How do I get a criminal record check?

A criminal record check is a search you can request from the police for a listing of any crimes you may have been charged with.

Depending on where you live, you can contact your regional or municipal police service to apply to have a records check done. If you live in a rural area outside a police services’ jurisdiction, you may contact the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to perform a check for you.

Why Do I Need a Criminal Record Check?

You may require a criminal record check or a vulnerable sector check for:
  • Employment
  • Adoption
  • International travel
  • Volunteer work
  • Immigration applications
  • Changing your name
  • To obtain a record of suspension

Applications for record checks may be requested by you or by an agency/employer. However, they can only be conducted with your written consent. You have the right to see your record check before it is given to someone else.

If you are under 18 years of age then you may need to have your parent or guardian consent to the record check.

What Kinds Of Record Checks Are Available?

There are 3 kinds of record checks that can be performed:

  • A Criminal Record Check lists any criminal convictions you have as well as any times you were found guilty under Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  • A Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check includes the information in a Criminal Record Check as well as any times you have been charged with a crime, had arrest warrants against you and any discharges (you have been found guilty but not given a punishment). Both a Criminal Record Check and a Criminal Record Check and Judicial Matters Check do not include information about any times you were charged with a crime but not convicted or any contact you have had with the police over mental health problems.
  • A Vulnerable Sector Check lists the information in a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check. It also includes information about convictions you were found not criminally responsible for due to a mental illness, sexually-based convictions for which you were pardoned and information about any charges against you for cases involving children or vulnerable people. This information can be included even if you were not found guilty. Vulnerable sector checks are often required if you are working or volunteering with children, seniors, people with disabilities or other people who are considered vulnerable.

How Do I Apply?

Applications vary by municipality. In most cases, forms will be available from your local police service, but you may be able to get them from the employer or organization requesting the check.

To complete the application, you must send the completed form to the police of the region or municipality in which you live. Contact your municipality for more information. They will be able to tell you how to submit your application, if there are any fees, if you need to submit the form in person or by mail and if they require government issued identification to process your application.

If you live in a rural area outside of the jurisdiction of municipal or local police services, the OPP can perform a records check for you. Contact the closest OPP detachment for more information.

More Information:

Last updated: July 14, 2016 4003698