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To get a Police Check in New South Wales (NSW), you can follow a few simple steps. A Police Check, also known as a National Police Certificate, is a document that outlines an individual’s criminal history or confirms their absence of any relevant records. It may be required for various purposes, such as employment, volunteering, or visa applications. Here’s how you can obtain a Police Check in NSW:

Online Application

To apply online for a Police Check, it is best through the NSW Police Force website or an accredited online provider. Ensure that you choose a reputable and authorised provider or an accredited agency to ensure the validity of the certificate for a criminal record check.

Application Form

Fill out the required application form with accurate personal details, including your full name, date of birth, address history, and any previous names you may have used. You will also need to provide identification documents, such as your driver’s license, passport, or Medicare card that will be used by police agencies.


Pay the necessary fee for the Police Check application, usually with a credit card. The cost may vary depending on the provider and the urgency of your request. The payment is typically made online using a secure payment gateway.


After submitting your application, it will be processed by the relevant authorities. They will verify your information and conduct a comprehensive check of your criminal records. The processing time may vary, but it usually takes around 1-2 weeks for the certificate to be issued.

Certificate Delivery

Once your application is processed, the Police Check certificate will be sent to you via email or postal mail, depending on your chosen method. It is essential to keep your certificate secure as it contains sensitive information.

Why Do I need a Police Clearance?

A Police Check, also known as a National Police Certificate, may be required for various reasons. The primary purpose of obtaining a National Police Check is to verify an individual’s criminal history or confirm the absence of any relevant records. Here are some common scenarios where a Police Check may be necessary:

  • Many employers, particularly those in sensitive sectors such as government, healthcare, education, finance, and security, require job applicants to undergo a Police Check. This is done to ensure the safety and security of the workplace and to assess the suitability of an individual for a particular role.
  • If you plan to engage in volunteer work in any state or territory, especially with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities, organisations may require a police check online. This helps establish trust and safeguards the welfare of those you will be assisting.
  • Some professional licensing bodies or regulatory authorities may require you to apply for a Police Check as part of the application process. This is common in fields such as healthcare, childcare, aged care, security, and transport. It ensures that individuals meet the necessary integrity and character requirements for obtaining or renewing their license or accreditation.
  • When applying for certain types of visas or immigration processes, the Australian Department of Home Affairs may request a Police Check as part of the character assessment. This is done to ensure that individuals entering or remaining in the country do not pose a risk to the community.
  • Prospective adoptive parents or foster carers may be required to undergo a Police Check to evaluate their suitability and ensure the safety and well-being of the child being placed in their care.

The specific requirements for a Police Check may vary depending on the organisation, industry, or purpose for which it is needed. Accordingly. you should check with the relevant authorities or employer to determine their specific requirements for obtaining a Police Check in NSW.

How Long Does a Police Check Last in NSW?

Regarding the validity of a Police Check in NSW, it does not have an official expiration date. However, it is generally recommended that you obtain a new Police Check every 12 months or as requested by the organisation or employer requiring the check. Some organisations may have specific policies regarding the age of the Police Check they accept, so it’s advisable to check with the relevant authorities or employer for their specific requirements.

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Can I Get a Free Police Check NSW?

As for a free Police Check in NSW, it is important to note that obtaining a Police Check usually incurs a fee. The NSW Police Force and authorised online providers charge a fee to cover the costs associated with processing and conducting the necessary checks. Unfortunately, there is no official means to obtain a Police Check for free in NSW. It is advisable to be cautious of any websites or services claiming to provide free Police Checks, as they may be unreliable or fraudulent.

To ensure the validity and acceptance of your Police Check, always use authorised providers and official channels, such as the NSW Police Force website or recognised online services.

If you have been charged with a criminal or traffic offence in NSW, make sure to contact a criminal defence lawyer in Sydney.


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