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Record Suspension and Purge Services

Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services

Record Suspension and Purge Services processes record suspensions and issued and revocations and cessation of record suspensions. It seals or reactivates the criminal record when a record suspension is granted, revoked, or ceases to have effect, and notifies the contributing agencies on behalf of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC).

The section also purges criminal records information in accordance with the Criminal Records Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act, and ministerial directives.

NOTE: Under the authority of the Criminal Records Act , the Minister of Public Safety Canada may disclose information from a suspended record. Under the same Act, the Parole Board of Canada may revoke a record suspension if the person to whom it is granted is subsequently convicted of a summary offence or is no longer of good conduct. A record suspension automatically ceases to have effect if the person to whom it is granted is subsequently convicted of a dual procedure offence.

How to Obtain a Record Suspension

NOTE: Please direct all inquiries about the status of your record suspension application to the Parole Board of Canada office nearest you.

The lead agency dealing with record suspensions is the PBC. For more information on records suspensions, visit the Record Suspensions page of the Parole Board of Canada website.

To apply for a record suspension:

  • You need to obtain a "Record Suspension Application Guide" from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC).
  • A lawyer or other representative is not necessary.
  • To obtain the PBC booklet or for additional information, contact:
    Parole Board of Canada
    410 Laurier Avenue West
    Ottawa  ON   K1A 0R1
    Telephone: 1-800-874-2652
    Fax. (613) 941-4981
    http://www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca/
  • Record Suspension Application Guides are also available from the Parole Board of Canada website, PBC Regional Offices, RCMP offices, Provincial and Municipal Police Offices, and the Courts of Justice.

Non-Conviction

You do not need to apply for a Record Suspension if charges against you were dismissed, stayed or withdrawn, or did not result in a conviction.

If charges did not result in a conviction, but your record is on the RCMP system you may contact the arresting police force and ask them to request that the RCMP return your fingerprints and all information taken at the time of arrest for destruction. The police forces may choose to deny this request.

Retention and Destruction of Non-Conviction Information – Adults

The RCMP has introduced a new Policy for the Retention and Destruction of Non-Conviction Information – Adults which outlines the criteria used by the RCMP to determine whether non-conviction information contained in the National Repository of Criminal Records is retained or destroyed. “Non-conviction information” refers to criminal charges with court decisions other than “guilty”. These decisions include  acquittals, withdrawals, stays of proceedings, peace bonds, and findings of “not guilty”.

The policy aims to balance public safety and privacy interests by ensuring that the criteria for retaining and destroying non-conviction records are clear to police and the general public.  The policy also identifies an individual’s right to appeal if a request to destroy non-conviction information is denied.

For more information:

Questions and Answers about the Non-Conviction Policy

Compelling Reasons for Denying a Request to Destroy Non-Conviction Information

Policy on the Retention/Disposal of Criminal Records

Criminal Records are retained until the subject of the record is eighty (80) years of age with no criminal activity reported in the last ten (10) years, except where the subject:

  • has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • has been designated a "dangerous offender", and/or is still under the sentence of a court.
  • is still the subject of a prohibition order which has not expired.
  • has an outstanding warrant or an interest has been expressed by an agency engaged in the execution or administration of the law.

In each of these instances, the criminal record is retained until:

  • the subject completes his/her sentence and remains crime free for a period of ten years.
  • the subject attains one hundred (100) years of age.

Policy on the Purging of Criminal Records

Absolute Discharges

  • All absolute discharges received on or after July 24, 1992, are removed from the criminal record after a period of one (1) year from the date of sentence.
  • Absolute discharges received before July 24, 1992, are removed upon written request from the individual.

Conditional Discharges

  • All conditional discharges received on or after July 24, 1992, are removed from the criminal record three (3) years following the date of the sentence.
  • Conditional discharges registered before July 24, 1992, are removed upon written request from the individual.

Please download the Request to Purge Absolute and/or Conditional Discharge form and complete and send to:

RCMP
RECORD SUSPENSION AND PURGE SERVICES
Box 8885
Ottawa, ON K1G 3M8
Fax: 613-957-9063

Requests must contain all of the following information:

  • your full name (including any maiden names or aliases),
  • date of birth,
  • complete return mailing address, including Civic address, Apartment number and/or P.O. Box number
  • phone number (include area code), and
  • the particulars of the offence(s) that apply.

Policy on the Retention/Disposal of Young Persons Criminal Record

Having an expired criminal record as a Young Person should not affect you as an adult. Once entries have expired, the charges are removed and cannot be accessed by any law enforcement agency.

However, a subject found guilty of a subsequent offence as an adult BEFORE the expiration of the retention period is treated as an adult and the retention and disposal periods applicable to an adult take effect.

Young Person - Treatment of Specific Court Disposition

Summary Offence and Indictable Offence

  • If the young person is found guilty of a summary offence, the record is removed three (3) years after the satisfaction of the sentence (custody and/or probation).
  • If the young person is found guilty of an indictable offence, the record is active for a period of five (5) years after the satisfaction of the sentence (custody and/or probation) and then is transferred to a special repository.
  • If, prior to the expiration of the periods, a conviction for a subsequent summary offence or an indictable offence is entered against a young person, the retention period for all entries will begin anew. Once the retention period for the subsequent offence has expired, the entries are then transferred to a special repository.

Finding of Guilt Not Entered

  • If the young person is acquitted (other than by a verdict of not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder) and the charge is dismissed, withdrawn, or stayed, the record is transferred to a special repository.
  • If the young person receives a reprimand, extra judicial sanctions or is ordered to enter into a recognizance to keep the peace and maintain good behaviour, the information is transferred to a special repository.
  • Restorative justice or extra judicial measures: the information is destroyed upon receipt.

Absolute and Conditional Discharges

  • If the young person is found guilty, and given an absolute discharge, the record is transferred to a special repository one (1) year from the date of sentence.
  • If found guilty, and given a conditional discharge, the entry is transferred to a special repository three (3) years from the date of sentence.

Young Person Records Removed to a Special Repository

Law enforcement agencies cannot access young person information once it is removed to a special repository. Information stored in the special repository can only be released by Record Suspension and Purge Services under circumstances outlined in section 128 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.