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Know the Laws: Illinois

UPDATED September 19, 2017

Enforcing Your Out-Of-State Order in Illinois

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If you are planning to move to Illinois or are going to be in Illinois for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

Registering your out-of-state order in Illinois

back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains protective order information that is used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

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back to topHow do I register my protection order in Illinois?

To register your protection order in Illinois, you need to take a certified copy of the order to the court clerk at the Family Law Court where you live.*  The clerk will then file your order with the local law enforcement agency that is in charge of the Department of State Police records, and it will be entered into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System within 24 hours of registration.**

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Illinois for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our IL State and Local Programs page.

* 750 ILCS 60/222.5(a); 725 ILCS 5/112A-22.5(a)
** 750 ILCS 60/222.5(b)(2); 750 ILCS 60/302(a); 725 ILCS 5/112A-22.5(b)(2); 725 ILCS 5/112A-28(a)

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back to topDo I have to register my protection order in Illinois in order to get it enforced?

No.  Illinois state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect.*  It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by an Illinois police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.** 

* 750 ILCS 60/222.5(c); 735 ILCS 5/12-652(c); 750 ILCS 60/301(b)
** 750 ILCS 60/222.5(c); 750 ILCS 60/301(b); 735 ILCS 5/12-652(c); 725 ILCS 5/112A-22.5(c)

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our IL State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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back to topWhat if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

No, it should not be more difficult to have your order enforced if you do not register it.  IL requires law enforcement officials to enforce an out-of-state protection order even if it has not been registered in IL as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order.*   A certified copy of a protection order is automatically assumed to be valid, so you might want to keep a certified copy of your order with you.**

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Illinois. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in IL, go to our IL State and Local Programs page.

* 750 ILCS 60/301(b)
** 720 ILCS 5/12-30

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back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in Illinois.*

 * 750 ILCS 60/222.5(d); 725 ILCS 5/112A-22.5(d)

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