Record Suspension Application Guide
Video tutorial: Check out the PBC's How to Apply for a Record Suspension video tutorial and Tips for completing a Record Suspension Application video.
Step-By-Step Instructions and Application Forms
Did You Know?
You Can Apply Directly to the
Parole Board of Canada
for a Record Suspension
All you need to do is follow the step-by-step instructions in this Guide and pay the Record Suspension Application Processing Fee of $631.00 (CDN). (by credit card, or certified cheque, bank draft or money order, payable to the Receiver General for Canada).
You do not need a lawyer or representative to apply for a record suspension.
This will not speed up the processing of your record suspension application or guarantee that you receive a record suspension. The Parole Board of Canada treats all Record Suspension Applications the same.
You must answer all questions truthfully and completely. Concealing information or making false or deceptive statements will result in your record suspension application being denied or your record suspension being revoked or ceasing to have effect at a later date.
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ONLY. PHOTOCOPIES NOT ACCEPTED*
Record Suspension Applications must include only original documents with original signatures and original office seals or stamps from the courts and police, or your application will be returned to you. Forms that have been tampered with will also be returned.
*only photocopies of immigration and identification documents will be accepted
IMPORTANT! Before using this Guide...
This Guide includes instructions and all the forms you need to apply for a Record Suspension. Before you mail your record suspension application, photocopy all of your forms and official documents to keep for your own future reference. Your Record Suspension Application must include only original documents with original signatures and original office seals or stamps, or it will be returned to you. Please note that you are responsible for any additional fees required as part of your record suspension application, such as fingerprints, criminal record, court documents and police checks.
Before you get started, read the following questions and answers to make sure you qualify for or need to apply for a record suspension, and to find out what a Record Suspension will and will not do for you.
WHO is responsible for record suspensions?
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency responsible for making record suspension decisions under the Criminal Records Act (CRA). Under the CRA, the PBC can order, refuse to order and revoke a record suspension.
ARE any offences ineligible?
Yes. You are not eligible for a record suspension if you have been convicted of:
- a Schedule 1 Offence (sexual offence involving a child) under the Criminal Records Act;
- more than three (3) offences prosecuted by indictment, each with a prison sentence of two (2) years or more.
WHO can apply?
You can apply for a Record Suspension if you:
- were convicted as an adult of an offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
- were convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act.
WHEN can you apply?
Before you apply for a record suspension, you must have completed all of your sentences, which includes:
- all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;
- all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release;
- any probation order(s).
* Note: If you have a prohibition order, it does not need to have expired before the waiting period begins.
After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:
- 5 years for a summary offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act).
- 10 years for an indictable offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act for which you were fined more than $5,000, detained or imprisoned for more than 12 months).
DO I need a lawyer or a representative to apply for a record suspension?
No. This application guide includes step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a record suspension and all the forms that you need. You can also call 1-800-874-2652 for assistance. Just follow the steps and mail your application form, $631.00 (CDN) application fee (Certified cheque, bank draft or money order, payable to the Receiver General for Canada), and official documents. An application from a lawyer or a representative does not receive preferential treatment.
WHAT is the effect of a record suspension?
A record suspension keeps a judicial record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, and gives law abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into society.
It removes all information about the conviction from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Federal agencies cannot give out information about the conviction without approval from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. A record suspension removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
If you are convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the file in CPIC.
WILL a record suspension erase my conviction?
No. A record suspension does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime. Your criminal record is not erased, but it is kept separate and apart from other criminal records.
WILL a record suspension erase my prohibition order?
No. A record suspension has no effect on a prohibition order.
DO I need a record suspension if I was a young offender?
You may need to apply for a record suspension if you were found guilty as a young person and before the specific period of time defined in youth legislation, you were convicted as an adult. The record suspension may cover both the youth and adult records. You do not need to apply for a record suspension if you were found guilty only in a youth court or youth justice court, since your record will be destroyed or archived once all applicable time periods have elapsed under the Young Offenders Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
DO I need a record suspension if I received an absolute or conditional discharge?
If you have only received absolute or conditional discharges, you do not need to apply for a record suspension. If you received an absolute discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it from its system one year after the court decision. If you received a conditional discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it 3 years after the court decision. If you received an absolute or conditional discharge before July 24, 1992, contact the RCMP to have the information removed (RCMP Record Suspension & Purge Services, P.O. Box 8885, Ottawa, ON K1G 3M8).
WILL a record suspension guarantee me entry into a foreign country?
No. A record suspension does not guarantee you entry or visa privileges to another country. Before you go, contact the authorities of any country you wish to visit to find out what you need to do to enter that country. U.S. and other non-Canadian citizens are not eligible for a record suspension unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada.
DO I need a record suspension to apply for a passport?
No. Passport Canada reviews each application on its own merit. You should contact Passport Canada directly to find out more about the specific requirements for getting a passport.
The 10 steps to apply for a record suspension
If you are eligible, have completed all of your sentences, and it is past the waiting period (See page 1), you can now apply for a record suspension. Here are the 10 steps to follow and the pages where you can find instructions on how to do each step:
IMPORTANT: Make a photocopy of all your Record Suspension Application documents for future reference.
Step 1 - Get your Criminal Record
Contact your local Police Service to have your fingerprints taken on a Fingerprint Form.
IMPORTANT: The Fingerprint Form must clearly show that you are applying for a record suspension.
Send the Fingerprint Form and a certified cheque, money order or bank draft for $25.00 (CDN) payable to the Receiver General for Canada to this address:
RCMP, Civil Fingerprint Screening Service,
P.O. Box 8885, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3M8
For inquiries visit www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call (613) 998-6362
Wait to receive your Criminal Record (Criminal Convictions, Conditional and Absolute Discharges form) or a Certification of No Criminal Record from the RCMP. The Parole Board of Canada will accept either one.
If you have convictions outside of Canada, you MUST also submit information to the PBC on these convictions, along with your Criminal Record.
Once you’ve received your Criminal Record, check it carefully to make sure all of your convictions are on it. You are responsible to ensure that all of your convictions are submitted to the PBC.
If YES go to STEP 2
If NO, you must get a Proof of Conviction for each conviction missing from your Criminal Record, or for no record. Contact the court that heard your case and/or the Police Service that arrested you to get this.
The Proof of Conviction must include:
- Date: the date and court where you were sentenced
- Offence: the offence that resulted in your conviction
- Sentence: the sentence you received
- Arresting Police Force
If the Court and/or Police Service do not have a record of your conviction(s), request this in writing, and contact the Parole Board of Canada Toll-free Helpline at 1-800-874-2652 for assistance.
Step 2 - Get your Court Information
You must get Court Information for each of your convictions. This MUST include proof of payment for any fines, victim surcharges, restitution, and compensation* (including date of final payment). This MUST also include the method of trial for each conviction (either summary or indictable). The method of trial will decide your eligibility for a record suspension (5- or 10-year waiting period) and how your request will be processed. If this information is not provided, the longest waiting period (10 years) will be applied to your file.
Fill in questions 1 to 6 on the Court Information Form at the back of this Guide. Make copies of the form first in case you need to give it to more than one Court.
Contact the Court that heard your case.
If you were sentenced in more than one Court, you must contact each Court and have them fill in this form. Give each Court a photocopy of your Criminal Record and ask each Court to fill in the section on the Court Information Form called For Court Use Only.
Make sure that each Court:
- Fills in all information in the For Court Use Only section of the form
- Signs and dates the form
- Puts their official Court seal or stamp on the form
- Gives you 2 copies of all your Court documents so you have an extra copy for yourself, in case you need these in the future (example: to enter a foreign country). It's easier to get a copy now as the record may not be available if a record suspension is ordered.
Compare the information from the Court on the Court Information Form with your Criminal Record and check for the following:
- If there is a discrepancy with the information on the Court Form and Criminal Record, or if the Court has a Record of Conviction that does not appear on your Criminal Record, you must ask the Court for a Proof of Conviction. See Step 1: Proof of Conviction.
Step 3 - Get your Military Conduct Sheet
(current and former members of the Canadian Forces only)
IF YOU ARE NOT a current or past member of the Canadian Forces, Go to STEP 4
IF YOU ARE a current or past member of the Canadian Forces (Regular or Reserve) you must get a certified, signed and dated copy of your Military Conduct Sheet by contacting the appropriate organization below if no conduct sheet exists you must provide a letter from your Commanding Officer.
If you left less than 5 years ago, get it from the DMCARM:
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K2
If you left more than 5 years ago, get it from the Personnel Records Unit:
Personnel Records Unit
National Archives of Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N3
If you left less than 3 years ago, get it from your Commanding Officer of your last posting or Unit.
If you left more than 3 years ago, get it from the Personnel Records Unit:
Personnel Records Unit
National Archives of Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N3
Include all correspondence from your Commanding Officer, National Defence or National Archives with your application.
For current members, your Military Conduct Sheet should be certified, signed and dated by your Commanding Officer, and is only valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
Make sure that your request for your Military Conduct sheet includes the following information:
- Shows that the reason for the request is for a Record Suspension Application;
- Your first and last name. (If it has since changed, it must state your name at the time);
- Your date of birth
- Your military Identification Number or Service Number
- Your signature
- Enlistment and discharge dates.
Step 4 - Get your Local Police Records Check(s)
You must get a Local Police Records Check for:
- The city or town where you live now (your current address) AND
- For each city or town where you have lived during the last 5 years (if you lived in that city or town for 3 months or more).
IMPORTANT: Each Local Police Records Check is only valid for 12 months from the date it was issued.
Here is how to get a Local Police Records Check
Fill in ALL questions on page 1 of the Local Police Records Check Form included at the back of this Guide. Photocopy it for each local Police Service that you need to contact.
Contact the local Police Service for the address where you live right now. In the past 5 years, if you have lived at addresses that are different from where you live right now, you must contact each local Police Service for each address where you lived. If you are not sure which Police Service to contact, ask the one where you live now.
If you lived outside of Canada you still need to contact the local Police Service where you lived outside of Canada. If the Police Service outside Canada will not give you a Local Police Records Check, a signed letter from the Police Service stating that you have been of good conduct will be accepted. If it is in a foreign language, you must have it translated into English or French and submit both the original and the translated version with your application form.
Show each local Police Service your Criminal Record and ask them to fill in the section on the Local Police Records Check Form called For Police Use Only on page 2 of the form.
You will need to show 1 current piece of photograph identification and 1 other piece of identification (contact the Local Police Service in advance to find out what types of identification they will accept).
Make sure each Police Service includes the following information on each Local Police Records Check Form or the Parole Board of Canada will return it to you:
- All information required in the For Police Use Only section that is on page 2 of the form
- Signature and date by the local Police Service
- Local Police Service official seal or stamp
Step 5 - Get your Proof of Citizenship or Immigration Documents
If YOU were born IN Canada OR are NOT currently living in Canada, you do not need to get Proof of Citizenship or immigration documents. Go to STEP 6.
If you were born outside of Canada AND you are currently living in Canada,
then you must include a photocopy of your official and valid immigration documents with your Record Suspension Application.
If you are in Canada with no immigration status,
then you must confirm this by providing a photocopy of an official document with your Record Suspension Application.
Expired documents are not accepted.
If your documents expire while the Parole Board of Canada is processing your Record Suspension Application, you must provide an updated, valid photocopy, or your Record Suspension Application will be delayed.
DO NOT send original immigration documents, only SEND photocopies of immigration documents.
Step 6 - Get a copy of your document to support your identity
To apply for a record suspension, you must submit with your application form, a clear photocopy of a document which supports your identity. This government issued (Federal, Provincial or Municipal) document must have your name, date of birth and signature.
Step 7 – Complete the Schedule 1 Exception Form
Under Section 4(2) of the Criminal Records Act (CRA), a person is ineligible to apply for a record suspension if he or she has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 1 (sexual offence involving a child) with certain exceptions. Refer to www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca.
If you have NOT been convicted of a Schedule 1 offence under the CRA, you DO NOT need to complete the Exception Form. Skip to Step 8.
If you HAVE been convicted of a Schedule 1 offence, you MUST complete the Exception Form if you are applying for a record suspension. Under Section 4(3) of the CRA, a person who has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 1 may apply for a record suspension IF the Board is satisfied that:
- The person was not in a position of trust or authority towards the victim of the offence and the victim was not in a relationship of dependency with him or her;
- The person did not use, threaten to use or attempt to use violence, intimidation or coercion in relation to the victim; and,
- The person was less than five years older than the victim.
Fill in ALL sections of the Exception Form included at the back of this Guide. If you do not fill in all sections, the PBC will return your application to you. If you don’t have enough room to include all the requested information, attach additional pages to the form.
Step 8 - Fill in the Record Suspension Application Form
TO APPLY for a record suspension you must use the Record Suspension Application Form at the back of this Guide.
IMPORTANT: The Record Suspension Application Form is only valid for 12 months from the date you sign it.
Fill in ALL questions in the Record Suspension Application Form.
If you do not fill in all of the questions on both page 1 and 2 of the form, the Parole Board of Canada will return the application and all documents back to you. Print in BLOCK letters using blue or black ink only.
If you don't have enough room to include all the requested information, please attach additional pages to the form with the information on it.
Make sure to include the $631.00 (CDN) Record Suspension Application Processing Fee in a certified cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the Receiver General for Canada. The Parole Board of Canada will not accept a personal cheque. Do not send cash.
Before you mail your Record Suspension Application make sure that you have:
- Filled in all questions on both sides of the form
- Answered all questions truthfully and completely
- Signed and dated the form. As the applicant, the form must be signed by you
- Included the $631.00 (CDN) Record Suspension Application Fee (payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
- Photocopied all of your Record Suspension Application documents for your own records and future reference.
If you change your address...
IMPORTANT: The Parole Board of Canada must be able to contact you directly. If you are unable to be contacted and/or the information or documents you provide are not verifiable, your application may not be processed. If your mailing address changes after you submit your application, you must send the Parole Board of Canada a letter with your new mailing address. Make sure the letter includes:
- Your name
- Your Record Suspension Application Personal Reference Number
- Your new mailing address
- Your signature. As the Applicant, the letter must be signed by you.
Send the letter to:
Parole Board of Canada,
Clemency and Record Suspension Division
410 Laurier Avenue West, 5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R1
Even after you receive a record suspension, you must advise PBC of a change of address.
Step 9 - Complete the Measurable Benefit / Sustained Rehabilitation Form
As per section 4.1 of the Criminal Records Act (CRA), you must clearly describe how receiving a Record Suspension would provide you with a measurable benefit AND sustain your rehabilitation into society as a law abiding citizen. Fill in ALL sections of the Measurable Benefit/Sustained Rehabilitation Form included at the back of this Guide. If you do not fill in all sections, the PBC will return your application to you. If you don't have enough room to include all the requested information, attach additional pages to the form.
Step 10 - Complete this Checklist before you mail your record suspension application!
Keep a photocopy for yourself of all documents you submit to the Parole Board of Canada.
RECORD SYSPENSION APPLICATION CHECKLIST:
Have you included these documents in your Record Suspension Application?
- Original Criminal Record or Certification of No Criminal Record AND Proof of Conviction documents, as required (explained in Step 1)
- Original Court Information Form (explained in Step 2)
- Original Military Conduct Sheet, as required (explained in Step 3)
- Original Local Police Records Check(s) (explained in Step 4)
- Photocopy of Proof of Citizenship or Immigration Documents, as required (explained in Step 5)
- Photocopy of your identification document (explained in Step 6)
- Original Schedule 1 Exception Form, as required (explained in Step 7)
- Original Record Suspension Application Form (explained in Step 7)
- Measurable Benefit/Sustained Rehabilitation Form (explained in Step 8)
- $631.00 (CDN) Record Suspension Application Processing Fee Step 9)
Mail your Record Suspension Application Form, $631.00 (CDN) Record Suspension Application Fee (credit card payment or certified cheque, bank draft or money order, payable to the Receiver General for Canada), and all official documents (originals only) to the PBC at this address:
Parole Board of Canada
Clemency and Record Suspension Division
410 Laurier Avenue West, 5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R1
If you have any questions, call the Parole Board of Canada Toll-free Helpline at 1-800-874-2652.
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ONLY. PHOTOCOPIES NOT ACCEPTED.
Record Suspension Applications must include only original documents (except for immigration documents and identification card) with original signatures and original office seals or stamps or your application will be returned to you.