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Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks What identification documents do I need for a police check?

What identification documents do I need for a 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.


It is now common for employers to demand a police check from potential employees or their staff. As it is now a mandatory requirement in many sectors, not having a police check may preclude you from a job opening, license, service rendering or any other role you apply for.

Furthermore, applying for a police check has become so easy that our online portal at Australian National Character Check will provide you with a lot of useful information and actual issuance of the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. The application can be completed within 12 minutes, and you have the freedom of applying with your mobile device, tablet or PC.

However, before you apply, there are certain documents (mostly 4) you must provide to complete the application process. These four compulsory documents divided into three categories will help ANCC to confirm your identity and assist the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Database to carry out proper checking of your police or criminal history records.

When filling the form, the following categories of IDs is required;

  • ✔ One (1) Commencement of ID Document
  • ✔ One (1) Primary Use in the Community Document
  • ✔ Two (2) Secondary Use in the Community Document

Via the entire document listed above, we must be able to verify the information provided such as;

  • Your full name
  • Date of Birth
  • A verifiable photograph that should be present in at least one of the commencement or primary IDs that you provide.

Documents do not have your valid photograph

If any of the commencement and primary documents do not include a photograph, a passport-style photograph will be needed - and certified by a person listed in Schedule 2 of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 (Cth).

In case of a Change of Name

If any of the documents you provide is addressed in your former name (if you have changed your name), you must provide evidence of a change of name. You could provide

  • A change of name certificate issued by the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
  • An Australian Marriage certificate issued the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
  • Deed poll

All these should be provided in addition to the four documents you have produced above. It is important to note that church or celebrant-issued certificates will not be accepted as a legal document verifying any of the above.

Commencement of Identity Document

A Commencement of Identity document issued by the Australian government could be any of the following documents;

  • (a) Australian birth certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (Australian Government Unit) - not an extract or birth card
  • (b) Australian Citizenship Certificate
  • (c) Australian visa (supported by a foreign passport) current at the time of entry into Australia as a resident or tourist
  • (d) 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)
  • (e) ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs

Primary Use in Community Document

For this category of documents, any of the following documents provided will be accepted such as;

  • (a) 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)
  • (b) An Australian driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence issued by a State or Territory, showing signature and/or photo
  • (c) ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs to assist visa holders to provide evidence of their Commencement of Identity in Australia
  • (d) A passport issued by a country other than Australia with a valid visa or valid entry stamp or equivalent
  • (e) 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
  • (f) 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.

Secondary Use in the Community Document

When providing the Secondary use document, you will need to provide any two of the following valid forms of identification.

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

How to apply for the police check Australia

There are two methods to apply for a police check Australia, you can either apply through

Online application forms of Australian National Character Check (ANCC)

When you apply through the online forms of ANCC, you get the police check delivered to you mostly within 24 to 48 hours of completion. The remaining that automatically get referred for manual processing will take longer. The online process is convenient, safe and generally quicker for all applicants and even for an organisation.

Local police office

May requires physical trips to the Local Police office, and the process may be partly paper-based. Applicants may also need to get their identification documents certified or attested by an authorised person.

How to begin a police check application online;

The steps of application include;

Step 1: Visit the Australian National Character Check (ANCC) website for nationally coordinated criminal history check (NCCHC) applications

Step 2: Fill the required fields on the application forms, they are used by ANCC’s compliance team to verify the applicants through the required information and IDs

Step 3: ANCC will forward all applications through a secure portal to the National Police Checking Service system through a secure server

Step 4:The applicants' information is searched against a stream of the entire criminal database in the nation

Step 5: Result is provided to Australian National Character Check (it either comes out as No Disclosable Court outcome (NDCO) or with a Disclosable Court Outcome (DCO) and the details

Step 6: The police checking is completed, and a certificate returned to the applicant normally within 48 hours. Some checks that get referred for manual processing may take up to 15+ days.

Self photo (selfie) for a biometric link

When applying for a police check online, applicants are required to provide a biometric link to their identification documents and for the purpose of establishing “liveness”.

The self photo (selfie) with hand-written numbers as directed on the ANCC criminal history check application forms is a suitable biometric link.

What is disclosed in my Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result?

A police check results contain all the release-able convictions of an individual (DCOs). Some of the convictions that will appear on a police check certificate are

  • All relevant Charges
  • Good behaviour bonds
  • Pending trials and convictions
  • Court appearances
  • Traffic offences that lead to sentences
  • Warrants or court warnings
  • Finding of guilt with no convictions
  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organizations

What is not disclosed in the check result?

  • Incomplete or abandoned charges
  • Diversion programs
  • Sentences are given abroad
  • Traffic infractions that do not culminate in convictions (cautions, warnings, fines)
  • Penalties from third- party institutions
  • Offences prosecuted by authorities outside the Police Jurisdiction

Why is a police check important?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is not just important to the government and the corporate world; it is also useful to decision makers for every day "informal" contracts.

Police check helps to keep communities safer. Drivers, for example, need a police check before they can proceed to apply for a driver accreditation or licensing.

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check helps people to employ the right people for domestic services such as; Home tutors, nannies, caregivers, cleaners, real estate agents, and so on.

Australian National Character Check (ANCC) assists and provides both individuals and businesses with a valid police check document.

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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.

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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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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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