Since the Freedom of Information Act has been implemented, all of the states have been mandated to allow its local resident to gain access to their personal files. Illinois is one of the state that has implemented such laws, thus the residents of the state can access Illinois public records
whenever they need it.
Public records of Illinois have been categorized into two: family related files and the criminal records. Personal or family related records are documents that can prove one's identity or status. This can be the birth certificate,
marriage or divorce license and death certificate. These files would contain the names of the involved individual as well as the important dates and place where the event took place. Mostly, these documents are used in conducting genealogy research or transactions in the government.
Criminal records in Illinois may contain sensitive information that is related to crimes and offenses. These documents may be police reports, arrest records or even the criminal history file of a certain individual. These files would contain details about the crimes and arrest of a convicted individual. One would also know if a certain individual has a pending arrest warrant. Employers are one of the people who request for these documents. This can help them in deciding whether to hire or keep a certain employee or applicant.
Although the mentioned files above are public documents, there are, however, limitations as to what the public can view and obtain. A clear example of this are divorce records, since the document may not include details about any financial matters to the public document. This is done to respect the privacy of both parties involved. In criminal records, the names of witnesses and the investigator who is doing the investigation is not divulged from the public to avoid hindrance from further investigating the case.
It is best to know where to get these documents to avoid delay in the retrieval process. Family related files are archived at the office of the Vital Records section. Some of these documents are only available only at the county where the event took place. Criminal records on the other hand are managed by the state's Department of Public Safety. The state Police department can also help with the retrieval of any of the criminal file.
Conducting a public records search online is now the popular choice of many. Not only because it is convenient since the search can be done even without going to any office, but it greatly saves one's precious time. In traditional file retrieval, where one needs to wait for several days, online retrieval has eliminated the wait time since it can be obtained in just seconds instead of days.