Fees and Payment Methods


Volunteers play a valuable role with community agencies, schools, hospitals and sports throughout Ottawa.

Due to an increasing demand from organizations requiring police records checks averaging 83,000 per year over the past two years, we have had to implement the following:

As of January 1, 2020, Ottawa Police will no longer be completing any background checks for Gatineau residents. 

We have made a significant investment to reduce wait times for most police records checks, which are processed within 24 to 48 hours. At the same time, we need to ensure that the cost of processing the police records checks does not have a negative impact on our overall budget.

For more details, please consult our report to the Police Services Board from May 27, 2019. The Police Services Board approved the volunteer fee on June 24, 2019.

Also please note, as of October 27, 2020:

  • All background check fees for volunteers, accompanied by a letter from the sponsoring agency, will be waived for the duration of Stage 2 of the pandemic. A $20.40 fee will be reinstated once the city re-enters Yellow Stage of Ontario’s action plan, as determined by the province.

  • Any applications received on or after October 27 and charged a fee will be issued a refund. Those who applied before October 27, 2020, do not qualify for a refund. 

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.

Important Notes

Accepted methods of payment are:

  • Cash
  • Debit
  • Certified Cheque
  • Money Order
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Amex

If you are a resident of another jurisdiction outside of Ottawa, you must apply for your Record Check with your Local Police Service. You are not eligible to apply for a Record Check from the Ottawa Police Service.

Residency confirmation is required. 

Vulnerable sector checks must be conducted by the local Canadian police service where an applicant lives.

Levels of Police Records

There are three levels of police records checks depending on what you need for either employment or a volunteer opportunity:

All records checks are the same price...

Cost of Police Records

Type of Application



  • $20.40 Requires a letter from your sponsoring organization outlining your volunteer capacity. 
  • $66 If you do not have a letter from your sponsoring organization. 



As of January 1, 2020, Ottawa Police will no longer complete background checks for Gatineau-Hull residents.

Other Services Prices

Type of Service

Cost and Details

Adoption Application

$108 (includes fingerprint submission and list of occurrences)

Fingerprinting for Vulnerable Sector/Adoptions Only

*In addition to other Vulnerable Sector Check/Adoption fees (If Applicable)

  • No charge if a Volunteer (With Letter on Letterhead from Sponsoring Organization outlining Volunteer Capacity at the time of request). Ottawa residents only.
  • $50 For Employment/Other Reasons Ottawa residents only.*
  • Adoptions: See above

Hours of service for fingerprints are Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Last client is accepted at 2:30 p.m.

Pardon Application


Updated with 2021 increases.