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Common Questions

How do I apply for a pardon (record suspension)?

Last reviewed by the Clicklaw Editors in December 2017

A record suspension (formerly a pardon) allows people with a criminal record to have it set aside. This helps them access employment and educational opportunities and to reintegrate into society.

A record suspension removes a person's criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This means that a search of CPIC will not show that you have a criminal record or a record suspension. 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.

If you have a criminal record, and you have finished serving your sentence(s) (penalty) and have followed the applicable waiting period, you can apply for a record suspension.

Good starting points include:

See our related common questions:

pardon, criminal records, application forms, record suspension