How to Get Your Canadian Criminal Record Check (Ultimate Guide)

So you need to order your Canadian criminal record check?

Having a criminal record check, along with your birth certificate, are the two documents you will be asked for to apply for any residency or citizenship program in Latin America or abroad.

Please note that is document goes by different names in different countries, and is often referred to as a police check, a background check, or an RCMP background check.

In this article we will show you how to order RCMP criminal background in Canada. Here are the steps:


Step 1: Book an Appointment to Get Your Fingerprints Taken

The first step towards getting an RCMP background check is booking an appointment to have your fingerprints taken. You may go to your local Police Service or a Private Fingerprinting Company location accredited by the RCMP. Fingerprints must be submitted electronically to Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

In Canada, fingerprints are taken by accredited third party companies. Here is the full list of government-accredited fingerprinting companies in Canada. We have never tried to do the fingerprints through a Police Service. Perhaps that means a police station? We highly recommend going through a private company for a smoother process but it comes with a small added cost.

These companies are authorized to take your fingerprints and submit them as electronic transactions to RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) for verification against the National Repository of Criminal Records. That means the accredited company will submit your request for you!

In Toronto, we recommend the following location:

Canadian Fingerprinting Services Inc.

2 College Street, Unit #208

Toronto, ON M5G 1K3

Tel: 416-625-6104


Step 2: What Do I Bring to My Fingerprints Appointment? How Much Does it Cost?

You will need to bring 2 pieces of valid government issued ID. One of these IDs should be either your driver’s license, Ontario photo card or passport.

The fingerprinting company will charge a fee for their service, and this fee will vary by company. Expect it to cost $50-80. There is also a federal processing fee of CDN$ 25 for each criminal record check. All-in you’re looking at around $100. If you have any doubts about the process, we recommend you check out the official Canadian government guide for more information.


Step 3: Wait for Results

If there is NO match to a criminal record, you should receive results in 3 business days or less. The results are mailed to the address provided and extra time should be allowed for delivery by Canada Post. Results are returned by regular mail with Canada Post, therefore no tracking number is available. Wait times may vary – the Civil Fingerprints Screening Services (CFSS) processes more than 55,000 criminal record searches each month!

Once the request is completed, the RCMP is not authorized to keep civil (non-criminal) fingerprints or copies of the certified results on file. If you have not received, misplaced or you require another certified document you will need to re-apply.


Next Steps: Go Get Your Results Authenticated

Canada is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, and therefor Canadian documented cannot be apostilled. An apostille is an internationally recognized way of authenticating documents. Canadian documents will not be authenticated under this system.

Instead, what you need to do is get your documents authenticated at the Consulate or Embassy for the country you will be using these documents. For example, if you will be applying for residency in Paraguay, you will need to get your RCMP background check authenticated by the Paraguayan Embassy in Canada. Sometimes you can mail the background check to the Embassy and sometimes you have to show up in person.


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