RCMP Fingerprint Processing Times and Fees
When you need a criminal records check with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), a fingerprint submission is a key requirement. Depending on the method by which you submit your fingerprints, and the results that are found in the RCMP database, the processing time and fees vary. If you’ve never dealt with this process before, it can be a bit confusing and even overwhelming. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide, where we address many of the most frequently asked questions about the RCMP criminal records check process for fingerprint processing.
Why do they need my fingerprints for an RCMP criminal records check?
RCMP fingerprinting is used to establish a person’s identity for a criminal records check. Names and other identifiers can be faked, but fingerprints are unique to every individual. In addition, since fingerprints are taken as part of arrests and booking for any criminal record generation, it’s a fairly definitive way to reference the criminal records files that may be associated with an individual. The RCMP’s CCRTIS (Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services) is the division which maintains and runs the criminal records check and are responsible for processing the fingerprint submissions and providing the resulting records.
How do I submit my fingerprints?
The actual fingerprinting needs to be done by the RCMP or designated companies or agencies, such as National Pardon. They accompany the criminal records check forms, either physical or digital, and are provided to the RCMP CCRTIS for processing and cross-reference against any criminal records that exist.
What are the differences between digital fingerprinting and traditional ink fingerprinting?
There are two methods of RCMP fingerprinting – digital and traditional ink fingerprinting. Digital fingerprinting involves using a high-definition digital scanner to capture your fingerprints. They are combined with the criminal records check application (or other forms as required) and electronically transferred to the RCMP via a secure portal. Traditional ink fingerprinting involves taking ink impressions of fingerprints onto paper, and submitting that physically along with the associated forms. They are both valid methods of RCMP fingerprinting. However, digital fingerprinting is preferred, as it expedites the process significantly over physical, ink and paper submissions.
How long does a police check take, and what are the processing times?
The time involved in an RCMP criminal record check varies depending on the method of fingerprint submission, as well as whether or not any criminal records are found. Put simply:
- Digital fingerprint submission with no criminal records found can provide results in as little as 3 days, plus a few additional days for receiving the results via mail.
- Ink and paper fingerprint submissions with no criminal records found can provide results in around 120 days (4 months), plus a few additional days for receiving the results via mail.
- Digital fingerprint submission with criminal records found can take around 120 days to provide results, with the length of time depending on how much manual processing is involved, the records found, and so on, plus a few additional days for receiving the results via mail.
- Ink and paper fingerprint submissions with criminal records found can take 120 days to 180 days (6 months) in practice, though the RCMP strives to provide results within 120 days in most cases.
The length of time involved when a criminal record match is found can be highly variable, depending on the amount of information in the record, and how clear a match it is. The RCMP strives to cross-check information with local police authorities, especially in the case of incomplete or partial information, to ensure that the final results released from the CCRTIS system is as accurate and complete as possible.
What are the options for RCMP fingerprinting near me?
In most cases, RCMP fingerprinting can be done most easily by authorized agents, such as National Pardon. You can visit a service office near you to have the RCMP fingerprinting process completed, along with the criminal record check paperwork, in either digital or ink and paper format depending on your needs. In some locales, you may be able to have the fingerprinting done at your local RCMP precinct as well.
How much does an RCMP criminal record check cost?
There is a mandatory $25 federal processing fee for an RCMP criminal records check in almost all cases, with exceptions for citizenship application, immigration application, federal government job application, applying for volunteer work, or applying to join the Canadian police. Additional local fees may be charged in some jurisdictions, by the RCMP or authorized agents. Most agents, like National Pardon, include these mandatory fees as part of their service price for digital and ink and paper fingerprinting.
How do I get the results of my RCMP criminal records check?
Once the results are available, they are provided to the mailing address provided on the application form via Canada Post (regular mail). This can add a few days to the processing time total before you get the results in most cases.
What do I receive if no RCMP criminal record is found?
If no criminal record is found, then you will get a response from the RCMP criminal record check process that indicates such. With digital fingerprint submission and no criminal record found, you can get your results in about a week (3 days of processing plus time for posting) in most cases.
Who can I contact to find out about the status of my RCMP criminal record check/RCMP police clearance?
Once you have submitted your application, or had an agent do it for you, it goes into the queue of the RCMP CCRTIS system. Generally, applications are dealt with in the order they are received, though processing times vary based on results, submission format, and the purpose of the records check (typically, higher priority goes to more time-sensitive requests, such as RCMP police clearance/police certificate processes). If your request has taken longer than the specified processing time above, you can inquire via email or phone directly from the CCRTIS division of the RCMP. You will need your name, date of birth, DCN, and a phone number for normal business hours when you contact them.
Via Email: CCRTIS-SCICTR@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Via Phone: 613-998-6362
There is also a contact form available on the RCMP’s official site, www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.