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Applying for an IDFPR License with a Criminal History – What should you do: DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE.

While IDFPR will in some cases issue a license to an individual with a criminal history, failure to disclose convictions will create many problems.

To obtain professional licensing the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) requires everyone to comply with certain requirements, including listing any criminal convictions. It is a common misconception that anyone who has a criminal record will automatically be denied a license. That simply is not the case.

In 2016, IDFPR made the application process easier and opened the door for those with prior convictions to be granted a license in their career field. A criminal history may require the applicant to wait a bit longer while their full criminal history can be reviewed and evaluated, but ultimately only about 1% of applicants are denied a license due to their criminal record. (https://www.idfpr.com/news/2016/11212016IDFPRReducesBarriersAppCriminalConv.asp)  In fact, barbers and cosmetologists can apply for a license while they are still serving time, about 6-months before their parole.

Having said that, every licensed profession has varying standards applied to their license regarding past criminal history. Health care workers will be denied licensing if their convictions were for (1) crimes that forced them to register as a sex offender; (2) any sexual offenses against a minor; (3) convictions for criminal battery against a patient; (4) forcible felonies such as murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.  However, even for health care workers, as of 2017 IDFPR has new standards. If a health care worker is denied a license due to a conviction, there is an elevated review process for the denial.

Massage therapists are also automatically denied in cases where they have been convicted of prostitution, rape, or other sexual misconduct, including being a registered sex offender. http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/022500570K15.htm

Applicants seeking a Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) must not only be honest and truthful about any criminal history, but they must submit to fingerprinting to enable to state to conduct a background check. These licenses include security guards, private detectives, private alarms, private security, fingerprint vendors, and locksmiths.

The IDFPR will not grant a PERC card or a Firearms Card to anyone who is found to be unfit to serve. Disqualifying convictions include armed violence or robbery, two or more violent acts against anyone or property, perjury or forgery, drug offenses, and any sexual offenses. IDFPR does have discretion to still grant a license if convictions are more than 10 years old.

There are several factors IDFPR looks at when deciding to issue a license. They look at the relationship between the conviction and the license. They look at all offenses to settle on a well-informed decision. They also look at any criminal history in any other state. They consider general character and rehabilitation before a final determination is made.

If an applicant receives a denial letter from the IDFPR, there is an appeal process, and the IDFPR will review its decision and may reverse the denial. It is advisable to hire an experienced attorney who can assist in the appeal process.

If there are criminal convictions, of any type, and the applicant fails to disclose them, it will likely result in permanent denial of any licensing. Omissions are heavily frowned on by IDFPR because omissions imply an applicant is deliberately hiding their criminal history. It happened; best is to own it and show how you’ve moved on.

If the conviction happened during the time a professional held an active license, then that conviction must be added to the renewal application. Failure to disclose any conviction can result in permanent denial of the license.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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