An Illinois criminal background check contains information regarding an individual’s criminal history but, for the general public, is limited to convictions. Other infractions, such as arrests without conviction, are information disseminated exclusively to law enforcement agencies or those with an agreement with the Illinois State Police (ISP). The Uniform Conviction Information Act (UCIA) of 1991 states that all criminal conviction information be available to the public, maintained by the ISP. The best way for individuals and employers to conduct a criminal background check in Illinois is to visit the ISP website and order the appropriate request forms. A name-based criminal background check form is also made possible through the Criminal History Information Response Process (CHIRP) online database. This method of obtaining criminal records is less accurate and, unfortunately, a cumbersome process that involves specific system requirements.

Cost – $16 (name-based form); $20 (fingerprint-based form)

Laws20 ILCS 2635

Step 1 – Background Check Authorization Form

Due to the unconstrained nature of Illinois criminal records information, it is not necessary for employers to ask applicants to submit a consent form. However, if an employer uses a CRA to perform a complete background check on a prospective employee, the employer should request that the applicant sign a Background Check Authorization Form.

Step 2 – Order Forms

ISP does not supply criminal record request forms directly online. Instead, interested parties can order the necessary forms by U.S. mail using the ISP website. The following information must be entered in order to receive the request forms:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Street address
  • Apt/POB
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Country

Next, enter the desired number of “Non-Fingerprint Request Forms” and/or “Fingerprint Request Forms” by entering a number into the “Qty” field. Click Submit Forms Request.

Criminal History Information Response Process (CHIRP)

Criminal records can be requested through a name-based search through the CHIRP web portal. Navigate to the ISP criminal history background check page and click on the CHIRP link under the first subsection.

Only certain web browsers with the appropriate system requirements and specific java versions will be able to connect to the CHIRP web portal. A “Digital ID” must be obtained before performing a criminal background check.