RCMP Fingerprints from Outside Canada – Card Scan

December 15th, 2021
Digital Fingerprinting from outside of Canada

What do I do if I need a Canadian fingerprint-based criminal background check (certified criminal record check), but I am not in Canada?

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).

What is the procedure to submit fingerprints from overseas?

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.

What happens once my application is received?

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.

Where do I get the application package?

Please see our website for the downloadable application package and forms on our RCMP Fingerprints Outside Canada page.

What if I need more information?

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.

8 thoughts on “RCMP Fingerprints from Outside Canada – Card Scan

  1. Bruno-Pierre Carrier says:

    Hi, I need a criminal record check for Portuguese authorities.  The local scientific police has taken my
    fingerprints and I have them printed out.  What is the process for sending you the fingerprints?  Is a
    scan sufficient?  How long does it take for the process to complete?

    Thanks in advance

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Bruno,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      I am assuming you require an RCMP Certificate to provide to Portugal, and not a Portuguese Police Check.

      We cannot use scanned fingerprints – they must be taken with ink. Otherwise the system will not accept them. This is probably because Scanning scanned prints is like taking a copy of a copy – the quality deteriorates.

      If you click on the link to our web page there is an instruction package and forms to download that describe the process you need to follow. Once we receive all the requirements, and assuming the ink & rolled prints are of sufficient quality, the RCMP’s processing is similar to electronic prints taken in Canada. If you have trouble finding the link, our customer service staff will be happy to assist you.

      It is worth emphasizing that the most time consuming problem is normally the quality of the ink fingerprints. They should be pristine, or as close to it as possible. It is important to use an experienced fingerprint technician, make sure your skin is healthy, and cooperate fully. i.e. try not to stiffen up, make sure to roll your fingers straight and not twist or turn as you roll, etc. It is not a natural motion, so it is easier said than done. And don’t forget you need a fingerprint on the consent form as well as the 2 fingerprint cards.

      I hope this information is of assistance.

  2. Mack says:

    I already had my finger prints taken by the
    rcmp in my city in the past year, if I am out
    of the country now, do I have to send
    fingerprints again?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Mack,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      In short, the answer to your question is yes. Each RCMP police certificate requires a new set of fingerprints. They will not issue multiple certificates from the same set of prints.

      I hope this information is of some assistance.

  3. Diana López says:

    Good afternoon, I need to know what I
    can do if I need my criminal record
    certificate from the RCMP, I am a
    foreigner and I live outside of Canada,
    and in my country there is no procedure
    for printing fingerprints with ink, all
    entities authorized by the government of
    my country do this process digitally. In
    this case, is it possible to request my
    Canadian criminal record certificate with
    name and date of birth?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Diana,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Name and Date of Birth based checks are done by local police services, not the RCMP. Whether that would be acceptable is up to whoever you are submitting the police check to.

      If you must have an RCMP certificate, you may wish to contact customer service at [email protected] indicating your problem and in which country you are. They may be able to refer you to someone or obtain assistance from someone that has dealt with card scanning issues from your country before.

      I hope this is of assistance.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Hi, I’m currently living in China, and wanna do the RCMP fingerprints check. Can you
    please tell me how to process, thanks.

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Jeremy,

      Simply click on the link near the end of the article to our fingerprints outside Canada page and download the Cardscan conversion package file, the fingerprint card file, and the 3rd party consent file. Detailed instructions are contained in the Cardscan conversion package file, including a checklist.

      You can also reach the page by clicking ‘prints outside canada’ in the menu on our home page.

      I hope this is of assistance.

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