The UCIA or Uniform Conviction Information Act makes criminal records that have received convictions available to the public. The records are preserved and collected by the Illinois State Police or ISP and are made available to the community. The criminal records can serve as a background check on any individual to check their personal arrest records or to check on another person’s history. Currently the ISP provides two ways to obtain criminal records – fingerprint or non-fingerprint. To request for criminal records, the person requesting should use the forms provided by the ISP as each form has its own unique processing control number.

For those who use the “non-fingerprint conviction information request form”, the ISP will search the database based on the identification provided by the person requesting the information and thus may affect the results of the search. Processing fee for non-fingerprint costs $16; for checks not drawn in US banks, the cost is $30. On the other hand, for those who want a more accurate research, they might want to request for a fingerprint conviction report. The report will search the ISP fingerprint database criminal records. The payment costs about $20 for each record request and $50 is charged for checks not drawn from a US bank. All payments must be made payable through checks or money order and addressed to the ISP.

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.

In case those who request background checks on themselves find some inconsistencies with their records, they might request to view and challenge their records with the local enforcement agency. The agency will then process a fingerprint-based inquiry and would send the details to the person within 60 days. The person can view their file in the agency themselves and make corrections if necessary. There are no fees being charged by the ISP; however, the law enforcement agency might charge the person to cover the cost of the fingerprint.

To get a copy of one’s criminal records from the FBI, they can send a request to the FBI introducing themselves, their contact info as well as their own fingerprints. The cost of the request is $18 and payments made through money orders, credit cards or checks are accepted. The processing for the report will take about 8 to 10 weeks upon the receipt of 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.

Free Illinois Criminal Records possible? Yes and no. You can conduct Public Criminal Records Search but you must pay for their reports. It’s still better than nothing.