Background Checks

Frequently Asked Questions


Criminal Record Check – Clearance Letter

Vulnerable Sector Screening

Location and Hours of Operation

Processing Times and Fees

Request for Fingerprints

General Questions




Criminal Record Check – Clearance Letter


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Where can I get a Criminal Record Check (Clearance Letter)?
Applications can be made online or in person at TPS Headquarters – 40 College Street, Toronto, Ontaro.

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If I apply in person for a Clearance Letter, what do I need to bring with me?
You will need to bring two government issued pieces of identification; one must have your photo.

 

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When is my Clearance Letter ready for pick-up?
Online applications will receive an email in approximately 7-10 business days advising when the letter will be ready for pick-up. Applications made in person are mailed when completed.

 

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When I applied online for my Clearance Letter the system paused, how do I confirm the request went through?
You will receive a confirmation number on your screen once the application is accepted.

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Is applying online for a Clearance Letter faster than applying in person?
The processing time is the same regardless of the application method.

 

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I was charged by a Police Service and my charge was withdrawn/dismissed. Can I still get a Clearance Letter?
A non-conviction would still be eligible for a letter of clearance. However, an additional step of identity verification is required *see Fingerprint Requirements.

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Vulnerable Sector Screening


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How do I apply for a vulnerable sector screening?
Individuals do not apply directly to the Toronto Police Service for a vulnerable sector check. Requests for vulnerable sector screenings must be completed through organizations that are registered with our Police Reference Check Program.

 

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Where do I get the application for the vulnerable sector check?
The registered agency will provide you with the application form. The form is on legal-sized paper and must be signed by the agency's contact person.

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Can I come to 40 College Street to pay for the vulnerable sector check?
Please do not return your application form in person. It must be mailed to Toronto Police Service Headquarters - 40 College Street, or there is a "drop box" for Vulnerable Sector Screening requests with a Certified Cheque or Money Order attached to it. No waivers will be accepted at counter.

 

Location and Hours of Operation


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What is your mailing address? What are the hours of service for the request counter at Toronto Police Service Headquarters?
Our location and full mailing address is:

Toronto Police Service
40 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3

The request counter at 40 College Street is open Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are closed on weekends and statutory holidays.

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Processing Times and Fees


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How long will it take to process my application?
Toronto is the largest jurisdiction in Canada; therefore we experience a higher volume of applications. Processing times may fluctuate due to volume and time of year.

Clearance Letter:
· 7 - 10 business days
· $20.00

Vulnerable Sector Search:
· 2 weeks for individuals who are not on file with any Federal, Provincial or Local Database - Waiver status line: 416-808-8253
· $65.00 for Employment / $20.00 for Volunteer applications

 

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How can I pay?
For Clearance Letter applications – Debit, MasterCard, or Visa.
For Vulnerable Sector Search applications - Certified cheque or money order made payable to Toronto Police Service.

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I put an application in and I haven't heard back.
If your application has surpassed our normal processing time frame, you can contact the Police Reference Check Program to follow up at 416-808-8244.

 

Request for Fingerprints


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Why do I have to get my fingerprints taken?
Sometimes police services may not have sufficient information in order to proceed with the application, therefore a submission of fingerprints is required.
  • This is confirmation of identity, and mandated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • It also ensures that the information supplied is accurate and does not apply to anyone else.
  • Vulnerable Sector Screening Process

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Where do I get my fingerprints taken?
TPS does not provide fingerprinting for civil purposes.
Private RCMP-accredited agencies are listed in your local telephone book, or online under fingerprinting services.

 

General Questions


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Can I re-use a clearance letter or a vulnerable sector check when applying for another position or would I need to repeat the entire process?
A police background screening (both clearance letter and vulnerable sector search) represents a clear criminal record on the day it is done.
  • A criminal record can change after a search of records has been completed and the result of the check has been issued.
  • At their discretion, an agency may determine that they are willing to accept a recent background screening.
  • There is no renewal process - each request is considered as new, whether or not the applicant has applied previously.

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If I'm a resident of another jurisdiction, can Toronto Police Service do my check?
A clearance letter is a Canada-wide search which can be obtained by any policing agency (Peel, York, Durham, etc.)
A vulnerable sector screening must be requested from the area in which you reside.

 

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I live out of the country - what must I do?
You can apply for a clearance letter by mail, indicating your name, date of birth, and full mailing address. Include two original notarized copies of your identification, and payment in the form of a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds.
An authorized party can also apply on your behalf, and must provide two original notarized copies of your identification and an authorization letter.
Further details are available from our Clearance Letter – Residents outside of Canada page.

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