If you are outside Canada and receive a request for a Canadian criminal background check (or Canadian Police Certificate), you may be worried that it is not possible to get one if you cannot be fingerprinted in Canada. Fortunately, it is now possible to get your fingerprints taken overseas and submit them to a Canadian-accredited fingerprint agency like Red Seal Notary for digitizing and uploading to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
1. Attend a fingerprinting agency or police station to get 2 sets of ink and roll fingerprints and a fingerprint on the third-party consent form.
a. Two sets of Ink and roll fingerprints
You will need to attend a police station or agency authorized to take fingerprints in the country you are in. You need to obtain 2 full sets of ink and roll fingerprints. Each set contains 10 rolled and 10 flat finger impressions. The fingerprints need to be clean and clear enough to digitize. Moisturizing for a few days before having the fingerprints taken may help to improve the quality of the prints.
The fingerprint form must be signed and stamped by the police officer/fingerprint technician and contain the date and address where the prints were taken. The form also needs to contain your full name, signature, date of birth, gender, address, telephone number and reason for taking the fingerprints. It is recommended that the fingerprints be taken on the RCMP fingerprint form, which can be downloaded with the Card scan application package (see link below), but fingerprint forms used by the police/agency you are attending are also acceptable, as long as the required information is provided.
b. Third-party consent form with fingerprint
You need to fill out a third-party consent form if you want to have your certified criminal record check sent to a third party, such as your employer or Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The fingerprinting agency needs to imprint one of your fingers on this consent form.
If you want the fingerprints sent directly to you, you have the option of using the third-party consent form to authorize Red Seal Notary to receive the Certified Criminal Record Check on your behalf. We will then email the results to you and can also send the original to you by courier for a fee.
If you do not complete the third-party consent form, the RCMP will send the results to you by regular Canada Post. Please note that this method does not offer delivery tracking. It also may not be timely or reliable depending upon your location.
2. See a notary public, lawyer, or commissioner of oaths for identity verification.
a. Certified copies of two pieces of government-issued identification
You will need to visit a local notary public, lawyer or commissioner of oaths in the country you are staying to obtain certified (notarized) photocopies of two pieces of valid government-issued identification, such as a passport and driver’s license. Please note that Ontario, Manitoba, and PEI Health cards, and Canadian Social Insurance Number cards, are NOT acceptable forms of identification for this purpose. You need to bring your original pieces of identification to the office so that they can certify that the photocopies are true copies of the original document. They will need to stamp or certify in writing that the photocopy is a true copy of the original document as well as the date, sign and stamp the copies with their official seals as well as provide their address.
b. Verify photograph
You also need to provide a passport-sized photo taken within the last six months by a professional photographer. It must have a white background, neutral facial expression (no smiling), and show your shoulders and the top of your head. Either black and white or color photos are acceptable. Check the required information to ensure that the photograph meets all required standards. The notary, lawyer or commissioner of oaths must sign and date the back of your photograph.
3. Fill out the information form and payment authorization.
a. Information Form
You must fill out the information form, which provides all of the information the RCMP needs to process your criminal record check. Information includes your full name, date of birth, gender, home address, email address, and reason you require the criminal record check.
b. Payment authorization form
You also need to provide your credit card information on the payment authorization form so that Red Seal Notary can process your payment once the application is received.
4. Courier or Mail the Original Documents to Red Seal Notary.
Submit the original fingerprint forms, certified copies, photos, information, and payment forms by courier/registered mail to Red Seal Notary.
Once Red Seal Notary receives your application package, the Cardscan process is used to digitize your fingerprints and upload them to the RCMP Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Service (CCRTIS) server for processing. The RCMP then conducts the criminal background check. Once completed, they will mail the certified criminal record check by regular mail to you or to the third party you authorized to receive the record check.
Please see our website for the downloadable application package and forms on our RCMP Fingerprints Outside Canada page.
Do not hesitate to contact Red Seal Notary to speak to a helpful customer service representative if you have any questions or concerns regarding the process.