What are Record Suspensions? (Only Applies to Adult Records)
Record Suspension’s (previously known as pardons) allow people with a criminal record to have it set aside, please note it doesn’t erase a convicted offence and only applies to adult records. A person’s criminal record is removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database as this helps a person access employment, volunteer, and educational opportunities, and it allows people to reintegrate into society. The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency responsible for ordering, refusing to order, and revoking record suspensions under the Criminal Records Act (CRA). The CRA applies only to records kept by federal organizations, but most provincial and municipal criminal justice agencies also restrict access to their records once they are told that a record suspension has been ordered by PBC.
To apply for a record suspension, you have to complete all of your sentence(s) this includes imprisonment, any probation orders, payment of any fines, costs, surcharges, compensation orders, and/or restitution.
After completing your sentence(s) you must wait a set number of years based on the date when you committed your first offence before applying for a record suspension. For example, if you committed your first offence on or after March 13, 2021, the waiting period is 10 years for an offence that was prosecuted by indictment or 5 years for an offence that is punishable by summary conviction.
You can apply for a record suspension on your own by getting an application guide. To do this call the PBC’s toll free number at 1-800-874-2652, check out the PBC website or visit a regional PBC office.