Background or Record Checks

Applications for police record checks can be submitted online onlyWe no longer provide in-person, same day service.  To view the status of your existing record check, login to your account.

High volumes of phone calls slow down the processing of record checks, please email the Record Check Unit with questions at recordchecks@wrps.on.ca.  

If you are having trouble receiving your code for login, check your spam email folder.  If you are still having issues, please contact Tech Support at 519-804-9586.

Begin Record Check

Two pieces of identification, as well as proof of residency within the Waterloo Region are required upon pick up of record checks.  One piece of identification presented must include a photo.  There are three different types of record checks:

 Technical Support

Online web application questions:

  • difficulty logging in
  • online payment issues 

Email us at wrpssupport@onlinepolicecheck.ca or leave a voicemail at 519-804-9586.  Emails and voicemails will be responded to within 24 hours Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (excluding Statutory Holidays).  

Monitored access to some personal information may be given to the Vendor.  This is for support and maintenance purposes.  The Vendor follows the same MFIPPA requirements followed by Waterloo Regional Police Service.  

Record check questions:

  • record check process
  • record check application

Email us at recordchecks@wrps.on.ca or call 519-570-9777, extension 8900.  Responses will be received Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m (excluding Statutory Holidays).

New Online Service FAQ's

 How will I receive the results of my record check?
1. An electronic record check is sent to the applicant's email address as a PDF attachment.

2. Using a PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat), open the PDF.

3. Confirm all information is accurate.

4. Depending on the software you are using, at the top of the PDF's first page, you will see:

 

5. In the result portion, there will be a box selected with an 'X' inside indicating your record results.

6. At the bottom of the second page, you will find the digital signature from Waterloo Regional Police Service.

 

7. Select the Click here to verify Digital Signature. This will open a 'Signature Validation Status' box as shown.  You will be able to see here that the document has not been modified since it was certified.  This certifies the record check is authentic.

 

8. Confirm the Date Completed and Badge Number fields are filled in.

 What do I need to know about Electronic Identification Verification?
To submit your application, and in order to use the Electronic Identification Verification process, you are required to have a bank account and credit history.  This is NOT a credit check. 

 

Before you get started, you will need:

  • a computer with an internet browser and an email address
  • your social insurance number
  • a bank account and credit history to complete the online Electronic Identity Verification process
  • VOLUNTEERS ONLY: an electronic copy of your volunteer capacity letter (this may be scanned or attached as a PDF)

The WRPS uses Equifax eIDverifier which uses your credit information to confirm your identity.  If you fail the electronic identity verification, you will still be able to apply and pay online, but will be required to attend the Police Reporting Centre at 150 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge to confirm your identity.  Once your record check is processed, you will be prompted to make an appointment for this purpose.

 

If you are a volunteer, you will be asked to attach a scanned or PDF version of your volunteer letter.  It must clearly indicate the agency you will be volunteering with, on the agency's letterhead or WRPS Volunteer form.  Illegible or incomplete letters will be rejected and you will be notified that you must reapply.  

 Do I need a credit history to apply online?
You do not require a credit history to apply online.  If the identity verification is not successful, you can still complete the application online.  Once the record check has been processed, you will be required to make an appointment to attend the Police Reporting Centre at 150 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge to verify your identity with two pieces of government issued ID.  
 Why do I need to authenticate myself each time I log in?
Your privacy is protected.  Once your identity is verified, we will authenticate your identity each time you login.  A special authentication key is sent to you each time.  This special key changes every time.  It allows us to confirm it is a person with a known email address that is requesting access and not an automated 'bot' or someone who does not have access to your email address.
 What is a digital signature and why is it important?
Record check results will be provided to you in an electronic format.  The digital signature is a unique identifier and combination of personal information that certifies the PDF is original and authentic. 
 How do I determine if the record check I have received is completed and authentic?
1. An electronic record check is sent to the applicant's email address as a PDF attachment.

2. Using a PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat), open the PDF.

3. Confirm all information is accurate.

4. Depending on the software you are using, at the top of the PDF's first page, you will see:

 

5. In the result portion, there will be a box selected with an 'X' inside indictating your record results.

6. At the bottom of the second page, you will find the digital signature from Waterloo Regional Police Service.

7. Select the Click here to verify Digital Signature. This will open a 'Signature Validation Status' box as shown.  You will be able to see here that the document has not been modified since it was certified.  This certifies the record check is authentic.

 

8. Confirm the Date Completed and Badge Number fields are filled in.

Why is 'Sex Assigned at Birth' required when applying for a record check?

Sex assigned at birth is important to identify applicants requiring fingerprint submission for a vulnerable sector record check.  A significantly greater volume of applicants would require fingerprint submission if sex assigned at birth was not requested.  For all types of record checks, sex assigned at birth also acts as a filter when querying police databases and allows for quicker processing times.  

 

Sex assigned at birth is not added to the final record check document. 

  Additional Information

Record Check Hours of Operation, Location, Fees, and Payment Methods

View our up-to-date locations and hours page

 

 Fees and Payment Methods

All types of police record checks are $40.

 

Volunteer record checks are:

  • Criminal Record Check - Free
  • Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check - Free
  • Vulnerable Sector Check - $20

 

Police record checks are available only to residents of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Fees include up to five applications at the same time, per person, for one type of police record check only.

 

A credit card or Visa/Mastercard debit is required for online applications.

Record Check Status Updates

Record check processing time can be found by telephone at 519-570-9777, ext. 8900, option 3.  New online customers can login to your account for updates on the status of your record check.  

More Information for Agencies and Applicants

Consider reading our Record Check Fact Sheets

Record Check for Adoption

To apply for a police record check for an Adoption:

  1. Apply online for a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check.
  2. Type 'Adoption' in the Organization field within or beside the Agency name.
  3. You will receive an email for fingerprinting.  Follow the link to book your appointment.   

Notes

  • Fingerprints are required for all adoption requests and we submit them to the RCMP who will conduct the appropriate database searches.  These searches include any record suspensions as authorized for release by the Minister of Public Safety.
  • Two pieces of valid identification, one with a photo and proof of residency within the Region of Waterloo is required for pickup.

Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting may or may not be required depending on your application, review our dedicated fingerprinting page to learn more.  

Acceptable Forms of Identification

 

In order to release or confirm confidential information regarding your criminal record, or lack thereof, we require sufficient proper identification to verify your identity.  The applicant must produce two pieces of appropriate identification that confirms their name, date of birth and address. One piece of identification presented must include a photo.

The following is a list of items that are considered acceptable forms of identification.

(Health Cards cannot be required for identification purposes but if volunteered, no unauthorized use or disclosure of the Health Card is permitted.)

 Photo Identification which provides photo and both the name and date of birth of an individual:

  • Driver's Licence
  • Passport
  • Age of Majority Card (BYID)
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Firearms Licence (FAL, PAL, POL)
  • Government Employment Card
  • Health Card
  • Immigration Papers with photo
  • Indian Status Card
  • Military Employment Card
  • NEXUS card
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Student Card

 Non-Photo Identification which provides both the name and date of birth of an individual:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Canadian Blood Donor Card
  • Fishing Licence
  • Hospital Card
  • Hunting Licence
  • Immigration Papers
  • Outdoors Card
  • Recent utility bill required to verify current Waterloo Region address if no driver's licence is available.
  • People under 16 can provide school ID, bus pass and/or their parent can provide verification

 For further information, please contact 519-570-9777, ext. 8900.

 

 

Record checks for people living outside of Canada

The Waterloo Regional Police Service does not provide police record checks to people living outside of Canada. If you live out of the country, and need confirmation that you have no criminal record in Canada, you may obtain a copy of your Canadian Criminal Record through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Please visit the RCMP website for detailed instructions and costs.

Reconsideration Process for a Vulnerable Sector Check

The Waterloo Regional Police Service offers a Reconsideration Process to applicants who have received a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). This process is not available for the Criminal Record Check or the Criminal and Judicial Matters Check.

Request for Reconsideration

If you wish to request the removal or amendment of information listed on your police record check you may apply as follows:

  • The applicant shall complete the Reconsideration Request form available online and at the Police Reporting Centre at 150 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge.
  • The reconsideration request must state the specific reason(s) why the Waterloo Regional Police Service should reconsider its decision to include information relating to non-conviction dispositions.
  • Convictions are not able to be reconsidered.
  • A maximum of five pages of supporting documentation may be included with your request.
  • No oral representations or hearings will take place.
  • The applicant must submit the request form with a $30 application fee + HST = $33.90 payable by cash, debit or certified cheque.
  • The fee is not refundable
  • The completed request form, supporting documentation and the fee may be dropped off at the Police Reporting Centre or mailed to:

Record Check Reconsideration

Waterloo Regional Police Service

150 Maple Grove Road

Cambridge, Ontario N3H 5M1

  • Requests for reconsideration must be made in writing within 35 days of the completion of the applicant’s Police Record Check.

A: Reconsideration Process

The following will, if applicable, be considered in the reconsideration process:

  1. The applicant’s written submission and supporting documentation:
  2. Whether the information meets the criteria for release as outlined on the CRC, CJMC, VSC forms or the OACP Guideline for Police Record Checks;
  3. Nature and circumstances of the incident based on both the applicant’s submission and police/Crown notes;
  4. Date of incident and length of time that has passed;
  5. The age of the applicant at the time of the incident;
  6. Police records, investigating officer input and Crown input;
  7. All entries in the applicant’s criminal record file and the nature of these entries;
  8. Whether occurrences or police contacts show a pattern of behaviour (i.e., domestic disputes, threats of violence, assaults, sexual or predatory behaviour, etc.);
  9. Whether the requester continues to present a substantial risk to the community;
  10. Any other relevant information.

B: Criminal Dispositions

If you have concerns regarding criminal dispositions that have been included on your Police Record Check, refer to our brochure File Closure of Fingerprints and Dispositions. Criminal convictions cannot be reconsidered in this process.

C: Copies of Police Reports

There may be times when obtaining a copy of a police report will assist you in recalling the event or in presenting the information on your Police Record Check to your employer. If you need to obtain a copy of a police report, submit an Access/Correction Request.

D: Approved Reconsideration

Once the application is received it will be reviewed by the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Reconsideration Panel within 30 days to determine if it meets the criteria for reconsideration. If approval to remove or amend the information in question is granted, the applicant will be contacted to pick up a new Police Record Check, at no additional cost. A letter confirming the Reconsideration Panel’s decision will be sent to the applicant.

E: Denied Reconsideration

If the Reconsideration Panel determines that all or part of the request should be denied, a letter of denial will be sent to the applicant. The letter will state why the request was denied unless stating the reason for denial would jeopardize an on-going or open investigation or intelligence gathering, potentially endanger a person or property, be contrary to a privilege or be against public policy (i.e., fall under public immunity privilege).

F: Extension of Timelines

If, in extenuating circumstances, the Waterloo Regional Police Service cannot meet the timelines indicated in this process, the applicant will be notified of the applicable extensions as required.

Record Suspension (Pardon)

If you have been free of criminal convictions for a period of time you may apply to the Parole Board of Canada for a record suspension (formerly Pardon Application). Learn more by visiting our Record Suspension or Pardon Application page.

Police Record Check Reform Act (PRCRA)

The PRCRA legislation passed on December 1, 2015 and was enacted on November 1, 2018.  This legislation ensures a clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards to govern how police record checks (PRC) are conducted and disclosed in Ontario.

Overview of the PRCA

  1. Apply to all PRC providers in Ontario, when conducting the majority of the PRCs that are requested from them. (i.e., for employment, volunteering, licensing and other purposes).

  2. Standardize three types of PRCs that can be conducted (i.e. Criminal Record Checks, Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks).

  3. Limit and standardize the types of information authorized to be disclosed in each type of PRC.

  4. Require that an individual receive their PRC before being asked to consent to disclosure to a third party, such as an employer

    • After reviewing, the individual can provide the results directly to a third party, or consent to allow the PRC provider to release the results to the third party.

When and why are police record checks used?

  • A PRC may be required by law or organizational policy
  • A PRC may be a useful tool to help determine an individual’s suitability for certain types of opportunities (e.g., employment in a position responsible for working with vulnerable individuals)
  • PRCs are just one of the tools available, in addition to interviews, reference checks, verification of credentials/licences/certifications, and in some cases, more thorough background checks
  • Agencies can only require an applicant to apply for one of the  three types of PRCs and are not permitted to ask applicants to provide any additional police records unless exempted under the PRCRA

Types of Police Record Checks

  • The PRCRA identifies three standard types of PRCs:
    • Criminal Record Check,
    • Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check, and
    • Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)
  • The types of PRCs are differentiated based on the specific types of information authorized to be disclosed within each of them as outlined in the Act
  • Additionally, the VSC is intended to be used for a specific purpose: to screen individuals that work or volunteer in positions of trust and/or authority relative to vulnerable individuals (e.g., teachers and daycare workers, staff in long-term care and retirement homes, service providers working with individuals with disabilities)
  • In order to keep vulnerable persons safe, the PRCRA allows for the disclosure of the broadest range of information in VSCs, including disclosure of record suspensions (formerly pardons) as authorized by the Minister of Public Safety and relevant non-conviction information as authorized by the PRCRA

Disclosure of Youth Records

This is one of the most significant changes to record checks in Ontario.  Youth records are only permitted to be disclosed in two circumstances:

  1. To the youth themselves, who is not permitted to further disclose Findings of Guilt and must remove any results from the record check before sharing with agencies [PRCRA 11] or
  2. To the Government of Canada or the government of a province or a municipality for purposes of employment or the performances of services, with or without remuneration [YCJA 119 (1)(o)]
What does this mean?

Only federal, provincial and municipal government agencies will receive youth records.

The PRCRA regulates how police services release Police Record Checks (PRC) containing youth records to applicants.  Up until now, police services have released a PRC containing youth records directly to the applicant who then provide the PRC to the organization or volunteer agency.  The federal and provincial government has found this approach to be contrary to the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). 

The only authorized release of a PRC containing youth records will be to a federal, provincial or municipal government.  Applicants can gain access to their own record through the Federal Access to Information process but this record is not a PRC and is not allowed to be shared with any other agency.

It is important to note the change for the community – police services will only provide PRC’s to applicants under the age of 18 for government positions.  This is because non-government agencies are not authorized to receive any results.  To require applicants to apply and pay for a PRC when no results will be released is not in the best interest of applicants, the police service and the community.

What does this mean?

Police services are unable to disclose whether or not there is a youth record.

Forms

All forms are being updated or created to look similar across the province and include:

  • All the changes from the PRCRA legislation and regulations
  • Consideration of how to respond and protect privacy

 

For questions or concerns, please contact Records Branch Supervisor, Angela Post at 519-570-9777, ext. 8807.

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