Background or Record Checks

Please note:  We are experiencing a high volume of record check applications at this time and do not offer priority processing.  Applications for police record checks can be submitted online onlyWe no longer provide in-person, same day service.  Click the blue button below to view the date we are processing (Status).  

Contact the Record Check Unit with any questions at  A high volume of phone calls may slow down the record check process.

Begin Record Check

Two pieces of government issued identification, as well as proof of residency within the Waterloo Region are required upon pick up of record checks.  One piece of identification presented must include a photo.  There are three different types of record checks:

  Additional Information

Record Check Hours of Operation, Location, Fees, and Payment Methods

View our up-to-date locations and hours page


 Fees and Payment Methods


All types of police record checks are $40.


Volunteer record checks are $20.


Police record checks are available only to residents of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Fees include up to five applications at the same time, per person, for one type of police record check only.


A credit card is required for online applications.

Record Check Status Updates

Record check processing time can be found by choosing BEGIN RECORD CHECK, under STATUS.  

More Information for Agencies and Applicants

Consider reading our Record Check Fact Sheets

Record Check for Adoption

To apply for a police record check for an Adoption:

  1. Apply online for an Adoption Record Check.
  2. You will receive an email for fingerprinting.  Call 519-570-9777, ext. 8900 and press "0" to make a fingerprint appointment.  
  3. Attend the Police Reporting Centre at 150 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge for your appointment.
  4. You will receive an email when the police record check is ready for pickup. 


  • Fingerprints are required for all adoption requests and we submit them to the RCMP who will conduct the appropriate database searches.  These searches include any record suspensions as authorized for release by the Minister of Public Safety.
  • Two pieces of valid identification, one with a photo and proof of residency within the Region of Waterloo is required for pickup.


Fingerprinting may or may not be required depending on your application, review our dedicated fingerprinting page to learn more.  

Acceptable Forms of Identification


In order to release or confirm confidential information regarding your criminal record, or lack thereof, we require sufficient proper identification to verify your identity.  The applicant must produce two pieces of appropriate identification that confirms their name, date of birth and address. One piece of identification presented must include a photo.

The following is a list of items that are considered acceptable forms of identification.

(Health Cards cannot be required for identification purposes but if volunteered, no unauthorized use or disclosure of the Health Card is permitted.)

 Photo Identification which provides photo and both the name and date of birth of an individual:

  • Driver's Licence
  • Passport
  • Age of Majority Card (BYID)
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Firearms Licence (FAL, PAL, POL)
  • Government Employment Card
  • Health Card
  • Immigration Papers with photo
  • Indian Status Card
  • Military Employment Card
  • NEXUS card
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Student Card

 Non-Photo Identification which provides both the name and date of birth of an individual:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Canadian Blood Donor Card
  • Fishing Licence
  • Hospital Card
  • Hunting Licence
  • Immigration Papers
  • Outdoors Card
  • Recent utility bill required to verify current Waterloo Region address if no driver's licence is available.
  • People under 16 can provide school ID, bus pass and/or their parent can provide verification

 For further information, please contact 519-570-9777 ext. 8900.



Record checks for people living outside of Canada

The Waterloo Regional Police Service does not provide police record checks to people living outside of Canada. If you live out of the country, and need confirmation that you have no criminal record in Canada, you may obtain a copy of your Canadian Criminal Record through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Please visit the RCMP website for detailed instructions and costs.

Reconsideration Process for a Vulnerable Sector Check

The Waterloo Regional Police Service offers a Reconsideration Process to applicants who have received a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). This process is not available for the Criminal Record Check or the Criminal and Judicial Matters Check.

Request for Reconsideration

If you wish to request the removal or amendment of information listed on your police record check you may apply as follows:

  • The applicant shall complete the Reconsideration Request form available online and at the Police Reporting Centre at 150 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge.
  • The reconsideration request must state the specific reason(s) why the Waterloo Regional Police Service should reconsider its decision to include information relating to non-conviction dispositions.
  • Convictions are not able to be reconsidered.
  • A maximum of five pages of supporting documentation may be included with your request.
  • No oral representations or hearings will take place.
  • The applicant must submit the request form with a $30 application fee + HST = $33.90 payable by cash, debit or certified cheque.
  • The fee is not refundable
  • The completed request form, supporting documentation and the fee may be dropped off at the Police Reporting Centre or mailed to:

Record Check Reconsideration

Waterloo Regional Police Service

150 Maple Grove Road

Cambridge, Ontario N3H 5M1

  • Requests for reconsideration must be made in writing within 35 days of the completion of the applicant’s Police Record Check.

A: Reconsideration Process

The following will, if applicable, be considered in the reconsideration process:

  1. The applicant’s written submission and supporting documentation:
  2. Whether the information meets the criteria for release as outlined on the CRC, CJMC, VSC forms or the OACP Guideline for Police Record Checks;
  3. Nature and circumstances of the incident based on both the applicant’s submission and police/Crown notes;
  4. Date of incident and length of time that has passed;
  5. The age of the applicant at the time of the incident;
  6. Police records, investigating officer input and Crown input;
  7. All entries in the applicant’s criminal record file and the nature of these entries;
  8. Whether occurrences or police contacts show a pattern of behaviour (i.e., domestic disputes, threats of violence, assaults, sexual or predatory behaviour, etc.);
  9. Whether the requester continues to present a substantial risk to the community;
  10. Any other relevant information.

B: Criminal Dispositions

If you have concerns regarding criminal dispositions that have been included on your Police Record Check, refer to our brochure File Closure of Fingerprints and Dispositions. Criminal convictions cannot be reconsidered in this process.

C: Copies of Police Reports

There may be times when obtaining a copy of a police report will assist you in recalling the event or in presenting the information on your Police Record Check to your employer. If you need to obtain a copy of a police report, submit an Access/Correction Request.

D: Approved Reconsideration

Once the application is received it will be reviewed by the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Reconsideration Panel within 30 days to determine if it meets the criteria for reconsideration. If approval to remove or amend the information in question is granted, the applicant will be contacted to pick up a new Police Record Check, at no additional cost. A letter confirming the Reconsideration Panel’s decision will be sent to the applicant.

E: Denied Reconsideration

If the Reconsideration Panel determines that all or part of the request should be denied, a letter of denial will be sent to the applicant. The letter will state why the request was denied unless stating the reason for denial would jeopardize an on-going or open investigation or intelligence gathering, potentially endanger a person or property, be contrary to a privilege or be against public policy (i.e., fall under public immunity privilege).

F: Extension of Timelines

If, in extenuating circumstances, the Waterloo Regional Police Service cannot meet the timelines indicated in this process, the applicant will be notified of the applicable extensions as required.

Record Suspension (Pardon)

If you have been free of criminal convictions for a period of time you may apply to the Parole Board of Canada for a record suspension (formerly Pardon Application). Learn more by visiting our Record Suspension or Pardon Application page.

Police Record Check Reform Act (PRCRA)

The PRCRA legislation passed on December 1, 2015 and will be enacted on November 1, 2018.  This legislation introduces legislation to ensure clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards to govern how police record checks (PRC) are conducted and disclosed in Ontario.

Overview of the PRCA

  1. Apply to all PRC provides in Ontario, when conducting the majority of the PRCs that are requested form them. (i.e., for employment, volunteering, licensing and other purposes).

  2. Standardize three types of PRCs that can be conducted (i.e. Criminal Record Checks, Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks).

  3. Limit and standardize the types of information authorized to be disclosed in each type of PRC.

  4. Require that an individual receive their PRC before being asked to consent to disclosure to a third party, such as an employer

    • After reviewing, the individual can provide the results directly to a third party, or consent to allow the PRC provider to release the results to the third party.

When and why are police record checks used?

  • A PRC may be required by law or organizational policy
  • A PRC may be a useful tool to help determine an individual’s suitability for certain types of opportunities (e.g., employment in a position responsible for working with vulnerable individuals)
  • PRCs are just one of the tools available, in addition to interviews, reference checks, verification of credentials/licences/certifications, and in some cases, more thorough background checks
  • Agencies can only require an applicant to apply for one of the  three types of PRCs and are not permitted to ask applicants to provide any additional police records

Types of Police Record Checks

The PRCRA identifies three standard types of PRCs:

  • Criminal Record Check,
  • Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check, and
  • Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)
  • The types of PRCs are differentiated based on the specific types of information authorized to be disclosed within each of them as outlined in the Act
  • Additionally, the VSC is intended to be used for a specific purpose: to screen individuals that work or volunteer in positions of trust and/or authority relative to vulnerable individuals (e.g., teachers and daycare workers, staff in long-term care and retirement homes, service providers working with individuals with disabilities)
  • In order to keep vulnerable persons safe, the PRCRA allows for the disclosure of the broadest  range of information in VSCs, including disclosure of record suspensions (formerly pardons) as authorized by the Minister of Public Safety and relevant non-conviction information as authorized by the PRCRA

Disclosure of Youth Records

This is one of the most significant changes to record checks in Ontario.  Youth records are only permitted to be disclosed in two circumstances:

  1. To the youth themselves, who is not permitted to further disclose Findings of Guilt and must remove any results from the record check before sharing with agencies [PRCRA 11] or
  2. To the Government of Canada or the government of a province or a municipality for purposes of employment or the performances of services, with or without remuneration [YCJA 119 (1)(o)]
What does this mean?

Only federal, provincial and municipal government agencies will receive youth records.

The PRCRA regulates how police services release Police Record Checks (PRC) containing youth records to applicants.  Up until now, police services have released a PRC containing youth records directly to the applicant who then provide the PRC to the organization or volunteer agency.  The federal and provincial government has found this approach to be contrary to the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). 

The only authorized release of a PRC containing youth records will be to a federal, provincial or municipal government.  Applicants can gain access to their own record through the Federal Access to Information process but this record is not a PRC and is not allowed to be shared with any other agency.

It is important to note the change for the community – police services will only provide PRC’s to applicants under the age of 18 for government positions.  This is because non-government agencies are not authorized to receive any results.  To require applicants to apply and pay for a PRC when no results will be released is not in the best interest of applicants, the police service and the community.

What does this mean?

Police services are unable to disclose whether or not there is a youth record.


All forms are being updated or created to look similar across the province and include:

  • All the changes from the PRCRA legislation and regulations
  • Consideration of how to respond and protect privacy


For questions or concerns, please contact Records Branch Supervisor, Angela Post at 519-570-9777, ext. 8807.

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