Embassy of Australia
United States of America

Police Clearances and Criminal History Checks

How to obtain a police and character clearance report from Australia

Under the Australian Privacy Act, the Embassy of Australia in the United States of America cannot obtain confidential information on Australian citizens or residents of Australia from any Australian police force. Only the person him/herself may obtain this information directly from the relevant state, territory or federal police force.

Australians abroad may need police or character certificates for purposes such as court requirements, residence permission or employment. Australian citizens requiring certificates should visit the websites of the appropriate Australian Federal, State or Territory Police Force (see table below). Please check the information for the respective state, as some states do not provide checks for persons residing overseas but direct the applicant to the Australian Federal Police site to obtain a national police check.

The type, cost and application forms required for clearance certificates vary from state to state. Any State or Territory in Australia will be able to provide at least one of the following certificates:

  • Certificate issued on the basis of fingerprints;
  • Certificate issued on the basis of a name check; and
  • National Police Clearance Certificate.

Australians seeking a police clearance certificate should be aware that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) can a National Police Clearance Certificate that covers criminal records in all Australian states and territories. The AFP has advised that this certificate is acceptable in all countries. You should confirm that the requesting local authority would accept this AFP-issed certificate.

Australian Federal Police
Criminal Records - National Policy Checks
Locked Bag 8550
Canberra City, ACT 2601

Tel: +61 2 6140 6502               Email: AFP-NationalPoliceChecks@converga.com.au

New South Wales Criminal Records Section

See website information

Tel: +61 2 8835 7888         Email: crs@police.nsw.gov.au

Victoria Police Record Checks

See website information

Email: policecheckvic@police.vic.gov.au

Northern Territories Police Record Checks

See website information

South Australia Police Record Checks

See website information

Queensland Criminal History Checks

See website information

Tasmania Police History Record Checks

See website information

Western Australia Police Record Checks

See website information


If you require a certificate based on fingerprints, you should make your own arrangements with a local police force to have your fingerprints taken. Please note that these certificates will only be issued on the basis of original fingerprint records being provided to the supplying police force in Australia. Photocopies and faxes of fingerprint records are not acceptable.