Obtaining Your Criminal Record or Rap Sheet
If you're looking into clearing your record through the process of Expungement or Sealing in Illinois courts, it's often best to get clear documentation of what orders were entered in any past cases. Removing confusion can go a long way to successful efforts to clear your criminal record. So how do you get a "rap sheet" or criminal record history?
That depends whether you live in or around Chicago or a elsewhere.
In the Chicago area and want your Rap Sheet?
If you live in Chicago or reasonably nearby, we recommend you go in person to the Chicago Police Department headquarters at 3510 S. Michigan Avenue any non-holiday Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 12:00pm to be fingerprinted.
- Bring a valid state driver's license or a valid state identification card.
- Bring cash, check or money order payable to the Chicago Department of Revenue for the $16.00 processing fee. They do not accept payment by credit or debit cards.
- Bring a pencil or pen, as you'll be given a "Request for Access and Review" form to complete.
- One you complete that form, you'll take the form to the cashier window to pay the processing fee, and you'll receive a copy of that form as receipt of payment. Keep that copy of the form with you to show when you pick up your rap sheet.
- When you pay the processing fee, you will be shown to the waiting area for fingerprinting. Your name will be called and you will be sent for fingerprinting. This will ensure proper identification so that your rap sheet contains accurate information.
Although sometimes the rap sheet will be ready the same day, don't count on it. The rap sheet is typically available by the next business day for pick up (you may not have another party pick up your rap sheet for you). If you are unable to return within the next two days to pick up your rap sheet, let the processor know and request an accommodation. If you do not pick up your rap sheet within thirty (30) days, the entire process restarts, including the required fee.
Getting your Rap Sheet far from Chicago or out of State
If you reside outside of Illinois or it is not convenient for you to physically go to 3510 S. Michigan to obtain your Chicago rap sheet, you may do so by mail. We still recommend using the Chicago Police Department with a fingerprint card for accuracy.
- Start by contacting your local police department to be fingerprinted. You will be given your fingerprint card, which you should make sure not to bend. If the card becomes bent, your fingerprints may become unusable.
- Prepare the processing fee of $16.00 applies (check or money order made payable to the Chicago Department of Revenue.
- Next enclose a copy of your current valid driver's license or state ID in a sturdy envelope along with your fingerprint card and processing fee and a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of your Chicago rap sheet.
- Include a brief letter explaining that you are requesting your rap sheet. Include a list of any and all aliases used in the past. If you changed your name, such as by marriage, include your original name. Include your current contact information in the letter, most importantly your address and telephone number.
- Mail the entire package to the following address:
Chicago Police Department
Attn: Mr. Jerry Young
3510 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago Illinois 60653
If you have questions about the process and need to contact the CPD, call 312-745-5644
You can certainly visit your local police department and request to use their process to obtain a criminal background check or visit the Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification website and make a request, but it's possible that may miss some information that Chicago Police might catch.
Once you have the rap sheet, contact Fagan, Fagan & Davis by filling out this form and attaching a copy (in a single file, we recommend PDF) of the rap sheet to review your eligibility to expunge or seal and for help with the rest of the process.