FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, is a federal government body that collects and analyzes financial information and intelligence on suspected money laundering and terrorist activities financing. FINTRAC legislation requires Canadian real estate professionals to fill out a Client Identification form for every client with whom they conduct any kind of financial transaction, no matter the amount. This form contains your full legal name, address, occupation and date of birth. Your real estate professional will also ask you for a piece of original photo identification (i.e. driver’s license) and will record the type of ID, its number, issuing jurisdiction and date of expiry on the Client Identification form.

Real estate brokerages are required to secure all personal information within their office in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Your information is locked up and inaccessible to the public in any way. FINTRAC requires brokerages to keep client information on file for five years.

These requirements may seem onerous, but they make it more difficult for persons involved in money laundering or terrorist operations to use real estate as a shelter or front for the proceeds of crime.

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