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The Journey Project



A record suspension, or a pardon, allows people who have been convicted of a criminal offence and completed their sentence to have their criminal record removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This does not mean that the criminal record will be deleted. It only means that when someone searches for that person’s criminal record on the CPIC database, no criminal record will be found. It should also be noted that certain information may be made available if a Vulnerable Sector Check is conducted for that person, including if the person received a record suspension for sexual offences.

You do NOT need to apply for a record suspension if:

  • You have ONLY received an absolute or conditional discharge; OR
  • You were ONLY convicted in a youth court or youth justice court

We recommend consulting the Parole Board of Canada’s Record Suspension Guide to help determine if you are eligible for a record suspension. This guide is available online:

You may be eligible for a record suspension if:

  • You have completed ALL of your sentences, including all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution orders, compensation orders, sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, parole or statutory release, and all probation orders
  • You have completed the relevant waiting period for your situation (see below)

To determine the waiting period that applies to your situation, you need to first identify when you committed your first criminal offence (not the date you were sentenced) and also identify if you were convicted of a summary conviction or indictable offence.


If your first offence was committed on or before June 28, 2010:

  • Summary Offences: 3 year waiting period
  • Indictable Offences: 5 year waiting period

If your first offence was committed between June 29, 2010 and March 12, 2012:

  • Summary Offences: 3 year waiting period
  • Indictable Offences: 5 year waiting period

If you were convicted of a serious personal injury offence (as defined in section 752 of the Criminal Code) and received a prison sentence of 2 years or more OR if you were convicted of an indictable offence listed in Schedule I of the Criminal Records Act ( 10 year waiting period

If your first offence was committed on or after March 13, 2012:

  • Summary Offences: 5 year waiting period
  • Indictable Offences: 10 year waiting period

NOTE: If you were ONLY convicted of simple possession of cannabis, a different procedure for record suspension applies. Please consult with the Cannabis Record Suspension Guide on the Parole Board of Canada website here:

If you have been convicted of simple possession of cannabis and other criminal offences, a different procedure also applies. The conviction for simple possession of cannabis will not be counted as part of your waiting period and will not be considered by the Parole Board of Canada in its assessment. You are also still eligible to apply even if you did not pay all of the fines or surcharges related to the simple possession of cannabis conviction (but only for this specific offence).

The Parole Board of Canada will decide, based on your application, whether you have shown good conduct since completing your sentence. Record suspensions will be given to applicants who can prove that they would benefit from obtaining a record suspension and would not go on to commit further offences. The Board will consider the nature, circumstances, and seriousness of the offence committed when determining whether to grant a record suspension.

The application process for a record suspension is long and detailed. The John Howard Society can help you navigate the system. They can be reached at (709) 726-5500. Below is a list of the steps you will have to take to obtain a record suspension.

  1. Get a copy of your Criminal Record from the RCMP and, if required, your Proof of Conviction documents. To do this, you will first need to submit your fingerprints electronically. Fingerprints can be taken at some local police departments and several private agencies. To find out more about this process, call 613-998-6362.
  2. You must fill in the Court Information Form and get court information for each of your convictions. This includes proof of payment for any fines, victim surcharges, restitution, and compensation. This must also include the method of trial for each conviction (summary conviction or indictable). If you were sentenced in more than one Court, you must contact each Court and have them fill in this form.
  3. Obtain a record check from the local police department in your current municipality, as well as in every municipality in which you have lived for more than three months over the last five years. Make sure to fill out the Local Police Records Check Form.
  4. If you were a member of the Canadian Forces, you must get a certified, signed and dated copy of your Military Conduct Sheet.
  5. If you were not born in Canada, you must obtain proof of citizenship or immigration documents.
  6. Photocopy a government-issued ID.
  7. If you have been convicted of a Schedule 1 offence, fill out the Schedule 1 Exception Form.
  8. Fill in all questions on the Record Suspension Application Form.
  9. Complete all sections of the Measurable Benefit/Sustained Rehabilitation Form. Mail in all relevant documents listed above, along with a $50.00 fee to submit the application. (Note: the fee to apply for a record suspension changed as of January 1, 2022)

If you need assistance completing any of the above steps, you can contact the Parole Board of Canada at 1-800-874-2652.

Criminal Law