Differences between fingerprint-based and name-based background check

One day, you receive a background check request, then you research it and discover there are 2 types of checks: name-based and fingerprint-based. Choosing the right one for your situation requires understanding the differences between them. In this blog, we will show you that.


Both types check against the National Repository of Criminal Records for criminal records in someone's history, or (hopefully) a lack of them.


RCMP Certified Criminal Background Check (Fingerprint-based)

Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) Check (Name-based)

Name-based background check

Fingerprinting-based background check

Conducted by the local police where you live, via the CPIC system

Conducted by the RCMP via the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) to compare with all of the criminals’ fingerprints in their database to see if there is a possible criminal record match

Less accurate or may not be completed due to duplicate name and date of birth or using different names

Much more accurate since no one has the same fingerprints as the others

Is more common for the background check

It is only applicable when a name-based background check cannot be completed, or when a fingerprint-based background check is specifically requested (especially for immigration and government purposes).

The fee is usually cheaper

The fee for the check is usually higher

The process is faster. You can get a result on the same day

You usually must wait at least 10 days to receive the result which is mailed from the RCMP

As you can see, it is very important to choose the right criminal background check. If you choose the wrong one, you may experience delays and/or unnecessary costs. If you were told to get a criminal background check but did not receive specific instructions, we recommend you to double check with the person or organization who requested it.


If you have any further questions, you can directly contact Frontier One Inc. by phone at 905-247-3868 (ON) or 403-731-3535 (AB) to speak with a representative during business hours for support and advice on what type of background check is appropriate for your situation.

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