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What is a Licensing 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.


A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for the purpose of Licensing can be obtained online via the Australian National Character Check website.

When prompted, applicants should select the “Licensing” option in the purpose field of the online police check application form.

Most criminal history checks are dispatched to applicants within 24 to 48 hours, with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking longer.

Applicants can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online for a base price of $48.90. Payment options include debit card, credit card or PayPal.

The licensing purpose on a police check application form should be used when an applicant needs to obtain recognition, certification or registration to undertake a certain business activity that requires the issuance or renewal of a License.

There are lots of operations or commodities that require you to apply for a license in Australia. These include;

What are the requirements to obtain a license in Australia?

There are many requirements to obtain a license depending on the licensing agency and the reasons for your license. And one of them is submitting an updated police check result for assessments.

The criminal history check is the most vital document (after your data) to apply for a license in Australia.

Most licensing agencies are responsible for conducting background and other valuable checks on the people they issue licenses to. And this is more rigid where the license will affect the community or the trust of people. The criminal history check has become the most trusted and standard check document among all agencies and employers in Australia for various reasons.

Why Licensing police checks?

The Licensing police check is simply a dedicated check for license and all other permit applications.

The Check contains the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO) of an individual sourced from their Australian criminal records. These records include all the court convictions, sentences and penalties the court issues after it finds such a person guilty of an offence.

Police checks reveal all the necessary legal information about a person relating to the purpose they stated in the check. Although the check discloses a person’s convictions and court interactions, it is not a generic check;

For example, a nationally coordinated criminal history check for license for firearms will prioritise these convictions (if present);

  • Assault offences (especially cases of aggravation),
  • Robbery offences,
  • Affray offences,
  • Public misbehaviours,
  • Violations of community disorder and disobedience,
  • Domestic Violence offences,
  • Other convictions that are relevant to the license.

The police check discloses information that may be relevant to the purpose that the decision maker has to assess. And that is why a nationally coordinated criminal history check for the purpose of licensing is generally a required Check for licensing applications.

Who needs a Licensing police check in Australia?

All parties, organisations or groups must obtain a license if they want to;

  • Operate in specific sectors or areas, or
  • Obtain some special commodity/products,
  • Obtain rights to operate a regulated activity.

To obtain any of these licenses, they must in most cases submit a nationally coordinated criminal history check for the purpose of Licensing.

Some sectors where you will need a nationally coordinated criminal history check for Licensing includes;


  • ✔ Driver Licensing and Accreditation

The license to operate a vehicle on public roads and areas is one of the common licenses in Australia. While working as a commercial vehicle driver, you must submit a police check result to the licensing agency. These are generally the Road Transport Authorities of the State or Territory.

The Check will inform the agency of any criminal history or records that may be related to driving.

The police check for a commercial driver’s license may prioritise the following convictions;

  • ✔ Speeding-related offences
  • ✔ Drink driving offences,
  • ✔ Police Chase,
  • ✔ DUI offences,
  • ✔ Drug Driving offences,
  • ✔ Manslaughter offences while driving,
  • ✔ And other driving-related or non driving related convictions.

  • ✔ Liquor Licenses

All liquor dealers, suppliers or retailers must obtain a liquor license to perform their duties in Australia legally. The licenses include the details of the operation, operating hours and other measures the operators will employ for their service.

The licensing agency requests a police check whenever a person applies for a liquor license. The police check result will include details like;

  • Convictions in business misappropriation,
  • Affray convictions,
  • Convictions in selling alcohol to underage people,
  • Convictions in running illicit businesses,
  • Offences to money laundering,
  • And other relevant convictions.

  • ✔ Gaming License

The Australia Gaming License is the reviewed Gaming permit for all Game operators. Any party or group that wants to operate a public centre for gambling, sports betting, gaming centres and other entertainment centres must obtain a license.

The Gaming license agency also requires a police check as a requirement for the application. The agency ensures that gambling centres or companies are not defrauding their customers or engaging in other unfair practices.

The police check will have a DCO that include;

  • Fraud offences,
  • Financial related offences,
  • Public misuse of funds.
  • And other relevant convictions.

  • ✔ Real Estate License

The Real Estate market in Australia is a growing, vital market to the Australian economy. The agency may assess any person that applies for a Real Estate license through the Police Check.

A Real Estate police check will include (if available) all misappropriation and fraud-related convictions.


  • ✔ Registration as a controlled sport official

Anyone who applies to become sport officials; referee or moderator in specific sports events must apply for licenses. The Licensing agency will need the applicant’s Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check to ensure that they do not have a serious conviction in;

  • Manslaughter,
  • Assault cases,
  • Misappropriation,
  • Violence and Fraud,
  • And other relevant convictions.

  • ✔ Greyhound Racing Registration

Anyone who wants to train, operate, or own greyhounds racing registration in Australia must apply for a License. The legislation understands the concerns for animal welfare and safety of the community and requires a police check for such applications.

When applying for a police check, state the purpose – "greyhound racing" or” greyhound trainer” or gambling.

The agency assesses the applicant based on convictions like;

  • Abuse of animals and wildlife offences,
  • Fraud offences,
  • Stealing offences,
  • And other relevant convictions.

How to apply for a police check for Licensing purposes in Australia

There are various ways to apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check in Australia, depending on multiple conditions. The most standard way to obtain your police check is to apply online through approved service providers.


  • Online applications via Australian National Character Check (ANCC)

ANCC® is a popular approved service provider that provides applicants with criminal history checks for Licensing purposes.

Most applicants get their check back within 48 hours with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking longer. Applying for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online is fast, convenient and generally easier. You can apply using mobile, tablet or PC devices.

All documents and information shared for the checking process are sent over a secured server. It means that your document is safer and more secure when you apply online.


  • Applying through a State or Territory police force

The local police agencies issue applicants with a police check certificate through their portals. However, applying through the local police may mean that the applicant must complete an in-person application to verify or attest ID documents.


  • Applying through the Post office

The local post office acts as an intermediary between the applicant and the national check agency. Applicants must complete a form and submit them together with their ID documents to the Local Post office.


Other than formatting differences, there is no difference in the legitimacy of a nationally coordinated criminal history check you get regardless of the method you apply. All approved providers source Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks from the same central government database.

However, if the Agency that is assessing your licensing application stipulates a source for the police check you provide, you must apply for the check from that source.

Can a license be revoked for a subsequent conviction?

If you get a sentence that can compromise a certain license you hold, the relevant authority or a Court can issue a license revocation.

For example;

  • If the court convicts you of an aggravated robbery offence, it may require you to surrender all arms in your possession and revoke your firearm license.
  • If you get a conviction for a serious traffic offence, the court or relevant government authority may suspend or disqualify your commercial driver’s license.

Also, the court or relevant government authority can issue a license revocation/suspension by court order, a court warrant or an ongoing proceeding. The license revocation ensures that the person cannot carry out such roles legally until the court gives a final ruling.

Does a Licensing police check expire?

The police check is a point-in-time check; it contains all previous conviction records of the individual up to the point of issuance.

However, as criminal records are updated, most decision makers will not accept a police check that is older than three (3) months for Licensing purposes.

When applying for licenses, the licensing agency will request an updated police check (generally not older than three months). However this will depend on their internal risk mitigation policies and the legislation.

What documents do I need for a police check application for the purpose of Licensing?

Applying for a licensing Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check requires you to provide certain information for the check. The National Checking agency compares the data on the criminal records with the personal information the applicant provides.

The required information to complete a Licensing police check includes;

  • The legal name/s of the person,

It must also include all aliases, names used abroad, nicknames, and terms related to the person.

  • The Date of Birth,
  • Address(es), including all previous residences for the last 5 years.

The application will also request that the candidates state the purpose of the check. For a licensing police check, the applicant must;

  • Carefully select "License" as the purpose of the check using the dropdown, and;
  • Input the type of license in the purpose field.

ID documents for police checks

ID documents must corroborate all details the applicant submits. An applicant must submit a minimum of four identification documents under three categories for a police check application. The ID documents must include any of these categories;

  • ✔ One Commencement of ID document
  • Australian birth certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (Australian Government Unit) - not an extract or birth card
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate
  • Australian visa (supported by a foreign passport) current at the time of entry into Australia as a resident or tourist
  • Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
  • ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs

  • ✔ One Primary Use in Community Document
  • Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
  • An Australian driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence issued by a State or Territory, showing signature and/or photo
  • ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs to assist visa holders to provide evidence of their Commencement of Identity in Australia
  • A passport issued by a country other than Australia with a valid visa or valid entry stamp or equivalent
  • Proof of age or photo identity card issued by an Australian government agency which shows the name, date of birth, photo and signature of the individual
  • For persons aged under 18 years with no other Primary Use in Community Documents, a student identity document issued by an Australian government agency or Australian school only.

  • ✔ Two Secondary Use in Community Documents

These documents include any two of;

  • Medicare card
  • Enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
  • Working with children or vulnerable people card issued by an Australian state or territory government unit;
  • Tax File Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office
  • Bank card, credit card (without recording the payment card number/s)
  • Australian secondary or tertiary student photo identity document
  • Certified academic transcript from an Australian university
  • Foreign government issued driver licence. Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by a NAATI accredited translation
  • Firearms licence
  • Security Guard/Crowd Control photo licence
  • Evidence of right to a government benefit (DVA or Centrelink)
  • Police Force Officer photo identity card
  • Australian Defence Force photo identity card
  • Aviation security identification card
  • Maritime security identification card
  • Credit reference check
  • Trusted referees report

How to begin a police check application online

Applying for a police check online is an easy and quick way to get your police check certificate. You can get your police check for licenses when you complete these steps;

  • ✔ Step 1

Select the "Start a new police check" option on the Australian National Character Check portal.

  • ✔ Step 2

Fill and complete out the application form with your accurate personal details.

  • ✔ Step 3

Enter all contact details and extra information required on the application forms. Verify all previous data before you submit.

  • ✔ Step 4

Fill the true purpose of the application; Licensing, Probity or Employment.

  • ✔ Step 5

Remit the check payment via any of the online payment options; PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and co.

  • ✔ Step 6

Provide other details required and then submit any of the preferred Identification documents by;

  • Submitting JPEG, PNG, PDF or ther permitted files
  • Scanning and uploading the files,
  • Mailing copies (for in-person application)
  • ✔ Step 7

Complete your application by submitting the required ID

  • ✔ Step 8

For applications on behalf of a person, sign the informed consent online before submitting the police check application

  • ✔ Step 9

Using the "Track a Check" option on the website, applicants can track the status of their application. The applicant may download the track results.

  • ✔ Step 10

A soft copy of the certificate will be sent to your mail mostly within 48 hours. If the check requires manual processing from the national check agency then it will take longer. A hard copy is sent to your postal address by request.

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for Licensing purposes?

Individuals

If you are an individual, you can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate online via Australian National Character Check’s police check application 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’ criminal history check results on their business portal. Organisations will undergo a process for approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal.

ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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.

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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.

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

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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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