Voluntary Autism Registry Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Voluntary Autism Registry?

The Voluntary Registry for People with Autism is a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary 2015-2016 pilot project in the St. John’s Metro Area in partnership with Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador. The online registry promotes communication and gives police quick access to critical information about a registered person with autism. The Registry can provide police with emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptions, known routines, favourite attractions or special needs of the individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This information can assist officers in communicating with, attending a residence of or dealing with an emergency involving an individual with ASD.

Is the Registry restricted to those who fall within the Autism Spectrum? In St. John’s Metro Area?

This pilot project has been spearheaded by Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador (ASNL).  Although registrations are limited to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the registry has been developed with the intention to expand into other jurisdictions served by Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police officers.  However, this expansion will only be considered upon completion of a formalized evaluation after the pilot year, 2015-2016.

If I don’t live in the St. John’s Metro Area, can I still register my child/dependent adult on the registry anyway?

If you do not live in St. John’s Metro but your child/dependent adult comes to St. John’s Metro on a regular basis. (i.e. for school, daycare, etc.), then you should register.  If the registrant is not in St. John’s Metro regularly, there would be almost no benefit to registering. Other RNC policing jurisdictions and RCMP policing jurisdictions will not have access to the registry, so if you are reporting an incident in another jurisdiction, it will be quicker and safer to go through their process for taking reports.

As soon as I send the registration, will the information be immediately available in case police response is required?

No.  The registration form and picture will need to be entered into the policing system in order to capture all relevant information.  It is hoped that this process will be quick but it may take up to thirty days to be fully processed.  You will receive a confirmation with a “Flag Number” for your future reference for updates, renewals, calls for service, etc.

After I receive my confirmation “Flag Number” will I need to quote this number when I call the police?

You will need to have this “Flag Number” to update the registration on an annual basis, or to make any changes as they become relevant.

During high stress situations, there is no expectation that you remember the number, but merely that the individual has been registered.  The RNC will be able to verify the information using the person’s name once they have been advised of the registration.

Who has access to my child’s profile?

RNC police personnel who require this information in the performance of their duties will have access to the information.  There are strict regulations with respect to accessing and disseminating information. There is a Police Information Portal (P.I.P.) that is shared by all police agencies; however, consent of the individual involved, or their parent/guardian, is required before any information is shared among police agencies through this portal. 

Can I update my profile more than every year if there are changes? How do I do that?

You may, however, only information that has a significant impact on policing response will be necessary.  Some examples would include a change in address, school, or emergency contact.  You do not need to report a change in hair cut or colour, for example, as the police are familiar with the changes that can be made and are more likely to notice height, weight and eye colour.   You can send changes to autismregistry@autism.nf.net

Will I be notified when the annual renewal is required?

The renewals are the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian or adult with ASD.  It is recommended that you renew the registration during the month of the registrant’s birthday.

After my child/dependent adult or an independent adult is registered, and if there is an incident, is there a need to do something to notify the police?

It is preferable that you let the police know that you or the child/independent adult is already registered.  In doing so, the information will be immediately disseminated to the vehicles without having to ask the parents during a high stress situation.

How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?

If the individual goes missing and is reported by the parent/guardian, information about his/her physical appearance, the most likely places where s/he would go to, as well as triggers, stimulants, and de-escalation techniques will be sent to every police officer in the area to look for the missing person.

If the individual has not been reported and is incapable of effectively communicating his/her name to an officer, a computer check of the neighbourhood, coupled with the physical appearance, may allow us to identify the individual more quickly.  This will then allow us to use the contact information to connect with the parents/guardians.

What guarantees do we have that the interaction between our child/dependent adult and the police will be positive once he/she is registered?

There is no guarantee with this registry of positive outcome. What the registry does allow is the ability for patrol officers to have necessary information faster to begin searching. Also, if an officer comes across a “wandering” child who is unable to communicate, the officer, if they recognize the condition, can have the database queried for persons on the registry that live in the area.

What is important to stress is that simply having a person registered with the registry is not going to change police responses in every instance involving an individual with ASD.   Police will act according to procedure depending on circumstances. An individual with ASD can still be arrested.  In that case, being registered will assist police in contacting the correct people.

How can a Registrant be deleted from this Voluntary Autism Registry?

The Registrant’s personal information will be kept on file and not removed unless requested by the person who submitted the form. To have the information removed, you will have to complete and submit the “Autism Registry Withdrawal Form” (on website), along with your “Flag Number” to autismregistry@autism.nf.net 

How do I contact Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador?

Autism Society, Newfoundland Labrador
70 Clinch Crescent, Box 14078
St. John’s, NL A1B 4G8

Tel:   709-722-2803
Fax:  709-722-4926


Please note: If dropping registrations at the office, it closes at 4:00 p.m. daily. If having a picture taken at the office, the only times that can happen is between 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. on Mondays when the office is not closed to observe holidays.

Click here to register