What is a Police Certificate?
A Police Certificate is an official statement about you issued by An Garda Síochána.
It is used by people who have lived in Ireland and want to work or study abroad. It is required by some foreign authorities.
A Police Certificate states your:
- Date of birth
- Criminal record in Ireland (this does not include adult cautions)
A Police Certificate is normally valid for 1 year.
You should also note that the Irish spent convictions legislation cannot be used to prevent disclosure when you are required to disclose information about your criminal convictions to another state.
What is a Police Certificate for?
The Gardaí will only issue you with a Police Certificate in certain limited circumstances. This includes if you need it to:
- Apply to a foreign consular authority
- Apply for a foreign visa
- Start a business in another EU State
A Police Certificate is not the same as the Garda vetting required for anyone who works or volunteers with children or vulnerable adults.
How to apply for a Police Certificate
To apply, you must complete a Police Certificate Application form (pdf) and post it to the District Superintendent for your local Garda Station.
You can find your District Superintendent on the Garda Station Directory.
The Police Certificate is issued free of charge and usually takes about 3 weeks to process.
Irish people living abroad
Generally, if you are an Irish person living abroad it is not possible to get a Police Certificate from Ireland unless you need it for:
- Visa purposes
- Applying for residency in another country
However, if you are living abroad and require a Police Certificate from Ireland for something like a job, you could get in touch with the local police in the country where you now live. Explain to them what you require and they may get in touch on your behalf with your nearest police station here in Ireland and request this information.
You can read detailed information regarding the Police Certificate, including a Frequently Asked Questions document (pdf), on the Garda Síochana website.