Security guards, school bus drivers, locksmiths, massage therapists, private detectives… they all have something in common, at least in the state of Illinois. The previously mentioned people all need an Illinois Permanent Employee Registration Card in order to legally do their job. If you're living in Illinois and want to start a career in one of these professions or just give your resume that extra asset, then you should definitely read further. We're going to tell you what the Permanent Employee Registration Card is, why it was introduced and how you can get one yourself in as little as 6 steps.

The Permanent Employee Registration Card or PERC card in short, was introduced in the state of Illinois during the nineties. Although some states have documents that serve the same or similar purposes, Illinois is currently the only state throughout the US in which the PERC is being used. It was introduced to make sure that people who frequently get in contact with children such as school bus drivers, or people with jobs that involve physical contact such as massage therapy, have a clean criminal record.

The PERC card application process is relatively simple and doesn't require much time. Applicants need to provide proof that they are free of criminal convictions and fill out an official PERC Card application form, which is then sent to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR). However, before applying you should make sure to meet 2 basic qualifications. The first qualification is actually an age requirement. The IDFPR won't issue PERCs to anyone who is younger than 18. Secondly, you should be a US citizen or be in the possession of a valid US working permit.

But obviously, the real condition for obtaining a PERC is to have a clean criminal record. Since this is the essence and the purpose of the PERC, it will be a make or break for a positive response to your application. The IDFPR will verify that your name does not have any crimes attached to it and you will have to submit fingerprints. This is needed to compare them with the fingerprints in their database to make sure you haven't been involved in any unsolved crimes.

The traditional fingerprinting cards were you had to make a copy of your fingerprints using black ink, are no longer accepted by the IDFPR. Since electronic fingerprinting is faster and provides more reliable results, it is now the standard method. On the official PERC application form you will find a list of companies that provide electronic fingerprinting services. Select one in your area and call them for a fingerprint processing appointment, some companies also offer the ability to schedule an appointment online at their website. If you already know about an electronic fingerprinting provider then make sure it is listed on the application form, since the IDFPR will only accept fingerprints from certified companies. You should bring a valid form of photo ID such as a driver's license to your appointment. The actual fingerprint capturing will only take a few minutes. After payment of the fingerprinting costs you will be given a receipt which should later be submitted along with the application form.

The most intensive and time-consuming part of obtaining a Permanent Employee Registration Card is now completed. All there is left now is to fill out and submit the PERC application form. Fill in all required information on the form as accurately as possible and make sure to attach a recently taken photograph of yourself on the reserved spot using only transparent tape. The security clearance document which you received at your fingerprinting appointment should also be attached to the form. The IDFPR needs this to request your fingerprints from the fingerprinting provider. Upon approval of your application you will be sent your PERC by mail. In the mean time, you can check the status of your PERC application by calling 217-782-8556.

As a final note we would like to point out that additional licenses, certificates or school degrees might be needed in order to start working in the profession you dream of. Security guards for instance need to have a license or guard card in order to legally work for a security agency. Being in the possession of a PERC is an essential part of the licensing process. Don't let this stop you from becoming a guard though. There's a high need for skilled security guards throughout the state of Illinois, especially in its capital city Chicago, and the steps to get your security guard license are fairly simple and straight-forward.

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