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 only apply for a COC 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.
- Police Investigation Process in Singapore
- When Can the Police Arrest Someone?: Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
- Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
- Can a Civilian Arrest a Criminal in Singapore?
- Is Lying to the Police or Authorities an Offence in Singapore?
- Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
- What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
- Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
- Do You Have a "Right to Remain Silent" to the Police in Singapore?
- Extradition: What if You Flee after Committing Crime in Singapore?
- Warrant of Arrest: What to Do If It is Issued Against You in Singapore
- Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
- Criminal Compensation in Singapore
- Exercising Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
- Claiming Trial as an Accused
- Mitigation Plea
- Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
- Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
- Presidential Clemency in Singapore
- Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
- Reformative Training in Singapore: When will it be Ordered?
- Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
- 7 Detention Orders in Singapore and When Will They be Ordered?
- Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
- Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
- Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
- Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
- Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
- Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
- Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
- How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
- Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
- 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)
- Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
- Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
- Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
- Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
- When Can You Legally Gamble (In Public or Online) in Singapore?
- Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
- DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
- Legal Drinking Age in Singapore and Other Drinking-Related Laws
- Singapore's Legal Smoking Age and Common Smoking Offences
- The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
- Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore: What's the Difference?
- Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
- Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
- Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore
- What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
- Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
- Penalties for Unlawful Assembly and Rioting in Singapore
- Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
- Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
- Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
- Complete Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
- Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
- What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
- Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
- Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
- Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
- Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
- Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
- Littering and Killer Litter Offences: Here are the Penalties in Singapore
- Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
- Animal Cruelty in Singapore: Offences, Penalties & How to Report
- Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
- Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
- Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore