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Survey – International Travel after IML

If you have traveled to a foreign country after President Obama signed HR 515 / International Megan’s Law into law on February 8, 2016, please complete this survey to help gather details about the effects of this legislation. We will also share this data with the RTAG group for incorporation into their travel matrix. Thank you.

Go to International Travel Survey

Join the discussion

  1. Ron

    So, has anyone received a passport identifier yet? I am living as an expat and I am not required to register here. I am wondering if I will receive a passport identifier

    • Timmmy

      As long as you are not on any registry, you will not.

      • Sam

        He’s from Florida. They keep you on the list but don’t require him to continue registering. So it’s a difficult position to think about.

      • Rob

        Timmy, Is this a factual statement?
        That if you are not on the registry you will not receive the passport identifier? The wording of the bill seems to be very vague (to me) and states something to the effect of “anyone who is on the registry and has committed a crime against a child (anyone under 18) will get the unique identifier”
        Does this mean that if you’re on the registry but have not committed crime against a “child” you won’t get the identifier or is it everyone on the registry also if you are off the registry but your crime was against a child, will you still get the stamp?
        Maybe I have missed it but has this actually been established?

        • Paul

          “(c) Defined Terms.–In this section–
          “(1) the term `covered sex offender’ means an individual
          who–
          “(A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 4(f)
          of the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child
          Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced
          Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders; and
          “(B) is currently required to register under the
          sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;
          “(2) the term `unique identifier’ means any visual
          designation affixed to a conspicuous location on the passport
          indicating that the individual is a covered sex offender; and
          “(3) the term `passport’ means a passport book or passport
          card.

          The emphasis is on “and”. You must be both A, and B, to receive the unique identifier.

          The confusion will be, what about persons who previously resided in states such as Florida, North Carolina, and New York, who are no longer required to register in their current state of residence, BUT are still subject to the nonsense of their previous jurisdiction.

          Also, and I’ll just throw this out there given the wording is intentionally vague. But what about persons who have never resided in a state such as Florida, North Carolina, or New York; who only resided in a single state, and are no longer required to register in said state. Technically speaking, those persons are still “currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction”.

          I know that common sense implies that this section applies to persons currently required to register. BUT technically speaking, a person with specific convictions who has only ever resided in a single state, and is no longer required to register in said state, would still be “…required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction”. If said person wanted to travel to Florida for a period of time in excess of whatever their triggering date is, then they would technically be subject to the registration program of Florida.

          I know it’s a stretch, but rarely (if ever) does common sense prevail in these situations.

        • Rob

          Thanks for the response. So basically the government could go full a$$hole and put everyone who has committed a crime against a “child” on the passport stamp or any registrant for that matter. This is what happens when the law has been made in such a way without debate and being rushed through, sort of like the tax law.
          We don’t know what they even intended, I don’t think even the State department knew at first or the original author. Many what “if’s” guess we will have to wait for the issues to present themselves before we know what they really intend to do.

          What we do know is that there will be a lot of registrant’s who will have to deal with yet another draconian measure to degrade and humiliate them from our government. Very selfishly I hope, I will not get the stamp but I don’t think it would be fair for me not to and some others have to deal with a stamp. Compared to other states I’m lucky that I committed my crime in the state I currently reside in.

          – For example, if you are currently required to register and are relieved, will you be able to get a new passport without the stamp?
          – Will green notices still be sent out?

          I guess thats the real kicker, especially with all the various rules and vagueness in each state pertaining to registering laws that have come about because of no set uniform policy across the U.S. I guess are we always sex offenders, can we really ever escape the label?

          I have only lived in one state as a registrant due in part because I was afraid of what might happen if I moved to another state, would have to start my registration time over again and would I have to even register longer?
          I recently completed my 10 year registration in the state of Maine. While I actually really enjoy living in this state and would definitely retire here someday, I would also love to move and see the country but I’m afraid of what will happen. Will I be put on another states registration list and have to start all over after waiting for these last 10 years to past?
          There is no set guidelines for us, while that should be illegal, states do it and seem to get away with it. This whole Florida crap is beyond comprehension.
          I’m hoping to at least not have this stamp and be able to travel again, we shall see.
          I’m thankful for people like Janice who fights for us and has created this forum.

  2. Sam

    I’m still waiting on this as well. Are you stuck on a state registry too?

    • Ron

      @sam
      I do not register any more, as I am not required to, but Florida still has my 10 year old information on their sex offender registry.

      • PK

        You should sue them.

      • Sam

        Florida makes me wonder about this law because they don’t take people off the registry even though they aren’t required to register anymore. New York on the other hand makes you check in every few years or any time you move or get a new email.

        • Paul

          I have to imagine the state would lose if sued. How can the laws of one state be applied to a person not physically present in that state? If that were the case, a person with a valid CCW could carry in any state he/she wishes by simply saying that they’re legit under the laws of the former State! It doesn’t make any sense!

          How the heck can NY mandate a person not in their state to do a damned thing?

        • Sam

          Very easily. They won doe v O’Donnell. Due to a lack of wording in the law it’s implied that they have power over you no matter what state or country you move to. Wisconsin has the same sort of thing but they charge you money as well.

          Right now I’m trying to see if I can be removed as my conviction didn’t originate in NY which was the deciding factor in doe v O’Donnell

        • Ron

          One more ingredient to throw into the soup is that my Adjudication was withheld. So, while I am a sex offender, I am not a felon. – although in reality I see little difference.

    • David

      Yes. My conviction and incarceration were in Florida, but I have now lived in a different state (California) since my release 17 years ago. So I’m sure I remain on Florida’s list.

  3. Covered

    Something that I think is being missed on this thread is changes in sex offender laws in various countries. Often we make plans for travel based only upon whether registrants will be allowed into the country, but there should be other considerations. Consider this fact: Poland is part of the EU and Schengen. Registrants can go there, but did you know that the harshest sex offender laws of Europe may be found in Poland since 2010. It is law in Poland that a sexual assault against a child under age 15, or in the case of incest, or repeated crimes, can be forcibly castrated. It is the only European country that allows this. Some others, like France, Spain, and Czech Republic allow for voluntary castration, but in Poland it can be forced. EVEN IF ONE HAS COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCE. Let’s say that an applicable registrant goes to Poland on vacation and gets arrested for some non-sex related crime (say getting into a fistfight in a pub), could that registrant be in danger of having this law applied against them? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t want to find out. Poland also has two SORegistries. One with limited accessibility and another one that is public (child related offenses would be on the public). Do you know the reporting requirements in Poland? I don’t. Here is a link about the castration law. https://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2010/06/chemical_castration_poland
    I think we need a full workup of sex offender laws to go along with the RTAG information and other information that we glean from registrants reporting their travels. Foreign sex offender laws are in flux, and we need to know the risks before making travel decisions.

  4. International Traveler

    U.S. Customs/Border Control agents will now need to have reasonable suspicion of a crime before they search your electronic device:

    http://www.wbur.org/npr/576139303/u-s-customs-and-border-patrol-sets-new-rules-for-searching-electronic-devices

    • Covered

      This makes not a bit of difference where registrants are concerned. In CPB and most other agencies of the government, registrants are already under suspicion of conducting illegal activity just because they are registrants. Even the change doesn’t matter. They can still inspect any international travelers electronic devices, and, if they find something they find suspicious, they can go the next step. This sounds more like an accommodation to the ACLU while they continue to expand searches of devices.

    • CR

      CBP will always claim to have “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity on our part when we re-enter the country. That claim is explicitly incorporated into the Interpol Green Notice that is sent to every foreign country we travel to.

      I agree with the ACLU. The standard needs to be “probable cause”, not “reasonable suspicion”.

    • TS

      RCs should always expect to be having their electronic devices searched based upon the alleged nature of who they are when a green notice is sent in advance alleging why they are traveling with USG saying so and the US Courts saying it is ok for the USG to do that without basis. Send the phone home before you leave on your return trip.

      U.S. customs agents are searching more cellphones — including those belonging to Americans

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-customs-agents-are-searching-more-cellphones–including-those-belonging-to-americans/2018/01/05/0a236202-f247-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.fac7078c8410

      Border inspections of electronic devices hits record high

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/border-inspections-of-electronic-devices-hits-record-high/2018/01/05/e64f88aa-f265-11e7-95e3-eff284e71c8d_story.html?utm_term=.f30d2e1333e1

      CBP Releases Updated Border Search of Electronic Device Directive and FY17 Statistics
      https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-releases-updated-border-search-electronic-device-directive-and

      • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

        “Send the phone home before you leave on your return trip.” This is what I used to do before I quit traveling. One thing, make sure that you do not volunteer that information to Customs when you are, inevitably, sent back to Secondary on your return trip. If they ask where all of your electronics are (as would happen to me) I simply told them that I traveled without them. For those items still in the process of being shipped back home, there is always the opportunity for CBP to intercept them. They have plenty of other people doing nothing but inspecting shipments coming into the country. Plus, you will have pissed them off by telling them of your end-run around their inspection.

        • TS

          @David K

          I should’ve attributed the “send phone home” to you as it was you who said it long ago. I was merely reiterating it for the masses. My apologies.

        • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

          No problem. I’m sure that others have already independently hit on the solution. I really resented having to do this but could see no other choice. I would have to find a post office or FedEx, UPS, etc. on my last day of the trip when I would much rather be enjoying the country.

        • Tired Of Hiding

          I would recommend the following if you plan on attempting to even travel with these green notices sent out. If you do make it out when you return you will be taken to secondary…that is a given and always done. So knowing this you should travel with a cheap phone and not your regular phone. A phone with nothing on it at all and that is simple used while on the trip.

          Take a table for checking the web at internet cafes but which has nothing on it. A browser is all you need for checking web based email such as a gmail account.

          Cameras…these make them so happy going through your person photos in search of anything at all so take your camera and then FTP your data from the chips to the server of your choice and then reformat the chip (full format and not quick) so there is no data on the chip. Do take some photos of churches while you travel and keep those on a separate chip which you put into your camera prior to landing back in the USA. Nothing irritates them more than expecting to see naked photos and finding only churches.

          Best of luck and bon voyage!

          Lee

          SexOffenderTruth.com

        • Fresa

          So, even as tier 3 (victim under 13) offender you can still visit Greece and Italy? They don’t care about the green notice? Just trying to gather information to determine whether we will try to fly there on vacation.

          -Fresa

        • James

          Yes, Fresa, that is my understanding.

          There are no promises of course, but if you stay out of Great Britain, all of Europe should be open to you.

          I might further add that you should do this now, if you can, if only because this might change. Take advantage of this opportunity.

          The level of your conviction does not matter….and that was your real question.

          Best Wishes, James

        • CR

          There are some unlocked smart phones available for as little as $130 (even $99 to Amazon Prime members, if you are willing to tolerate offers and ads). They may not be the best phones, but they are functional. You can do everything you need to do with them.

          Before your return trip home, upload everything to the cloud. If you don’t mind the privacy invasion, just bring the device back with you and let them search it. Or if that really bothers you (as it would me), just destroy the phone and discard it before you return.

          It’s insane that we have to even consider such things.

        • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

          The Blu R1 HD was available for $50 from Amazon to Prime customers (all without a plan) but now appears to be $85. You can buy a prepaid SIM card when you arrive in whatever country along with some data which always seems to go far too quickly than sending and receiving a few emails and checking a few webpages would suggest. Of course, most hotels now have wifi and many offer it free these days. When travel is nearly done, stick it in a padded envelope and send it home. Much easier and cheaper than sending a laptop, a camera AND a phone back. I can’t throw anything away. Or bring it on through. I miss travel…

  5. CR

    I haven’t had occasion to go out of the country for the past couple of decades. When I do, I may take a cell phone and/or tablet with me, maybe even a cheap laptop or notebook computer, but nothing valuable or expensive. In some countries, it might be easier to simply buy whatever I need once I get there. Probably something cheap, as it might have to be disposable.

    I figure that anything of value on the device I can sync or upload to cloud storage before I return. Then I can leave the device in the foreign country with family or friends (maybe gift it or have them hold it for me for my next visit), wipe or reimage it and ship it back home, or wipe/reimage and carry it back with me.

    I’m thinking a wiped device might seem suspicious, so maybe better to take something cheap, and don’t bring it back. It may add a few hundred to the cost of a trip, but I would consider it worth it if it saved me the indignity of having my device searched upon reentry.

  6. E

    Advice, anyone?

    I’ve waited this long to book several trips to Europe for work this spring and summer. Should I book them? Keep waiting on a letter from State Dept?
    On another note: has anyone while visiting Schengen countries and after filing full itineraries with hotel names in AWA compliant states been visited by local cops at the hotels they listed?
    Geez what a screwed up situation.

    • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

      Go ahead and book them. You will, almost certainly, be okay. I can’t imagine that the Western Europeans care enough to check on you at your hotel. Just remember: do NOT try to go to the U.K. or Ireland (The Republic of). They will not let you in and, if they were to be your arrival country from the States, they would send you straight back to the U.S.

    • David

      Hi E. Yes, I have recently gone to France for vacation. I had no problems entering France or returning to the US afterwards. It would be extremely unlikely for police in any European country to come looking for you at the hotel where you’re staying. For the most part, Europe simply doesn’t worry about registered citizens like the U.S.A. does.

    • Robert

      @E, I’m in Europe right now. No problems. US to Stockholm. Visited France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Amsterdam no issues. Had alerts sent when I travel to Philippines but nothing for Europe.

      • robert

        Robert,

        Nice to hear that you didn’t have any problems. Did you stay in hotels? We are planning to visit Spain and Germany in Oct. along with my girlfriends son and his girlfriend. He wants to use Airbnb using his account, do you think that there will be any problems? Any tips would be welcomed by all. Thanks

      • Bob

        You said alert was sent to the Philippines. Were you still able to enter into the Philippines? I plan on going to the Philippines next year anam a RSO.

    • E

      Thanks much. Just to confirm: I have been in Europe 3-4 times per year but my state didn’t require a “detailed itinerary” til now. New 2018 paperwork. Yeehaa. Have you guys been traveling AFTER submitting detailed itineraries including all flights and hotel info?

      I’ve never had to tell them what hotel or what friends I was staying with. I’m still not comfortable giving them the addresses of friends I might stay with. Kills me.

      • James

        Dear E:

        I hope and expect to make it twice to Europe this year…oddly, since I normally just wander, I think I will have actual addresses for part of my stays this year.

        My intention is only to give flight dates, outbound and return, and countries I expect to be in, not an actual itinerary with addresses etc.

        If they want more, I don’t intend to give it….under most any circumstances.

        I am in CA with a pretty (easy?{it is never easy inside myself!}) agency to register with…but we should know within a couple of months how this goes. I will report back regardless on how this works out.

        Best Wishes, James

      • David

        E, it’s David again. Yes, prior to my European trips, I have submitted detailed itineraries including the addresses of where I will be staying. My recent trip including one hotel for a couple days but primarily I was staying in private hosted rental unit. I lieu of a hotel name, I simply note “Private residence” or “Private apartment” on the itinerary. I do NOT indicate it as a short-term rental because that information is not required.

        • E

          Thanks @James and @David. Very helpful as I need to book my flights in the next days. James, as you described, my agency has always been really easy. But the new state-wide paperwork I had to acknowledge for 2018 changed to now require all the AWA detail (instead of just sending flight out and back into the States, and countries visited). They now want full itinerary (every flight and all addresses). Well that freaked me out. Glad to hear that even though you’ve provided that detailed info you were not visited at those addresses while you were there.
          Maybe I need to move to a non-Sorna compliant state.

        • Trish

          Not visited that you know of!

      • PK

        “my state didn’t require a “detailed itinerary” til now. New 2018 paperwork”.

        What paperwork exactly are you referring to? I’m a NY Registrant and I traveled in November. I called them and they had no clue about submitting an itinerary. Even though I did submit a half-baked certified letter based on the suggestion of my Attorney. Hopefully I wasn’t the cause …

        • Sam

          When I traveled outside New York they just wanted to know how long I was going to be gone and when I was going to be back and the flight numbers. I asked them if they wanted my passport number and they told me they didn’t need it. Pretty sure the form they had me fill out this past time when I moved out of the US didn’t ask for my passport number either.

        • E

          I’m in a Sorna compliant state; it was the new “Notice to Require to Register” paperwork I get every few years and the new verbiage about Int’l Travel had a lot more detail required than previous (all flights, all addresses, all cities, times, dates, yada yada). I don’t usually even know that info ahead of time! Used to be they just required my passport number, flights into and out of the USA, and countries visited. Craziness

        • AJ

          Just so everyone understands: not providing 21-day notice is a violation of Federal Law, period. Your State’s decision whether to comply or ignore its portion of AWA has zero effect on your requirement, as an individual, to comply. States are constitutionally protected from having to comply with what Congress says when it comes to regulation. Citizens are constitutionally bound to comply. So be aware that any time you travel, there is a chance of getting flagged in a federal database. From there, all it will take is a US Attorney trying to make a name or trying to be tough on crime, and you’re headed in a bad direction.

  7. FrankGP

    Just a comment on the phone conversation… if you have an iPhone with an iTunes account…
    Create a travel iTunes account, travel gmail account, etc.
    Set it all up and test before you go.
    When you leave back up your phone (your regular itunes account).
    Then factory reset and log into your travel itunes account and restore the backup created when you set it up.
    When you arrive, you can restore back to your regular account.
    Use the travel account when you come home, with just the nice ‘church’ pictures, etc.
    I have not tested this, but seems like it would work.
    Anyone tried anything like this?…
    -Frank

    • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

      If I’m understanding your procedure correctly, and I’m not sure that I am, then, if you are wanting to “wipe” your phone before crossing U.S. Immigration, simply restoring the phone to its factory-fresh state may not accomplish your intended goal. I suspect that it will merely delete memory pointers and not the memory itself which could then be easily recovered by software that ICE uses all of the time. You may need to install a “wipe” program. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Darrin

        I find all of this phone conversation fascinating. Between 2015-2018, I have traveled to Jakarta(2x), Jamaica, Hong Kong(3x) and Barcelona. Not one time have I ever had my phone searched or even questioned. I even took my laptop (for work) a couple times without issue. Only once, in Dallas, I was asked about a memory card. He asked if there was anything on there that shouldn’t be and I said “Are you kidding? No way!” End of discussion. I always give my 21-day notice and follow all rules/laws. I’m glad I’ve never had that kind of problem.

  8. David

    I forgot to mention that I missed my flight!!🤤 So despite my best efforts to submit a 21-day-in-advance travel itinerary before my trip, the flight number and departure date changed. I informed the record’s person at the police department – via email – AFTER arriving in Europe and she said it was “no problem”.
    So there you have it – a flight change NOT 21 days prior – but the very day of – my departing flight ….. providing the information AFTER my flight occurred ….. and being told that it was “no problem”.
    So if this is “no problem” and since Angel Watch already has the airline passenger manifests (which they’ve long used for the green notices), what is the point of our submitting a 21-day-in-advance travel itinerary?? I appreciate the records officer’s understanding, but the truth is that that very understanding itself cinfirms the fact the 21-day-in-advance-notification is unnecessary! There’s no good reason for it!!! This charade is just another way for them to jerk our chains!! 😡

    • James

      The 21 Day Notice thingy really, really makes me unhappy…but I comply because, well, because I must, and so I shall for all the inconvenience this injects into my life.

      (actually, it makes travel very difficult, having to give 21 day notice)

      Unhappy face here.

      James

      • AJ

        it makes travel very difficult, having to give 21 day notice
        —–
        Which flies (no pun intended) in the face of Smith, not to mention plenty of other case law about freedom to travel…including internationally. See Kent v. Dulles (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/357/116/case.html) or Aptheker v. Sec’y of State (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/378/500/case.html).

        From Aptheker, at 505:
        *****
        In 1958, in Kent v. Dulles, 357 U. S. 116, 357 U. S. 127, this Court declared that the right to travel abroad is “an important aspect of the citizen’s liberty'” guaranteed in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Court stated that: “The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. . . . Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, . . . may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.
        *****
        Note the “across frontiers in either direction (i.e. international travel)” and “inside frontiers (i.e. domestic travel of any kind) phrases. The Government is depriving you of a liberty interest without due process as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. It doesn’t mean the Gov’t cannot do it, but it does mean it’s on them to show why it’s needed (it isn’t), and to ensure it’s narrowly tailored (it isn’t).

    • Tim Moore

      They could care less about our chains. All these little seemingly pointless requirements are there for the convenience of law enforcement, to use or not use as they see fit. They can bypass the process of getting a warrant if they suspect you of a real crime. So they think you were doing child sex tourism and can’t prove you weren’t. They can still arest you for not giving notice. The more little traps they put out the more likely you will fall in, and they can detain you, arrest you, question you, imprison you at will. They can can proclaim they are stopping a child sex criminal in any case, true or not. The public doesn’t ask for details.

      • Tim Moore

        Opps, correction. “So they think you were doing child sex tourism and can’t prove you weren’t.” I meant “were”. Arrest has two r’s also. Sorry, I am going to bed.

  9. Redeemed1

    I was just curious if there was anyone here who has traveled internationally after getting off the hit list? If so, did you try to inform anyone that you were leaving. I’m lucky to be in that boat and was just curious if I would have to do anything if I ever had the chance to take a trip to Europe. Thanks

    • Robert Entwistle

      I have been off the registry in New York since March of 2016. Since then I have been to Singapore and Indonesia a couple times, Malaysia and Hong Kong. I have not and did not notify anybody that I left and had absolutely no problem coming back into the states

      • Joe

        While the passport identifier applies ONLY to those currently registered based on an offense against a minor, the notification requirement language says “anyone convicted of a sex offense”.

        One of the plaintiffs in the original law suit had been relieved of registration, but was turned away from the destination country due to a Green notice anyway. The government’s response to that was “yeah that should not have happened”, but oh well.

        Also, on ACSOL conference calls about the subject ACSOL personnel RECOMMEND submitting the travel notice – to the last registering agency – for those relieved of registration, just to CYA.

        So, who knows?

        However, here is a FAQ sheet from the US Marshall’s Office which mirrors a State Department publication (which I cannot find at the moment).

        https://www.usmarshals.gov/megans-law-faqs.html

        It says:

        Q: Can I personally submit an International Travel Form to the United States Marshals Service (USMS), National Sex Offender Targeting Center?

        A: No. All International Travel Notices must be completed and submitted by your local sex offender registry.

        Since there is no such thing as YOUR local sex offender registry, it would be damn impossible to properly provide the travel notice.

        So there is no definitive answer, but rather a personal call based on your (dis)comfort level with the whole scheme. The concept that a US Citizen – not on parole or probation, let alone not subject to this unconstitutional registration – must provide a, any travel notification, is so distasteful I do not even know where to begin. Travel restrictions were a big part of the reason the old USSR was considered the Evil Empire, and a sorry statement on the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

        Thank you Janice et. al.

        ps. please note on the USMS link above the complaint form for those affected.
        https://www.usmarshals.gov/complaint-form-sex-offender.pdf

        • Sam

          Did you also notice that their FAQ states

          “Whom does the International Megan’s Law apply to?

          The IML has notable provisions that may impact all registered sex offenders who intend to travel outside of the United States.”

          IML affects ALL registrants? Not just the ones who had a case against a minor.

        • R M

          The only viable source is what is put into law. I’m not sure the info on the USMS correctly states the details of the law. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/212b

        • Sam

          This part really irritates me

          “The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General, and their agencies, officers, employees, and agents, shall not be liable to any person for any action taken under this section”

          Basically if shit hits the fan because of all of this, no one is at fault or can be sued. What kind of crap is that anyway? I’ve heard about covering your ass, but this is immunity to any horrible shit that happens to us because of these people.

        • TS

          @Joe, et al

          Please note the complaint form does not work when you try to open it. Interesting…

          @Sam

          Good catch. The “..may impact ALL…” is a catch all caveat phrase because travel notifications could impact ALL, whereas passport markings are for those who have convictions where a minor was involved. That is the the delineation.

        • David

          Sam, if a government employee is conducting his/her job duties “in good faith”, he/she has broad immunity from prosecution. (Yes, one could attempt to sue them, but it would be a steep uphill battle trying to prove that they were acting in bad faith.)

      • Darrin

        Hey Robert… please write to me at contact@Fightawa.org

        I have a few questions for you.

        Thanks!

  10. J S

    I have been lurking this site for a long time, but I’d like someone to interpret this clause excerpted from International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders in layman’s term. I personally do not comprehend the mumbo jumbo. I am aware that you all are not an attorney or a legal analyst.

    Section 3 (10) (C)
    Foreign convictions; offenses involving consensual sexual conduct — The limitations contained in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of section 111(5) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 USC 16911(5)) shall apply with respect to a sex offense against a minor for purpose of this Act to the same extent and in the same manner as such limitations apply with respect to a sex offense for purposes of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

    Excerpt from the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 – 34 USC 20911 (5)(C) (Old code: 42 USC 16911 (5)(C))

    (C) Offenses involving consensual sexual conduct
    An offense involving consensual sexual conduct is not a sex offense for the purposes of this subchapter if the victim was an adult, unless the adult was under the custodial authority of the offender at the time of the offense, or if the victim was at least 13 years old and the offender was not more than 4 years older than the victim.

    Does it mean a person, who is a guilty of a sex offense against a minor but it was consensual, does not have to receive a special marked passport and submit a 21-day travel notification? Please clarify this if you can.

    Thanks.

    • T

      The purpose of these advance notifications of the IML is only to prevent registrants whose conviction involves a minor from ever traveling overseas based on logical fallacy of risk of recidivism. The IML will never prevent any sexual crime through these advance notifications of traveling registrants (with convictions involving minors) and the government is doing this in a hypocritical manner of showing the world how tough they are against international sexual crime. But one day we will all eventually wake up to all this madness and say it’s crazy and ridiculous and won’t fall for this kind of mess, and to get rid of the IML.

    • Van

      Are you serious? A minor can never give permission period.

  11. T

    What the IML should have done instead of just sending advance notifications to prevent registrants from ever traveling and entering a country thinking they’ll commit future crime, instead do the notification process of travel but without advance notices being sent out to foreign government agencies, but let registrants travel freely and unmolested, but if that person gets caught in some criminal activity overseas and the US government is notified, then that’s when the notices should’ve got sent out about the individual that was caught, which should’ve been the least thing for the IML. Other then that, the IML is unconstitutional and punishment.

  12. bm

    I was refused to enter today Santo Domingo (DR). I went to DR 2016 and 2017 without any problems. Nobody explained the reason. It says you not allowed to enter. Do you know where I can find the reason?

    • James

      I’m sorry to hear this…but it has been general common knowledge that the Dominican Republic was refusing entry to RSO’s. I believe the DR was even listed on the RTAG Matrix, (which I can’t find at the moment).

      Could you please maybe give some details on how they detained you and turned you around? The mechanics of this, I suppose.

      Thanks.

      Best Wishes, James

      • bm

        They scanned my passport and my daughter and wife and told just me that I am not allowed to enter DR. The USA government sent some notes. It’s confidential an officer told me. However I was their in 2016 and 2017 and my conviction is from 2011,involving 17 year old consensual relationships. Age of consent in our state is 17. The immigration officer followed me including drinking, bathroom everywhere until plane went into the sky. How I can find out from where and what kind of info they received?

        • AJ

          @bm:
          File a request with INTERPOL,which involves snail-mailing a request to France (https://www.interpol.int/INTERPOL-expertise/Notices/What-are-your-rights). The USG may have used other avenues, but they almost certainly pinged I’POL to issue a Green Notice.

        • James

          It was an Angel’s Watch Interpol Notice…a green notice of your conviction. Angel’s Watch is a division of the US Marshal’s Service, I believe, though it could now be part of Customs and Border Protection.

          I am surprised to say that I don’t think that anyone has seen the Green Notice sent out on them, except for those few that had a brief view on a computer screen when being denied entry at whatever county they were trying to get into.

          This is a pretty politically savvy group of people here…and as noted it is surprising that no one has filed a Freedom of Information Request to see whatever is being sent out on themselves. I remember bringing this up a couple of years ago…and there was some kind of answer….maybe a prohibition from seeing Law Enforcement files….something like that. (I wish someone would correct me on this).

          1. Are you on a registry?

          2. Did you send or give the required 21 day Notice of International Travel as required by the International Megan’s Law? (though I thought the IML really applied to Minor’s, 14 and under convictions.)

          It is becoming obvious as I type this that there is a lot I don’t know…yours is an honest question, and my attempt to respond is sincere. But I don’t know.

          Hopefully others with more knowledge than I will chime in on your problem…which really is all of our problems. Personally, I used to travel frequently to Latin America and the Caribbean…but have not attempted travel anywhere except Europe since the passage of the IML.

          Let me try again…you could or should file a Freedom of Information Act request with CBP or the US Marshall’s Office. I don’t know if it will be successful, but this is the honest answer to your question.

          Good Luck, (and I am so sorry for your ordeal…or my detention was an ordeal so I presume yours was also).

          Best Wishes, James

      • Darrin

        The travel matrix can be found at registranttag.org

  13. James

    Let me ask AJ a question since he responded while I was still typing my reply…;>}}

    Has anyone filed a request through INTERPOL? (or has it been denied as confidential at the request of the US Government?)

    Heck, if this were possible, a simple request for information to INTERPOL, I think I’d like to see what they are sending out on moi.

    Have other people filed such a request?

    Thanks

    Best Wishes, James

    • AJ

      @James:
      The only instance I know of someone making the request was recently on here. Someone mentioned they’d done the request (not recently). I want to say they got a goose-egg for results, but cannot recall for certain.

      To my recollection, I’POL’s rules do not allow them to deny the request for self-info. I don’t recall whether or not redaction was part of the picture. What I gleaned from it is they would release all non-sensitive information in their files. I suppose it’s possible USG would want some stuff held back, but I think if that were the case, it would probably use a less transparent means than I’POL.

      I’m not sure I’ve properly or fully answered your question, but it’s all I have! 🙂

      (What sucks is there being no online method to request the info, nor a domestic mailing address. All requests go to France by post.)

      • James

        AJ

        I appreciate this. I probably have to find my old passport and get the exact date South Korea detained me. And then make the request…if I do this, it probably helps everyone, (knowledge is everything and empowers)

        On the other hand, I have three, (I hope), important trips to Europe this year and I am not sure I want to attract attention to myself.

        This is always the problem.

        Thanks for your response. If I do anything with this, I will of course report back and let everyone know how it goes.

        Best Wishes, James

    • mch

      James & AJ

      I have filed a FOIA request with CBP out of curiosity. I did receive a couple of pages of dates when I crossed the border at San Ysidro returning from Baja. It gave the date, time and that I was sent to secondary, but all personal information had been deleted or blacked out. I had also requested from the FBI which only had my California arrest info and no action taken. I did also make a request to Interpol and they required a notarized proof of identity. I have yet to follow up on the request. My “international” travel was limited to driving into the tourist zones in Baja. My return trips had been uneventful; CBP was professional, at times jovial. They ran my passport, saw the dozens and dozens of times I have crossed the border, sent me to secondary, wait 10 minutes and back on the road. It had not been a problem.

      • David

        Have you been able to drive to Baja recently?
        No problems at the border crossing into Mexico by car?

        • Mike G

          Unless it has changed very recently (within the last month), you can drive right into Mexico. I don’t do it anymore, because I don’t want to give the 21 day international travel notice to the feds and have them send notification to Mexico. I have permanent residency in Mexico, and I don’t want to get on their radar because of some notification they receive.

  14. T

    I officially made a donation to RTAG in hopes in the efforts to fight the IML.

    • PK

      Greetings, I’m sure Paul from RTAG appreciates your donation, and they sure do a lot to make sure RSO travel information is on point!
      However, the actual challenge to IML is being brought by ASCOL, and there is a donate button here on this website!

  15. Enough Already!

    Was looking to take a beach vacation with my wife. Anyone know about getting into Belize as an SO? What about places in the Caribbean like the Bahamas or St Lucia? I know the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are out of the question.

    Also wondering what it’s like to enter the US through Atlanta or Charlotte. I’m not able to fly directly to my home state from there and wanted to know if it’ll be easy or will they take a really long time and humiliate me like they do in Miami.

    Thanks for any advice!

    • @Enough already

      You can check the RTAG website for the info you seek.

      http://registranttag.org/

    • Rob

      Why not go to Puerto Rico or the U.S Virgin islands, Hawaii etc? I wouldn’t take a chance on any of the other Caribbean Islands. Speaking from experience there is not much of a worse feeling then getting turned away when you land to start your vacation. Makes for a long flight home and the look of sadness on the GF face is almost to much to bear, not to mention the money you lose. When we travel internationally next time, we will have an agreement where She will stay of I get turned away, I’m not having her lose out on another vacation again.
      If you do book a vacation, buy travel insurance and pay with a credit card. We were able to get half of our money back at least from our CC company.

      • James

        I Think both Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin islands would be a worse risk than Belize in that you have to Register within 72 hours upon arrival…or 48 hrs, it is a ridiculously short period of time regardless, and who wants to be registered in another place?

        I have tried to look this up for you…the info used to be on this site, (I believe), but I can’t find it now.

        If I am wrong in this, I apologize, but, there may be another wrinkle out there you may not have considered…this is what I am saying. Check this aspect out also.

        Best Wishes, James

    • Darrin

      I went to Belize in November of 2017 and was not asked a single question. Earlier in the year I went to Jamaica without issue as well. I have since seen that Jamaica is on the matrix, and heard about 1 person turned back from Belize, but as far as I know it’s still good to go there.

  16. James

    I heard that Belize was Okay…but that was maybe 12~18 months ago…so who knows now?

    I would like to go back to Belize myself…if it were a cheap flight it might be worth the risk of being turned back.

    But there are two of you, double the price, maybe you fly ahead by one day?

    This is a very tough decision.

    I wish you well…but Belize is probably problematic.

    If not, let us know…it is a great place to visit.

    Best Wishes, James

  17. T

    Some countries allow registrants entry into the country but that could change.

  18. Mike G

    Well, the time has come for us to throw caution to the wind. We leave tomorrow for a 14 day tour of Central Europe.
    The tour begins in London, and my wife booked our airline tickets to there without checking with me. After I convinced her that was a bad idea, she got me a new ticket where I fly directly to Amsterdam and join the tour there.
    I haven’t received any certified letters. I uploaded my passport information to the airline and to the tour company, and so far, nothing has happened.
    I will be holding my breathe until I clear customs in Amsterdam; after that, I think we will be good to go.
    I did give my 21 day notice, with flight numbers, and a list of countries we will be visiting. I don’t know what Angel Watch will do with that, but only time will tell.
    My wife has grudgingly agreed to continue on if I get turned away at some point, so if there are no posts from me for the next two weeks after tomorrow, all is probably good!
    (Actually, maybe I will try to post from there if everything seems okay.)

    • JM of Wi.

      Mike, I’m leaving in 3 ish weeks, same method. I’ll be watching for update here, or could we possibly exchange E-mails ?

      • Mike G

        @JM
        I will try to post updates. All the hotels we are staying in along the way say they have WiFi.
        I have no problem with email, but I am a little reluctant to put my email out in the open here and have it get in someone’s database (has anyone had a bad experience from doing this?).
        At least if my trip goes well, yours probably will too!

        • JM of Wi.

          I was able to communicate through Narsol website with another traveler. Good luck today & tomorrow. Pray at the Beer Temple for us all. (off Dam square)

      • Mike G

        Success! Arrived in Amsterdam about 4 hours ago!

        • JM of Wi.

          Mike G: A major feeling of hope & relief here. Hope your trip is rewarding and fun. Thanks so much for communicating so quickly.

        • R M

          Good for you Mike G! Have a great vacation.

        • Sam

          Congratulations! Hopefully you have a great vacation.

    • James

      Wise decision, Mike, really.

      If you had some difficulty with your wife over London now, it is better than being turned away. That would really be difficult! I might add that other people, people not with our disabilities, have trouble really understanding the care we must take…(they have real difficulties believing what we say and know to be true, ie London, is in fact true).

      Be that as it may, I am certain that Amsterdam will be fine for you.

      Enjoy yourself and once you clear customs in Schiphol, relax, force yourself to relax, you are golden and will have clear sailing.

      Good luck and have a fine time.

      Best Wishes, James

      • Mike G

        Thanks James for the encouraging words!
        After we got turned away from Thailand (her home country), my wife has been much more understanding of my issues.
        Once I clear Schiphol I will certainly relax!

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Then go have a stiff jenever, an advocaat, an Amstel and a joint.

    • Relief

      @Mike G- You wont have any issues flying direct to Amsterdam and the rest should be fine as well. No crowds this time of year -a little cool now but off season prices. Enjoy!

      • Mike G

        Thanks for your good words. As long as State Department doesn’t pick tomorrow to revoke all the passports, I should be good!

    • Robert

      Mike G,

      Hope all goes well. Look forward to your reviews on the trip and hope you have some good tips on traveling. Best wishes. I feel the same as JM, wish we could exchange emails so I could get more info.

      • Mike G

        Happy to help, Robert. I have a fair amount of travel experience, but since things can change daily, I don’t know how much good it will be.
        If you want to risk posting your email, I will definitely reply. I don’t know if there is another way to exchange them.

        • Robert

          I guess I could make another email address just for use on this site. Let me know what you think.

        • Mike G

          @Robert,
          Yeah, an alternate email sounds like a good idea. If you make one, let me know it and I’ll email you back.

        • Robert

          Mike G,
          Hope all is going well. Here’s the email you can contact me at falsto67@gmail.com. Would love to see pics of the sites.

  19. Mike G

    Just as @James, @Relief, and others predicted, I had no trouble entering Amsterdam to start our 14 day middle European tour.
    Although my passport was scanned at LAX when I checked my bag at the curb, and again in Philadelphia as I boarded my connecting flight, nothing happened. When I went through Passport Control after getting off the plane in Amsterdam, they took my passport, opened it to an empty page, stamped it, and handed it back. That was it. I think even the “Red Letter” passport wouldn’t have been noticed in this case.
    Based on past experience, I doubt my passport will be looked at again by government in the next seven countries we visit. Of course my hotel wanted to see it when I checked in.
    I’ll update later if anything unusual happens.

    • Relief

      @SAM, @David Kennerly, et al- The original IML bill of 2010, H.R. 5138 by Chris Smith, mandated registration at US embassies in foreign countries by US registrants living/visiting abroad for more then 30 days (Sec 5 of that bill). That bill passed the House back then but not the Senate and that section was removed in IML HR 515 to facilitate final passage of the base IML.

      The US Congress / Chris Smith certainly believe they have legal jurisdiction on any US citizen living abroad (like US Taxes) and this could well be a future stage in their registration scheme.

      Having to register in foreign countries would of course be far worse then any marked passports / notices…
      Just FYI.

      • Sam

        That would be some bull. Especially if you were no longer a resident of the US. Just to get into the embassy here I need to schedule a month in advance.

        Im am not US property. And I have never considered the US my home, even before I attained a criminal record I was treated like shit in the US because I was a “chink”

        I should have let them deport me like they originally tried.

        Technically I am registering in my foreign country. But not to my country. NY just wants to not let go.

  20. Mike G

    Update on my trip to Europe, referenced above:
    I am happy to report that I have had no trouble at all during my trip. I traveled from Netherlands to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, and France. In almost every case, we just drove across the border, as if you were driving from California to Nevada. The only time there was a Passport Check was driving from Hungary into Austria, and then all they did was look at my passport picture to see if it was me.
    The final challenge will come tomorrow when I fly from Paris to London, change planes, and fly to Los Angles. If I make it through Heathrow unscathed, then all will be good.
    Of course, I’ll have to go through Secondary Inspection in LA, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on what kind of mood they are in. It may be tougher this time since my wife isn’t on the same flight. She arrives in LA two hours before me, and will be waiting for me in the airport.
    I’ll try to post the final update from home this weekend.

    • James

      Dear Mike G:

      I am curious how coming back and changing planes in HTR worked for you?

      You wrote on 4/6

      “The final challenge will come tomorrow when I fly from Paris to London, change planes, and fly to Los Angles. If I make it through Heathrow unscathed, then all will be good.”

      You have been very faithful on reporting your experiences…so thank you for that…especially for the Austrian/Hungarian border that I will have to cross in August….but the London connection remains an open question, at least to me…

      Let us know when you get time.

      Thanks in advance

      Best Wishes, James

      • Mike G

        Hi James,
        Sorry to take so long to reply – guess I’m still a little jet-lagged.

        Good News! Transiting through Heathrow was no problem! After getting off the plane from Paris, there were two directions: Transiting to other flights, and staying in London. Those transiting to other flights were sent to the “transit center” which consisted of a security screening (same as regular screening when going through an airport), but no looking at passports. Then you just headed to your gate.

        When actually boarding my flight back to LA, I did have to show my passport along with my boarding pass, but all they did was look at the picture to make sure it was me.

        One caveat; I was on British Airways coming into Heathrow and leaving Heathrow, and I think the “transit center” may have only been for British Airways flights. It is possible that if you flew in and left on different airlines that you could get routed through customs (like if you had to change buildings, maybe), but I doubt it.

        Of course every one of us who has re-entered the US knows about Secondary Inspection. Other than the fact that they made me stand next to a column in front of all the other passengers for 45 minutes while they “looked” for someone authorized to handle me, it was pretty much the same as usual: Searching thru my luggage, though they didn’t even look at my carry-ons. So far, in maybe 50 times going through Secondary (mostly from Mexico), They have never asked for my cell phone, camera, nor iPad. Maybe I have an innocent looking face. 🙂

        • CR

          Sorry, Mike G, maybe I missed it, but how is it you are able to get into Mexico? I thought Mexico was totally off limits for registered citizens due to either green notices or IML 21 day notification requirements, etc.

        • James

          Thanks, Mike G:

          As always from you a very fine, useful and detailed write up!

          You touched all the bases…what the heck, I’ll say it…a Home run!…lol

          Thanks

          Best Wishes, James

        • JM of Wi.

          Mike G
          Thanks for the updates. I fly next week. Hope I have as easy travel as you. Your info was much appreciated.

        • mch

          Regarding travel into and out of Mexico;
          I have traveled into Mexico since 2009 when I was released from probation. I travel exclusively by car and go only to the “tourist zones”, no farther south in Baja than Ensenada. I cross at San Ysidro and return there in a couple of days. I have made many trips there, with no issues going, staying or returning, other than secondary inspection. I requested from CBP my crossing records and any files they had on me through the FOIA. What I received was nothing more than the list of dates and times of my crossing into the US with the notation of secondary at each crossing. The times in secondary have been shorter and shorter and I’m almost on a first name basis with the officers…almost. They have been professional and polite for the most part. Always one that has a bug up their butt but not very often. I know the drill, I prep my vehicle for their inspection, leave my bag open, windows open and make their job easier. Next year I renew my passport, so it may change.

        • Need to Know

          Mike G – Thanks for your update. Helps us all figure things out. Would be great to know if you receive a letter revoking your passport. Some has speculated this is based on the notification.

        • Mike G

          @CR
          Regarding Mexico:
          There are no passport checks driving into Mexico (San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, etc.) unless something has changed in the last several weeks.
          My wife and I have a place not far south of the border on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean. We used to spend a lot of time there each year.
          My wife and I have Permanent Residency in Mexico (like a green card in the US). Obviously, Mexico is not aware of my RC status, since I only drive in.
          We had pretty much ignored giving notices of travel because California is not a SORNA state, and didn’t seem to require them. IML changed all that.
          We had traveled to China, Egypt, Russia, and had taken several cruises, but when we tried to visit my wife’s family in Thailand, and I was denied entry, that was a big wakeup call!
          Now, I give the 21 day notice when we travel, but we have only traveled to Europe since then.
          I have never been asked about the 21 day notice when returning to the US.

          But, back to Mexico; I am not about to send a 21 day notice about travel to Mexico. I am off their radar, and I want to stay that way. I don’t know if my local sheriff actually forwards the 21 day notices or just sticks them in my file. I don’t know if border patrol coming back into the US has any way of knowing whether I sent a 21 day notice or not.
          Chances are, right now, I could drive into Mexico with out notice, and come back to the US without problem, but I have decided not to risk it. I don’t want to be the first test case to get the 10 year federal sentence.
          So, for the time being, my wife and I drive down to the border, a friend of ours comes across the border and gets my wife, and they go down and check on our place, while I hang around San Diego for a few hours. (My wife hates to drive long distances, and refuses to try driving in Mexico.)
          Hopefully the tiered registry will happen in 2021, and I’ll be able to get off the damn thing, hopefully still healthy enough to travel. In the meantime, we’ll probably restrict our travel to Europe, hoping the marked passport doesn’t screw that up, too.

        • CR

          Mike G, thank you for the detailed response. I asked because my husband is Mexican. He recently got his green card and is now able to visit Mexico and return back here without problem. I’d like to be able to travel to Mexico with him, but I decided not to attempt it when he went back last month to visit his family for the first time in 25 years. I don’t want to get on Mexico’s radar either, nor am I willing to risk traveling without giving the 21 day notice.

          I hope that if I ever get off the registry, I’ll be able to travel to Mexico, and perhaps even retire there. Until then, I try to ask and learn whatever I can from RCs with Mexico travel experience.

  21. FrankGP

    Question about coming back into the US…
    Do they take your phone and any electronic devices you have for inspection?
    If so, I assume you have to unlock?
    Can anyone describe the experience?
    5 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour.. etc.
    Of has anyone had their phone taken and not returned….
    TY

    • E

      @FrankGP. 15 years of travel, last fall was the first time I was asked for my phone and had to unlock it (Houston). When I got it back I saw he had opened my browsers and was looking at Internet history. He spent five minutes going through the phone and I stood there awkwardly.

      They’ve never looked at my laptop or even pulled it out of my backpack when they are doing the secondary search.

    • Need to Know

      They look at my phone about 70% of the time and laptop about 15%. They will ask you to unlock it. You don’t have to, but then they might keep it for a longer inspection. I believe they can hold it for up to 3 days, but not 100% sure if that is accurate Typically they look for pictures and a couple times went through e-mails and internet history. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. I always comply so I can get through quicker.

      • Two phones

        So, if you had a second phone with you that was an old flip phone that could ONLY make phone calls, could you get away handing just that phone to the customs agent to speed your way through customs? Everything on my smart phone is boring and uninteresting for officials, but if having a second dumb phone to hand customs would speed the process up, it might be worth having. Anyone know if that might work?

        • Need to Know

          That would work, assuming you aren’t carrying your other phone. I also might have overstated the number of times my phone is looked at. Probably closer to 50%. I travel a lot for work.

        • CR

          Intentional deception is seldom a wise policy.

          It sounds like you are suggesting carrying two phones, one being your “real” phone (the smart phone), the other being a decoy phone. If that’s what you meant, I would not suggest trying that. If the “real” phone is found, and it is likely to be given that they go through all your belongings, they’ll be convinced you’re trying to hide something from them. It might even be illegal. In any case, you’ll likely be detained longer, and they will probably retain all of your electronic gear for an extended search.

        • Harry

          When I was allowed to travel to the Philippines, my smart phone did not work their, therefore i left in the car at the airport. My wife and I bought cheap Filipino phones, which, did not take pictures.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Take your real phone with you and then ship it back to yourself (in the States) the day before you return. I used to do this with my phone, my SLR, my computer, etc. A definite hassle, and kind of expensive, but well worth the grief and stress of going through Customs and having them inspect them one at a time.

    • David

      Last year and the year before, I visited Europe. My cellphone was not searched on either occassion when coming back into the U.S.

  22. Chris

    Does anyone know exactly what they check or use if applying for a passport. What makes an individual have an identifier. Do they check just the DOJ registry website and the state u are from website or do they check your whole criminal record. Im off my states registry and I checked the DOJ registry website and my name doesn’t appear on there either. Just curious because I’m looking into applying for a passport and wanted to know if I will have an identifier or not.

    • TS

      @Chris

      Recommend getting what the FBI has on file for you though an electronic background check too. Don’t do it via the snail mail to their West Virginia processing center if you can because it takes a long time unless time is not an issue and you want to go low cost (mail vs electronic has a price difference). I’m talking many months of a difference.

      The FBI website has directions and references for people in your area who do electronic requests, which will require fingerprints taken at the place to be submitted with the request. I got mine back within one business week in my email and then another week later when I got the paper copy in the mail.

      Very good information to have WRT what they have on you and what your state may be telling them.

      • TS

        I should’ve mentioned fingerprints are required regardless of which method, mail or electronic, you choose in the end because you have to prove who you are and that is the one way you prove it.

  23. 290 air

    If your crime was expunged, but you still have to register per CA law, how could they put a unique identifier that says you were “convicted” of a sex offense involving a minor? Doesn’t expungement mean the conviction was set aside?

  24. Davidh

    What’s going on with that second IML lawsuit this organization filed. Never heard another word about it–I thought we were to be heard in Feb of this year???

    • David

      It’s my understanding that the Feds have received an extension and will have until the end of April to file their response to the new (i.e.,”2nd”) IML lawsuit.

  25. JM of Wi.

    flying out soon to europe- no stamp, wish me luck. gave 21 day notice etc.
    Thanks to all especially Mike G for lots of info.

  26. Jm wi

    T. Y.
    Zythos festival and all points in between.
    Sateing my travel bug while I still can.

  27. Jm from wi

    Into amsterdam no problems. Glad I kept my passport. Beautiful and sunny here.

  28. Mike G

    Received my cerfified letter from the State Department saying my Passport (and passport card) are both revoked. The letter was dated April 16th, about a week after we returned from Europe.

    I guess I should be thankful it happened after we got back and not before we left, but it is still very depressing.

    Does anyone know if the pending lawsuit were to be successful, is there any chance my passport could be re-instated? They want me to return my passport immediately, but I’m sure I could hold off a little bit.

    Glad JM of Wi got out in time. His trip should be okay.

    • someone who cares

      Oh no Mike G. I was following your post and was happy that you had an uneventful trip, and now this. Don’t you just feel like a Jew in Nazi Germany? I can’t believe that passports are being revoked in this day and age. Are we completely insane? Once all this is coming to an end, we have a lot of ground for major lawsuits, infringing on our privacy, punishing us without due process, etc etc. I just can’t believe that history is repeating itself. Has this country learned anything at all???

      • Really??

        Using the Jewish suffering from 1933-1945 within Europe as an analogy regarding the actions taken against them are similar to what RCs suffer today is one thing, but to ask an RC don’t you feel like a Jew from then because what has happened today is not necessary and really trite (unless they suffered then). Sticking to the overall analogy is at best the furthest it should go.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Whenever I have spoken with Holocaust survivors about the Holocaust (and I’ve known very many people with tatooed numbers on their forearms, almost all of them now dead), their greatest hope was that it should serve as a warning from history to prevent it happening again. I can’t think of anything more analogous to that horror today than the steady drumbeat of OUR rights disappearing. To those ready to pounce in indignant outrage whenever anyone suggests that anything happening today bears a stark resemblance to what happened to the Jews then I tell them that they are badly misinterpreting the lessons of the Holocaust. For one thing, the Holocaust didn’t start with “the Holocaust,” it started small but then escalated. For another, I ask them “what good are the lessons of the Holocaust if they never apply to anyone else?” These lessons have no value if they cannot be extended in the human imagination to what is happening to other people right now. I have just asked a friend of mine, himself a survivor having been sent into hiding at age four in Belgium by his mother and after his father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz (where he perished), what he thought about comparing “sex offenders”/Registrants today to what happened to Jews in Europe. His response? “I can’t think of anything happening today that is closer to the Holocaust than what is happening right now to sex offenders.”

    • James

      Dear Mike G:

      I am sorry to hear this.

      However, I suspect that this is how it is working…you, (or any of us), give our 21 day notice, additionally get logged in when we do international travel, and then upon our return, that is when the revocation kicks in, the certified mail being triggered by international travel.

      Thanks for letting us know…because, for example in my situation, I need to space both my planed European trips far enough apart that I can do trip one, come back to the US, get the revocation, apply for a new passport and have enough time to receive it before leaving on trip two.

      Or, cancel trip one.

      (in truth, I’m just working hard and have somewhat rededicated myself to work and consider myself lucky to be working considering the troubles afflicting {unjustly} all of us…I don’t want to be working this hard or this much…but I’ve got to roll with these severe body blow punches I am absorbing from my society…so we do what we have to to emotionally survive).

      Were I you, I’d just apply for a new passport now…play their game well, I suppose.

      Good luck to you. (and let us know what you do…thanks)

      Best Wishes, James

      • @James

        Why wait for their letter? Just get your new one now if you know you’re going to get a revocation letter and enjoy both trips. Play their game.

        Hoping you don’t get stopped and denied travel with your current passport at the airport outbound for trip one is a gamble, don’t you think?

        • James

          Well, I got a new passport last year to avoid the stamp, (it was expiring this year anyway)…but I am somewhat disinclined to just automatically do this again…and again.

          I think it is the travel that triggers the State Dept and forces them into action…bureaucracies tend towards inertia, I think they need prodding to act…though I could be wrong on this. Also, I have not seen a report where a passport has been revoked out of the blue…without travel or some reason.

          See a shrug of my shoulders…hope does spring eternal….I do have a 1204 expungement…maybe I’ll be treated differently, or not.

          I’ll play the cards I got…lol

          Best Wishes, James

          PS At least for today, all this poo-poo takes some of the joy out of the thought of even traveling…sometimes I am coming to feel it is just better to stay at home….sigh

      • Mike G

        Thanks James. Right now I’m still in shock. Half of me wants to play their game and apply right away (Has anyone actually received one of the new ones yet?). The other half wants to wait for 2021 and see if I can get off first. But by then I’ll be 70, so that is a lot of time to waste…

        • James

          @Mike G:

          So you are a young man, eh? ….;>}}}

          If you have the inclination and you have the time…get yourself gone…lol…time’s a` wasting!

          A much younger female friend of mine just passed away from a massive stroke, age only 48. Decisions had to be made…when brain dead, when do you turn off the ventilators when someone is in a permanent vegetative state (PVS)?

          After my conviction, 288(a), I pretty much traveled a lot for 30 years…I have backed off of course now…or since 2016…I however will never regret all the time and memories I have from traveling.

          I recommend this routinely for everyone now…we never know…and this is why I am fairly unhappy with myself in that I keep now pushing off travel…well, I’m busy and that’s a good thing too.

          But I don’t think you should be in shock…smile in whatever you decide; living well is more than the best revenge against an unfair system…it may be an affirmative duty.

          (well, one last point, I have spoken, with passion, to three other people today about your report…and I was fairly depressed until about 6pm…Heck, then I decided I have a duty to be as happy and as productive as I can be…(I am older than you)….so I took myself by the scruff of the neck and gave myself a severe shaking this evening…)

          We’ll be fine.

          Though, when we were convicted way back when, How could we possibly know we would end up as we have in 2018? Crazy….so, forgive yourself and be happy, (as possible).

          Best Wishes, James

        • AJ

          @James:
          so I took myself by the scruff of the neck and gave myself a severe shaking this evening…)
          —–
          Thank you ever so much for making my mind go to the scene from “Airplane!” with the woman having a panic attack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IORS5Dq0W8s). I especially love when Leslie Nielsen gives her one more slap “for the road.” 🙂

    • Ts

      @Mike G

      Holding off doesn’t do you any good. The passport is USG property, https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/22CFR/HTML/22CFR/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-2898/0-0-0-2995.html

      There seems to be no pattern on the revoke letters or actions, e.g. before or after traveling, because reports here have been both. Interesting…

      • PK

        “There seems to be no pattern on the revoke letters or actions, e.g. before or after traveling, because reports here have been both”

        Now I’m wondering if this trigger will occur for ALL RSO’s by either providing 21 advance notice, or upon return of an international travel.

        Have there been any reports where zero notification for revocation was received?

    • PK

      I really really wish they would just post something already about the IML Lawsuit. The last word on this came in February.

      People are trying to determine whether to travel internationally or not, or even return from overseas,,, all depending on what’s going on with this Lawsuit.

      For example, if the passport revocation is triggered upon the return the the U.S. port of entry, who would want to return so quickly to the U.S. if someone has the option to wait it out?

      Other people are not sure whether to pursue a Visa now or later, all dependent on the IML Lawsuit.

      If your going to be asking for support from people at some point in the future, concerning this Lawsuit, it would definitely be appreciative to let people know what is going on.

    • AJ

      @Mike G:
      Received my cerfified letter from the State Department saying my Passport (and passport card) are both revoked. The letter was dated April 16th, about a week after we returned from Europe.
      —–
      This seems to be the pattern State is using, and it makes sense. I suspect your passport was actually revoked the moment you were cleared back into the US or perhaps completion of your entire travel itinerary, and it just took a little bit of time for the paperwork to follow. By revoking only upon a traveler re-entering the US, State avoids the problems and hassles of stranding people overseas and in need to temp passports (read: making work for themselves), and also keeps them from having to bother with dormant and/or expiring passports. It’s actually a rather efficient and smart way of doing it, versus en masse revocations and re-issues.

      • PK

        I’m wondering if the revocation is based upon the receipt and signature of the certified letter?

        What if an RSO has an international address, is still a U.S. Citizen with a valid Passport, and only comes to visit the United States for a couple of days?

      • Mike G

        @AJ

        I think your assessment is most likely the best explanation of what they are doing.

        It appears that for anyone subject to IML, the next trip they take out of the country will be the last one with that passport.

  29. PK

    @MikeG I feel really bad for you.

    May I ask you what type of conviction you had? Misdemeanor or Felony?
    And how long ago was your conviction?

    • Mike G

      Thanks @PK.

      It was 24 years ago. A couple of neighborhood girls were in my office to play on my computer, a common occurrence. Computers were rare then. The girls were in 5th grade. I’d known one of them for several years, the other for a few months. They sometimes helped in my son’s kindergarten class, where I also helped out occasionally.

      The girl I had known the longest lifted up her shirt and told me to touch her. Of course, she was flat chested, and my first thought was that she wanted me to feel a lump, or something. But after I touched her, she giggled and pulled her shirt down. The other girl, not wanting to miss out, pulled up her shirt and told me to touch her too. I should have known better, but I touched her also. After she giggled and pulled her shirt down, they both asked me for money. I realized then what their game was, but I really didn’t think much about it. About a week later, the first girl came to my office with a third girl. When I saw her, I said “you want me to touch you too?” And she said “NO!” And I said, “Good for you.”

      Apparently, the third girl told her mother about this guy that touches girls and gives them money, and the girl’s mother called the police, who visited a few days later and asked if I had touched the girls, and I said that I had. They said they would get back to me. I decided to talk to a lawyer that I knew, and he said he would check for me. About a week later, he called and said they were charging me with 2 felony counts of 288(a). He said not to worry because they always plea bargain. They didn’t. He said there was no point in going to trial because I already admitted to doing it. So I pled no contest and was sentenced to 300 days in jail, and 5 years probation, but the judge said I didn’t have to register as a sex offender. I actually spent 30 days in jail, and 180 days at home with an ankle monitor. The lawyer said, don’t worry, we’ll get it expunged after a year. But they wouldn’t. Don’t worry, we’ll get your probation shortened. But they wouldn’t.

      My second probation officer said “I see you haven’t registered yet” I said, “The judge said I didn’t have to.” She said, “I don’t care what any judge said, if you don’t register I’m going to throw your ass in jail! Besides, it is no big deal. You just do it one time, and you are done. And no one will ever see it except Law Enforcement.” So I registered. We all know the end of that story.

      Sorry about all that. When I am depressed, I sometimes feel like rambling on…

      • PK

        @Mike G
        I actually had a bad dream last night, and John Kerry was with eating dinner with my parents when my letter arrived. He picked it up and said something, and I screamed at him “why don’t you do something, you run the place!” Too funny, I know ….

        I’m actually supposed to be coming back this weekend by crossing the bridge, and all last night I was thinking of ways to cross like the illegal’s from South America do it. Believe it or not, I’ve actually been taking notes from news articles about where there is no fence. Would you call that reverse illegal immigration? lol.

        I’m not sure if I can and should delay coming back, I actually do need to go back at some point for medical reasons. Plus Spring and Summer are my busy seasons and I need to get back to work.

        I guess if I knew what was going on with the new IML, such as an imminent injunction, I would be able to make a better informed decision.

        Convicted in California 28 years ago for 2 Felony’s ?

        Mine was 1 Misdemeanor from 17 years ago in NY.

        Even though this horrible thing happened to you MikeG, hopefully the information about what they are doing will be helpful for someone in the Group.

        • Mike G

          @PK

          Well, your dream experience gave me the first laugh I have had for a while!

          Thanks for your kind words.

          You really have to wonder what kind of country we have when a 17 year old misdemeanor can wreak such havoc on someone’s life.

  30. Jm from wi

    @mike g
    Sorry to hear about passport revocation. Guess mine will come shortly. I’m traveling with a friend with a passport with an identifier. He’s had no problems yet. Hope that’s good news for the both of us.

    • E

      @JM. Are you saying your friend already has an identifier and has been going to Europe with it, with no issues? That’s the first I’ve heard of actual travel with a new passport with an identifier on the back page.

    • PK

      @Jm from Wi

      “I’m traveling with a friend with a passport with an identifier.”

      Could you please tell the group what this Passport Identifier looks like?

    • PK

      @Jm from wi

      For everyone- This would be extremely important information to know.

      There have been some reports that the Identifier is simply a written endorsement on the Passport’s last page.

      Paul R has reported that someone had to apply for a new Passport with the Identifier, but yet when he received it, it had no endorsement or Identifier at all- that he could see.

      • mch

        No one really knows what this unique identifier is, or on who’s passports it will be shown. There is a string of numbers and letters at the bottom ID page of passports, so perhaps upon renewal it might be included in that, only to be decoded by some cereal box secret decoder ring or the all knowing data base that has all of our information.

        • PK

          @mch Whoever has the new passport would know if they see something “conspicuous identifier”.

  31. Harry

    What is happening to the IML lawsuit? I have not heard or seen since it was filed, than it was addressing only the technically of procedures. Is there any court dates, etc. ?

  32. 290 air

    Just got back from Canada (I’m a dual citizen). This was my first time giving a 21 day notice. This is also the first time I’ve been pulled into secondary going to Canada using my Canadian Passport. They must send a real generic notice that says we are some kind of fugitive or something. The guys at the Canadian border were totally confused as to why I was flagged. To expedite the process I just told them why I thought I was flagged. They said it made it much faster than having to search and after some basic questions I was on my way. On the return to the US they pissed me off pretty badly. We were waiting for over an hour in secondary and when I stepped away to go to the bathroom they asked my wife if she knew what I was arrested for. I didn’t even think it was legal for them to divulge this kind of information without my permission. She knew, obviously, so not a big deal. Foiled again, DHS. I think the more they “cry wolf” to other countries the less impact it will have over time when they send these notices. Hopefully…

    • AJ

      @290 air:
      I didn’t even think it was legal for them to divulge this kind of information without my permission.
      —–
      As SCOTUS said in Smith, it’s just release of already-public information…no harm, no foul. Riiighhht….

  33. AD from MN

    Worried….to say the least. I came into this discussion late, better later than never may have saved me; from my reading of your extremely helpful posts.

    I was charged in 2012 and received 14 days in jail, 5 years of supervision and was subject to registry. My supervision was completed this past December (2017).

    So my significant other and I thought we would go to Europe in June to visit my son who lives in Germany.

    We are flying into PARIS, spend time in Paris then take train to Germany to stay with my son and his wife. To end our travel we had plans to fly to LONDON (via Ryan Air) spend the weekend in London and then fly back to US from LONDON.

    First and foremost, thank you for the “heads up” on the 21 day notice. I will be filing that in a couple weeks.

    Secondly, am I correct that I am NOT ALLOWED into LONDON?

    Lastly, what other tips or suggestions would you all have for a 1st time INTERNATIONAL traveler on the registry?

    Thank you in advance.

    AD

    • James

      @AD

      I think you are golden, except for the London leg of your journey….which I think is more than problematic.

      If you don’t list London on your 21 day itinerary….hummm? How will London know since you are flying in from outside the US?

      I’d be curious also if one could take the ferry to Dover or the Chunnel to London…and again, who would know?

      Personally, since you came here for advice….I’ll give some…as wonderful as London is, (and it really is), I would not chance it….myself….but maybe you can be a trailblazer in these regards.

      PS I think you CAN list London on your 21 day notice and London will not get a green slip on you, that will only go to Paris, your initial stop.

      Good luck, let us know

      Best Wishes, James

      • Jim

        I am very interested in knowing if you can travel to London via the chunnel from Dover. Will they require you to show your passport? Will they dent you entry if you enter via the chunnel?

      • E

        I don’t think the green slip only goes to the first country. Just got back from Spain. This is the first time I’ve had to give my full itinerary (change of rules in my Sorna compliant state to give all itinerary information as if this year).

        No issue at passport control in Germany (same as always). But when I got off my flight from Germany to Spain, Spanish customs was looking for me. They were checking all passports as people got off the plane and when they got to mine, they nodded at each other and escorted me to customs inspection. They stopped looking at any other passports so they were def looking for me. ON AN INTRA-SCHENGEN FLIGHT.

        one guy xrayed my luggage but looked no further. The other guy had my passport and disappeared. First guy asked me how long I was staying, what hotel, etc. I’d put all that on my 21 day notice but they didn’t seem to have that info. He was extremely friendly and my impression was he was mystified why they had to pull me out. He was not treating me with suspicion. A couple minutes later he went and got my passport and said, have a nice trip. After I thought I was on my way home for sure!! Whew

        Sooooo, I’ve been in Europe 3-4x per year for business for years. I used to only have to give the outbound flight, not my full itinerary on the 21 day notice. Kills me that the first time I gave my full itinerary sure enough, something changed. For the rest of the trip I was worried the local Spanish cops would show up at my hotels. But that never happened and my departure from Spain was no issue, and transit through Germany with passport control no issue as always (on the way home).

        I wonder what the Spanish guys would have said if I’d had the pretty RC notice on the endorsements page??

        • Mike G

          @E

          This is very scary and definitely an escalation!

          Is there anything other than your 21 day notice that could have triggered them looking for you?

        • E

          @Mike G
          Nothing else should have triggered it. I’ve never had a second glance in Europe before

      • AJ

        @James:
        I don’t think omitting London from the itinerary would be either effective or wise. The UK is part of the Five Eyes, so they have access to the US info, and would probably bounce a traveler independent of any US-generated paperwork or notifications. I think it’s also unwise, as one instantly risks violating Federal law. USMS, or whomever, could easily put a notification in CBP computers to grab a traveler upon returning to the US.

        I suspect one would have a better chance of slipping through the cracks via land or sea versus air, but since the UK has maintained its immigration borders, there’s still the possibility of the above situation.

        I also don’t know that the US only sends a Green Notice to the country of initial entry. If that were the case, why ask for one’s full itinerary. I believe a Green Notice is sent to every country one lists.

        Now if a traveler had no declared intention of visiting the UK, but while in NE France happened to do it on a lark, then there may be escapability on the 21-day crap. This would entail returning to the US via mainland Europe, but that’s a small inconvenience, IMHO.

        It’s amazing how one can get wrapped up in the beauty and history of Europe and make an unplanned detour…

    • Mike G

      Hi AD,

      I just returned from 15 days in Europe and had a great time, and I hope you will too.

      If you scroll back you can see my posts if you haven’t already.

      You didn’t mention if your offense involved a Minor. If it didn’t, the IML with its 21 day notice doesn’t apply to you. Also, in that case, since your offense was over 5 years ago, and your sentence was short, the customs officer in London can let you in at his own discretion.

      However, if your offense did involve a Minor, you do need to give the 21 day notice. Flying into Paris is no problem, but if you try to get into London, they will scan your passport, and I think they will deny you entry. Whether they will send you back where your flight just came from, or allow you to just fly on to the US, I don’t know. Also, your passport will likely be revoked after you get back.

      Personally, I would not try to stay in London, but if you do, and get in, let us all know. I was able to transit through Heathrow airport in London without a problem since I didn’t have to go through customs. My wife split from me in Paris, and came across to the UK on the ferry, and she did have to go through customs.

      Keep in mind that none of us knows what will actually happen in any situation since things can change “without notice”. All we can do is share our own experiences, and ones we have heard about, and give our best two cents worth.

      Have a great time in Paris and Germany!

      • PK

        @Mike G
        “Half of me wants to apply right away, the other half wants to wait for 2021 and see if I can get off first”

        My guess is that your Passport has already been revoked, by virtue of you signing the Certified Letter from the State Department. Or it could have been the case that the first revoke, and then send the letter, who knows.

        You may as well just get the new one at this point since holding on to the revoked one isn’t going to do you any good.

        Then hopefully we can get a final answer on what the heck these new Passports look like.

        Secondly, since your wife is a Permanent Resident in Mexico, and you are married to her, have you ever considered applying for the Family Unity Visa in Mexico?

        • CR

          My spouse is a Mexican national. I know I could apply for Mexican permanent residency at the Mexican Consular office, but I wonder if I’d be approved due to my status as a registrant and past criminal history. Or if I’d be denied entry at the border anyway (due to green notice and/or IML passport stamp), even if I had my permanent residency approved by the Mexican Consulate here in the states?

        • PK

          @CR
          “I wonder if I’d be approved due to my status as a registrant and past criminal history.”
          Yes Family Unity trumps everything in MX

          “Or if I’d be denied entry at the border anyway”
          Don’t need a Visa or travel document to apply for Family Unity.

          “Even if I had my permanent residency approved by the Mexican Consulate here in the states?”
          It’s better to do it within the interior of Mexico.

      • @Mike G

        The 21-day travel notification rule for IML notification doesn’t have anything to do whether a minor versus no minor being involved, as far as it’s understood. It’s required regardless of the offense based upon the rules of SORNA. If you can show where a minor has to be involved to invoke the 21day travel notification rule, then that would be wonderful.

        https://www.smart.gov/international_travel.htm

        • Anonymous

          I read to be subject to IML notification must have the component of a underage victim to trigger the green notice via Interpol. I am however in Florida now and they (FDLE) stated although I am not under IML I am under Florida’s rules and SORNA that allows for a travel notice to a destination country and Provide 21 days out of country notification. I have seen the notices they are a email and I believe 1 time not stuck for years like a green notice. It appears when I have given notice I have been denied entry to country’s expected…When I have not because of travel plan changes at the last minute nobody blinked. It’s clear the notice is the issue and I have been told by the immigration officers in at least 1 country to come back another day when the USA doesn’t notice them to deny my entry and return.

          “The International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 4573) was a bill that would require the notification of foreign governments when a citizen of United States registered as a sex offender for sexual offense involving a minor is going to be traveling to their country.”

        • @Anonymous

          The quoted text from Wikipedia you posted was language from a bill that did not pass or get signed. Keep reading to see what the two houses of Congress did and finalized.

          Then read: https://www.usmarshals.gov/megans-law-faqs.html

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