Criminal Record Search
Anyone who applies for a liquor licence in British Columbia must agree to a criminal record search. This includes:
- sole proprietors
- all partners in a partnership (including silent and limited partners)
- four executive officers of a public corporation or society (such as the president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary),
- shareholders in a private corporation holding 10% or greater voting shares in the applicant company
- shareholders within a private holding company holding 10% or greater voting shares in the applicant company
Applicants who have applied for a liquor licence and consented to a criminal record search within the previous 12 months are exempt, unless requested to consent to another search by the General Manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
Criminal history records are maintained by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) in Ottawa. A criminal record search will show whether an applicant has been charged with and / or convicted of a criminal offence.
All liquor licence applicants must complete two forms:
Applicants living outside of Canada, refugees and permanent residents who have been in Canada for less than five years must also provide a statutory declaration - signed by a lawyer, Notary Public, or Commissioner for Taking Affidavits - stating that they have not been charged or convicted of a crime, or providing details of any past charges, discharges, convictions or sentences – download sample statutory declaration.
Permanent residents who have been in Canada less than five years must attach a copy of their “Record of Landing” (Form IMM 1000, Permanent Resident Card, or equivalent documentation) as provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada when they entered the country.
Applicants who have been charged, discharged, or convicted of a criminal offence inside or outside of Canada must attach a statutory declaration - signed by a lawyer, notary public or Commissioner for Taking Affidavits - providing details of any charges, discharges, past convictions or sentences – download sample statutory declaration.
See the How do I Apply page for each licence category to download necessary criminal record search consent forms:
As soon as we receive all the required documents, we will send them on to the RCMP Criminal Records Review Unit, in Victoria British Columbia. The Unit will check the person's name and birth date and other information against criminal records from across Canada, and report back to us with the final results.
If the search reveals no criminal record, we will continue with the application process.
If the search confirms the accuracy of the information provided on the statutory declaration, we will look carefully at the circumstances of the individual case to determine if the application process can continue.
If the RCMP are unable to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on the statutory declaration, we will ask the applicant to go to the local police or RCMP station to provide fingerprints. (The police may charge a fee for this service). Specially trained analysts will compare these fingerprints to the prints associated with the criminal record.
Even if the applicant does have a criminal record, it does not mean we will automatically turn down the application. We will look carefully at the circumstances of the individual case—the severity of the crime and when it was committed, for example, and what the applicant has done to change his or her behaviour since then—and how the type of crime committed relates to the responsibilities of holding a liquor licence.