The following excerpt is taken from the RCMP website.

“Wait times for Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector (VS) checks vary depending on many different factors such as:

  • The format of application received: paper or electronic
  • The number of applications received at different times of the year
  • The amount of manual processing related to your application”

The chart below details the approximate wait times for fingerprint submissions to the RCMP. When no match is found on an existing fingerprint record, electronic submissions are very fast. If there is a match to a record in the RCMP database, or if for one reason or another your fingerprints need to be processed manually, the processing time could be up to 120 days or longer.

wait times legal documents rcmp

An email reply from CCRTIS to Impact Pardons for an update regarding a digital finger


printing submission received 23 February, 2016, reads as follows:

“CFSS processes more than 30,000 criminal record searches each month. The processing times for applications will vary depending on whether or not an individual’s fingerprints can be associated to a criminal holding maintained by the RCMP. For those that are associated and or a manual review must take place, the process can take up to or in excess of one hundred and twenty (120) working days. For those that are not associated the processing time is significantly less.”

If there is no match to a fingerprint record in the RCMP database, the turnaround time is still 72 hours to get a letter in the mail. Then it’s up to Canada Post.

For those who do have a criminal record, did you notice the different processing time in the RCMP email message? The website indicates the wait time to be 120 days or more, but the email we received reads: “… can take up to or in excess of one hundred and twenty (120) working days.”

‘Days’ and ‘working days’ are two very different numbers. The email effectively extends the wait time a further 5 to 7 weeks. It’s probably best not to expect results before 7 to 8 months has passed.

The RCMP work hard to get it right and get their product out in a timely fashion. With the Canada Post strike pending (or now in progress) let’s consider an 8 to 9 month time frame and be pleasantly surprised when results are returned in 170 days.

Impact Pardons thought you, our loyal readers, would want to know.