A Police Certificate is a statement about you issued by the Gardaí. The certificate, which is normally valid for one year, states your name, address, date of birth and also includes information about whether or not you have a criminal record. This does not include adult cautions.
Spent convictions: 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.
You can only get a Police Certificate in certain circumstances. They are issued when required by consular authorities. For example, Police Certificates are often required before you can apply for a visa to visit or travel to other countries. They are not issued for employment or any other purpose. However, they can be issued for the setting up or registering a business in another EU member state.
Requests for Police Certificates are not processed in your local Garda station but instead, are sent to the Superintendent for the district where you live or used to live. Your completed Police Certificate will be issued directly from the district office and it can take up to 3 weeks for it to be issued.
There is no charge for a Police Certificate.
How to apply
You should make your application in writing to the Superintendent in charge of the district where you live. If you no longer live in Ireland, write to the Superintendent for the district where you use to live. If you leave your application into your local Garda station for forwarding to the Superintendent for the district, you should take note of the Garda's name or shoulder number.
Your application in writing should include the following:
- Your full name as on your birth certificate including your maiden name if applicable
- Your date and place of birth (or a copy of your birth certificate)
- Your current address
- All addresses at which you have lived at in Ireland and when you lived there
- The place and purpose for which you require the Certificate
You should also include with your application:
- A copy of your passport, driving licence or similar for identification purposes
- A stamped, self addressed envelope
Your application will take approximately 3 weeks to process.
Irish people living abroad
Generally speaking, if you are an Irish person living abroad it is not possible to obtain a Police Certificate from Ireland unless you require it:
- For visa purposes
- To apply for residency in another country
In the above instances, write to the Superintendent of your police district here in Ireland and request a Police Certificate.
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.