I Want to Have My Criminal Record Removed
|Record suspensions used to be called pardons before March 2012.|
A criminal record can have an impact on future employment, education or international travel. If you have a criminal record and you have completed your sentence, you may be able to get a record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada.
A record suspension means that your criminal record will be removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database so that it can’t be seen by people such as a school or potential employer.
- Decide if you want or need a record suspension. Some things to consider:
- Record suspensions cost over $600.
- Record suspensions apply only to convictions under federal laws such as the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or similar international offences. They do not apply to convictions under provincial laws like the Motor Vehicle Act.
- Record suspensions are generally not available for sexual offences against children or for people with more than 3 convictions for serious offences where they received jail sentences of 2 or more years for each.
- You must have completed all aspects of your sentence for at least 5 years to receive a record suspension for a summary offence and at least 10 years to receive a record suspension for an indictable offence.
- You do not need to apply for a record suspension for youth offences or, generally, for adult offences where you received an absolute or conditional discharge.
- If you decide to apply for a record suspension, get your fingerprints taken on a Fingerprint Form at a police station. There will be a fee. Ensure that the Fingerprint Form shows that you are applying for a record suspension.
- Mail the Fingerprint Form with your fingerprints on it to:
- RCMP Civil Fingerprint Screening Service
- PO Box 8885, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3M8
You will have to include a certified cheque, money order or bank draft of $25 made out to the Receiver General of Canada.
- Obtain a Record Suspension Guide (which includes the application forms) from the Parole Board of Canada. You can download the guide from the Record Suspensions website, or request it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 1-800-874-2652 (toll free).
- Follow the step-by-step Record Suspension Guide to complete your application for a record suspension. It is quite detailed, so you may want to watch the Canada Parole Board video guides. The Canada Parole Board charges a fee ($631 as of May 2017) for processing the application.
What happens next
You will receive written notification about the decision of the Canada Parole Board on your application. The Board tries to make their decisions within 6 months for summary offences and 12 months for indictable offences.
If your application is incomplete, it will be returned to you and you will have a chance to provide the additional information.
A record suspension doesn’t make your record "go away". The suspension can be revoked if you are convicted of another serious offence or are found to have given false information on your application.
|Record suspensions do not guarantee your ability to travel internationally. Check with the nearest embassy, consulate or mission of the country you wish to visit to learn about the requirements for visiting their country.|
Where to get help
See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
- Parole Board of Canada.
- Access Pro Bono, Lawyer Referral Service, and private bar lawyers.
- Criminal Records and Applying for a Record Suspension, a Dial-a-Law script from the Canadian Bar Association. This provides an overview of how to apply for a record suspension.
- The Record Suspension Fact Sheet and Application Guide, from the Parole Board of Canada. This includes a fact sheet on record suspensions and also has the application guide and form available for download.
- Canada Parole Board Video on Record Suspensions
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Lisa J. Helps, May 2017.|
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
In law, in British Columbia a person under the age of 19.
A mandatory direction of the court, binding and enforceable upon the parties to a court proceeding. An "interim order" is a temporary order made following the hearing of an interim application. A "final order" is a permanent order, made following the trial of the court proceeding or the parties' settlement, following which the only recourse open to a dissatisfied party is to appeal. See "appeal," "consent order," "decision," and "declaration."
A preliminary version of a document; an order prepared following judgment submitted to the court for its approval; to prepare, or draw, a legal document.
A request to the court that it make a specific order, usually on an interim or temporary basis, also called a "chambers application" or a "motion." See also "interim application" and "relief."
In law, a judge's conclusions after hearing argument and considering the evidence presented at a trial or an application; a judgment; the judge's reasons. A judge's written or oral decision will include the judge's conclusions about the relief or remedies claimed as well as their findings of fact and conclusions of law. A written decision is called the judge’s "reasons for judgment." See "common law," "conclusions of law," and "findings of fact."