How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?
You might have heard the term “Certificate Of Clearance” (COC) while tuning into CrimeWatch on Channel 5 and wondered what it meant. This article will give you an overview of all that you need to know about the COC in Singapore.
What is a Certificate of Clearance?
A COC is issued to Singaporeans by the Singapore Police Force to certify that the individual applying for it has no criminal record within a stipulated period of time in Singapore. One may need to apply for a COC for reasons such as migration, adoption, overseas employment, or further education.
Applications may be done online or by visiting the COC office in person to apply. The most convenient way to apply is through the online eService system.
Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a Certificate of Clearance
As a pre-requisite, applicants must be above the age of 16 and must be able to produce documentary proof which indicates that a COC or police clearance is required and for what purpose.
For instance, for migration-related purposes, an official letter issued by the country’s immigration authority requesting for the police clearance from Singapore is needed. While for adoption, an official letter from the relevant adoption agency, indicating the requirement for a police clearance, is needed.
Upon acceptance of the application, one will then receive an email/ SMS notification to book an appointment to have his fingerprint impressions taken at the Police Cantonment Complex. The COC will be issued after the verification of one’s fingerprint impressions.
Applicants residing overseas will be required to mail a hardcopy of your fingerprint impressions taken at an authorised institution in your country of residence (such as police stations or embassies), and enclose it with a copy of the eCOC Acknowledgement Slip. The Acknowledgement Slip will be generated when your online application has been completed. Upon verification of the fingerprint impression and eCOC Acknowledgement Slip, the COC will be mailed to your posting address indicated in the online application form.
Non-Singapore Citizens such as Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) may apply for a COC only after submitting an appeal. The outcome of your appeal will be sent to you within 5 working days. You may submit an appeal via the Electronic Police Centre.
Applicants should prepare the following documents beforehand (with all documents translated in English, if written in any other language):
- SingPass and/or Foreign Identification Number (FIN)
- Scanned documentary proof indicating that a COC is required and for what purpose:
- In PDF format not more than 2MB in size
- A letter from the embassy, overseas offer letter for employment/education, etc.
- Scanned biometric page of applicant’s valid passport
- In PDF format not more than 2MB in size
- Front page with photo and particulars only
- Scanned Identification Document (ID), front and back
- In PDF format not more than 2MB in size
- Your NRIC, Work Permit, etc
- Scanned or digital passport-sized photograph
- In jpeg format not more than 60kb in size preferably with the dimension of 400 by 514 pixels
- taken within the last 3 months
- Formal facial expression on a white borderless background
- Displays full face without any obstructing headgear (headwear worn due to racial or religious customs are acceptable but must not hide facial features)
- Valid Credit/Debit Card (Visa/MasterCard) or i-Banking account for online payment
For applicants residing overseas who are required to mail the hardcopy fingerprints with eCOC Acknowledgement Slip:
- Fingerprint impressions refer to fingerprints of right and left thumbs, and the 4 fingers of both the right and left hands
Important Points to Note
- The processing fee for each application is $55.00 (an additional overseas postage fee of S$5.00 applies for applications via post from other countries).
- For applications by post, payment can be made with a bank draft made payable to ‘Head Criminal Records CID’ through a financial institution with a subsidiary bank based in Singapore for clearance.
- Payments received are non-refundable once the application is accepted.
- Processing time for each application is 10 working days for Singapore Citizens and 15 working days for appeal cases.
- Applicants may collect the certificate in person or through a proxy. An authorisation letter is required for collection by proxy with a valid photo identification for verification.
- For overseas applications by post, the certificates will be posted to the forwarding address as indicated by the applicants in the application.
- How to Write a Letter of Representation to AGC in Singapore
- What is Entrapment and is It Legal in Singapore?
- Juvenile Crime: What If Your Child is Arrested in Singapore?
- Police Investigation Process in Singapore
- Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
- Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
- Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
- What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
- Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
- What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
- "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
- Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
- Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
- Penalties for Lying to the Authorities in Singapore
- Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
- Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
- What is Acquittal & How Can One Be Acquitted in Singapore?
- Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
- Claiming Trial as an Accused
- Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
- The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
- Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
- Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
- Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
- Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
- Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
- Presidential Clemency in Singapore
- Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
- Criminal Records in Singapore
- Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
- Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
- How Long Is Life Imprisonment in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
- Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
- How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
- Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
- Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
- Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
- 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
- Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
- Rape Laws in Singapore and How Offenders Can Be Punished
- Sexual Misconduct in Singapore: Offences and What Victims Can Do
- How are Sexual Offenders with Special Needs Penalised?
- Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
- Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
- Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
- What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
- What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
- Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
- Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
- Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
- STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
- Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
- Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
- Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
- Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
- Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
- Laws on Procuring Prostitutes and Sexual Services in Singapore
- Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
- Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
- The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
- Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
- Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
- Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
- Vandalism Laws: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
- Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
- Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
- Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
- DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
- What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
- Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
- Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
- Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
- Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
- Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
- Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
- Arson and Fire-Related Offences and Their Penalties in Singapore
- Laws on Prohibited, Replica and Self-Defence Weapons
- Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
- Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore