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What Do You Need to Get a Police Clearance Certificate?

Police Clearance Certificate: Everything You Need To Know
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What Do You Need to Get a Police Clearance Certificate?

You’ve done it! In your hands is a job offer from the company you recently interviewed for. But, among the documents required from your new employers is your “police clearance certificate.” Now you’re wondering what document that is!

It’s a police certificate that certifies you as a law-abiding citizen or resident of Canada. You may receive this after authorities conduct a criminal record check or background check on you from the CPIC database to see if you have any criminal convictions. Minimal personal information is required for these checks. If you’ve done nothing illegal there’s nothing to worry about, as the certificate will highlight your non-criminal status.

Today, we’ll be showing you what information you need to get your police clearance done without an issue.

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Why Obtaining Your Local Police Record is Important

Obtaining your local police record through a Criminal Record Check is essential for providing crucial information about your criminal history within the applicable disclosure period. This requirement is necessary for various purposes, such as employment, volunteering, or travel.

Additionally, a background check can give peace of mind and assurance to employers, organizations, and individuals that you have a clean background. By ensuring that your record is up-to-date and accurate, you can save time and money in the future if you need to provide a recent and valid background check. Moreover, obtaining your local police record is essential for personal reasons, and it is an important step in processing applications that require a criminal record check. More and more individuals require a valid background check to process their applications. Therefore, getting a local police record or background check is crucial in ensuring that you are prepared for any opportunities that may come your way.

For personal reasons, it can provide security and peace of mind knowing that your record is clean. Additionally, it can be helpful in situations where you may be unable to provide other forms of identification, such as the first time you open a bank account or apply for a loan.

Processing applications that require a criminal record check can be a complicated process, and having your local police record ready and available can save you time and frustration. It can also prevent delays in processing applications, which can be essential in time-sensitive situations. By being proactive and obtaining your local police record now, you can ensure that your applications are processed smoothly and efficiently.

Reasons for a Police Certificate

A police clearance certificate is necessary for many aspects of life in Canada and you’ll might receive a request for it following a criminal record check. It’s one of the things many organizations request as a screening tool to reveal any criminal record.

This certificate is essential when it comes to filling positions in sensitive areas and you’ll get it after some background checks.

Some reasons for a criminal record check include:

  • Applying for a job

  • Beginning work for a volunteer service

  • A name change

  • Child adoption

  • Getting a visa to a foreign country at a foreign consular service

  • Immigrating to Canada

  • Citizenship and permanent residency applications in Canada

  • Information requests under the Privacy Act

  • A record suspension application

Many organizations want to be sure that potential employees don’t exhibit criminal tendencies that could negatively affect them — the reason many job applications require background checks and a police clearance certificate from the police service.

Volunteers who want to work with vulnerable people, such as children and senior citizens, are also asked to get an advanced criminal record check known as the vulnerable sector check. This is to prevent people with a history of convictions for child or elderly abuse from finding work in such positions.

The authorities also demand a police certificate for certain services, like getting a passport.

Even though it’s your right as a citizen of Canada to possess a passport, some criminal convictions can affect one’s ability to acquire this vital document.

For example, many countries don’t want anyone with a criminal record traveling through their borders. So, their consular services ask for the police clearance certificate, which certifies your status concerning your criminal record when you apply for a visa.

Note: Having a prior conviction or criminal record is grounds for many countries’ consular services to deny any potential Canadian traveler a visa to visit.

Immigrants to Canada have to send in a police certificate from their home country as part of their application.

Visitors to Canada have to present this certificate to the Canadian consular services in foreign countries with their visa applications.

You also need the same police certificate when using the Privacy Act to request personal information held by the authorities. If you want to suspend a prior criminal conviction record and have a clean slate, this document is required.



police clearance
Source – Hubert Figuiere on Creative commons

Why Everyone Should Get A Police Clearance?

Getting a police clearance or criminal record check through your local police records is essential for anyone, regardless of age or background. In Canada, the Youth Criminal Justice Act emphasizes the importance of rehabilitating young offenders and giving them a second chance. Obtaining a police clearance or criminal record check can be an important part of this rehabilitation process as it can help young individuals to demonstrate their clean background and character.

In addition to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, there are many other reasons why everyone should consider getting a police clearance. For example, a criminal record check is often required as part of the application process if you plan to apply for a job or volunteer position. Some organizations may also require a criminal record check before allowing individuals to work or volunteer with vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly.

Things You Need To Consider When Applying for Police Clearance

If you have a criminal record, you may also consider applying for a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) to clear your record. However, to apply for a record suspension, you will need to obtain a police clearance or criminal record check to demonstrate that you have been of good conduct since your conviction.

It’s also important to note that some statutory holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, may affect the processing time for police clearance applications. As such, it’s recommended that you plan ahead and apply for your police clearance well in advance to avoid any delays or complications.

When applying for police clearance, an authorization letter or photo ID is needed. It’s essential to check with your local police department or the organization requesting the police clearance to make sure that your information and documents for your application are good.

Requirements for a Police Clearance Certificate

Police clearance certificate

The documents you need to submit your application for a police certificate in Canada are:

  • Two different identification documents, such as your passport, ID card, birth certificate, or driver’s license.
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
  • Your fingerprints (not in all cases).
  • Filled out police certificate application form.

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and must be valid citizens of Canada — or hold a residence permit if a non-citizen. For those under 16 years of age, their parents or guardians must make the application on their behalf.

One of the identity documents provided must be valid proof of your citizenship in Canada (either your passport or birth certificate), and it must have your picture on it. Foreign nationals in Canada must submit their passport along with their Canadian visa and work permits.

The proof of address document can be either a bank statement or utility bill and is needed to establish your legal residence in Canada.

You must provide your fingerprints electronically for background checks, as paper submissions are no longer processed. You’ll have to visit a local or regional police service or an accredited private company to get the prints done.

The fingerprints from all ten fingers should be on a C-216C form. You can get the application form online or offline. You’ll have to fill it in with:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Passport photos
  • Name of the agency conducting the search
  • Reason(s) you need the police certificate
man using computer while working
Source: Pexels

Service fees include a federal fee of $25 CAD and the additional processing fee from the agency. If you have two or more purposes, you’ll have to pay a specific fee for each of them.

However, there are situations where you don’t have to pay the federal fee. These cases include applying for a government or police job, volunteering, Canadian citizenship, and privacy act requests.

In most criminal checks, the required information is the applicant’s name and personal details, so fingerprints are usually not required. This search is the most common criminal record check variant.

But in a case where an applicant has a similar name to another person, fingerprints are required to differentiate them in what is known as certified criminal record checks.

The accredited companies or the police services have to work with the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) to get a check done.

The CCRTIS is in charge of the National Repository of Criminal Records in the country. It houses the database of every conviction in Canada.

The processing time for a police certificate in Canada will be less than three business days if the applicant has no criminal records. But evidence of a prior conviction could make the processing time much longer, with 120 business days as the minimum time.

The police clearance certificate is usually physically mailed to the applicant after processing. Canadian applicants outside of Canada will receive their documents through the Canadian consular services near their locations.

One accredited company that can help you with a criminal record check is Instant Record Check. You can apply for your police clearance certificate through our website, and we’ll get it done for you in less than 24 hours!

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Photo by Nigel Nyumbu

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