RCMP Accredited Fingerprinting Agencies
It is a little more difficult these days to find information about RCMP accredited fingerprinting agencies since the RCMP eliminated most of the useful information from their website. So here is all the information you should need to understand what an RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency really is.
Of course this is a term that probably means very little to you if this is the first time you’ve needed to get your fingerprints taken. But it is still important to understand what it is you require and who is able to provide RCMP accredited fingerprinting services.
To be clear, every RCMP accredited fingerprinting company in Canada provides only non-criminal fingerprinting services. These are required for a variety of reasons. This has nothing to do with criminal fingerprinting which is familiar from movies and television.
Non-criminal fingerprints are not stored and are not used in any way to reflect on your past behaviour. RCMP accredited fingerprinting services are used for identification purposes in order to very if there is any criminal history associated with your name.
Accredited Direct Connect Agencies vs. Re-sellers
Direct Connect: An RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency that is a Direct Connect client is one that employs its own technological systems to connect to the RCMP. The agency will have a computer server that is connected by a VPN to the CCRTIS (Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification System) in Ottawa.
This is the technology used by the RCMP at the Civil Fingerprinting Division to match non-criminal fingerprinting submissions to the information that is on file in CPIC (Canadian Police Identification Centre).
Resellers: Resellers are smaller companies that are able to submit fingerprints via a Direct Connect client. They do not maintain their own servers and do not manage their own technological infrastructure. Typically resellers are more expensive since they are charged an additional fee by the Direct Connect agency for each submission.
The National Pardon Centre: Original Direct Connect Client
There are approximately 6 direct connect clients in Canada but in the beginning there were only three of us. Our organization was a part of the pilot project many years ago that launched digital fingerprinting technology in Canada. In the world of identification this was a monumental shift in technological systems. Prior to the arrival of digital fingerprinting we were using ink and paper and mailing our clients fingerprints to the RMCP in Ottawa for processing. When we opened our doors in 2002 we could wait up to 12 months for the return of a single set of fingerprints. Things have dramatically improved since then although you can still wait up to three months to receive a copy of your certified criminal record report.
Steps for getting a certified criminal record check from an RCMP Accredited Fingerprinting Company in Canada
Step 1: Locate an agency or participating police station
Most major cities in Canada have an RCMP accredited fingerprinting agency. A quick google search should turn up several options. However, if you live in a smaller town then you are probably going to need to visit a local police station.
Most RCMP division across Canada should be up to date by now and able to provide digital fingerprinting in your area.
If your local police station is only able to provide you with traditional ink fingerprints then please contact us as we can assist by digitizing you ink prints and submitting them to the RCMP on your behalf.
Step. 2: Provide the required information to your fingerprinting technician.
There is a fair amount of information required in order to correctly submit your fingerprints to the RCMP. But it is nothing that you should be able to provide at a moments notice. The most important are:
- Contact information and Identification: Obviously you will need to prove who you are. Accredited agencies are required to indentify you with two separate pieces of government issued identification. They will also require your name, phone, email, address, etc.
- Provide the reason for your fingerprinting submission: There are many reasons you may require fingerprinting services from an accredited agency. It is important to provide the correct reason since the results of the submission differ for each reason. Below are your options for submitting fingerprinting in Canada:
- Adoptions – Canadian and International
- Foreign travel – Visas, U.S. Waivers, Border Crossing
- Employment – specify the job title and the name of the employer (do not use abbreviations)
- Volunteer work – specify the job title and the name of the business/organization
- Applications for immigration to Canada
- Consulate or High Commission handling the case.
- Applications for Canadian Citizenship
- Applications to obtain criminal record to apply for a record suspension
- Name change
- Permanent residency in foreign countries (all countries except Canada)
- Requests under the Privacy Act, including for U.S. waiver
Step 3: Wait for the results or verify if your submission is being processed correctly
Please note: You cannot verify the status of your submission with the agency or police station that provided the fingerprinting services. You will need to contact the Civil Fingerprinting Division in Ottawa.
The accredited fingerprinting agency that took your fingerprints was only responsible for submitting your fingerprints to the RCMP. It is not responsible for processing those fingerprints and providing you the certified criminal record check.
The following is the disclaimer From the RCMP Website:
Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) receives a high volume of requests and replies to them in the order they are received. Contact us only if your application has taken longer than the processing times indicated. Provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- The date your application was submitted to CCRTIS
- Provide the reason for the criminal record check and specify if the application is for a vulnerable sector check
- A phone number where you can be reached on weekdays during the day
- The document control number (DCN), if available
Steps for getting a certified criminal record check from an RCMP accredited Fingerprinting Company while living outside of Canada.
If you are living outside of Canada you will not be able to locate an accredited fingerprinting agency. You will instead need to find any location that is able to take ink fingerprints according to international standards. Then you will need to submit those ink fingerprints to an Accredited agency in Canada.
If the agency employs card scan technology it will be able to digitize your ink fingerprints and submit them to the RCMP for review. For more information on International Fingerprinting Services click here.
What is a police check?
Or put another way: What do I get from my RCMP accredited fingerprinting submission?
If there is no criminal history associated with your name then you will receive a police certificate indicating such. This is your Canadian police check and it is an official document issued by the RCMP that can be used within Canada and abroad.
If there is criminal information associated with your name you will receive a copy of your criminal record. What information shows up will depend on what you’ve done and the reason for your submission.
Processing times for RCMP accredited fingerprinting submissions
It is important note that processing times have nothing to do with the agency responsible for submitting your fingerprints. Processing times are at the discretion of the RCMP, CCRTIS and the entire Civil Fingerprinting Division in Ottawa. Canada post may also play a role especially if there is a strike going on.
The following is from the RCMP website:
The following timeframes refer to approximate processing times for all electronic fingerprint submissions received by the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).
If manual processing is involved and/or if there is a possible match to a criminal record
120 business days
In some cases more time may be required due to the submission of incomplete information or in an effort to clarify parts of the application with local police. This process ensures the information that is released by CCRTIS is complete and accurate.
If there is NO match to a criminal record
3 business days or less
The results are mailed to the address provided and extra time should be allowed for delivery by Canada Post.
Even if you submit your fingerprints electronically, there may still be manual processes involved. Processing times vary depending on different factors such as the number of applications received at different times of the year, the amount of manual processing related to your application and/or the reason for the application.
- Contact CCRTIS only if processing times are longer than indicated.
- Allow extra time for delivery by Canada Post.
- Requests are completed in the order received.
- The results of a certified criminal record check are mailed to the address that was provided.
For more information about RCMP accredited fingerprinting agencies in Canada please feel free to contact the National Pardon Centre. We’ve been accredited since 2009 and we’re here to help.
You could also visit the RCMP website, but as I wrote earlier its not exactly full of information any these days.