How to obtain a police clearance certificate from SAPS in South Africa

To obtain a police clearance certificate from the South African Police Service (SAPS), you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit your nearest SAPS police station: Find the nearest police station to your current residence or the place where you previously resided in South Africa. It’s important to note that you must apply in person; online applications are not available.
  2. Obtain the required documents: When you visit the police station, make sure to carry the following documents:

    a. Completed application form: You can get the application form (SAPS 91a) from the police station or download it from the SAPS website ( Fill out the form accurately and completely.

    b. Proof of identity: Provide your original identity document (ID) or passport and a certified copy of the same. If you’re a foreign national, provide your valid passport with a valid visa or permit.

    c. Proof of address: Provide proof of your current or previous South African address, such as utility bills, bank statements, or a lease agreement. If you’re a foreign national, provide proof of your South African address during your stay.

    d. Fingerprints: You will be required to have your fingerprints taken at the police station. The police officer will guide you through the process.

  3. Pay the application fee: There is typically an application fee for the police clearance certificate, which is subject to change. It’s advisable to check the current fee with the police station beforehand. The fee can be paid in cash or through other acceptable payment methods at the station.
  4. Submit the application: Once you have completed the application form, provided all the necessary documents, and paid the application fee, submit everything to the police officer in charge. They will guide you through the submission process.
  5. Await processing: The processing time for a police clearance certificate can vary. It may take several weeks or even longer to receive your certificate. You can inquire about the expected processing time at the police station.
  6. Collect your certificate: Once your certificate is ready, you’ll need to return to the police station to collect it in person. Bring your original receipt and proof of identity for verification purposes.