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National Police Checks

Quick and secure digital certificates delivered straight to your inbox

Apply for a National Police Certificate

Prepare documents

Gather and scan your identity documents. Get fingerprints if needed.

Apply and pay

Apply online or by post. Pay by card, or by bank cheque or money order if applying by post.

Get your certificate

Most digital certificates arrive in your inbox within a few days if you apply online, although some take longer. Fingerprint checks take at least 15 working days.



A National Police Certificate (NPC) is a summary of your offender history in Australia. It's sometimes called a national police check.

You must use the AFP if your request is for Commonwealth or ACT reasons.

You might need a national police check for things such as:

  • recruitment and job applications
  • volunteer and not-for-profit positions
  • working with children or vulnerable groups
  • licensing or registration scheme applications
  • work-related checks due to legislation or regulations
  • Australian citizenship and permanent residence applications
  • visa applications for some countries
  • working overseas.

You will need to state the purpose of the police check on your application. Different purposes might lead to different results, depending on relevant laws.

Anyone can apply for an NPC for their own use. But you cannot apply for an NPC for someone else without their consent.

If you're younger than 18, you'll need a parent or guardian to co-sign your application. If you cannot do this, contact us.

What is included in a police check

We compare your details, such as name and date of birth, against a central index. We then work out what information to include, subject to laws and current policies.

Your NPC will list 'disclosable court outcomes' released in line with federal, state and territory laws, including the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) and the Spent Convictions Act 2000 (ACT).

Our national police check also uses information from all Australian police services to list any:

  • local and interstate criminal and traffic court outcomes
  • outstanding warrants
  • pending charges, where you have been charged with an offence but have not yet been to court.

Depending on the relevant state or territory legislation, it may not include:

Some categories of employment or purposes of the check are exempt from any relevant legislation.

We cannot tell you in advance what may or may not be on your NPC. You'll need to check with the criminal records section of the relevant state or territory police service.

Fees and charges

Each NPC application costs $56. If you need to supply fingerprints as part of your application, the total cost is $113.

Application fees are exempt from GST.

Company checks

If you need us to do an NPC on an Australian company, visit Company checks.

Before you apply

We use the identity documents you send us to verify your identity. You need to send us identity documents worth at least 100 points in total.

Download the proof of identity checklist:

File icon
(pdf, 578.37 KB)

If you can't meet 100 points, contact us.

You'll need to scan or photocopy your documents to attach to your application.

You'll also need to send us details of other names by which you are, or have been, known.

Fingerprint checks

Sometimes, you’ll need to have a fingerprint check as part of your NPC.

For example:

  • security guard licensing
  • visa applications through a migration agent in some countries.

If you live in the ACT, book an appointment by emailing Make sure you  include:

  • your full name
  • contact phone number (mobile preferred)
  • location preference: City Police Station or Woden Police Station.

Post the original of your fingerprints to us with your completed application. You ‘ll also need to send an official translation if they are in a language other than English.

You can’t use an online application if you need to include fingerprint checks. You’ll have to apply by post.

We’ll check your fingerprints against a central database of records. This takes between 15 and 30 business days.

How to apply


If your NPC does not include a fingerprint check, you can

Apply online

  1. Scan and upload your documents.
  2. Check your date of birth and other details are correct.
  3. Include your email address.
  4. Pay $56 by credit card.

We will start processing your application straight away and send you a payment receipt via email. We will send a digital certificate when we have completed the check.

You can also ask for a hard copy of your certificate. We will post that to you.

By post

If you prefer to apply by post, or if you need to include a fingerprint check, print a National Police Check application form [PDF 800KB].

When completing the form, remember:

  • use black ink
  • mark boxes with a cross (X)
  • use capital letters
  • check all details are correct
  • sign and date the form.

You will need to pay in Australian dollars via bank cheque or money order, made out to the Australian Federal Police.

Make sure you include all paperwork, forms, payment and identification with your application. If you need a fingerprint check, include the original of your fingerprints.

You must send us the form no more than 3 months after you sign it.

If you do not fill in your application correctly, and include payment and documents, we will not process it.

Post to:

Australian Federal Police
Criminal Records
Locked Bag 8550

You cannot lodge your application at a police station.

Mistakes in your application

Contact us straight away if you:

  • make a mistake in your submitted application
  • forget to include some details.

It is up to you to make sure that the check is suitable for the purpose you need it for. Once you have submitted your application, you cannot get a refund.

Do not lodge a new or updated application unless we tell you to.

False or misleading information

You will need to certify that the personal information on your application is correct.

If we discover that you have given us false or misleading information, you may be prosecuted under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

After you apply

Processing times

We complete and post most NPCs within 48 hours of receiving your application.

This may vary if we need to get information from multiple states or territories.

Digital certificates are sent directly to your email address.

For hard-copy certificates, allow for postage time. Wait at least 15 business days before contacting us about the status of your check.

Name and fingerprint NPCs may take 15 to 30 business days.

We will send you an email to let you know when we have:

  • received your application
  • finalised your application and mailed your certificate.

Check the status of your NPC

You can also validate any newly completed checks.

Change of address

If you change your address before we notify you that your certificate has been posted, please tell us. Otherwise, you can contact Australia Post to redirect your mail.

Receive your certificate

We will send your:

  • digital certificate as a secure PDF to the email on your application
  • hard copies to the name and postal address on your application.

Both digital and hard copy certificates have security features.

Digital certificates include a unique QR code you can scan to validate your certificate. 

File icon

We print hard-copy certificates on paper that includes:

  • a watermark of multiple images of a padlock with 2 keys visible when held up to the light
  • fluorescent tricolour threads on both sides of the document that glow blue, yellow and red when held under ultraviolet light
  • a border on the right-hand front of the document, printed in microtype, that can be read when viewed under magnification
  • images printed in heat-sensitive ink that fade or disappear under moderate heat or friction
  • hidden images printed in fluorescent ink that glow yellow when viewed under ultraviolet light
  • a screened background printed in solvent-reactive ink.

See an example hard-copy certificate [PDF 639KB].

Do not rely solely on a photocopied or scanned and emailed certificate. Always ask for an original when you need information to make a decision.

If you receive a certificate that appears to have been tampered with, please tell us straight away.

Check the details

When you receive your digital or hard copy certificate, check all your personal details.

If your name or date of birth is wrong, please tell us straight away.

Where the error was due to incorrect details you entered, you'll need to submit and pay for a new, correct application.

If we caused the error, we'll process a new application at our expense.

Disputed records

If you believe any court outcomes on your certificate are incorrect or inaccurate, complete a Disputed Record form.

Attach any extra information or documents supporting your enquiry, such as identification or court documents, to the form to help us assess your application.

We might need comparison fingerprints to resolve some disputes. We will let you know if this is the case.

Validity of your certificate

Your certificate is valid from the date of your application, but it won't record any court outcomes that occur after that date.

It's up to the organisation asking for the certificate as to how long they will accept it.

Lost certificate

If you lose your certificate, you can download another from the digital portal for up to 3 months.

If you need a new hard-copy certificate, you will need to contact us. We will issue reprints for 3 months from the original date. If more time has passed, you will need to submit a new application.

Using your certificate

The level of information we release is based on the purpose of the check. This means you can only use your certificate for that purpose.

For example, a certificate issued for the purpose of 'Aged Care staff/volunteers' is not appropriate for a job needing a certificate for 'Immigration Detention Centre Employment'.

You may, however, use the certificate more than once for the same purpose.

Criminal record for court

Your NPC is not suitable for use as a criminal record in court proceedings. It only lists disclosable court outcomes and pending charges that may be subject to spent convictions legislation.

Seek independent legal advice if you need your criminal record for court.

Start your application

Apply online for a National Police Certificate


Get in touch

Need help with a police check?

Get help submitting your application or tell us about a problem with your police check.