Alton, IL

Moving Toward Online Licensing

Story by WBGZ Radio

There are more than 280 professions in Illinois that require a state license. Only two of those professions offer online license applications.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is working to change that.

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, asked about delays, in some cases months-long delays, in getting people licensed for various professions.

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“Specifically with cosmetologists, nurses, I have situations where constituents are literally foregoing their licensing process in Illinois and driving across the Mississippi river to get a job,” Manar said.

IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider said that’s because the current system is antiquated.

“If there’s one section of an application that the applicant did not address completely, we have to mail them a letter and they have to mail us a response,” Schneider said. “So, as you can imagine, with thousands of applications each year, this is a very inefficient process.”

Schneider said the department's goal is to make online applications available for 95 percent of the more than 280 professions that state law requires to be licensed. The department said initial online licensure is currently available for the Permanent Employee Registration Card license for security and detective work and Pharmacy Technician licenses. Online licensure renewal is available to all professions, the department said.

The department requested about $97.4 million for the coming fiscal year that begins July 1. Schneider said that’s 2 percent less than the department received last year and more than 12 percent less than they got in fiscal 2015. IDFPR is not funded with general revenue funds. The department is funded with money generated by fees of professions the state requires licenses.

Worried about the delays in licensing approval and the decrease in the department's budget request, Manar asked: “Should you have asked for more money this fiscal year?”

Schneider said more money isn’t necessary to get professional licensing online to address the delays.

“It is not a hot knife through butter to get this done,” Schneider said. “We’ve had teams of people working on it diligently, and we continue to have teams of people working on it diligently. That’s why we think by the end of this calendar year we’re going to essentially have all of our license types in that (online) format.”

(Copyright WBGZ /


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