Operational Bulletins 116 – June 4, 2009

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Real Time Identification (RTID) Project / Digital Fingerprinting

This operational bulletin (OB) replaces the previously issued OB 069 dated July 21, 2008.


CIC inland offices which currently send clients to obtain fingerprints are now required to request that the electronic or digital method of fingerprinting be used rather than the traditional ink and roll method. CIC should be directing clients to one of the service providers indicated below. At this time only inland clients are affected.

Real Time Identification (RTID) is an RCMP project designed to improve the search, classification, and maintenance of fingerprints in Canada’s national fingerprint and criminal record repository. RTID will allow electronic submission of fingerprints and of disposition information from other police agencies. RTID will increase the efficiency and accuracy of fingerprint based criminal record checks. More information can be found on the RCMP website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/rtid-itr/index-eng.htm.

RTID will eventually replace independent legacy systems with this integrated solution to identification. In areas of Canada which are not yet equipped with the scanning technology required for RTID, the RCMP are digitizing all ink and roll prints once they are received in order that these prints may be processed electronically. While there is a preference to receive electronic submissions, there is no intention by the RCMP to stop providing a response to paper submissions. Any paper submissions will be dealt with on a “best effort basis”. There are no service level agreements for paper.

RTID is not intended to replace Livescan where it is available and accessible.


Implementation date for RTID fingerprints was July 14th, 2008. In-Canada clients are required to take the fingerprint letter to the service provider (see Appendix A for sample letter).The service provider then transmits the fingerprints electronically to the RCMP, and the RCMP reports back directly to the requesting CIC office.

Service providers

  • ClearNeed – Local offices are changing and being added constantly. For a provider near you, see their website at www.clearneed.com
  • Comnetix International Fingerprinting Services Canada – Local offices are changing and being added constantly. For a provider near you, see their website at www.fingerprinting.ca and follow the links.
  • Commissionaires – Local offices are changing and being added constantly. For a provider near you, see their website at www.commissionaires.ca or call their toll free number 1-877-322-6777.

RCMP feedback

The RCMP has a service level agreement with the Treasury Board Secretariat as follows:

Civil (Criminal) Submission (No Hit) – 72 hours

Criminal Submission with Added Charge (Urgent Priority) – 2 hours (for search)

Criminal Records Inquiries – 2 hours

Refugee Submission (Urgent Priority) – 2 hours

Latent Submission – 24 hours

The 72 hours No Hit for a criminal enquiry is calculated from the time the electronic submission is received to the time the results are mailed out. If a query hits to a criminal record, it must be reviewed by an analyst, which may add to the time frames as outlined above.

Appendix A

The fingerprint letter must include the following typed information:

  • application type (immigration);
  • applicant’s full name;
  • date of birth;
  • sex;
  • address;
  • FOSS number;
  • CIC file number and address for reply from RCMP.

The following paragraphs are suggested to encourage compliance with the new method. This text will replace the former text used in letters requesting supplementary information:

As part of the application process, you are required to provide a set of your fingerprints. The following are two service providers which offer digital fingerprinting services:

It is recommended that you call ahead and make an appointment. There is a fee associated with this service. The agency will submit your fingerprints electronically to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for verification.

If you live in an area where digital fingerprinting is not available, it is recommended that you telephone your local police service to ascertain their policy regarding the production of fingerprints. Please note that a fee may also apply for this service. Please submit your original set of prints to this office as soon as possible.

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