According to the Uniform Conviction Information Act (UCIA) of 1991, all criminal record convictions are public records. The Illinois State Police, Bureau of Identification collects and maintains all criminal history information and disseminates it to the general public upon request. Visitors can use their Criminal History Information Response Process (CHIRP) web portal to perform name-based searches for individuals. Users must request an ID and account before using the system, and each search will be fee-based. The state also provides an Illinois fingerprint background check using fingerprint data through the LiveScan system and approved vendors. Their website offers a very helpful guide to instruct agencies and individuals how to use the system.
Under 20 ILCS 2635/1 et seq., an official Illinois background check will only show conviction information. The information may include arrests, warrants, felonies, misdemeanors, sex offenses, traffic violations, incarcerations, probation and parole information. Other information provided is personal details that cover things like name, address, aliases, physical description, state, and federal ID numbers and additional information. For out of state agencies and users, they have a mail-in form they can use to obtain a report. Employers looking for a complete Illinois state background check will have to also contact the DMV for driving records, schools for education transcripts and other companies or agencies for work history and additional information.
Some of the reasons to use a background report on someone in the state are tenant screening before renting property to them, for the purchase of insurance or obtaining credit, and for employment. Other reasons include government licensing or certification, getting a gun permit, before applying to the military or for school and security clearances.
Informal background checks compile a lot of information from public and private sources. Some purposes for these reports are to find contact information for someone you need to connect with, before doing business with a stranger, to check someone out before dating them, or looking up information on a neighbor or new friend. The information you can review will include:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
A report from a criminal background in Illinois contain an individual’s entire criminal history. The law allows any criminal activity that resulted in a conviction to be included in the report. Things like arrests, warrants, convictions, felonies, misdemeanors, and court dispositions will be on there. Other items such as arrests that did not result in a conviction or police reports and complaints will not be included. Only criminal convictions are included in an official Illinois criminal background check from the State Police.
The state is a point of contact, and therefore gun dealers must contact the Department of State Police (“DSP”) for a full background check before transferring any firearms to potential buyers. The DSP does contact the FBI and use NICS as part of their process. The DSP will approve or deny each request within 24 hours for long guns and 72 hours for handguns. Private sales are not subject to a background check, but the seller must ask for and review the buyer’s Firearm Owner’s Identification card. So far this year, IL has processed 1,601,087 background checks for the purchase of guns in the state.
On average 2,831,447 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
IL is a public record state, and per their Uniform Conviction Information Act (UCIA), they allow the general public access to criminal history records. Therefore, the Illinois background check laws governing how it can be used most often pertains to employment.
Employers are not legally able to ask about someone’s criminal history until after they have determined if they are qualified for the job and scheduled for an interview. Additionally, employers are subject to two federal laws protecting applicants, and they are The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both stipulate how a background report can be used and what is prohibited during pre-hiring screening.
According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, when using sites like InfoTracer to obtain a background report, the information cannot legally be used to determine credit, employment, tenant screening or any other eligibility requirements for business or professional use.
In 2017, there have been 392 victims of online romance scams in Illinois, resulting in $4.5 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||1,302||4,305,734|
|30 - 39||1,540||5,531,285|
|40 - 49||1,567||8,166,562|
|50 - 59||1,249||8,585,753|