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How do I get a copy of my police check?

The information on this webpage is to be read in conjunction with this disclaimer:
Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

Besides the physical police check result, some people lose their online copies through misplaced passwords, erased data, formats, or other software maladies.

The police check result can be one of the "costly losses" that can happen to a candidate, and that is why online service providers generally allow candidates to still access their police check results online for up to 3 months.

What do I need to get my police check result copy?

If you have lost a copy of your police check, the next step is to contact the agency or medium how you applied for the police check. Those who appied online through Australian National Character Check (ANCC) can select the "Track a Check" option on the Australian National Character Check online portal.

When you get to the Track a Check option on ANCC portal, the candidate will have to provide essential details about their initial police check application, like the

  • The email address they applied with
  • Reference Number of the police check.

These are the vital criteria that the system needs to track and provide the initial police check result of the applicant. It will be hard for the candidate to retrieve their police check without these essential details.

How long can the candidate apply for a retrieval?

The medium or agency that processes a police check usually retains a copy of the result for 3 months before being permanently erased from the database. The candidate can only retrieve their police check result from any agencies within 3 months of the initial issuance.

Can the candidate retrieve their police check result after 3 months?

No, all records of the police check will be securely and permanently erased from the candidate's history after 3 months from the issuance. At this point, the candidate can't get back their initial police check result.

What is the easiest way to retrieve a police check result?

The convenience with which a candidate gets a copy of their police check result depends on the agency they applied through. All police check applications through ANCC can get retrieved through the;

  1. Track a Check option on ANCC online portal
  2. Contacting the Customer Support Team of ANCC

If your application for a retrieval is successful, you can get a copy of your police check within minutes of the checking.

How long will a retrieved police check result last?

The retrieved copy of a police check result is not the same as a new/updated result. It still contains the information as the original copy of the result. Therefore, a retrieved police check result will only last as the initial copy would last.

There are no record updates on the police check, even if the candidate has received another conviction or other changes on their criminal records. To get an updated police check result, the candidate must re-apply for the police check through any approved agency.

Is getting another copy of my police check the same as an updated police check?

No, the updated police check is a Re-Checking of the candidate's criminal history and other updated records on the Australian criminal database. Retrieving a copy is just the same as the actual result; there are no changes to the certificate.

If you are requested to get an updated police check, you must re-apply or renew your police check. The difference is that the renewal police check comes up with recent and updated records of your criminal history.

Also, any conviction or record you incurred during the period since your last police check application will appear on the updated police check. On the other hand, the retrieved copy of the police check still contains the same records as before.

Furthermore, the issuance date on the police check renewal is updated to the time when you get the updated result. For the police check retrieval, the issuance date remains the same as when the Original police check was issued.

Where can I get a copy of my police check result?

You must contact the agency or medium that issues your police check to get a copy of the police check result. If you apply online, log in to the agency's portal where you apply to get directives or information on how to get a copy of the police check in Australia.

How long does the Original police check certificate last?

The police check bears only one important date; The issuance date. All other dates on the certificate are secondary and non-relevant to the application in Australia. The police check certificate is a point-in-time check; it remains valid from the issue to any other point.

Usually, the point when the police check result expires is a pre-agreed point between the parties. Most employers or decision-makers set the "expiry" period for the results they accept as three months. For these organisations or agencies, the applicant cannot submit their police check after three months have elapsed since the original issue's date. However a nationally coordinated criminal history check is a point in time check and the expiry will depend on each organisation and their internal risk mitigation policies.

Technically, the police check cannot expire, but the parties or decision-makers can determine when the results become obsolete for the roles/applications.

What do I do if my police check expires?

If the organisation or requesting party considers that your police check result has become obsolete under their Policies and terms, it is time for an updated one. The process for the police check renewal is just similar to the original applications, including the verification ID and other required documents.

Where can I renew my police check certificate?

It is straightforward to renew the police check result in Australia, especially when trying the online application method. Since the inception of the electronic process of obtaining the police check, the waiting time for applicants has dropped significantly. An online applicant generally has to wait for just hours until they get their police check certificate (assuming that the check does not get referred for manual processing).

  • Applying online

The candidate only needs a well-connected internet device to complete the online application for the police check. The form-filling, ID verification and payments for the police check certificate can be completed online through the various digital options available.

ANCC is the most common online portal for applying for a police check online. And the application process takes less than 15 minutes.

Most successful applicants get their police check returned within 24 hours of their application unless there are some unexpected delays due to manual processing or errors in the application form.

  • Applying through the Local Police office

The AFP and other State or Territory police forces issue a police check certificate to all applicants through their local Police office or website. This may be a partly physical method of application that requires verifying or attesting ID documents.

It generally takes an average of 10 -15 days for the police force to complete and return a Check result to the candidate.

  • Applying through the Post office

The post office has the duty of transferring documents, parcels, goods around Australia; they do the same with the police check application. Applying through the Post office means a single trip to the office, but the applicant must submit the complete details of their police check application without errors on the records.

The post office process may also be a physical means for applying for the police check, and it may take as much as 5 to 15 days for the applicant to get the result.

What can I use a police check certificate for?

When applying for the police check, the candidate must specify the purpose of the check in the informed consent form. The Check is only conducted depending on the “Purpose” the candidate has stated in the application.

A police check can be for any of the following purposes;

  • For employment

Most employers request the Employment police check as part of the recruitment process before hiring a candidate for the role. The result of the police check is a vital assessment, especially where the candidate will be handling a sensitive position in the organisation.

organisations now abiding by the Australian legislation include the police check as their internal policies. Furthermore, the organisation may request updated police checks within respectable periods to ensure that their employees are still "in-line."

For example, a person who wants to work as a paid driver will scrutinise their police check results, especially their traffic and driving-related offences.

  • For Licensing purposes

The process of obtaining a license starts by presenting a background check that qualifies you for that license. The most essential background check for getting a license in Australia is the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

The Licensing agency may also refuse a candidate's application if they have not met the criteria or have compromising records on their police check that would affect their application.

Some examples of license application that requires a police check application in Australia include;

  • Liquor Licenses
  • Gun/Firearm/ammunition licenses
  • Medications/Pharmaceuticals/Drug Licenses
  • Ammonium Nitrate license
  • Real Estate Licenses

  • For Accreditation and Admission into bodies

Before you get into certain professional bodies, you may be requested to provide a Personal Probity police check result as a requirement. These bodies will evaluate the candidates based on relevant records to determine if they are "worthy" of admission into the professional body.

Also, these professional bodies will request the candidate to provide a regular update to their police check to evaluate their membership.

Can I use a police check certificate for a different purpose?

You cannot inter-use between police check regardless of how close/similar the “Purpose” for the check is. Every police check is conducted for a specific purpose, and it can only be used for that purpose.

A police check for paid employment as a driver cannot be used for a license to supply or sell liquor.

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


If you are an individual, you can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online via Australian National Character Check’s application and informed consent form. The results are dispatched via email.

Business and Enterprise Customers

Business and Enterprise customers are able to sign up to ANCC’s business portal where they can order, manage, track and view candidates’ police check results on their business portal.

Organisations will undergo a process of approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal for the purpose of police checks.

ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their background check online and handles the application and informed consent form. Contact ANCC’s business and enterprise partnerships team today to enquire about setting up a business portal for your organisation.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The content on this website is communicated to you on behalf of Australian National Character Check™ (ANCC®) pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act).

The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction of this material may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

Why use ANCC?


Fast online application form

The online application form can be completed in a few minutes online. 70% of results are dispatched in 24 hours. Approximately 30% can take longer than 15 days due to a 'potential match'.


Australian based support team

All of our staff are based in Canberra, ACT. All data is stored securely in Australia. Each application is checked in accordance with Federal Government guidelines. Support staff are available from Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM.


Top rated national police check provider

ANCC is amongst the highest rated employment background check providers. Refer to ANCC's Google Reviews and Product Reviews.


Guaranteed to be valid Australia wide

A nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid in all States and Territories of Australia.

Need discount police checks? We beat prices!

About ANCC

ANCC® enables individuals and approved legal entities to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check, which is commonly referred to as a national police check. The nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid all over Australia and can be used when applying for Employment, Probity, Licencing, or Commonwealth check purposes. Get discount police checks online. We beat prices!


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Not sure where to start?

Book in a free consultation with us to discuss your organisation's employment background check needs, or to get an overview of the ANCC Business Portal.