Criminal Record Check Information
The Council verifies the criminal record history of licensing applicants in order to provide appropriate consumer protection. Criminal record checks provide assurance to consumers that they are not at risk in their dealings with a real estate licensee.
If an applicant has a criminal record, it does not mean their application will be automatically refused. We will look carefully at the circumstances of the individual case and how the crime committed relates to the responsibilities of holding a real estate licence.
Am I required to provide a Criminal Record Check?
In order to protect consumers, the Council requires the following applicants to obtain an original local criminal record check and submit it with their application to the Council:
- First-time licence applicants
- Re-licence applicants (those who have been unlicensed for more than 90 days after licence expiry)
- Reinstatement licence applicants (those who have been unlicensed for more than 90 days within licence period)
- Director/officer or partner applicants who are not currently licenced or who have not been licensed or registered as a director/officer or partner under the Real Estate Services Act in the last 90 days
- Pre-screening applicants.
The Council may require a criminal record check from any licence applicant when the Council deems it appropriate.
How do I obtain a Criminal Record Check?
A local criminal record check must be completed by either the municipal police department or RCMP detachment where you live, or by a division of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.
Before you visit the police, RCMP or Commissionaires office, contact them to confirm their hours of operation, fees, and the methods of payment accepted.
Print and take with you the Open Letter to Police Agencies (included in the application form). This letter explains that you require a criminal record check for licensing purposes.
If the criminal record check has a section requiring you to authorize the disclosure of your personal information, enter “Real Estate Council of BC” in this section.
If you aware of a conviction, charge, or incident with the police on your record, please obtain your criminal record check from your local RCMP or police department. Commissionaires will mark your criminal record check as “Rejected,” which will not be accepted by the Council for licensing purposes.
What if I live outside BC?
Criminal record checks must be from Canada unless otherwise requested or approved by the Council.
- If you live in a province other than BC, follow the procedures above with the municipal police agency or RCMP detachment in your community, or a division of Commissionaires. The criminal record check must provide search results for both convictions and charges before the courts. A certified criminal record check obtained via fingerprints is not required. However, if you have a conviction that is not detailed on the criminal record check, you may be required to obtain a more detailed check. Contact the Council’s office if you have questions about obtaining a criminal record check in your province.
- If you have lived in a country other than Canada for a significant period within five years of the date of your application, you may be required to provide the Council with a criminal record check from that country.
When should the Criminal Record Check be completed?
Make sure your criminal record check is completed within 90 days of the date the Council receives your application. If the criminal record check is more than 90 days old, you will be required to have a new check completed before you can be licensed.
Will the Council accept a copy of a Criminal Record Check?
No. Only original documents will be accepted. The Council will not accept photocopies of criminal record checks.
Send your application and the original criminal record check to the Council office in one package via mail or courier. Do not email or fax your initial application, as the original criminal record check is required.
I have a criminal record. How do I obtain a Criminal Record Check to verify outstanding charges or convictions?
Depending on the RCMP detachment or police department that completes your criminal record check, details of offence(s) may or may not be included. If your criminal record check indicates that you may have a criminal record (conviction) and does not contain detailed information regarding your offence(s), the Council also requires an original Certified Criminal Record Check. This differs from a local criminal record check and you must be fingerprinted in order to obtain it.
The process for obtaining a Certified Criminal Record Check may vary between police agencies, so discuss the process with the detachment you are dealing with. You must submit both the local criminal record check and the Certified Criminal Record Check to the Council.
- Check with your local RCMP or police department well in advance of submitting your licence application as the process may take some time. The Certified Criminal Record Check must be dated within 90 days of the date the Council receives your application.
- If the search indicates that you may have a current charge against you, in addition to the original criminal record check you must also provide full details of the charge and include court documentation on your licence application form.
- If the search indicates a positive result, you must provide a written statement with details of the offence or incident, including court documentation if any.
- If you are aware of a conviction, charge, or incident with the police on your record, please obtain your criminal record check from your local RCMP or police department, not from a division of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires. Commissionaires will mark your criminal record check as “Rejected,” which will not be accepted by the Council for licensing purposes.