Government of Nova
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Why do I need to be fingerprinted?

The purpose of taking fingerprints as part of the Legal Change of name process is to prevent convicted criminals from hiding from their criminal record by legally changing their name.  

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Who needs to be fingerprinted?

Anyone 12 or over whose name is to be changed as part of a legal change of name application must be fingerprinted as part of a change of name application. Children under the age of 12 are exempted from the requirement for fingerprinting.

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Why 12 - 18 year olds?

  • Members of this age group may have criminal records and fingerprinting would link to their new name supporting the true intent of the legislation;
  • Most kids do not have records and since the fingerprints are not used for crime solving and are destroyed after the match is done, this does not create a new database;
  • RCMP supports this option.

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Where can I go to get my fingerprints taken and submitted?

Fingerprints can be taken and submitted at any Canadian policing agency and at the Commissionaires Nova Scotia, Halifax Id Service, 1505 Barrington Street (Aliant Bell Building). 

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Will this slow down the Change of Name process?

When fingerprints are submitted electronically, the delay associated with having fingerprints taken should be minimal if any.

Applicants may proceed to have their fingerprints taken as soon as they have received the information package from Vital Statistics.  The turnaround time for receipt of fingerprints using the electronic fingerprinting technology at policing agencies and commissionaires (Live Scan) is 7 - 10 business days. Applicants may proceed during this time to complete the form and have any necessary consent forms completed and properly witnessed.  Note: if wet ink fingerprints are taken, RCMP have advised that the turnaround time will be much longer (could be up to 120 days).

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Where do my fingerprints go and who gets notified of the record search?

Fingerprints are transmitted electronically from the authorized agent directly to the RCMP office in Ottawa responsible for criminal records.  They match the fingerprints with their database.  If they find a match, they attach the new name to the criminal record and then destroy the fingerprints.  If there is no match, they destroy the fingerprints.

Direct notification that they have received the fingerprints for individuals age 19 years and older is sent to Vital Statistics.

Confirmation that fingerprints have been received from 12 - 18 year olds are sent directly to the person whose name is to be changed.  This confirmation must be submitted to Vital Statistics as part of the application process.

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How much will it cost?

The fee for fingerprinting is set by the authorized agents.  Generally speaking it would be between $50 and $75. 

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What are my fingerprints used for?

The intent is to use fingerprints to match new names to convicted criminals to prevent people using the change of name process to hide from their criminal record.

These fingerprints cannot be used for any other investigative or law enforcement purpose.

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Is there any way to have the requirement for fingerprinting waived?

No.  There is no provision for this requirement to be waived. 

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