It was in 1991 when the UCIA became a law in Illinois. The UCIA or Uniform Conviction Information Act allows the Illinois criminal records with conviction to be made into public property. This means that the records that were collected by the police department of Illinois are available for the public’s inspection. Criminal records checks or background checks are important as these can show the history of a person’s background and whether he or she has been arrested and for what case(s). The Illinois State Police or ISP currently has two forms that one can use to obtain the records – A Fingerprint Conviction Form and a Non-Fingerprint Form. Requests made through the ISP should be placed using these forms as each of the form has a different processing control number.
For those who will be requesting using the non-fingerprint conviction form, they should include all the pertinent details of the person whose records they are requesting. This is important, as the ISP will base their searches from the identification/details provided. The cost for the request is $16 for each name and $30 for checks not drawn in US banks. As most criminals would use different names or aliases, there might be times when there are no results shown. For a more reliable search, one can instead opt for a fingerprint request. The request will be conducted using the ISP fingerprint criminal database and cost is $20 and $50 for checks not drawn in the US. The ISP accepts money order, checks and credit card payment.
The ISP allows multiple requests; however, maiden names are treated separately. A single check is allowed to cover the cost of the multiple requests. It is important to double check the details of the request form before submitting as incomplete forms will not be processed and the fees will be forfeited.
For those who want to view and challenge their criminal records, they may do so by requesting their local law enforcement agency to initiate a fingerprint-based inquiry that would allow the person to access and review their own criminal record transcript. The ISP does not charge for the Access and Review or Record Challenge processing; however, the law enforcement agency or the correctional facilities may charge the person a fee to cover the cost of the request.
To obtain a copy from the FBI, one should send their request to the FBI office with a cover letter. The cover letter should include the person’s information such as contact number and fingerprint card as well as the $18 fee. The FBI accepts money order, credit card and check payments. The processing can take about 8 to 10 weeks after the FBI receives the request.
One can also obtain a criminal record from the local enforcement agency where the case was filed. The police have arrest records public searches that one can check for criminal or sex offenders. For a more expedient way of accessing criminal records, one can also do online records search. There are plenty of sites that do offer public search records free or for a small fee for complete reports.