Criminal Records Section
Destruction of Adult Fingerprints, Photographs and Records of Disposition
Toronto Police Services Board Policy and Direction
Table of Contents
Examples of Reasons for Refusal
It is the policy of the Toronto Police Services Board that, upon written request, the Toronto Police Service will:
- Destroy adult fingerprints, photographs and records of dispositions associated with non-conviction disposition(s)1 after the expiration of all applicable appeal processes, or, in the case of a stay of proceedings, after a period of one year unless:
- the individual’s records on file contain an alleged offence(s) listed as a primary designated offence or secondary designated offence as defined in section 487.04 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, as amended; or
- there are compelling reasons in the public interest to refuse destruction.
- In applying criteria 1a) and 1b) as listed above, give consideration to mitigating factors.
- Establish a process of review for those cases in which destruction has been refused by the Service; and
- Where destruction has been approved by the Service, make a recommendation to the RCMP for the destruction of records in its possession associated with the individual’s non-conviction disposition(s). Please note that this is a recommendation only, and the R.C.M.P. may deny the application for destruction.
The following link provides information in relation to the R.C.M.P.’s non-conviction policy:
Application can be made for the destruction of fingerprints, photographs and records of disposition in relation to an arrest by the Toronto Police Service which did not result in conviction. There is a five-month waiting period from the date of the last court appearance before an application will be accepted. This is to ensure that all pertinent documents are accessible for recall. The following conditions must also apply before the request is granted:
- The applicant must be an adult (18 years of age or older at date of arrest),
- The applicant cannot have any criminal convictions,
- The applicant cannot have outstanding charges before the courts,
- The alleged offence(s) cannot be listed as a primary designated offence or secondary designated offence as defined in section 487.04 of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 to view copy, go to http://laws.justice.gc.ca (Toronto Police Services Board Minute P297/2007),
- Any Peace Bond must have expired before applying for destruction,
- Disposition of all charges must fall into one of the following categories: withdrawn, acquitted, dismissed, quashed, discharged or stayed (Judicial or Crown Attorney Stay – 1 year waiting period),
- Absolute Discharge – 1 year expiry must have passed prior to application,
- Conditional Discharge – 3 year expiry must have passed prior to application.
It should be noted that this process only allows for the destruction of fingerprints, photographs and records of disposition held by the Toronto Police Service. Any associated Toronto Police Service reports maintained on in-service databases are subject to retention in accordance with the Toronto Police Service Record Retention Schedule (City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 219, Article 1 – to view copy, go to www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/2000/law0689.pdf).
Destruction of fingerprints, photographs and records of disposition does not guarantee the applicant access to the United States – this is solely at the discretion of U.S. authorities. To obtain information on travel waivers and cross border travel, log onto the Department of Homeland Security at www.DHS.gov or contact the Consulate General of the United States of America located at 360 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4, or contact the R.C.M.P. at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Reasons for Refusal provides specific reasons why the Toronto Police Service may not accede to a request for destruction of fingerprints, photographs and records of disposition.
NOTE – The present policy came into effect on September 20, 2007. If you have been denied a fingerprint destruction under the previous policy but meet the current eligibility requirements, you should reapply.
The completed form can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; faxed to 416-808-8202; or sent via mail to
Toronto Police Service
Attn: Criminal Records
40 College St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
Eligibility for destruction of fingerprints, photographs and records of disposition is governed by policy and procedure.
An applicant will be notified in writing should their request for destruction be denied and supplied with the reason for refusal.
The applicant then has the right to request a review of this decision by submitting a written appeal, within sixty days of the date of refusal, to the Manager, Records Management Services at the below-noted address. Further information to support an appeal requiring the Toronto Police Service to give consideration to mitigating factors must be supplied, along with any court transcripts considered appropriate to substantiate the position.
Mitigating factors may include, but are not limited to:
- the seriousness or triviality of the alleged offence
- mitigating or aggravating circumstances
- the age, intelligence, physical or mental health or infirmity of the applicant.
Consideration will be given to each appeal request and a decision will be rendered within sixty days of receipt of all documents required to complete the appeal process. The applicant will be notified of the outcome in writing. Should the appeal be denied, an individual may seek redress through the Courts.
Submit appeal request to:
The Manager, Records Management Services
40 College St., Toronto, Ontario M5G 2J3
Examples of Reasons for Not Destroying Fingerprints, Photographs and Records of Disposition Upon Request
- There is a five month waiting period from the date of disposition in order to ensure that pertinent documents are processed and accessible for recall. Application may be resubmitted once this time frame has expired.
- The applicant must be an adult (18 years of age or older at date of arrest).
- The applicant has a criminal conviction(s) – application for a record suspension (formally called pardon) may be made to
- National Parole Board,
Clemency and Criminal Records Division,
340 Laurier Avenue West,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R1
For the Record Suspension Guide, which provides step-by-step instructions and application, you may visit www.npb-cnlc.gc.ca or telephone 1-800-874-2652.
- The applicant has outstanding charge(s) before the courts.
- The record on file contains an alleged offence(s) listed as a primary designated offence or secondary designated offence as defined in section 487.04 of the Criminal Code (Toronto Police Services Board Minute No. P297/2007).
- The applicant has a Peace Bond which has not expired. Application may be resubmitted once this time frame has expired.
- Charge(s) stayed (Judicial or Crown Attorney) – 1 year wait period has not expired. Application may be resubmitted once this time frame has expired.
- Absolute Discharge – 1 year wait period has not expired. Application may be resubmitted once this time frame has expired.
- Conditional discharge – 3 year wait period has not expired. Application may be resubmitted once this time frame has expired.
- Charge(s) not laid by Toronto Police Service – applicant must contact the police service or agency which collected the fingerprints and photographs.
- Applicant has no fingerprints, photographs or records of disposition on file with Toronto Police Service.
NOTE: The relevant Toronto Police Service Record of Arrest report pertaining to this incident will be retained in accordance with the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 219, Article I.
- There are compelling reasons in the public interest to refuse destruction: (reasons would be specified)
- Fingerprints and photographs were taken by Canada Immigration through a federal A.F.I.S. system. Contact local Canada Immigration office for further information.
- Fingerprints and photographs pertain to an Extradition Warrant and are, therefore, outside the scope of Toronto Police Service policy and procedure.