FAQ Criminal Record Check

Criminal Record Check
is a search used to determine whether an individual has a criminal record. The search is based on an individual’s name and date of birth and or fingerprints of the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records. A Criminal Record Check may also include a search of a Canadian police service’s local records, which may reveal criminal record information that has not been reported to the RCMP.

Name-Based Checks - Good Conduct Certificate
A query based on name and date of birth of the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records. Generally used to determine the possible existence of a criminal record. “Incomplete” query results will prompt for a Fingerprint-Based Criminal Record Check.

Police Certificate Fingerprint-Based Checks
A fingerprint-based search of the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records. The results of the search may produce a Certified Criminal Record Check product. 

Police Certificate with Vulnerable Sector Verifications
A Vulnerable Sector Verification is used to verify the possible existence of a criminal record and a sexual offence conviction for which an individual has received a pardon. In addition to a query of the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records, a Vulnerable Sector Verification also includes:
A query of pardoned sex offender records in the National Repository of Criminal Records.
A query of investigative and intelligence records via the CPIC Investigative Data Bank and the CPIC Intelligence Data Bank.
A query of local police records where the applicant resides.
A requirement for the verification to be conducted by a police service of local jurisdiction where the applicant resides.
The verification and disclosure of pardoned sex offender records is pursuant to the Criminal Records Act. In some cases, fingerprints may be required if a name-based query is inconclusive as to the existence of a pardoned sex offender record.

Why can it take up to 120 days to process a fingerprint-based criminal record check if there is a match?

The reasons for the longer processing may include:

A requirement to ensure that criminal files are up-to-date prior to processing.
If the criminal file has outstanding charges, their dispositions are sought prior to processing
A requirement to ensure that the submission meets all of the requirements of the Criminal Records Act prior to making a request for disclosure of a pardoned sex offender record by the Minister of Public Safety.
A requirement for ensuring that reasonable efforts are made to ensure that the verification is as accurate and up-to-date as possible in accordance with Privacy Act requirements.

 
Why would fingerprints be required to prove that an individual does not have a criminal record and/or pardoned sex offender record?

The Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Service (CCRTIS) relies on fingerprints as the primary method of positive identification for criminal record verification purposes, which includes vulnerable sector checks. CCRTIS will only accept criminal record information if accompanied by a lawfully obtained set of fingerprints.

The RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records classifies and stores criminal record information with supporting fingerprints. Fingerprints are the primary key to verify and disclose criminal record information, including pardoned sex offender records.

Will the RCMP keep my fingerprints on file if I submit an application?
The Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services destroys fingerprint submissions relative to civil screening (including Vulnerable Sector Verifications) when the search process is completed. The fingerprints are not added to the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records and are not searched for future purposes.

How long is the certified criminal record check valid for?
The period of validity depends on the agency requesting the certified criminal record check. Each agency has it's own procedures, requirements and rules. Please contact the requesting agency for more information.

Can I pay an extra fee to have my application expedited?
No. CFSS processes all applications in order of receipt.