A record suspension removes a citizen’s criminal information from the CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) database. The outcome, when a suspension is successful, is that a CPIC search will not find any person’s criminal record. This is important because with the record suspended, one can access educational opportunities, employment, and reintegrate into society.
Who Can Apply for a Record Suspension?
A record suspension application is available for people convicted of a criminal offense who completed their sentence and shown that they are now law-abiding citizens for the prescribed number of years.
You may have to wait for up to 10 years after completing your sentence before you can apply for a record suspension. The exact waiting time will depend on your sentence.
Note that an application for a suspension will be flagged in the Canadian Police Information Centre for any former sexual offenders.
Record Suspension Application Process
Applicants can directly apply to Canada’s Parole Board (PBC) to get their record suspension. There’s no need to seek a third-party service provider or lawyer for this process. Simply follow the following step-by-step instructions, which you will find in the application guide.
- Get your Criminal record.
- Get your Court Information.
- Get a Military Conduct Sheet.
- Get your Local Police Record Checks.
- Document to support Identification – Get a photocopy of documents that support your identity (such as your passport); they should accompany your application.
- Schedule 1 Exception Form – This step is only mandatory for applicants with a conviction for a schedule 1 offense committed on and after March 13, 2021.
- Answer all the questions on the Record Suspension Application form.
- Fill in the Sustained Rehabilitation/Measurable Benefit Form.
- Provide the Payment for the Processing Fee.
Note that you will need to pay additional fees outside the application fee required in the application process, such as criminal records, court documents, police checks, and fingerprints.
Before Submitting Your Application, Note that:
You provide original documents with the official seal, original signature, and a stamp from the police and courts. Failing to do so will lead to your application forms being returned. Any documents that have been tampered with shall also be returned.
Before mailing your application, ensure that you have retained a photocopy of all your documents, including the forms you have filled in, should you need to use them in the future.
Once you have met all the requirements, mail your official documents, application form, and application fee (all documents should be originals apart from your identification document) to the address in this link.
Validity: Denial and Cancellation of a Record Suspension
The parole board of Canada may deny or even cancel an awarded record of suspension should the person fail to act appropriately while living in the larger community. The following reasons may lead to cancellation or denial:
- The applicant is found guilty of a summary offense or an indictable offense.
- The board finds that the applicant is no longer of good behavior.
- The board discovers that the applicant provided misleading, hidden, or false information during the application phase.
- The board finds that the applicant was not eligible for a suspension when it was ordered.
When a record of suspension is withdrawn, the CPIC adds back the person’s history of offense into their database.
Cost and Delays
The application fee for record suspensions from January 1, 2022, is $50.00 after the Parole Board of Canada made a fee reduction as per the Service Fees Act. Any applications mailed before or on January 1, 2022, shall be processed with the new reduced fee of $50.00, provided that their application had not been accepted for processing before that date.
In relation to the processing time, the Parole Board of Canada works to handle applications in accordance with the following deadlines after they are determined to be eligible and complete:
- Within six months of the application’s acceptance, requests for the suspension of a record for an offense or offenses tried summarily will be processed.
- Note that requests for the suspension of a record for an offense or offenses prosecuted by indictment shall be processed within a year after the application’s acceptance.
Also note that applications for which the Board is recommending against granting a record suspension may take up to 24 months to finish after the application has been submitted.