If you have a sealed criminal record, do you have to disclose it to anyone? Here’s what you need to know.

Do I Have to Disclose a Sealed Record?

An employer can’t ask you about arrests if you’re employing for a job – but they can ask you if you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. If your whole record has been sealed (or expunged), you are free to say no.

However, if you have convictions that you couldn’t seal – and as a result, they’re still on your record – you still have to tell the employer about them.

You do need to know that it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against you for having a sealed criminal record (or an expunged record, for that matter).

What About in Chicago?

The city of Chicago, as well as some other municipalities, have passed “Ban the Box” laws. These laws prevent some employers from asking job applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime. However, there are still some exceptions – even in Chicago.

These “Ban the Box” laws don’t apply to employers tht do fingerprint-based background checks. Those include schools, park districts, healthcare organizations, jobs that require an EMS license or a fidelity bond.

Employers can later ask you about your criminal record, though – they just can’t ask you on your initial application. An employer is allowed to ask you about your record after your initial application when they schedule you for an interview or provide you with a conditional offer of employment.

Are You Thinking About Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record?

DIY criminal record sealing, or do-it-yourself criminal record sealing, is a process that you do yourself rather than hiring an attorney to do it for you. You can do your own criminal record sealing petition without paying a lawyer. In fact, we have a full suite of tools you can use to seal your criminal record on your own so that you don’t have to pay an attorney.

In our DIY sealing service, you’ll get:

  • Instant access to all the forms you need to seal your record ANYWHERE in Illinois
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to fill out and file your forms (in video and text formats)
  • Directions on where to file your forms for your jurisdiction
  • Exclusive access to a messaging system you can use to contact an attorney for free while you’re working through your own sealing case


Seal your own criminal record in Illinois now!