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Getting a Criminal Record Background Check by Name and Birth Date Search

If you require a criminal record background check it is most likely that you are looking for work and have received on offer for employment. Many companies today require that all employees perform criminal record checks prior to hiring the candidate. But you may also require a criminal record check for immigration, volunteer work, educational opportunities and more.

How to get a Criminal Record Background Check

There are two ways in Canada to perform a background check: by fingerprinting and by name and birth date search. The most common one used by employers – particularly larger organizations – is the name and birth date search. This is because it can be done easily online and it is often less expensive than fingerprinting. The problem is that name and birth date searches are routinely unreliable and they cannot confirm the existence of a criminal record due to the chance of false positives.

If a criminal record background check done by name and birth date alone produces a match some kind of criminal record the candidate then has to get fingerprints done to ensure that the match was not made by mistake. Since we all have unique fingerprints it is the safest way of ensuring the identity being searched matches the person performing the search.

For this reason it is likely that name and birth date searches will be done away with in the future. For example all federal government employees must perform a criminal record check by fingerprinting. Similarly recent legislation introduced in Montreal requiring cab drivers to get a background check done requires the check be done only by fingerprinting. Name and birth date searches are not acceptable.

Clearly any new laws requiring background checks on individuals will require the checks to be done by fingerprinting. In the meantime larger corporations may continue to perform routine name and birth date checks on employees but it is unlikely that this service will continue to grow due to the unreliable nature of that type of criminal record background check.

About Michael Ashby

Michael Ashby is Co-Founder and Communications Director for the National Pardon Centre. Get in touch with Michael by sending an email to or calling extension 227.Michael Ashby est le co-fondateur et le directeur des communications au Centre du Pardon national. Contactez Michael par email au ou par téléphone au poste 227.


  • Haunted by the Past says:


    I have been told by a few people, who are quite knowledgeable, that after 6 or 7 years your Record is wiped for a summary offence. Is that true?

    • Michael Ashby says:

      Hi Haunted,

      I am afraid your friends are mistaken. If you would like some help on removing your criminal record you can try reaching Nicole at ext 221 or myself at ext 227, although I may not be available until next week.

      Kind regards,


  • Hi @Michael, nice post I must say. Kudos to you. Yes, background checking through name and birth date is reliable. But as the extent of false statements in resumes are increasing gradually, a background check by the help of a trusted background checking company can be helpful. It will perform a through research on the background of the candidates and will give accurate results; so that you can hire more quality employees in your organization while improving the regulatory compliance.

  • Susan hughes says:

    If I wanted to find out if a person who is trying to establish an online relationship with my daughter was ever arrested or imprisoned in Toronto how do I do it? I cannot afford to pay for a background check.

  • My cousin is starting to hire for his local business and isn’t sure how to approach background checks. I had no idea that name and birth date searches have a chance for false positives. In my opinion, it sounds like fingerprinting is a safe and efficient way to conduct a check. Thanks for the help!

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