Where do I get a criminal record check?
In general, criminal record check services are provided by:
Using biographical information, such as your name and date of birth, police services search national police databases as well as their own local records when conducting criminal record checks.
If required, police services may request fingerprints to confirm a person's identity. Police agencies that do not provide fingerprinting services may refer applicants to an accredited fingerprinting company to be fingerprinted. The police agency or company then sends your fingerprints to the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) for searches of the National Repository of Criminal Records.
Note on vulnerable sector checks: Outside of BC, vulnerable sector checks must be conducted by the local police service where the applicant lives. Within BC, vulnerable sector checks can be conducted by the local police or the British Columbia Criminal Records Review Program.
Companies that perform name-based checks
Private companies that perform name-based checks do not have access to police databases. They enter into agreements with municipal police services to conduct name-based criminal record checks of the RCMP's Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system. This normally includes a check of the National Repository of Criminal Records based on the applicant's name and date of birth and may include checks of other national databanks.
Some companies may request name-based checks of other national databanks. Note, however, that not all police services contribute to these databanks, and those that do may not share all of their information.
Accredited fingerprint companies
Accredited fingerprint companies are authorized to submit fingerprints to the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) for searches of the National Repository of Criminal Records. The results of these certified criminal record checks do not include information from other national or local data bases.
In addition to taking fingerprints electronically, several of these companies accept fingerprints that have been taken on paper, convert them to electronic transactions, and submit them directly to CCRTIS for processing. This service is also available to individuals whose fingerprints were taken outside of Canada. Accredited fingerprint companies are not authorized to conduct vulnerable sector checks but are allowed to fingerprint applicants who are referred to them by the police of local jurisdiction.
Accredited fingerprint companies readily advertise their services over the Internet and can provide a copy of their RCMP Letter of Accreditation.
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