Criminal Record Check

NOTICE: Halifax Regional Police has implemented a number of precautionary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the wellbeing of our community. Check here for the latest information on temporary changes and/or alternate arrangements to access our non-emergency services.

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You can apply for a criminal record check from Halifax Regional Police online or in-person.

Regardless of the application method, all criminal record checks are completed by Halifax Regional Police and there’s no difference in the cost. Call Halifax Regional Police at 902.490.5016 if you have questions on criminal record checks or want to check on the status of your criminal record check.

Criminal record checks are usually processed in two to three business days.  A rush option where the record check is completed within 24 hours may be available for in-person applications depending upon service volumes.

If you require clearance to work in a vulnerable sector, allow one week for processing, two weeks if fingerprints are required.  

Fees for criminal record checks

In-person

Criminal record check: $50

Criminal record check for volunteer positions: $30 (Requires a memorandum of understanding between the volunteer organization and Halifax Regional Police.)  

Students who require a background check for their program of study: $30 (Proof of enrollment is required)

You can pay with cash, debit card or credit card (Visa, MasterCard) when you apply in-person. 

Online  

Criminal record check or vulnerable sector check: $50 + service fee + tax.

You must use a credit card to pay online.

How to apply for a criminal record check in-person  

You can apply in-person for a criminal record check Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following location:

You must present two pieces of identification (hard copies) with your current address. The address must be within Halifax Regional Municipality. Accepted identification includes:

  • Nova Scotia Driver’s License or Nova Scotia ID Card
  • and one other of:
    • health card
    • birth certificate
    • passport
    • social insurance number card  

If you are a new resident to the Halifax-area and you ID has your old address on it, you must bring some form of proof of residence, e.g. a tenant agreement.

The results of your criminal record check will be shared with you and then you can decide whether you want to share it with the organization requesting the check. Halifax Regional Police won’t share the results of the criminal record check without your consent.

How to apply for a criminal record check online

Before you apply online, make sure the organization requesting the record check will accept an electronic copy of the results. Some organizations may not accept online criminal record checks.

The online criminal record check process is convenient and easy:

  1. Set up an account with BackCheck.
  2. Choose the type of check you need, either a criminal record check or a vulnerable sector check. You’ll have to provide personal information and answer questions relating to your credit history to verify your identity.
  3. After a few days, view the results in your account. If you have requested a vulnerable sector check, Halifax Regional Police will email the results directly to you and you can share them with the organization requesting the check.
  4. If the organization has a Memorandum of Understanding with BackCheck, you can share the results electronically with the organization requesting the check. Results will not be shared without your consent.  

Your criminal record check will be completed by Halifax Regional Police. 

Do I need a criminal record check or a vulnerable sector check?  

Different employers or institutions require different types of background checks.

A criminal record check simply verifies whether or not you have a criminal record.

A vulnerable sector check is a special type of criminal record check required for situations where you will be in a position of trust or authority over children, the elderly, the disabled, or another vulnerable group.  

A vulnerable sector check involves a name-based search of the national repository of criminal convictions, a search of locally held convictions at Halifax Regional Police and a query of the pardoned sex-offender database. In some cases, you may be required to submit your fingerprints if there is a match based on either your name or a combination of your gender and date of birth to a pardoned sex offender record. Applicants with a potential match will be contacted by Halifax Regional Police and asked to come to Police Headquarters to have their fingerprints taken electronically. You can have your fingerprints taken Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m

Find out more about vulnerable sector checks from the RCMP.