To seal a criminal record you need to make an application to the Parole Board of Canada. Often, when people ask about sealing their criminal record, they are concerned that a past infraction will prevent them from obtaining security clearance, employment or housing. A Record Suspension means the criminal record is removed from police databases.

However, in some cases, criminal records may be sealed without an application. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is responsible for sealing records in accordance with the Criminal Records Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act, and by request from government officials. In the case of youth offences, records are normally sealed within a prescribed period of time and under certain conditions.

Youth offences result in an open record that lasts anywhere from two months to five years, depending on the charges and the outcome. If an adult over the age of 18 commits another offence while the youth record is still open, that youth record becomes part of the individual’s adult record. In order seal this criminal record and have it removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database, the person will have to ask for a pardon.

For your peace of mind, and to prevent any unexpected barriers to travel, employment or volunteer work, it’s good to know whether your criminal records are sealed. You can get assistance with this process and move on to a productive life.