Police and probity checks for licensing

When you apply to the Northern Territory Government for business and professional licences, you must be able to show you are a fit and proper person, company or organisation to hold a licence.

This can involve one or more of the following checks:

  • criminal history name check
  • police fingerprint check
  • National Police Checking Service (NPCS) informed consent –  an authority to release information
  • probity check.

Refer to this quick reference guide to find out which checks apply to which licence.

Criminal history name check

A criminal history name check searches for criminal or traffic convictions that are recorded against your name in any Australian state or territory.

This information goes to the government and forms part of your licence application or renewal application.

In the Northern Territory (NT) you can apply for a criminal history check online or by filling in a form

To apply online, go to the SafeNT website. Use the following address when you are asked where the results should be sent:   Licensing NT, GPO Box 1154, Darwin NT 0801.

You can also fill in a form and submit it by mail or in person to a Territory Business Centre.

This process is usually faster as results do not have to be mailed.

Your personal information will be handled in accordance with the business department's privacy policy. To find out more, go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation website.

National Police Checking Service form DOCX (59.4 KB)
National Police Checking Service form PDF (90.4 KB)

This form gives your permission for all of the following:

  • a check of criminal records or other information held by NT and Interstate Police
  • the release of details of any convictions against you in the NT or elsewhere. Convictions over 10 years old may not be considered unless relevant to the licence applied for.

For some licences, if you live, or have recently lived, in another country, you may have to provide a police report and financial records from that country. This information is given to Licensing NT or NT Worksafe.

Fingerprint check

You have to be fingerprinted by police to get some permits and licences, especially those involving the safety or security of people or property.

Fingerprinting happens in conjunction with a criminal history name check. Applying for a fingerprint check automatically also applies for a name check. You only have to fill out the one form and pay the one fee if you want both checks.

To get fingerprinted follow these steps:

Step 1. If you live in Darwin or outer Darwin area, contact SafeNT in Smith Street to arrange an appointment. For other areas within the Northern Territory contact your local Police Station.

Step 2. Give them your filled-in criminal history check application form. Make sure you have ticked the box in Section A of the form for fingerprint check.

Step 3. Pay the relevant fee associated with your licence type.

Step 4. Have your fingerprints taken.

Your fingerprints and palm prints have to be destroyed when you no longer hold a licence or you are refused a Machine Manager's Licence or a Gaming Machine Repairer's Licence.

Probity check

A probity check investigates the background of a company, organisation or person to see if they are fit to hold the licence or authorisation they have applied for.

It investigates the previous history and activities of organisations and individuals, especially financial records and legal matters.

Not all probity checks are the same. The kind of information needed depends on the kind of licence applied for and the laws and regulations which apply to it.

What it involves

A person or organisation has to give their permission before a probity check can be done as part of the application process for a licence or permit.

You give your permission by filling in the relevant form and submitting it with your application

You may be asked to authorise some or all of the following:

  • authority to release police history - fill in and sign the National Police Checking Service form above. This gives your permission for Licensing NT, police, or any other investigative authority to make any investigations or inquiries necessary to process an application for a licence or permit.

This gives your bank or other financial institution permission to release financial records and other documents to an officer of Licensing NT or NT police.

How probity checks are done

The probity check only starts once you have signed the authority forms. Licensing NT or NT police then check the information they get against the criteria for the licence or permit you have applied for.

Right to appeal

If Licensing NT refuses your application for a licence or permit, as a result of the probity check, you can appeal. Contact the Director-General of Licensing.

Last updated: 05 February 2020

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