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria, before being printed and signed-off officially.

It’s a lengthy process to approve a PCC, which is why it’s essential that you make sure you are meticulous about your details, however small and insignificant, on the PCC application form. 

Any deviation from the information provided to the Criminal Records Centre will result in the application being rejected, leaving you right back at the start, having to fill in and submit another application form!


A PCC is an official document issued by the SAPS Criminal Records Centre (CRC)in Pretoria, which serves as proof that an individual has no pending criminal charges or convictions in the country. 

This police clearance certificate includes essential information about the applicant, the issuing authority, and details related to the in-depth criminal record check done by the CRC.

Key Elements to Check for on a South African PCC

When you receive a PCC, it’s essential to carefully review the document to ensure its validity and accuracy. Here are the key elements you should check for:

  1. Personal Information: Verify that your personal details, such as your full name, date of birth, and identity or passport number, are accurately reflected on the certificate.
  2. Date of Issue: Check the date on which the certificate was issued. The date should be current and within the acceptable timeframe for your intended use. Different organisations or countries may have varying requirements for the validity of the certificate.
  3. Stamp & Seal: Look for the official stamp or seal of the South African Police Service. This stamp serves as an important indicator of the document’s authenticity.
  4. Police Official’s Signature: Ensure that the certificate bears the signature of an authorised police official, which can only be performed by a select number of SAPS officials. The SAPS official who signs off the certificate has to be registered with DIRCO, if he is not registered, the certificate will not be legal.
  5. Certificate Number: The certificate number on your PCC is very important to take note of, as this is what will be used for any reference or verification purposes in the future.

Why Checking a PCC is Important

Verifying the elements mentioned above is vital, because an accurate and valid PCC can significantly impact various aspects of your life, such as:

  • Employment: Many employers, especially in sensitive industries, require a clean criminal record as a condition of employment, which is where an accurate, valid PCC ensures you meet this requirement.
  • Immigration: When applying for visas or residence permits in other countries, immigration authorities use PCCs to assess an applicant’s criminal history and eligibility. 
  • Adoption: In international adoption cases, a police clearance certificate is often necessary to demonstrate your suitability as an adoptive parent to the authorities in the child’s home country.
  • Legal Processes: Lawyers and legal authorities may request a PCC when dealing with certain legal matters.

Doc Assist: Professional Assistance with Police Clearance Services!

If you are yet to apply for a PCC, you’ll understand why the majority of South Africans choose to rely on the professional assistance available through Doc Assist, who take you from start to finish with expert advice, relieving you of the frustration that is often part of this process.

It’s clear that navigating the process of applying for a PCC on your own can be pretty daunting, especially when you realise just how important it is to start the application process with the correct details, which will reflect on the police clearance certificate you receive.

The team at Doc Assist will first email you a scanned copy of the approved PCC, so that you can check its accuracy, after which they’ll courier the certificate right to your doorstep, once approved by you.

With their experience in Police Clearance Services, the team at Doc Assist will be able to ensure that the PCC is valid, with the right signature, date of issue and more, giving you peace of mind that is invaluable during the application process.

Contact Doc Assist for more information, or to request a quote, after which they’ll guide you through the process in a streamlined manner that ensures you obtain an accurate, valid Police Clearance Certificate.

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