If you were arrested, fingerprinted, photographed, and charged with a crime in the city of Vancouver which resulted in a non-conviction finding in court, you can ask for the identification documents relating to your criminal record history be destroyed.

Non-conviction findings and waiting periods

There are varying waiting periods before the destruction process can begin:

Stay of proceedings one year
Dismissed three months
Acquitted three months
Not guilty three months
Withdrawn three months
Not criminally responsible five years*

*In addition, the following offences have a minimum waiting period of five years: high treason, potential terrorist activity, first and second degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated assaults, and sexually-based offences.

Convictions

PLEASE NOTE: If you have been convicted of an offence anywhere in Canada, you will need to apply for a record suspension. 

Contact the Parole Board of Canada at 1-800-874-2652 to get a record suspension application guide.

Destruction request process

Write us a letter, along with a money order, certified cheque, bank draft, or lawyer’s cheque in the amount of $65.10, payable to the City of Vancouver.

Your letter should include:

  • your full name (include your name when you were arrested if it has changed)
  • date of birth
  • current address
  • offence you were charged with (to the best of your recollection)
  • date of the offence (to the best of your recollection)
  • court disposition (to the best of your recollection)

The letter and fee can be mailed to:

Criminal Records Unit
Vancouver Police Department
3585 Graveley Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V5K 5J5

OR dropped off at one of our public service counters:

  • 2120 Cambie Street
    Open daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • 3585 Graveley Street
    Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    (closed on statutory holidays)

Each request is looked at on a case-by-case basis and can take up to six months. If your request is approved, we contact the RCMP Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services to request the destruction of your information in the national records.

You will receive a letter of confirmation when your records have been destroyed.

Please note: If you have non-convictions from other police agencies, separate requests will need to be sent to each agency.

What information will be destroyed?

  • all identification documents from your arrest, such as your fingerprints, photographs, and known offender record
  • your criminal record history in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database held at the RCMP National Repository for your Vancouver Police charges only

Information about the police incident(s) will remain in our local records, subject to retention schedules, and the results of the court proceedings will remain in the court’s database.

Please note that the incident and court information may be disclosed during a police information check process.

Denied Requests

We may deny your request for one of the following reasons:

  • You have a criminal conviction(s) – An application for a record suspension may be made to the Parole Board of Canada
  • The waiting period has not been met – You can re-apply once it has been satisfied
  • You have outstanding charge(s) before the courts
  • The offence did not happen in Vancouver – You must contact the agency where the offence happened
  • We do not have your fingerprints, photographs, or records of disposition in our files
  • There are compelling reasons in the public interest to refuse destruction

The RCMP Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services can also refuse a destruction request. For further information, please visit their website.

If your request is not granted, the processing fee will be returned to you, along with a letter advising of the reason for the denial.

There is no legislation in place that requires a police agency to destroy lawfully obtained identification documents.

Reconsideration Process

If you have been notified in writing that your request for destruction has been denied and the reason why, you have the right to ask for a review of this decision.

Send us a written reconsideration request, which should include any documentation needed to support your reason(s) why, like court transcripts.

Mail to:

Director, Information Management Section
Vancouver Police Department
3585 Graveley Street
Vancouver, BC
V5K 5J5

If further information is needed, please contact the supervisor in charge of the Criminal Records Unit at (604) 717-3039 or the Criminal Records Unit staff at (604) 717-3040.