If you do not need your police records check TODAY, we strongly recommend that you apply online.

GET IT FAST! You can have your records check results in as little as 24 hours!

Even if you apply online and still need to visit us in-person, you will get bumped up in the line.

Our Queensview location continues to be busy with walk-in services, including same-day In-Person records checks.

A partially completed online application will get you through the line faster with a priority ticket when you arrive in-person.

Many people coming in-person CAN complete their application online. If your application requires that you need to come in-person to complete your records check, CONTINUE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION. Do not abandon your application.

You may not qualify for "while you wait, same day service" if you have any outstanding matters before the courts with another police/law enforcement service.

Applications received online that pass the identity verification (EIV) and successful payment online are receiving their completed application FASTER than attending in person.

Applications that do not pass EIV, and/or are unsuccessful with payment, remain in the application queue and are given priority. When the applicant attends 2670 Queensview to complete their application, their request is given priority.

Please ensure that you bring your online request reference number and two (2) pieces of valid identification. One (1) piece of identification must contain your photo. Please ensure you have proof that you currently live in Ottawa. If you are here to submit payment, please take note that we accept Debit, cash, and all major credit cards.

Can I submit my request online?
The Ottawa Police Service offers the ability to submit Police Record Checks online to those who are eligible. You may be eligible to submit online if you have a bank account and credit history through which we can verify your identity. You will also need a credit card, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Debit in order to pay online and must currently reside in Ottawa. Depending on the type of police check and your status as an employee or volunteer, you will also need a letter specifically requesting that you undergo a Police Record check.
Identification required to apply for a Records Check

Accepted Photo Identification (one of your two pieces of identification must be from this list):

  • Driver's Licence (if no Driver's Licence is available, you must provide a recent utility bill, bank statement, pay stub or current lease/rental agreements, valid Post-Secondary Student Identification to verify current Ottawa address)
  • Passport 
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Government Employment Card
  • Military Employment Card
  • Age of Majority Card
  • Canadian Citizenship Card (up-to-date)
  • Indian Status Card
  • International Student Identification Card (ISIC)
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)

Accepted Non-Photo Identification (must provide name and date of birth):

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Hunting Licence
  • Fishing Licence
  • Outdoors Card
  • Hospital Card
  • Immigration Papers

Important Notice: Ontario Health Cards cannot be accepted for identification purposes (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 section 34(4)).

What do I need to submit an application?

You may apply online as long as you have a bank account, credit history and the ability to pay online. We use Equifax to verify your identity. If you are unsuccessful in your Electronic Identity Verification (EIV), you may still complete your application online, however you will still need to come in person and have your identification verified (see below). As a volunteer, you will need an electronic, scanned or .pdf copy of the organization's capacity letter to attach to your application.

If you are not able  to submit electronically, you will need to apply in-person at 2670 Queensview.  You will need to bring two (2) pieces of valid government-issued identification that confirms your name, date of birth and address, a completed Police Record Check application form, a current email and physical address through which your results will be sent. One piece of identification must have a photo.

Where can I submit my Records Check in person?

If you do not need your records check TODAY, we strongly encourage you to use our online application. It will expedite the process and you may not have to come and visit us in person.

Along with your completed Record Check Form, you will need to bring two (2) valid pieces of government issued identification to our 2670 Queensview Drive (Nepean) location only.

Both pieces of identification must have your name and date of birth. One (1) piece of identification must be photo identification and one (1) piece of identification must display your current Ottawa address.

Is my police record check for service with the Vulnerable Sector transferrable from one organization to another?

No, Vulnerable Sector screening checks are only valid for the specific employer/position for which it was conducted due to the potential Ministerial disclosure, and are not likely to be accepted by another Vulnerable Sector employer.

How long is a police check valid? Is there an expiry date?

Police records checks are a point in time search and only valid on the day they are issued, since information can change from day-to-day.

The police service does not determine an expiry date; this is up to the agency/employer. Some might accept a police check that is 3-6 months old, while others may want a new one.

Since a person can be clear of charges or criminal activity today but could be arrested and charged tomorrow, we offer no guarantees on the validity of a police check beyond the actual date on which the search was conducted. As well, not all criminal convictions are reported to the RCMP, and more recent dispositions may not be updated on their system at the time a check is conducted.

In our experience, most employers will ask for a new screening check if the current one is beyond six (6) months, and almost certainly if it's older than one year. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the agency/employer.

Why is the Ottawa Police no longer completing  Background Checks for Gatineau residents as of January 1, 2020?

This is to conform to the Ministerial Directive that background checks are to be completed by the Police Service of jurisdiction where the applicant resides.  

Placements or co-op studies

The Background Clearance Section uses the definition from Volunteer Canada for the criteria of waiving the fees. 

Definition: A volunteer is a person who works for an organization without being paid, a person who voluntarily offers themselves for a service or undertaking, or a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

For this reason, the Background Clearance Section charges for practicum/co-op placements since the applicant receives a credit towards program completion and in some circumstances gets remunerated for their placements as a form of compensation.  It is not viewed as a volunteer opportunity but a compulsory credit to complete their program requirement.

The OPS has never waived the fees with a letter for students completing placements or co-op studies. We also identified this category as an example of applicants requiring a police records check for employment purposes.

What do I need to know about Electronic Identification Verification?

To submit an application online, 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.

Applicants whose identity cannot be verified electronically will be required to submit an application in person at 2670 Queensview Drive.

If you are unsuccessful the FIRST time, you can try a second time.

Following that, if you are still unsuccessful in your online Electronic Identity Verification check, you can visit us in person.

Before you get started online, you will need:

  • a computer with an internet browser and an email address
  • a bank account and credit history to complete the online Electronic Identity Verification process

The OPS uses Equifax, which uses your credit information to confirm your identity. If you are unsuccessful in your online Electronic Identity Verification check, you may still apply in person.

An electronic copy of your volunteer capacity letter (this may be scanned or attached as a .pdf)

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 organization that you will be volunteering with, on organization letterhead and signed by the volunteer organization. Illegible or incomplete letters will be rejected and you will be notified that you must reapply.

How will I receive the results of my Records Check?

Results stemming from Record Check applications will be returned to you either via Email (Softcopy) or Paper (Hardcopy).

Email (Softcopy)

Regardless of whether the Record Check application was made Online or In-Person, the Ottawa Police Service now has the ability to return Record Check results to applicants via Email method.

Emailed Record Check results must remain electronic (no printing) in order for the authenticity and continuity of the Record Check to remain uncompromised. Printing the Record Check results renders the authenticity and continuity incomplete, and therefore the Ottawa Police Service will not recognize the results as valid and legitimate.

It is essential that applicants confirm with the Agency requesting the  Record Check, that the Agency is willing to accept and maintain the electronic copy of the Record Check on file in an electronic capacity as printing the Record Check results will cause the results to become illegitimate.

In order to view the Emailed softcopy results, you are required to have access to a program which can support .PDF formatted documents (i.e. Adobe Acrobat).

Paper (Hardcopy)

Additionally, regardless of whether the Record Check application was made Online or In-Person, the Ottawa Police Service can also return Record Check results to applicants via Paper method.

Paper Record Check results will be returned to the applicant either in-person at our 2670 Queensview Drive (Nepean) location or by mail.

How many copies of my Records Check will I receive?
You will be provided with one (1) original copy of your Records Check.
How long does it take to get my Records Check back?
  • Online Record Check submissions (24-48 hours)*
  • In-Person Record Check submissions (7-10 business days)

Timelines are subject to a Monday-Friday work schedule and any requirement to contact other Police Services may add additional processing time. Processing timelines do not account for postage processing (if applicable). For additional information regarding postage processing, please refer to Canada Post.

The Ottawa Police Service Background Clearance Section strives to serve you in a timely manner. Please help us meet our timelines by filling out your online Record Check application or in-person Record Check form(s) accurately and carefully.

What can cause a delay in the process?
  • The Background Clearance Section must contact other police agencies to request local information of an applicant who has resided outside Ottawa in the last five years. We allow two weeks for the outside agency to respond to our inquiry.
  • If applications are received and are missing information, we attempt to contact the applicant. If there is no response, we must mail the original Record Check back to the applicant. Applications with errors or omissions to the current address, such as missing apartment numbers, often end up being returned to the Ottawa Police Service by Canada Post. This results in delays to your service. Additionally, clear and legible writing is required in order to process your Record Check request in a timely manner.
  • The Background Clearance Section will often receive influxes of large numbers of Police Record Checks needing to be processed due to special events being held in Ottawa.
Which form do I fill out for a Records Check?
There are three (3) types of Police Record checks. These include a (1) Criminal Record Check (CR), a (2) Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJM), and (3) a Vulnerable Sector Check (VS). Which form you fill out depends on the organization requesting the Police Record Check, your status as an employee or a volunteer, and if you are working directly with vulnerable persons.
What is a Digital Signature and why is it so important?
Police Record Check results created and submitted online will be provided to you in an electronic format or mailed. The Digital Signature is a unique identifier and combination of personal information which certifies the .PDF as original and authentic.
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 you want to log in. This special key changes every time. It allows us to confirm it is person with a known email address that is requesting access and not automated 'bot' or someone who does not have access to your email address.
How much does it cost? What forms of payment are accepted?

You may pay online with a major credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Debit). You may also pay in person by Debit or with a major credit card.

Fees depend on your status and location. You may confirm the current fees on our Fees and Payment Methods page.

Outside of Canada
We no longer process Canadian Police Certificates for persons residing outside of Canada. Please refer to the RCMP for this service.

The decision to engage or hire staff is not made by the Ottawa Police Service.

A Record Check is a valuable screening tool; however, it is not a substitute for appropriate hiring or screening practices and overall corporate due diligence. It is up to the individual organization to consider the information provided by the police or by the individual in question and to make appropriate decisions about whether the information should exclude someone from a particular position or participation in their program.

The responsibility lies entirely with representatives of the organization. The Ottawa Police Service makes no representation or warranty with respect to suitability or reliability of the individual. 

Where can I check the status of my online Records Check request?

In order to check the status of your Online Record Check Request you are required to login to the account originally created to submit your Record Check request.

How do I determine if the Records Check I've received is completed and authentic?

Hardcopy (Printed) Record Check result:

  1. Hardcopy Record Checks are sent by the Ottawa Police Service to the Record Check applicant's mailing address.
  2. Confirm the Record Check you have received is in fact your Record Check and that all information is accurate.
  3. In the result portion of the Record Check, there will be a box selected with an "X" inside. This is the result of the Record Check.
  4. There will also be an inkless imprint of the Ottawa Police Service seal overtop of this "X". This inkless imprint can be felt on both sides of the hardcopy Record Check. This certifies the Record Check as authentic.
  5. Confirm that the "Date Completed", "Cadre Number" and "Completed by" fields are filled in.

example of Police Use Only section of hardcopy record check

The example above has the Ottawa Police Service seal shaded to assist with identifying what to look for

Softcopy (E-Mail) Record Check result:

  1. Softcopy Record Checks are sent by the Ottawa Police Service to the Record Check applicant's email with a .pdf attachment.
  2. Using a pdf reader (ie. Adobe Acrobat), open the .pdf.
  3. Confirm the Record Check you have received is in fact your Record Check and that all information is accurate.
  4. At the top of the .pdf's first page you will see either (dependant on the type of software you are using):
    • "The file you have opened complies with the PDF/A standard and has been opened read-only to prevent modification"screenshot of "The file you have opened..." message
    • "Signed and all signatures are valid"

    screenshot of "Signed and all signatures are valid" message

  5. In the result portion of the Record Check, there will be a box selected with an "X" inside. This is the result of the Record Check.
  6. At the bottom of the second page you will find the Digital Signature from the Ottawa Police Service.

    Screenshot of the Digital Signature

  7. Select the "Click here to verify Digital Signature". This will open up the Signature Validation status. You will be able to see here that "The Document has not been modified since it was certified". This certifies that the Record Check is authentic.         

    screenshot of a certified Record Check

  8. Confirm that the "Date Completed", "Cadre Number" and "Completed by" fields are filled in. 
Helpful Links
Technical Questions

All questions relating to the Online Background Web Application will be directed to (i.e. difficulty logging in/online payment issues) Rogue Data Corporation:

  • Email 
  • Voicemail at (613) 693-0365

Emails and Voicemails will be responded to within 24 hours between 0900-1700 hours Monday-Friday (excluding Statutory Holidays)

All questions related to Background Clearance process, forms and all other questions will be directed to:

Background Clearance Section
Ottawa Police Service
P.O. Box 9634, Station T, 
Ottawa, Ontario, 
K1G 6H5

Questions about your Records Check

The Ottawa Police Service Background Clearance Section can be reached by:

  • Email 
  • Telephone at (613) 236-1222, extension 5485