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How to Apply for a PERC Card in Illinois

Updated on September 11, 2011

About the Illinois PERC Card

The Permanent Employee Registration Card or PERC in short, is a document that is currently being used exclusively in the state of Illinois. It was introduced in the late nineties and acts as a proof for the state that the PERC holder has a clean criminal record. Among the group of people who need a PERC in order to legally perform their job are massage therapists, locksmiths, school bus drivers, private detectives and security guards, making it a commonly requested document in the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR in short) is the state agency that defines the rules and regulations for obtaining a PERC. They're also in charge of reviewing all applications and deciding whether or not they will issue someone a PERC. But don't let that scare you, the PERC is one of the most requested documents in the state of Illinois and it's actually not that hard nor time consuming to get one.

Before applying for a PERC...

Before we take a look at the steps needed to apply for a PERC, we should point out that there's a minimum age requirement of 18 years and you have to be a US state citizen or be in the possession of a valid work permit. We'd also like to make it clear that working without a PERC is considered illegal if your profession demands its performers to be in the possession of it. Both you and the company employing you risk heavy fines if you get caught.

How to apply for a PERC

The first step is to download a PDF file from the IDFPR website. This document contains some instructions on how to send in an application for a PERC as well as a list of Livescan Fingerprint Vendors, which we'll need in the next step. On the fifth page of the document, right below the list of fingerprint vendors, we'll find the actual Permanent Employee Registration Card application form.

The next step is actually the most time-consuming one. We will need to have our fingerprints scanned and have them submitted to the FBI so that they can find out if they are already in their database and if so, whether or not they have a criminal offense attached to them. After all, the main purpose of the Illinois PERC Card is to inform the state and your employer that you have a clean criminal record.

In order to comply with the fingerprinting requirement, we first need to select our closest Livescan fingerprint vendor from the list in the PDF we downloaded earlier. You will have to contact them first to schedule an appointment for electronic fingerprint submission. Make sure to arrive on time and bring one photo ID document. The whole process of having your fingerprints scanned usually takes only 5 minutes and when it's done, you will be given a fingerprinting receipt which we'll need later to attach to our application form.

Now that we had our fingerprints submitted for a criminal record check, we can start with the actual application process. The first thing we need to do after printing out the PERC application form is to fill in our personal details such as name, address and social security number. Next, we'll need to attach a recent photograph on the designated area as well as the fingerprinting receipt which we received at the Livescan vendor. The form must then be sent to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation at P.O. Box 7007, SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS 6279.

The final step is to pay the required $55 fee that is involved with applying for a permanent employee registration card. This non-refundable fee needs to be made payable to the IDFPR. Some companies are known to pay these fees for their employers, so if you already agreed to start working for a company then you should check with them first about the payment of fees.

Your state-certified PERC wil arrive in the mail within a few weeks, but in case you don't already have a job you're free to start job hunting already. As long as you are motivated, most employers won't mind waiting until your PERC arrives. One final thing to point out is that as mentioned before, some professions require their performers to carry additional documents. Security guards are a good example of this, apart from having to carry a PERC, they are also required to be in the possession of a valid, state-certified security license. The steps to obtain such a license vary greatly on a state per state basis, but most states require their license applicants to follow a security guard training course, either online or at a training school.

How to Get a Security Guard License

If you want to be working in the security industry, you'll also need a security guard license. Although the steps to get licensed vary greatly per state, there are a few general requirements that most states have in common. If you want to find out how to obtain a security license or guard card in the state you live in, we recommend you to visit Security Guard License.

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