How to get certified Criminal Record Check
(a.k.a Fingerprint-based Background Check)

From Inside Canada

Criminal record checks that involve the use of fingerprints are known as "certified criminal record checks." If the local police or your employer request fingerprints for your criminal record check, two steps are involved:

Step 1: Have your fingerprints taken

Contact your local police service or an accredited fingerprinting company to have your fingerprints taken. You will be asked to review information on your application form prior to the police agency or authorized agency submitting it to the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

Ensure all information is accurate and complete prior to submission to CCRTIS in order to avoid having to re-submit your application and further processing fees.


Step 2: Provide the following information to the person taking your fingerprints

Inform the local police agency or the accredited fingerprinting company of the reason for the certified criminal record check. It can include:

  • Adoptions – Canadian and International

  • Foreign travel – Visas, U.S. Waivers, Border Crossing

  • Employment – specify the job title and the name of the employer (do not use abbreviations)

  • Volunteer work – specify the job title and the name of the business/organization

  • Applications for immigration to Canada
    – In the "Name and Address of Contributing Agency/Department" portion of the form, you must include the name and address of the Canadian Immigration Center, Embassy, Consulate or High Commission handling the case.

  • Applications for Canadian Citizenship

  • Applications to obtain criminal record to apply for a record suspension

  • Name change

  • Permanent residency in foreign countries (all countries except Canada)

  • Requests under the Privacy Act, including for U.S. waivers

  • Indicate the reason for the criminal record check because the release of information may differ depending on the reason for the check.

  • If you require criminal record checks for different reasons (e.g. Visa, Record Suspension) then a separate submission and fee is required for each.

  • If you are applying for a vulnerable sector check, you must also provide the name of your employer, the title of the position and the description of how the position deals with vulnerable persons.


From Outside Canada

To submit fingerprints to the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) from outside of Canada, you must first contact the local police of jurisdiction where you are staying outside Canada and who can provide you with a copy of your fingerprints. Ensure you get the name and address of the police agency as well as the signature and name of the official taking the fingerprints. Also ensure all ten fingers are taken with black ink.


Next, you must contact an accredited company within Canada who can convert the paper fingerprint forms taken outside of Canada and submit them to CCRTIS electronically.

Optional: Verify the status of your application

Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) receives a high volume of requests and replies to them in the order they are received. Frontier One Inc. has no control over the processing time or mailing time once the application has been successfully submitted.


Contact RCMP only if your application has taken longer than the processing times indicated. Provide the following information:

  • Your full name

  • Your date of birth

  • The date your application was submitted to CCRTIS

  • Provide the reason for the criminal record check and specify if the application is for a vulnerable sector check

  • A phone number where you can be reached on weekdays during the day

  • The document control number (DCN), if available.

Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks before contacting the RCMP. When contacting the RCMP, please use the email address that resembles your legal first name and last name. Otherwise, the RCMP will not release the information.

Please also note that the processing time and mailing time are the same regardless of where you have taken the fingerprints as the clearance certificate are processed and mailed out from the RCMP in Ottawa. You could also get a name-based record check at any local police or other agencies for a faster processing time (usually within 24-48 hours). However, this document may not be acceptable for your purpose(s)