Fact Sheet: Working in Transportation with a Criminal Record2018-10-01T21:59:34+00:00

Fact sheet: Working in transportation and shipping with a criminal record

How are criminal records controlled?

FBI: Maintains the national police records database in the United States

U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9: Outlines visa and waiver requirements for visitors and immigrants to the United States, including waiver of inadmissibility for a criminal record

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Government agency that makes decisions on who can enter the United States

RCMP Real Time Identification system (RTID): System used to search criminal records in the national database

Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC): Canada’s national police database, which contains records of all convictions in Canada. Pardoned or suspended records and spent discharges are kept apart from active records.

Criminal Records Act: Law that applies to criminal records and Record Suspensions in Canada

Criminal Code of Canada: Foreign nationals with records are judged at the border on the equivalent offence in the Criminal Code of Canada. If an equivalent offence exists and is not strictly summary, they will be denied entry.

RCMP: Canada’s national police force is responsible for maintaining CPIC

C-10: Bill that changed the name of pardons to Record Suspensions and made them harder to obtain.

Parole Board of Canada: Responsible for administering the Record Suspension program in Canada. A Record Suspension can help someone travel to countries other than the United States.

What applications are available?

Record Suspension: Seals a criminal record in the national police database (CPIC), so that workers can present a clean background check in most cases when applying for jobs. The process involves a waiting period of five or 10 years, an application process and a fee of $631.

US Entry Waiver: A temporary waiver that allows Canadians who would otherwise be inadmissible based on their criminal record to enter the United States. This waiver is issued for up to five years.

I-192: The main form used to apply for a US Entry Waiver

Temporary Resident Permit: A permit that allows people with a record to enter Canada for a specific reason

Criminal Rehabilitation: An application for rehabilitation that allows a person with a criminal record to enter Canada as long as there are no other offences. One can apply five years after the sentence is over.

Deemed Rehabilitation: After 10 years, most offences will be eligible for deemed rehabilitation, which means a person is no longer ineligible to enter Canada. A person with a criminal offence that would carry a maximum sentence of more than 10 years is not eligible for deemed rehabilitation and must apply for rehabilitation.

Nexus Card: Preclearance card that makes it faster to cross the Canada / US border.


Ontario Truck Driving School: A leading training institute which has partnered with AllCleared to help students with records get cleared so that they can start a career in the transportation industry.

FAST Card: Free and Secure Trade Card, which allows people in the transportation industry to cross the border faster due to an agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. A criminal record may prevent someone from obtaining a FAST card.

Conference Board of Canada: This business research group projected a major shortage of willing and able truck drivers in Canada. By 2020 it is estimating that there could be a need for up to 33,000 new drivers.

Cruise lines

Carnival Cruise Lines: States that background checks are conducted on all US residents and non-US employees are expected to present a certified criminal record check from their home country.

U.S. State Department: Overseas the issuance of seaman’s visas to foreign nationals sailing into US ports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Runs checks on ship manifests, which include all crew members. Has access to Canada’s national database of criminal records (CPIC).

Shipping Industry

Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program (MTSCP): Requires background checks on workers who perform certain duties or who have access to certain restricted areas in Canada’s ports and marine facilities.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC): Issued by the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), this application requires fingerprints and will not be issued to persons with certain types of criminal records. It is required for working on a US container ship.

Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC): Issued by the US Coast Guard, this is a photo ID, that lists credentials and allows a person to work on a US container ship. It also requires a background check. People with criminal records will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


E-RAILSAFE program:  Association of American Railroads’ criminal record check system, which has been adopted by seven major railroads, including CN. All contractors, vendors and their employees must pass a background check.


FAA Security Regulations: Requires a criminal record check for positions that require unescorted access to secure areas, if triggered by discrepancies in the person’s background check. Employment would be denied for certain disqualifying convictions, which are generally serious crimes or crimes involving interference with aircraft or air safety.

Transportation Security Clearance Program (TSCP): Canadian security clearance for individuals who require access to restricted areas of an airport. This requires a criminal record check.

Other resources:

John Howard Society