Making requests under the Privacy Act

Under the Privacy Act, Canadian citizens, permanent or temporary residents and all individuals present in Canada have a right to request access to personal information that the RCMP has on record about them.

  • Are you a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but not currently present in Canada? You must provide proof of citizenship (photocopy of your birth certificate or passport) with your request.
  • Don't meet the above criteria? You may have an individual or corporation present in Canada make the request on your behalf.

Cost

There is no cost for a Privacy Act request.

Submit a request

There are three ways to make a request:

  • Option 1: Make an online request.
    or
  • Option 2: Complete the RCMP's Personal Information Request (Privacy Act) form
    • You must include a photocopy of government-issued photo identification with the signature showing, e.g., driver's license or health card
    or
  • Option 3: Write a letter describing the personal information that you are seeking. You must include the following information:
    • full name and date of birth
    • photocopy of government-issued photo identification with signature showing (e.g., driver's license or health card)
    • your signature
    • a return address where the information will be sent
    • information about the type of records being requested (e.g., traffic accident report, personnel file, firearms certificate)
    • specific location(s) to conduct our search such as towns or detachments
    • RCMP file number if available (this information will allow the ATIP Branch to provide you with the specific documents to which you are seeking access)

Note: Any records requested under the Privacy Act will be mailed to you at a physical address, and not sent by email, because of the personal nature of the information contained in those records.

Mail your form or letter to:

RCMP Access to Information and Privacy Branch
73 Leikin Drive, Mail Stop #61 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R2

Examples of personal information

The Privacy Act, Section 3(a)-(i), outlines the basis of what is considered personal information. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • home address
  • age
  • race, ethnic and national origin
  • credit card numbers
  • criminal records
  • educational history
  • financial history
  • fingerprints
  • medical history
  • any identifiable number, including social insurance number
  • names
  • religious beliefs
  • telephone numbers
  • employment history within a non-governmental organization
  • views or opinions of another individual about the individual

Note: RCMP investigations often involve more than one individual. To make it easier for the RCMP to process your request and provide you with the most information, we recommend that you ask any individuals involved in a given incident for their written consent (permission) to release their personal information to you.

Requests for criminal records

You can only obtain your criminal records held by the RCMP through a criminal records check.

Third-party requests

  • Individuals can only make a Privacy Act request for their own records. Personal information held by the federal government may only be released to the individual concerned, unless that person gives written consent (permission) to another person or organization (e.g. insurance company, law firm) allowing them to request that information.
  • To allow access to more complete information, third-party requesters may wish to obtain written consent (permission)from any of the parties involved in a given file or record. Without that permission, the information the RCMP may release will be limited.
  • Requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis, and the time to answer may be affected by the scope and complexity of the request. Requests will not be processed faster if they are sent by a third party, such as a lawyer.

Requesting personal information about deceased individuals

  • Personal information about a deceased person under the control of a federal institution is still considered personal for 20 years after the date of death and may not be released. This includes information gathered by the RCMP during an investigation.
  • In cases where personal information is requested and consent is unavailable because a person is deceased, Section 8(2)c of the Privacy Act may permit the release of the information for the purpose of complying with a subpoena or court order.
    Note: A subpoena or court order must be addressed to the detachment or unit holding the record and not to the RCMP's ATIP Branch.
  • The Privacy Act does not make provisions for spouses or family members to access a deceased individual's personal information that may be contained in an RCMP operational file.
  • In relation to the administration of an estate, the Privacy Act Regulations do permit the release of certain information to allow the executor to carry out their duties. However, there is an onus on the requester to demonstrate that disclosure is required to settle the estate.

Requirements for written consent

A statement of written consent (permission) must include:

  • the full name and date of birth of the individual whose personal information is being sought
  • the full name of the person/company to whom the consent is being given
  • a statement that the individual in question freely and voluntarily gives the RCMP permission to disclose his/her personal information to another individual/ company
  • the consenting individual's signature, the date of consent
  • a photocopy of government-issued photo identification (with signature showing) for the person giving consent

Note: You must include the original copy of the written consent (permission) with your request. We cannot accept a fax or photocopy.

Sample consent letter

Date

Address (of individual providing consent)

Statement of consent to access personal information

I, FULL NAME, born on DAY, MONTH, YEAR, hereby freely and voluntarily give consent to FULL NAME OF THIRD PARTY to request access to personal information held about me by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in relation to (insert the type of information being requested or RCMP file number if available).

(Signature of person providing consent)

(Today's date)

Complaints

Anyone requesting information from an ATIP office has the right to file a complaint in relation to their request to the Privacy Commissioner at the address below, for example, if they:

  • are not satisfied with the response they received from the RCMP
  • have a complaint about how the RCMP collected, used, disclosed, retained and/or disposed of their personal information
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30, Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3 www.priv.gc.ca
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