How to Get Police Clearance for an Ex-Jap in Zimbabwe

If you have recently purchased a new, used vehicle from Japan, you will have discovered that one of the steps that you need to take as part of the registration process is get police clearance. This is something that ZIMRA demands. A while back, a colleague and I got into an argument over whether or not clearing a vehicle with the police can be bypassed. It turned out, at the end of the day, that every car that is registered in Zimbabwe first needs to be cleared with the police.

Steps to get police clearance for new vehicles in Zimbabwe

  1. Go to Southerton Police Station
  2. Wait in line to get the shed where your vehicle’s engine and chasis numbers are checked
  3. Have the numbers checked in a computer
  4. Have your papers verified in another office
  5. Your fingerprint is required as verification of ownership of the vehicle.
  6. The officer in charge then signs all your papers.

Where do you get clearance for new vehicles in Harare?

In Harare, all cars that are set to be registered first need to be cleared at Southerton Police Station. If you don’t know how to get there, look up the directions on Google Maps.

What’s does the clearance process involve?

The clearance process is simple enough. You drive your vehicle to Southerton Police Station and once you have filled out the needed papers, someone then inspects your car. He or she looks up and writes the engine and chasis numbers.

Why is this done?

These checks are carried out to ensure that the vehicle that you are registering has not been stolen and has not been involved in some other nefarious activity.

How long does the process take?

The inspection process itself takes only a few minutes. However, you should expect to spend a couple of hours at Southerton, depending on the number of people that are there at the time.

Is your vehicle cleared that same day?

This is where this whole affair becomes mired in controversy. The public officials there will tell you that it takes 3 days to have your car cleared. At least that was what I was told three years ago. And to have your car cleared that same day, you then need to cough up a token of appreciation.

Most people prefer to take this step, rather than waiting 3 days to get their clearances. I think this is something that needs to be looked at by the authorities. Looking up whether or not a car has been stolen should be a simple matter of punching numbers into a computer. Allowing the process to be dragged out only opens up the public to abuse by public officials.

Where do I go from there?

Once you have cleared your vehicle with the police, you can then approach ZIMRA to get license plates for your car.

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