Frequently Asked Questions

Can a person under 18 years be granted a CAPI Licence?

You are not eligible to apply for a CAPI licence until you are 18 years of age.

Where can I pick up an application form for a new licence?

Application forms for licences are available from the NSW Police Force website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled.

Do you send me a reminder to renew my licence?

If you are a current licence holder, you will be sent a renewal application package in the post approximately eight to ten weeks prior to the expiry of your licence.

If you have not yet renewed your licence with NSW Police Force and your licence was issued by Local Courts, it would be appreciated if you could email or fax your preferred contact details and your licence number, licence type and expiry date to the SLED. This will allow us to send you any further information and renewal application packages on a timely basis and to your preferred mail address.

I want to talk to someone personally about my application. Where do I go?

You can contact the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001 for phone enquiries and 1300 362 066 for fax enquiries. In addition, e-mail facilities are also available with the address sled@police.nsw.gov.au. The SLED does not have facility for personal lodgement. Applications and payments will only be accepted by post.

Do I have to get my fingerprints taken?

Yes. It is a requirement that fingerprints are taken before a licence is issued. If you have previously had your fingerprints taken in connection with a security licence, you will not need to have them taken again. Further information in relation to the fingerprinting procedure will be provided to you once your application has been received by the SLED.

What is the term of my licence?

CAPI Operator licences are available for a one or five year period. Master licences are issued for a period of five years. The licence will remain in force for that period unless suspended or cancelled by the Commissioner of Police in the meantime.

How much money do I send with my application?

The full licence fee is to be sent to the SLED together with your completed application form. The 'Schedule of Fees' provides you with the fees relevant to the licence classes sought.

What happens if I send my application form without all of the relevant information?

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned to you. The SLED will not commence to process your application until it is fully completed and accompanied by the correct fee. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have provided all necessary information set out in the checklist of your application form.

How long after I send in my application will I get my licence?

If you have correctly completed your application form and there is no criminal history recorded against you, you can expect to receive your 'Photograph Advice' within 6 weeks of being fingerprinted. If there is a requirement for further investigation, the processing time will be extended.

What happens if I lose my photo licence?

If you have lost your licence you should report the loss immediately to the Police Assistance Line (PAL), phone number 131444 and obtain the event (reference) number. You must then complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001. You must send payment of $65.00 with your application to the SLED. You may continue to work pending receipt of your new replacement licence, provided you keep the event number on you for quoting upon demand. A 'Photograph Advice' will be sent to you to take to the Roads and Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

How do I alter the personal details shown on my Operator Licence? Is there any charge for this?

You are required to complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001. You must send payment of $65.00 with your application to the SLED. A 'Photograph Advice' will be sent to you to take to the Roads and Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

How do I add another activity to my Operator Licence?

You are required to complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence' (P614A) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001. You must send payment of $80.00 with your application to the SLED. A 'Photograph Advice' will be sent to you to take to the Roads and Maritime Services to obtain your replacement licence.

I have had my 5 year licence for 6 months but I do not wish to work in the CAPI Industry again. Am I entitled to a refund?

No. There are no provisions in the Commercial Agents & Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 and Regulation for a pro-rata refund on any basis. This applies to both Operator and Master Licences.

I hold a Master Licence. How do I upgrade it if I wish to employ extra staff?

You are required to complete a 'Change of Details of a Master Licence' (P614B) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001. You must send payment of the applicable fee with your application to the SLED. Please refer to the 'Schedule of Fees' for the appropriate fee. A replacement Master licence will be sent to you once your application is finalised.

I hold a Master Licence for my business. Do I require an Operator licence to carry out CAPI activities?

Yes. A Master licence is for the business only and allows you to carry on a business in Commercial Agent and/or Private Inquiry Agent activities. If you are self-employed (i.e. you do not employ staff) you must hold both a Master licence and the appropriate Operator licence. Upon application for an Individual Master Licence, you will be issued with an Operator licence at no extra cost. In the case of applicants for Individual Master Licences, who also employ staff, the application form has provisions for you to indicate if you are also intending to carry out any CAPI activities. If this is the case, you will also be issued with an Operator licence at no extra cost.

I have recently moved, how do I inform you of my change of address?

The SLED must be notified of your new address within 14 days of the move. Your new address details will only be accepted in writing. You can send the address and telephone particulars by post, send a fax to the SLED on 1300 362 066 or submit the information by e-mail with the address sled@police.nsw.gov.au. Alternatively, you can complete a 'Change of Details of an Operator Licence'(P614A) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001. There is no fee applicable when the only change is to your address or contact details.

What will happen to my licence fee if I withdraw my application?

The SLED will retain $80.00 for administration fees and the remainder of the licence fee will be refunded, provided that your application is withdrawn prior to the photograph licence being issued.

Do I need to be an Australian Citizen to apply for a CAPI licence?

No. However, you must be a permanent Australian resident or hold a Visa that entitles you to undertake employment in Australia.

Do I need to have an ABN if I am applying for a Master licence?

Yes. All companies must have an ABN. This number is issued by the Australian Taxation Office. Companies must also provide evidence of Registration of a Corporation by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Small businesses require proof of Registration from the NSW Office of Fair Trading (if trading under a business name). Companies that trade under a business name must also provide evidence of the registration of that name with NSW Office of Fair Trading.

Do I need to hold an Operator licence to hold a Master licence?

An individual named as the licence holder on a Master licence does not need to hold an Operator licence, unless he or she is going to perform CAPI activities.

What is a Close Associate?

A close associate is a person who holds a significant financial interest or any relevant power in the daily operations of the licence applicant's, or holder's, business.

Do the same mandatory offences and convictions for licence refusal or cancellation of Operator licences apply to a Master licence holder?

Yes. These convictions also apply to each close associate of the business.

I have not yet collected my photo licence from the Roads and Maritime Services. Can I commence working with my photo advice?

If you hold a licence which has expired but you have made a new application prior to the date of expiry, you can continue to work until you get your new photo licence. If you have never held a licence, or have not made a new application prior to the expiry date of your existing licence, you cannot work until you have your photo licence issued at the Roads and Maritime Services.

Why do I need a Master licence when I already have an Operator licence?

An operator licence authorises a person to carry out CAPI activities whilst employed by a master licence holder. If you wish to carry on business in CAPI activities, even if only self-employed (including working as a subcontractor), you must hold a Master licence.

I am applying for my CAPI licence and then going overseas for a few months. Will this jeopardise my application?

Processing time for CAPI licence applications should not take longer than 20 working days after you have your fingerprints taken. Once we have received and completed a preliminary review of your application we will send you a list of Police Stations at which you can have your fingerprints taken, and a letter to take with you. Once we have received your fingerprints we will commence processing your application. If you are successful, you will be sent a notice to attend an Roads and Maritime Services office to collect the photographic licence. This notification is only valid for 2 months. If the licence is not collected during this period, your application will be deemed to have been refused.

I hold a current Master licence and I am going to sell my business. Does this licence transfer to the new owner when the sale is completed?

No. The new owner will need to apply for a Master licence for that company. An issued licence confers no right of property and is not able to be transferred.

Why do I need to put my Master licence number in advertisements?

It is a condition of a master licence to display the licence number on any advertisement or correspondence in relation to any CAPI activity carried on by the licensee. This demonstrates legitimacy to the public and discourages illegitimate businesses from operating.

My employer wants to subcontract my services for financial reasons. What type of licence do I need?

Any person sub-contracting CAPI activities is required to hold a Master licence as well as an Operator Licence for the CAPI activities carried on.

How do I get a copy of the Act/Regulation?

Copies of all NSW legislation can be obtained by accessing the web site www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.

Do people get fined for breaches of the Act?

Yes, Police officers will charge offenders with breaching the Act. The legislation provides for penalties for serious breaches of the Act including fines and/or imprisonment. Police also have powers to issue on the spot penalties for some offences.

Who is responsible for enforcing the legislation?

NSW Police Force.

Are there persons who are exempt from the Act? Who are they?

Schedule 1 of the Act and Clauses 10 & 16 of the Regulation lists persons who are exempt from the requirement to hold licences.

I know a person who is working without a licence, what can I do about it?

Complaints in relation to an alleged breach of the Act can be made in writing to the SLED or to any NSW Police station.

Complaints in relation to ethical behaviour can be directed to the NSW Office of Fair Trading or to a professional Industry representative body, if applicable.

I have an interstate licence; can I use it in NSW?

No, however you can apply for a NSW licence under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Commonwealth) provided your interstate licence is current. You may still reside in another state. Applicants should provide a copy of their current interstate licence along with the completed application form and the application fee. If approved, we will send you a 'Photograph Advice' which you should take immediately to a NSW Roads and Maritime Services to have your photo taken and licence issued.

Why doesn't my interstate licence cover me in NSW?

As with Driver licences and road rules, each state maintains jurisdiction over their own CAPI licensing. Regulation is through the respective state governments and their relevant legislation. Because of the differences in legislation, each state requires that a licence must be issued under their jurisdiction to authorise employment within the CAPI industry.

Is there a separate application form for Mutual Recognition?

An application for a NSW Licence under Mutual Recognition can be made on an 'Application for a CAPI Operator licence under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992' (P616) form available from our website www.police.nsw.gov.au/sled or by requesting a form from the Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 001.

My licence is due to expire. Can I extend it?

We will send you a renewal package approximately eight to ten weeks prior to the expiry of your current licence. Provided a complete application is received in this office prior to the expiry date of the existing licence, then a licensee can continue to work beyond that date, awaiting the outcome of their new licence.

What offences will disqualify me from holding a licence?

The following offences are grounds for mandatory refusal of an application for a CAPI licence (including a Master licence) if the applicant (or close associate in the case of a Master Licence) was convicted within the last ten years or found guilty (with no conviction recorded) within the last 5 years of:

Offences involving violence, fraud, dishonesty or theft, being an offence punishable by imprisonment
Offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other weapon
Offences involving the unlawful possession or use of a drug
Offences under Part 2 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007, or under corresponding provisions of the law of the Commonwealth or of another State or Territory
Offences under the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 of the Commonwealth

In the case of a Master licence holder, an application may also be refused if the licence holder, close associates or company named on the application has been found guilty of any of the above offences.

Is there an avenue to appeal?

If an application for a licence is refused, or a current licence cancelled, the individual to whom the licence relates must first request the SLED undertake an Internal Review of the decision within 28 days of being served with the papers of cancellation. This is conducted within the SLED by an officer other than the officer who refused/cancelled the licence. If this review maintains the original decision, the individual can then make application to have their decision reviewed at the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT).

How do I apply for an Internal Review?

Application for an internal review must be in writing and sent to the Registrar, Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED), Locked Bag 5099 Parramatta NSW 2124 or faxed on 1300 362 066.

What is the time period for an Internal Review to be undertaken?

28 days from the date of the decision to refuse/cancel your licence.

What does an Internal Review cost?

There is no fee charged by the SLED for an internal review.

Am I entitled to a refund if my licence is cancelled for the remaining term?

No. Refunds are only granted on licence applications, provided the licensee has not had their photographic licence produced.