How to get a police certificate – United States

If you need to give your fingerprints for a police certificate, this isn’t the same as giving your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) for an application.

Name of the document you need

Identity History Summary issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Applying for permanent residence

You must provide a police certificate when you apply for permanent residence in Canada.

How to apply

Answer the question below to find out how to get a police certificate from the United States.

Do you live in the United States now?

Yes, I live in the United States now.

There are 3 ways you can apply.

Apply online

You can request an Identity History Summary from the FBI online.

  1. Complete the online form
  2. Receive a confirmation email
  3. Get your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint form (FD-258) on standard white paper
  4. Mail your fingerprints and a copy of your confirmation email to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
  5. Pay your fees

It takes 3 to 5 business days for an electronic check. The FBI can send it to you by:

  • email through a secure link and personal identification number or
  • first-class mail via the U.S. Postal Service

Apply by mail

  1. Complete the Applicant Information Form from the FBI website
  2. Get your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint form (FD-258) on standard white paper stock
  3. Mail your application form, fingerprints card and payment to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division

You can pay the processing fee by credit card, certified cheque or money order, payable to the U.S. Treasury.

The FBI will send you a letter with the results of your record check. That letter will be your police certificate.

Send that letter and any attached documents to the Canadian immigration office processing your file.

The FBI may take longer than 60 days to process a mail-in request for a police certificate.

Apply via a channeler

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply to an FBI-approved channeler (a third party that helps deliver your information to the FBI). They will collect your application form, fingerprints and fee and give them to the FBI.

Once the FBI completes the background check, they’ll send the results to the channeler, who will then give you a record check letter. That letter is your police certificate.

Include the record check letter with your application and send us the complete package.

Contact information

FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attention: Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
U.S.A.
FBI website

Criminal Justice Information Services - List of approved channelers

No, I don’t live in the United States now.

There are 2 ways you can apply.

Apply online

You need to request an Identity History Summary from the FBI online.

  1. Complete the online form
  2. Receive a confirmation email
  3. Get your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint form (FD-258) on standard white paper stock
  4. Mail your fingerprints and a copy of your confirmation email to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
  5. Pay your fees

It takes 3 to 5 business days for an electronic check. The FBI can send it to you by:

  • email through a secure link and personal identification number or
  • first Class mail via the U.S. Postal Service

Apply by mail

  1. Complete the Applicant Information Form from the FBI website
  2. Get your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint form (FD-258) on standard white paper stock
  3. Mail your application form, fingerprints card and payment to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division

You can pay the processing fee by credit card, certified cheque or money order, payable to the U.S. Treasury.

The FBI will send you a letter with the results of your record check. That letter will be your police certificate. Send that letter and any attached documents to the immigration office processing your file.

The FBI may take longer than 60 days to process a mail-in request for a police certificate.

Contact information

FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attention: Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
U.S.A.
FBI website

Criminal Justice Information Services - List of approved channelers

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