What is Firearms Verification
and why would I want it?

The information on this page describes the situation prior to the Canadian Firearms Centre abandoning stringent data quality checks in the Canadian firearms registration system in the fall of 2001. To find out the current firearms verification requirements please see the RCMP site.

When a gun is permanently transfered from one person to another it is mandatory to have the firearm registered to the new owner. To complete a registration the authorities must match the gun's description to the RCMP's database of known firearm models (Firearms Reference Table). Until an adequate match is found, the firearm cannot be registered to the new owner and the transfer will be blocked. Given that there are tens of thousands of models and that many firearms don't have full model designations marked on them, identification can be a lengthy and frustrating process.

Verification is a quality-assurance measure for the Canadian Firearms Registration System (CFRS). Basically, verification involves a physical examination of a firearm by an approved verifier, to make sure that the description of the firearm is complete and accurate, thereby confirming that the registration information in the CFRS is reliable.

The verification on transfer of restricted and prohibited firearms began on December 1, 1998. The verification of non-restricted shotguns and rifles takes place only at the time of the first transfer of the firearm to a new owner after January 1, 2003, or if the firearm owner chooses to do so.

What does an approved verifier do?

Firearms verifiers are responsible for confirming that a firearms exists and ensuring the quality of data submitted to the Canadian Firearms Registration System. Verification involves the confirmation of key identifying features of a firearm, such as the make, the model, the cartridge the firearm is chambered for and the serial number. Verifiers will examine firearms and registration applications to ensure the accuracy of firearm descriptions contained on application forms.

Why will firearms owners want a verified registration certificate?

Starting on January 1, 2003, all firearms will have to be verified at transfer time before they are registered. By October 1, 1998, restricted firearms and prohibited firearms will require a verified registration certificate before they are transferred. Once the firearms are verified, a firearms owner should qualify for an automated transfer and authorization to transport, which will translate into fewer delays in processing of applications. Having your firearms verified before sending in your registration applications will eliminate hassles and delays in the registration process and in future transfers.