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NextGen CM/ECF

Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen) Coming Soon - Prepare Today!

On May 17, 2021, the Court will be upgrading its Case Management/Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF) to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen). Benefits of NextGen include:

  • One account to search for case information and file electronically in courts using NextGen CM/ECF that have granted you e-filing privileges.
  • All users who file electronically must have an individual PACER account. This account will remain with you even if you move to another organization.
  • Apply for attorney admissions or register to file electronically from one central location.
  • Centrally manage your account and payment information. 
  • Create your username and password. 
  • Enhanced security, including a password strength meter that helps you create stronger, more secure passwords.
  • Ability to store your credit card information for attorney admissions and/or e-filing payments.
  • Update address and primary email information for PACER and at any NextGen CM/ECF court that has granted you filing privileges.

Your PACER account will be your login to CM/ECF.  E-filing attorneys will not be able to use shared PACER accounts.  To prepare for the NextGen implementation all attorneys must either obtain an individual PACER account or upgrade their existing individual legacy account.  Please review the PACER links below to walk you through the steps of obtaining or upgrading your PACER account.

CJA Attorneys - We recommend CJA attorneys NOT upgrade until after May 17, 2021. Upgrading immediately after our implementation date will ensure minimal impact on your exempt CJA attorney role.  Once you have upgraded your account, your single Central Sign-On account will accommodate you in both roles (CJA and non-CJA attorney).

Note: Not all courts have implemented NextGen CM/ECF. If you file in courts that have not converted to NextGen, you must continue to use that court's CM/ECF login and password until they implement NextGen CM/ECF.

Attorney Admissions contact information: 

PACER Procedures/Information

Registering for a PACER Account (ATTORNEY)


  1. Go to
  2. Select Register for an Account > Attorney Filers for CM/ECF.


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  1. Select Register for a PACER account.

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NOTE:  You can also register for an account by clicking on Manage Your Account > Register for an Account > Attorney Filers > Register for a PACER account.



  1. Complete the Account Information form.  Under User Type at the bottom of the form, make a selection from one of the options under Individual Accounts.

NOTE: If you work for a government agency, make the appropriate selection from the Government Accounts category.

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  1. Complete User Verification.


  1. Click Next.


  1. Create a Username and Password; and select Security Questions. Click Next when finished.


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  1. Enter payment information to be saved.  This screen is optional.


NOTE: Providing a credit card is optional.  If you would like to register without providing a credit card, click Next below without entering any information on this screen. For instant access to PACER, we will validate the credit card information you provide here. There is no registration charge; however, the credit card will be charged quarterly for any fees incurred. If you submit your registration request without providing credit card information, you will receive an activation code by U.S. mail in 7-10 business days.


  1. If you entered payment information you will be required to check the box indicating that you authorize the PACER Service Center to charge the credit card once a quarter for any PACER fees due.


  1. Click Next.


  1. Read the policies and procedures and acknowledge by checking the box.


  1. Click Submit.


  1. You have now completed the process to register for a PACER account. This account is just for viewing documents, not for e-filing. If you are already admitted to the Central District of Illinois (CDIL) and have e-filing credentials, you will be required to link your new PACER account with your CDIL CM/ECF account on May 17, 2021.


If you are not admitted with the CDIL, please see the admission procedures located at

For questions, please contact PACER at 800-676-6856.




Registering for a PACER Account (NON-ATTORNEY)

  1. Go to
  2. Select Register for an Account >Non-Attorney Filers for CM/ECF.