Pardon Application


Parry Sound-Muskoka Digital Fingerprinting is a certified, accredited RCMP agency authorized to capture your fingerprints on a high-tech scanner and transmit them directly to the RCMP computer in Ottawa.

The first step in obtaining a pardon, now referred to as a ‘record suspension’, is to obtain your fingerprint record from within the RCMP database. The fastest and most convenient way to obtain this record is through digital submission. According to the RCMP website, it could take upwards of 120 days to receive this record, subject to when the record occurred. In all likelihood you will receive the information somewhere between 60 – 120 days! If however, you submit your fingerprints by the ink method, the results will be mailed to you somewhere between 4 – 6 months!


There are two main reasons why an individual would obtain a pardon; employment and travel.


Some companies have for years required a criminal background check from an individual as part of their application for employment process. With the advent of the incidents that occurred on September 11th, many more prospective employers added a police clearance check to their hiring practices.

If you have not applied for and received a pardon from the National Parole Board; then your record will still be on file and subject to these types of inquiries. For instance, if an individual some 25 years ago was charged with theft under, fingerprinted for the offence and subsequently convicted in court for the offence, then you have a criminal record. It will remain on the database until you have it removed.

Also, taking the above scenario, if you went to court and the charge was withdrawn or the case was dismissed; you still have a ‘Criminal Record File’ on the RCMP database as a result of being fingerprinted for the offence. In this case, you still need to apply for a pardon to have this ‘file’ removed so that this information is not available in any criminal background check to potential employers.


When travelling outside of Canada, it is advisable to have applied and received a Canadian Pardon, especially when it comes to travelling into the United States. Homeland Security at all border crossings into their country have strict guidelines since September 11th dealing with individuals attempting entry.

The national police computers for both Canada and the United States at all border points are linked together. I think we all agree that this security practice is warranted however for individuals with a criminal record and/or fingerprinted in Canada for a criminal offence and who have not received a pardon, the anxiety crossing the border is heightened.

In all my years of fingerprinting for civilian purposes, I have heard from numerous individuals stating, ‘I have been crossing the USA border for years and never had a problem, now I have been refused entry and need to get a US Waiver!’ The waiver will be discussed in the next link.

Unfortunately, if Homeland Security, by means of the police computers or by admission of the individual, learns you have a criminal record or was charged with a criminal offence years ago, whether convicted or not, will turn you around at the border and advise you to get a US Waiver if you want to return to the United States.

It must be noted that Homeland Security DO NOT recognize Canadian Pardons! Therefore if you have applied for and received a pardon and divulge this to the US Customs at the border, you will most likely be refused entry. Remember, if you received a Canadian pardon years prior and have not been fingerprinted for a criminal offence since that time, your previous indiscretion has been removed from the active RCMP database and therefore not available on the border point computers!