Please find information below information surrounding a record destruction, what it means to have a peace bond, how to clear your record, and how we at Canada Pardon Group can help.

Record Destruction

The police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) keep your fingerprint records and photos unless you ask if they can be destroyed. After a certain amount of time, you can apply to have your fingerprint records destroyed.

Who has access to your records

Your fingerprint records and photos are kept in the local police database. They are also shared with other agencies including:

  • RCMP

  • United States customs

  • Canadian customs

  • United Kingdom (UK) customs

  • Interpol

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

  • All police forces in Canada

Find out if you can have your records destroyed

It is an important next step if you have had your fingerprints taken to find out if your records can be destroyed. It can affect your life if you have the records on file, so it is important to ask for the records to be destroyed if they can be.

If you were not convicted

You must submit your application to the local police agency where you were charged. They will only consider your request to have your fingerprint records and photos destroyed if:

  • you don't have any criminal convictions

  • you don't have any outstanding charges

  • you were 18 years or older on the date of your arrest. There is a different procedure for youth governed by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

You must also meet one of the following conditions before they will consider destroying your records:

  • The charges against you have been withdrawn

  • You entered into a peace bond

  • You entered into an absolute discharge or a conditional discharge

  • You were found not guilty after trial

  • Your charges were stayed and a year has passed since they were stayed

If you were convicted

If you were convicted of a crime, you need to have a record suspension before you apply to have your records destroyed. A record suspension used to be called a pardon. The police will not consider your request to have your records destroyed without this document.

You can only apply for a record suspension if your sentence and the waiting period for your offence have both expired. Depending on your offence, your waiting time may be 5 or 10 years.

To apply for a record suspension, you must pay a fee. The parole board will decide whether to suspend your criminal record. Their decision is based on whether you've shown yourself to be a law abiding citizen.

Even if you have a record suspension, the police may decide not to destroy your records.

 The police can refuse to destroy your records

If you were accused of committing a primary or secondary designated offence, the police can refuse to destroy your fingerprint records and photos. The Criminal Code identifies which offences are primary and secondary designated offences.

Primary offences include:

  • sexual assault

  • serious assaults

Secondary offences include:

  • assault

  • uttering threats

  • more serious drug related offences

The Toronto police may also refuse to destroy your fingerprint records and photos if they think it's not in the public's best interest. Their procedures do not provide more information about what this might mean. They do not explain what types of situations would not be in the public's best interest.

You can appeal a refusal to destroy fingerprints by written request. A lawyer can help you appeal the decision if there are no case specific reasons to keep your fingerprint records.

The waiting period depends on how your case was resolved, and where you were charged. For example:

  • If you entered into a peace bond, you must wait until the peace bond expires

  • If you received an absolute discharge, you must wait 1 year

  • If you received a conditional discharge you must wait 3 years

Also, each location has a different waiting period. For example, the Toronto Police Service requires you to wait:

  • 5 months after your last court appearance if your charges were withdrawn or stayed

  • 6 months after any peace bonds have expired

How Canada Pardon Group can Help

Call or email us today to review your scenario and eligibility. This will give us a better direction as to how we should proceed and what resources will be required.

Canada Pardon Group will also act as a third party representative to contact arresting police departments on your behalf to obtain your record destruction, or information pertaining to it. We find that police agencies have less push back when a representative calls vs. a citizen. 



22 Frederick Street Suite 700

Kitchener, Ontario.  


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  2019-2020 by Canada Pardon Group (a CPG company)

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Canada Pardon Groups Guarantee will be null and void if you fail to disclose any information related to your application, provide inaccurate details during your screening process or have any additional Police involvement during the application process. In the event of Police involvement after your application process begins, you are responsible to advise Canada Pardon Group of the final outcome, additional fees may apply.
Canada Pardon Group does not guarantee entry into the US with a waiver. Our guarantee is specific to record suspension applications. 
Canada Pardon Group does not guarantee our advanced pardon application package.
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