What is a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities?
The Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD) is a court order that declares the person has been rehabilitated. The CRD is intended to help you get a license in 27 specific professions, including: animal welfare, athletic training, cosmetology, boxing, interior design, land surveying, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, real estate, roofing, and more.
A CRD creates a legal presumption of rehabilitation that a licensing board must consider. If you have a CRD, you cannot be denied a license just because you were convicted. You can be denied a license if the board finds that there is a direct relationship between your conviction and the license you are applying for. The board can also deny a license if there is an unreasonable risk to property, safety, or general welfare of the public. If you have a CRD, the licensing board must demonstrate the reason for denying the license.
Who is Eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities?
You may apply for a CRD if your criminal record cannot be expunged or sealed.
You must not have been convicted of more than two felonies.
You are eligible for this Certificate unless you were convicted of:
- Any offense or attempted offense that would subject you to registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act, the Arsonist Registration Act, or the Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act;
- Aggravated arson;
- Aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination; or
- Aggravated domestic battery.
If you have Federal or out-of-state offenses, you’re eligible for a CRD if you live in Illinois.
What Effect Does a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities Have on My Status?
The CRD makes 27 specific job licenses available to you. It means that a licensing board cannot deny a license based only on a conviction or a “lack of good moral character.”
The CRD offers an employer some protection and reduces their risk when hiring people with criminal records and could improve your chances to get a license and a job.
When Can I Apply for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities?
You can apply for a CRD as soon as you are sentenced or at any time after. There is no waiting period.
You might want to ask the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation for their opinion before you ask for a CRD or a license.
How Do I Apply for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities?
Follow these steps to apply for a CRD:
- Go to the circuit court that sentenced you;
- Ask the circuit court clerk for a Petition for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities;
- Fill out the form;
- Attach copies of any supporting documents (your criminal-record history, the license you want, any proof of your rehabilitation, and so on); and
- Pay any fee required.
The clerk will set a hearing date. The chief judge of that judicial district will hear your case.
If you were sentenced in Cook County, use this Petition for Certificate of Relief from Disabilities Form CCCRN510A to submit to the court:
Petition for Certificate of Relief from Disabilities
For the latest version, please visit the Cook County Circuit Court website here: Clerk of the Circuit Court