South African Police Clearance Status Check (2023)

South Africa is marching hand in hand with the world when it comes to the adoption of technology, and so it is no surprise that the entire documentation process for travelling out of the country, whether for work, education, or for pleasure has become very easy. This is because the entire passport application process is now done online, and applicants can now track their South African police clearance status check online as well.

With this ease of applications has come an added need for security; so as not to create a loophole in the applications process, the Police Clearance Certification has been created. With this Police Clearance Certificate, a person can attest to his good conduct, thus confirming to the embassy of the country where he has applied for a VISA that he is a person of good conduct and that he will not pose a security threat to the citizens of the country.

The Police Clearance Certificate is a vital step in completing the documentation to facilitate your travel out of South Africa. If your police clearance certificate is delayed it could cause your passport not to be issued, and you could lose the opportunity to travel. You can avoid any such problems by checking the status of your police clearance certificate. Let us quickly address how to do this:

How to Check Passport Application or Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) Status in South Africa?

You need a phone or a computer, and you need to have a good internet connection. The download time is less than one minute, depending on the quality of your internet connection. 

  1. Go to the Passport Seva Portal 
  2. When the page loads up, click on the “Track Application Status” link on the left side of the page
  3. From the available options select the Application Type as ‘Passport/PCC/IC/GEP’
  4. When the page loads enter the 13-digit File Number and Date of Birth of the applicant
  5. After that, you then click on the “Track Status” button
  6. The Status Tracker screen is displayed and then it will show the latest status of your Passport Application and your South African Police Clearance Certificate status.

What to Know about Passport Police Verification Status?

Remember that you will complete your registration procedure online. Once your application has been submitted online, the police verification is also done to verify the information you have submitted in the application form. This verification is how the system prevents passports from being issued to wrong individuals or to persons with bad credentials.

    There are actually 2 modes of police verification: 

    Police Verification on a Post-Passport Issuance basis; this is for when a person has to check his police verification even though he has already been issued a Passport. 

    Pre-Passport Police Verification: this is for when a person has to check his police verification before being issued with a Passport. This serves as the basis upon which the passport will be issued. 

Depending on whether the application is for the issuance of a first-time passport, or the re-issue of a passport, the Passport Office shall determine at its discretion whether a police verification is needed for the issuance of a passport to you. In most cases, a person is required to do a police verification if he needs a first-time, fresh passport. 

More Information about the Police Clearance Certificate 

It is possible to do a free criminal record check with your ID number in South Africa. You can do this by visiting the SAPS website. Please remember that this is for those who have registered their details for the Police Clearance Certificate. When you go online to the SAPS website, first provide your inquiry number allocated to your police clearance certificate application. 

Secondly, if you are a South African citizen, you just have to key in your South African identity number. If you do not find the record of the Police Clearance Certificate through your ID number, then you can run the search with your surname as well as your date of birth. 

When you have received your certificate of conduct, it means that your details are now registered in the police system. This development has helped so many employers avoid the risk of employing the wrong workers, who can possibly wreck havoc on their establishments. This police clearance can even help employees make sure that they are not about to take a job under a criminal or join a criminal enterprise.

Below is how to do a quick background check in South Africa through Afiswitch. 

Afiswitch is a technology company in South Africa. The company has a contract with the South African Police Service to provide the service of checking individual criminal records on their behalf. They are associated with the South African government through a gazette agreement, vol. 496, no. 29319, dated 27 October 2006, meaning that the service is safe and secure.

 Afiswitch in turn has several service provider firms and computer places registered with the company so as to bring the service all over the country. The firm is then provided with a workstation, and a setup, which is used to register applicants for whom the checks are to be carried out. The service provider is required to sign on to an Afiswitch workstation by entering a user ID and matching finger. 

The service provider will then use the Afiswitch workstation to perform a scan of your fingerprints, using a fingerprint reader, and the demographic data of an applicant is required. 

With a secure internet connection, the workstation uploads the data to Afiswitch, and Afiswitch connects instantly to the SAPS AFIS sub-system. The system will then return a record of any criminal activity detected, or provide a clean report to the service provider.

There are several service providers scattered around the cities and townships in South Africa. you can even walk into any computer/internet café and ask if they do background checks. 



The Police Clearance is a bid to ensure that only credible people are given the opportunity to travel or to get employment. This is necessary to reduce the incidences of people traveling out with South African passports and then getting involved in criminality only to bring the country into disrepute. Police clearance is also good for employers so that they do not hire criminals who can bring damage to their organizations. Most organizations want to see police clearances that are not later than 6 months.