Obtain a Police Clearance Certificate in New Zealand

Let me get ahead of you. You cannot obtain a police clearance certificate in New Zealand. Even the New Zealand Police says so. What you can get in New Zealand though is a document that contains your criminal record. This document would show your criminal and traffic convictions if there are any. In this post I would share with you how to obtain New Zealand’s version of a police check.

What you would need the criminal record for

If you had been working in New Zealand, you probably would have gone through this in pre-employment checks. If you are applying for visas in other countries, you may have to prove you are of good character and this would suffice.

How to obtain your criminal record

1. Fill out this form

You can either fill the form by hand or by using your PDF editor. In both cases you must always print the signature page, sign it with your black or blue pen, scan the printed page, and stitch the page back to the PDF file.

In most scenarios you would need to request for a full record. (Step 3, Tick ‘Full record of convictions’)

You will have the choice to get the report sent back to you by post or by email.

2. Attach a copy of your ID

You must use one of the following:

  • your New Zealand driver licence. This can be current or expired within the last 2 years, but must not be cancelled or a temporary licence.
  • your New Zealand passport. This must be signed and can be current or expired within the last 2 years, but must not be cancelled.
  • your overseas passport. This must be signed and current.
  • your New Zealand firearms licence. This must be current.

3. Send the request to the Ministry of Justice. Choose between two ways.

By post:

Criminal Records Unit
Ministry of Justice

By email:


Note: Put only your first name and last name in the email subject line.

Sending it via email is the easiest.

When you would receive your record

The Ministry aims to send your record within 20 working days. They also have a calculator to work out when you can expect to receive your record depending on the date you requested it in this webpage.

Tips to avoid delays
  • Write legibly.
  • Do not forget to sign the document.
  • Follow all the instructions in the guide sections of the form.
  • Double-check the information you have written.
  • Send the form within 6 months of dating it.
How the letter looks like

We chose to receive the letter by mail so it came like this.

Maybe we will have it sent through email next time as we keep on misplacing letters that come through our mailbox. 🙂

Here is how it looks like if there are no records held against your name and this is what you should receive.

I hope this post helped! Please let me know if you have questions in the comments section below.




21 Replies to “Obtain a Police Clearance Certificate in New Zealand”

    1. Hi Rachel Green

      There is a calculator which you can use to work out the time you will be waiting for the certificate and it’s fairly accurate. I’ve mentioned it here.

  1. Can I please ask, is this an example if the letter you receive when asking for full record or clean slate version

    1. Hi Rochelle

      As I understand it, the criminal history will be concealed automatically if one qualifies for it through the Clean Slate Act… I do not know if this what a ‘clean slate version’ would look like.

  2. Hi Im a filipino and currently residing in the Philippines. I applied a police clearance last April 19,2019 and I didn’t notice I forgot to put my email address. So I decided to send another form June 7,2019 but unfortunately I have not receive any notification from them. And now I resend agian my application. Please help me…

  3. Hi! Ive submitted the form via email last Jan 28, 2020. I havent gotten any updates since then. I was supposed to get it on Feb 26, 2020 as per the calculator. I asked to be posted it to me here in the Philippines. Just wondering where can I get an update regarding my concern

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