Illinois Public Records

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About Illinois Open Public Record

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act, or the FOIA, was first enacted in 1984 and is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt. Illinois is comprised of 102 counties. Illinois has 4,888 populated places including cities, towns and villages. Illinois has more units of local government than any other state, over 8,000 in all. The reason Illinois has so many units of government is because so many single purpose governmental entities have been created. The Uniform Conviction Information Act, UCIA. was enacted in 1991. This law makes all criminal history record convictions public information. Illinois State Police (ISP) manages the central repository for criminal history record information, CHRI in Illinois. Search for Illinois public records using the most up to date online resource. Uncover links to all Illinois state, county and city municipalities along with each area's public records and services. Read about crime statistics, census data and area demographics. Find useful links to Illinois birth, court and criminal records. View recent crime reports and current news. Request criminal records from law enforcement agencies. Research vital statistics, resident background information, business statistics, employment and income data. Uncover current real estate information, property and land values. Access any open public record in Illinois within this directory. New resources and updated often to keep you well informed.
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Illinois Free Public Records Directory


Departments which record, maintain and provide official documents, certificates or information requested by the general public.

Illinois Free Court Records Search


Recent court criminal actions, civil lawsuits and bankruptcy filings.

Ask Questions, About Illinois

  • How do I find court records and newspaper articles regarding an old murder in Illinois?
    Libraries carry periodicals going back many years, sometimes they're on microfish or if they've updated, in the database. Many researchers use this method, including journalists. That is if there was an article about it. Smaller, local papers are more likely to have it. (Staff)
  • How do I access death records in Illinois?
    The Illinois secretary of state's website has a free statewide search of deaths Indexed pre-1916. The state department of health claims that death records are not public, this is what it says: "only available to those who have a personal or property right interest with the decedent". However, on the same page, there's a paragraph about uncertified are "often used for genealogy or research, are for informational use only and cannot be used for legal purposes". There's a link on the IDPH's website "Researchers", which gives 2 options on how to get the death records, for informational purposes only. (Staff)
  • How do I know in Illinois, if there are sex offenders in my neighborhood?
    Go to Illinois state police website and it will give you info for your neighborhood (Staff)
  • How do I find in Illinois, if a person has been divorced in the past twenty years?
    You can look into the county's case files, either online or on site. Start with free searches for cases online, LaSalle county offers that service openly along with other, usually larger/ more populated counties, smaller counties don't always have their own site. (Staff)
  • How do I get a list of divorces in Illinois, filed within last 2 months?
    Divorces are filed in counties, where the county clerk has them. If you're looking to do statewide research for statistics, then your focus should be statistical data, a different form of public record as opposed to a divorce certificate/filing. Mention the county so that others can be of better and specific help. (Staff)