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 three business days if you apply online, or 10 business days if you apply in person. If you require clearance to work in a vulnerable sector, allow two weeks for processing.
Fees for criminal record checks
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
You must use a credit card to pay online. In-person, you can pay with cash, debit card or credit card (Visa, MasterCard).
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.
The online criminal record check process is convenient and easy:
- Set up an account with BackCheck.
- 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.
- 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.
- Share the results electronically with the organization requesting the check by selecting their name from a drop-down list (much like adding a bill to pay through your online bank account), if you choose. Results will not be shared without your consent.
Your criminal record check will be completed by Halifax Regional Police.
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 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:
You must present two pieces of identification with your current address. The address must be within Halifax, Dartmouth, or the communities extending from Bedford to the Sambro Loop. Accepted identification includes:
- Nova Scotia Driver’s License or Nova Scotia ID Card
- and one other of:
- health card
- birth certificate
- social insurance number card
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.
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 4:30 p.m.
Find out more about vulnerable sector checks from the RCMP.