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How Do I Get a Police Check in Canada?

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Home » How Do I Get a Police Check in Canada?

How Do I Get a Police Check in Canada?

If you want to apply for jobs or start legal processes inside of Canada, you’ll need a police check. Specifically, an RCMP certified criminal record check.

If you’re trying to immigrate to Canada, this is the method Canadian authorities use to know whether you’re fit to enter the country or not.

Not only that, some companies want to know if you have criminal convictions before granting you a job.

Banks will also need them to know if you have a good credit history, if you’re asking for a loan.

This is also required — in the form of a vulnerable sector record check — by charity organizations that offer volunteer work, or for sensitive positions, such as working with children.

Moreover, the criminal record check you will need varies depending on its purpose.

The truth is that obtaining a police record check before you start any legal effort will make the task manageable for you. Yet, it’s not a hassle-free process.

Here, we’ll talk about:

  • The process of obtaining a criminal record check.
  • The different types of police records check certificates.
  • How you can obtain this legal document, whether you’re inside or outside Canada.
  • Legal fees and processing times.

With this knowledge, you’ll be more than prepared to obtain your certified police record check.
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How to Apply for an RCMP Certificate?

Applying for an RCMP criminal record check is not difficult. However, you’ll need to provide many documents and information to Canadian authorities.

They are:

  • Valid identity documents like passports, driving licenses, and national IDs.
  • A filled application.
  • Email.
  • One self-addressed envelope.
  • Passport-size photos.
  • Contact numbers.
  • Birth certificate.
ottawa police service
Source: Unsplash by Jaimie Harmsen

Other requirements may be necessary, depending on where you are and the type of record you need.

For example, vulnerable sector criminal record checks require that you add the name of the organization you’ll be volunteering for.

Types of Canadian Police Record Checks

The type of police record check you will need varies depending on two factors — where you are, and what you need it for.

  • If you’re outside of Canada and are not a Canadian citizen, you’ll need it to obtain a Visa or apply for one of the numerous immigration programs available.
  • If you’re inside the country and you are a Canadian citizen or resident, you’ll need it to apply for jobs, to volunteer, for educational purposes, and more.

Both Canadian criminal record checks require fingerprints, each one followed by different additional requirements. They are:

  • Vulnerable sector police record check — These are the criminal record checks performed on people who work with others in the vulnerable sector, which includes children, elderly people, and handicapped people, among others. Most of them are requested by organizations that offer volunteer positions.
  • RCMP certificate — They are mostly requested by companies who want a certified check to know if it’s safe to hire a new prospect.

Trying to obtain any of these documents yourself without having proper knowledge about the process can be a time-wasting, expensive mistake.

That’s why we offer to take over this process to help you avoid the hassle of doing it.

Check out this video for a complete how-to:

How Long Does a Vulnerable Sector and an RCMP Criminal Record Check Last?

Technically, a criminal record check is valid for one day, since anyone can commit a crime the same day they’re issued.

However, if you’re looking for a job, employers can accept police record checks that are as old as six months. Others may not be as permissive.

Additionally, if you’ve held a job position for more than five years, you might be asked to renew your record check.

The same applies to vulnerable sector checks if you want to become a volunteer.

What Do I Need Police Records Check For?

Police record checks are vital for you to use in different legal procedures, to gain jobs, and for a few specific types of jobs.

Whenever name-based records checks don’t apply, fingerprint-based police records checks are the only option available.

Here are a few examples:

  • If you want to become part of the police service in Ottawa. Learn here how to get a police check in Ontario.
  • If you want to join the Ontario College of Teachers.
  • You’ll need vulnerable sector police records checks for roles (paid or not) with vulnerable people. Children, people to whom walking is hard, those hard of hearing, and elderly people fit this description.
  • You also have to comply if you want to work in any bank. Be sure that they won’t hire you if you have theft on your record or bad credit history.
  • In some cases, you’ll have to provide the check to authorities if you want to report crimes like property damage, a missing person, or stolen goods.

You’ll also need regular police record checks to apply for a job in any company that requires it. If you’re switching jobs every five years, you’ll have to conduct new records checks each time you do so.

Are you offering a position in your company? Learn how to conduct a criminal record check online and double-check every prospect.

How to Give Fingerprints for an RCMP Criminal Record Check in Canada

One of the biggest requirements to get an RCMP Criminal Records Check Certificate is to provide your fingerprints.

This is to make the process as accurate as possible, which can’t be done with a name-based criminal records check.

service ottawa police
Source: Unsplash by Pam Menegakis

If you’re inside Canada, obtaining your fingerprints is not as difficult. You can contact a nearby police service — Ottawa and Toronto do an outstanding job with this. Community police centres in rural areas also provide this service.

Look online to find the one closest to you.

Alternatively, you can contact an RCMP accredited fingerprinting company.

You’ll have to fill out detailed forms, as this will be requested by the police or by the company you’ve selected to take over the process.

As the last step, your documents will be uploaded to the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real-Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

How to Get Your Fingerprints Taken Validly Outside of Canada

When you’re outside of Canada, you’ll have to follow a few more steps to meet the same requirements.

If your country’s fingerprinting practices are similar to Canada’s, your job will be easier. You can ask for a copy of your fingerprints from your local authorities.

If not, you must ensure that all your fingerprints are taken in black ink. They must be accompanied by the name, address, and signature of the officer who took them.

If your country’s documents are not in English or French, you’ll have to provide a translation from a certified source.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Police Record Check in Canada?

Usually, it takes anywhere between 3 and 120 days for you to receive your application’s results.

However, this can take even longer depending on the number of criminal record checks the CCRTIS is handling.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an RCMP Certificate?

This depends on different factors:

  • The purpose of the criminal record checks you require.
  • The format in which you submit your application — usually, if you submit it on paper, the fee is higher.
  • Whether your application is applicable for a federal processing fee.
  • If you use a local police agency to obtain your fingerprints, as fees may vary between different local police agencies.
  • If you use the services of an RCMP accredited company.

Some forms of record check — such as vulnerable sector record checks for volunteer work — are free.

How to Send Your Fingerprints to Apply for a Police Check in Canada

After you have all your documents, you must contact an RCMP accredited company to submit your fingerprints.

Remember: some companies don’t accept fingerprints and other documents on paper — only in digitized formats.

Here at Instant Record Checks, we’ll guide you through this process.

  • Requesting all the information needed for your specific record check.
  • The availability of bringing us your fingerprints for processing in different formats.
  • Taking care of the entire process once we obtain the information required.
  • Letting you know when you’ll get your results and more, as we keep track of your application.

Learn more about our services.
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