Fingerprints: Why do I need to get them?

Many people are surprised to learn that they need to get their fingerprints taken again when they apply for a Record Suspension or US Entry Waiver. However, the government has a good reason for asking for this step.

Fingerprints help ensure that the government is releasing the right record to the right person. There are many cases where people with similar names can be confused with others. In this case, it would be a privacy breach if someone received another person’s record by accident. This could happen if someone had a common name. A fingerprint check can prevent this from happening.

A second issue is that your name isn’t necessarily forever. Many people change their names or adopt a spouse’s name. Having fingerprints helps the RCMP identify the right person in their database.

The problem with this requirement is that it can add some time to your application.

Getting your fingerprints taken

Man reaching toward cameraIn most cases getting a copy of your fingerprints will be the first step in obtaining your Record Suspension or US Entry Waiver.

In order to get your fingerprints taken, you can go to a local police station or a certified fingerprinting agency. In many cases you will need to make an appointment. Some services will assist you on a walk-in basis. If you are not sure, give them a call or check their website. When you do your Record Suspension or US Entry Waiver through AllCleared, we will provide you with a list of recommended services.

These days, you should get electronic fingerprints taken unless it’s simply not available where you live. This will speed up the time it takes for the RCMP to dig up your record. You should let the police station or agency know which application you are making. Many services will forward your prints directly to the RCMP.

What happens next?

Black agenda, paperclipsMost services will submit your request to the RCMP and then wait for your Certified Criminal Record to come back. They’ll tell you that there’s nothing they can do until this document arrives. With AllCleared, we’ll be able to start on the next phase, police and court checks, while we are waiting for your certified RCMP record to arrive. We are able to start sooner because of our police partnerships.

If you are renewing a US Entry Waiver you can use the same set of fingerprints if they are less than 15 months old.

If you are ready to apply for a Record Suspension or US Entry Waiver, contact us to find out how we can help you with the steps, including getting your fingerprints, at 1-866-972-7366.

US Waiver Checklist

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