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General News

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. Mot

    Thanks to all for your experience and input. I have traveled to Mexico once since my event and did get caught going thru Canada on the way back from Alaska and that was scary as they said they could send me to prispn Canada for ‘illegally entering the country’; looked like any felon was plucked from the cruise ship and not just RSO.
    Thanks again and Janice keep up the good work on Tiered in CA

  2. PK

    I wanted to give an update in terms of the entry back into the US through the Miami Airport Port.

    As of April 30th, it would appear that they have streamlined their process for the better.

    When I returned back last night, the Secondary Inspection was fast and non-humiliating, as compared to years past. They simply checked for outstanding warrants which took about 3 minutes, without a single question asked. Again, far different scene than in years past. I can remember as far back as 3 years ago, going through the Miami Airport, when several agents were literally drooling over themselves in disbelief. over my BS Misdemeanor Conviction from 17 years ago.

    The bags check was via the XRay Conveyer, and nobody went through my bags by hand. That was it!

    • James

      Dear PK:

      Well, this is good to hear…I have the same sense of things….except it hard to know since I can’t wander into Mexico or Central America as once I could…but from Europe, Customs officials seem pretty much better…but some times you get a weird one.

      I think there are so many of us, they have become use to us or something.

      Feel free not to answer, but do you mind me asking where you were coming back from?

      I am a little embarrassed to even ask…this somewhat impolite question….but what the heck, why not? (I don’t mean it badly)

      Best Wishes, James

      • PK

        It seems like there is less hype surrounding this International Megan’s Law. Perhaps it’s better keeping things left unsaid, and not provide too much information about successful travels overseas. For some RSO’s traveling to a foreign country is simply more than just a vacation. Perhaps a minority of RSO’s actually have families and spouses outside of the United States, and for them the international travel is somewhat more important.

        I did feel that many people did go slightly overboard last year, when everyone was so angry about the implementation of IML, and how the injunction and overall case were handled by Judge Hamilton. I’m not sure if this anger and calls for demonstrations, had a negative impact on the case, but it could have.

        Really it should be the job of RTAG to document the positive and negative travel experiences RSO’s have endured. However, I’m not clear if that’s even functioning as of now.

        I vaguely remember Janice saying during her phone conference, way back in February, that her Team was going to consider whether to file an Appeal for their previous challenge to IML or file a new challenge regarding the Notification Provisions of this really bad IML Law. What’s up with that? Have you heard anything?

        • James

          No, I haven’t heard anything about the Oakland case…I suspect that the appeal period has passed. Also I was told, back channels, that Judge Hamilton was a pretty good draw for a judge….I guess that was wrong also.

          I did think the case was well presented on our side..and yet, and yet….

          I respect your discretion in these regards (a smart person being smart), as I am sure does everyone here.

          Take care of yourself and be happy.

          Best Wishes, James

        • David Kennerly, the Entrenched Client

          In the last telephone conference about IML, Janice said that an altogether new lawsuit(s) was to be filed, with new plaintiffs, in Southern California Federal District Court. She will not file an appeal on the suit dismissed by Phyllis Hamilton in Northern District.

          You may want to listen to that conference call.

        • PK

          The phone conference I heard was when she indicated that her and her team were going to have a meeting in mid-March, and then make a decision about whether to appeal or file a new lawsuit. I was not aware of any phone conference subsequent to that.

        • Harry

          I recalled from earlier post that the IML was appealed. As for any hearing actions, I have not heard.

        • David Kennerly, the Entrenched Client

          I don’t believe that the anger at IML and the demonstration against it had an adverse effect upon us. Indeed, it was absolutely necessary to establish that an organization and a constituency exists to protest these policies. That is the beginning of any fight for justice.

          This is not going to be a short battle much as no other battle we find ourselves fighting will be short. We should expect no real developments, either positive or adverse, in the time scales we would prefer. We will have to fight for every inch of ground we will gain and commit to this struggle for as long as it takes.

          I think that we are much better off for receiving accurate travel reports. This information appears to not be available from any other source than from those who comprise this forum and contribute to RTAG.

          I am not terribly enthusiastic about the strategy to convince each country that bars us to reconsider their policies, although I could well be wrong. I feel that, instead, we need to assert, and to believe, that our own country’s practice of subverting our interests through the promulgation of our criminal record egregiously undermines our rights as citizens.

        • Timmr

          Yeah, what anger? The protest was puny as protests go. 30 registrants and supporters compared to 850,000 potential registrants and friends who remain silent. I don’t know why people are so concerned, afraid, about us making waves, or is it rather little ripples? We are basically invisible to the administration right now. Don’t try to second guess what turns their screws. They’re all screwed up. Cattle and chickens raise more sympathy with them than us. We need to just get out there and say this stuff makes no sense, and quit worrying about how it comes off. Show other RC’s it can be done, that’s the main thing at this point. Forget the big strategies, life is short and you only have an instant to speak and then the opportunity is gone.

        • Tired Of Hiding

          We should ask Trump to cancel the executive order that traitor Obama signed. That would make it easier as those who want it would need to actually show that it is not bad policy recemicent of the Nazis marking Jewish passports to KEEP Jews in Germany and prevent them from leaving…the rest as they say is history.

          Is history repeating itself again, only this time in the “land of the free?” Sure looks that way from where I am sitting…seems like they might not kill us (they already provide a map and list of name for vigilantes to do that) but they certainly will use us as the boogeyman and keep the fear level up between terrorist attacks.

          Just let us go already and go after some real criminals…although it’s so much easier to just keep tabs on those they already “busted” without doing any real work at all. Who are the REAL criminals in the USA? You need look no further than Washington DC!

        • Lake County

          We need to let Trump know that we are the worst of the worst criminals in America and that he should dump the IML and allow all of us to permanently leave this country so that all U.S. children will become safe. A easy way for him to get rid of more “bad people”. I think many of us would be willing to leave for freedom.

        • Lake County

          Of course I’m being sarcastic, I would prefer that we just dump all these stupid rules against us so we could become free citizens again.

  3. A.D.

    FYI: A general definition regarding vague laws is more or less defined as this… Any law that is vague that a person gets arrested on can be challenged for its ambiguity. The Doctrine of Lenity is a doctrine under well-settled criminal law that mandates that a law has to be written in such a way as can be understood by a reasonably thinking person who can determine what is a criminal act or what act will constitute criminal liability. If it is a poorly written law and it can be determined both for and against a person and they are arrested on the law for some criminal act, under this doctrine, if you, the Reader, were arrested on a vaguely written law which can creates and ambiguity of the law, then, properly argued, the law will work in the Defendant’s favor and the criminal charges must be dismissed. This is a loose definition of vague law and its criminal liabilities.

  4. Robert

    Hi Everyone.

    Background: I became a registrant 11 years ago here in California, served 7 months jail time and successfully completed 10 years probation. My passport expired in 2016.

    This spring, around March I think, I renewed my US Passport paying an extra fee for a quick expedition. I received it with NO markings that I can tell, but then again, it does have a chip in it. I attempted three different times to set up an appointment with the local detective in my jurisdication to fill out the SORNA form, even though CA does not require it, but to no avail. Nonetheless, I left a brief message on his voicemail of my travels.

    I booked my trip and had no issues at each of the locations. The following is my itinerary.
    Flew from SFO to Amsterdam on WOW Airlines with a layover in Iceland. Iceland stamped my passport but went right through. Nothing was needed in Amsterdam. Took the train from Amsterdam to Cologne, Germany, then flew from Germany to Paris on RyanAir. Then flew again from Paris to Barcelona on Eurowings. At the end of my trip, I flew from Barcelona to Oakland with a layover in Sweden. Got stamped in Sweden, but no questions.

    So upon my arrival, I just knew that I would get called out or stopped or strip searched. Sure enough, I was in line, I kind of stayed in the back to not draw too much attention to myself when I noticed a security or customs supervisor looking at his phone and looking into the crowd. I knew who he was looking for. He then asked me to go with him. Knowing I had done nothing wrong, I kept calm and collected. He takes me to an open area and starts taking EVERYTHING out of my backpacks and asks me if I knew why I was being searched. He was pretty respectful. I told him I understood why he was made to do what he was doing, but that I apologize for wasting his time and I thanked him for not being an ass. He said that this would happen every time I traveled out of the country and all agents are different. He asked me where I went, what kind of work I did here, and if I was traveling alone. So passports are marked via the info on the chip. No surprise.

    It was rather quick, a little embarrassing, but the silver-lining, I was able to cut through the line. 🙂 Another agent that was with him was nice and just told me to know which countries I could go to or not so that I don’t waste money. I thanked them and went on my way. Of course, there were stares, but I knew I couldn’t let it get to me and just move forward.

    I can’t wait to travel again. So when you travel, don’t do anything stupid or illegal. Enjoy the countries you are visiting as there are some beautiful areas out there and amazing sites. Luckily, I had a friend in Cologne and in Paris which made it more affordable, but next time I’d like to travel with a friend.

    Stay strong, be vigilant, and continue moving forward!

    • PK

      Great Report Robert! I’m glad you made it to where you were going without issues.

      Thanks for informing everyone!

    • Tired Of Hiding

      So the smart ASS said to you: ” just told me to know which countries I could go to or not” I wish that you HAD told him that you (and everyone else) would love to if they didn’t keep that info/list a fing secret! What an arrogant A-hole or rather the typical law enforcement type.

      One wonders if you had good luck and if this would be repeated if someone else tried the exact same thing.
      I can’t afford to test it…already lost money that way.

      So glad for you but it is really of little practical help for others.

    • Brent

      This is a GREAT article and all who travel should write one with as much clarity as you did. Congrats and everyone reading this should take note of your example!

    • AJ

      FYI, the chip is just an RFID carrying the same data that’s in the passport itself. These chips have been around for some time–at least 11 years, since I’m a year into my second passport with one embedded. The chip is in all passports, not just RCs or whomever–proven by my passport having one before I offended.

      Unless the CBP LEOs “outed” you, take the stares as a badge of honor…the rubberneckers have no idea if CBP was looking for porn, drugs, money, ivory, or whatever. You’re just a “bad dude,” which isn’t always all bad. 🙂

  5. Lee

    I want to go to US Virgin Islands, but I cannot find information on how many days required to register there if I will be just visiting?

    • AJ

      Do a google search of “USVI sex offender laws pdf” and you will get some helpful results. I meant to put them in here for you, but google was giving me nasty-long URLs. The link (2nd result when I just did it) will give you all the laws for all the US territories.

      From what I gathered with a quick scan, it’s 3 days.


    • JM of Wi.

      I’ve been to US virgins 3 times recently… most recently Nov. 2016
      Called doc contact there, gave date and time I arrived. Went to government building in St Thomas to “check in”. DOC person wanted proof of flights etc. Jumped a ferry to st johns 1/2 hr later. No problems on flight departure. She gave me a copy of her check-in report for use if I had any difficulties leaving. (did not need it) Snorkeling was supreme.
      note- flights generally arrive late in the day. DOC is open till 5 ish If you are catching a connecting ferry to st croix or st johns either leave enough time to check-in. I believe they are closed weekends and ferrying back to check in sucks.

  6. Ron

    Well, I have to travel to the USA again. It is my mom’s 75th birthday and my dad says she wants to see all of her children while still alive. I will only be there a week. Geeez I am beginning to dread the US government. Would that be the definition of oppression?

  7. Lake County, CA

    This is an interesting video about airline travel and some ways of crossing boarders without a passport. Worth watching if you want to travel. It also talks about jurisdiction for crimes while traveling.

    Which Country Are International Airports In?

  8. Lee

    For those that want to travel to U.S Virgin Islands. I want to share this post from tripadvisor –

    Looks like you have to go through immigration while exiting from USVI. Meaning, you have to hand in your passport and they will run it on the computer. I wonder if they are going to see everything and then question you like you were coming from International trip into USA as opposed to just custom formality of goods, etc. Anyone has experience with traveling to USVI as RSO? I cannot seem to find any information about one’s experience online. I am just concerned if they are making any huge deal or cause any issues.

    @AJ – thank you for the link. The article is so vague about how many days needed to register in USVI as a visitor, but it does mention alot about 3 days.

    • AJ

      You shouldn’t have to show a passport to go through “immigration” in the USVI. The USVI are what’s considered “domestic overseas,” IOW you’ve never left U.S. sovereignty. They do require some form of State-issued ID, though, so a passport is usually easiest. In the old days, you could simply have a notarized affidavit from someone, crafted prior to leaving the States, stating you’re a citizen. I doubt that’s any good anymore, but it was a way to fight Big Brother a little bit.

  9. JM of Wi.

    Any feedback from travelers flying back from european countries through JFK?
    I have had problems in Detroit, none in Minn. – How is JFK?

    • lee

      What kind of problem did you have at Detroit? I thought no matter where you flying into, you are going to get questioned and got secondary screen no matter what. So I’d assume JFK is the same.

      • PK

        @Lee you would be correct, any RSO returning to the Country through any Port of Entry should expect to go through Secondary Screening.

      • JM of Wi.

        I have not always been sent to secondary
        Detroit 2ndary 2 for 2
        Minn 2ndary 1 for 4

        My JFK time between flights is just over an hour- panicking already.

        • JM of Wi.

          Justified panic.
          Into Amsterdam- smooth, flew out of France (Nice) smooth. JFK was way crowded. Almost an hour and a half to do primary- put into X line which seemed to be Middle eastern / brown skin citizens . I was one of the only ones to be taken into secondary. secondary took only 10 minutes. So customs approx, 1 hour and thirty five min +/- . If my flight wouldn’t have been over twenty minutes early I would have missed my connection.
          Certainly I will not travel with only 1 hour and 29 minutes for a connection with a customs stop.
          Having my 21 day notice available for secondary helped dramatically. From now on I will carry an xtra copy for them to keep- it may possibly eliminate secondary, since that was all they did in secondary (take a copy).

  10. lee

    Hi could someone let me know how many days we can stay in Florida before we have to register?

    • Paul

      I think it’s 3 but seriously, don’t go. JUST. DON’T. GO.

      • lee

        Why paul? why? LOL in regards to Florida.

        • lee

          Hey Paul, I somehow remember it’s 5 days. So I looked it up and it says 48 hours if establishing temp residence more than 5 days.

      • PK

        Go but just don’t drive a car and get pulled over. Uber!

        F*** all that noise about registering in Florida and never coming off of their Registry.

        • ma.concerned.citizen

          I agree, F* them. I’ve taken my kids to Disney World twice since starting my “membership”. Flew once, drove once. No issues either time. Just keep a low profile and don’t do anything stupid to get called out. Just be a “normal” person, and you’ll be fine.

          This is in no way an official endorsement. Just my own personal experience.

          Sorry, I know this is getting a bit off the subject of this thread, just wanted to add my 2 cents.

      • Lake County

        I don’t know why anyone would take the risk of going to Floridah for any amount of time or any reason. Especially with your kids. The risk is too great. Those people are crazy from all that sun frying their brains. Go to California Disneyland instead. There is much more to see around LA area that doesn’t involve the Mickey Mouse money trap. Do what you you feel is best, just be very careful in Floridah.

  11. robert m

    Any new news on this IML thing? not that i have the money to travel but what about going to Maylasia? any restrictions, wanna see my wife who is in the philippines but seems i cant go there anymore. they can travel to maylasia and its not too expensive anyone have any info that can be of use to me thanks all

    • David Kennerly, Thank you for not confusing me with John Wayne Gacy

      Robert, in reviewing the RTAG site which keeps track of Registrant travel experiences, they do not list Malaysia (make sure you spell it right) as a country barring Registrants. Also, I have performed a quick Google search to see if I could come up with something and found nothing about such a policy although they are up in arms about a U.K. tourist who was convicted of a number of counts there and are, or are contemplating, implementing an S.O. registry.

      Indonesia blocks Registrants so I would stay away from there.

      I have been there several times and liked it very much and found it to be very similar to Indonesia which is not surprising since it is pretty much the same culture, divided only by who colonized them (Britain/Malaysia and Netherlands/Indonesia) although it is a good deal more complicated than that since both have lots of individual tribal societies and islands which comprise the nation states. Many people speak English, of course, in Malaysia.

      So you may just be okay going there. I would do a bit more digging on Google before booking a flight, though.

      Good luck!

      • PK

        I don’t believe the RTAG Website or Matrix is up-to-date.

        I haven’t heard a word about RTAG or this Matrix thing for at least 8 months, so I think it’s pretty much fallen by the wayside.

        • Tom

          I emailed the website recently to ask if it was still live and it supposedly going to be updated soon.

    • NPS

      I’m interested in Mongolia. It’s not on the RTAG site, so I’m assuming that no one has been there or has yet to report. A concern is, though, that there is no direct flight to Mongolia. There is a stop either in China or Korea; each a country that does not allow RCs.

      • James

        Hong Kong should be good to both stay in and transit through…or was to my several years ago.

        They raised their eyebrows, but let me in without saying a word…

        Best Wishes and Good Luck, James

        • Concerned Registrant

          I just spent a month in HK and Macao. Had no problems going over or returning on July 11.

        • David Kennerly, Thank you for not confusing me with John Wayne Gacy

          I don’t think that we’ve gotten a report from Macau before so thank you for that. Also, I’m always happy to learn that H.K. seems to be okay. There have only been two or three positive reports from there previously. I need to go there at some point even though banks there have closed down my, and many other Americans’, bank accounts due to the outrageous pressures being exerted by the U.S. government on foreign banks that are scaring them off of American account holders.

          Did you go up Victoria Peak in the Peak Tram? That’s always a fun ride and a wonderful view from the top.

          Oh, could you please fill out the brief feedback form for those who have traveled, either successfully or not? It can be found here somewhere.

        • Concerned Registrant

          Have not had problem arriving in HK. Once you are in HK, it’s a ferry ride to Macao. You go through their immigration, but it’s pretty simple. HK has plenty of things to keep a visitor occupied. Check Tripadvisor for options.
          Interestingly, the return to LAX was uneventful, and I wasn’t even sent to secondary. The automated system has sped things up a bit as people a getting used to it. I’m speculating here, but it is possible that the scan of the passport on the kiosk machine is also automatically checking for any warrants and such. After you go to the machine, you then go to an actual officer who checks the receipt. He just sent me through. Would be interested to hear if this has also been the experience from others returning from overseas. If so, this could help reduce those embarrassing and annoying secondary inspections. My offense was child related contact.


          Thats great – did you report your trip 21 days prior? If not please don’t reply. I don’t want to get you caught up in anything.

          I did before my trip to aruba and got pulled aside for secondary but you go through US customs in Aruba before you leave.

        • Concerned Registrant

          Yes, I gave notification of travel before I left at least 21 days in advance and acquired what I could in writing to prove that I had done so. I have traveled internationally for decades while on the registry. I would travel for lengthy periods of time 1-6 months at a time when I was free to live with my wife in the Philippines, and always registered out and then back in upon return. That was the only way to get written proof of compliance. Only recently have I added the 21 day advance notification. The being rejected by a country has nothing to do with the advance notice, as far as I can see. That result is more likely due to the Angel Watch notifications that go out. In fact, the local police officer when I went in to give notification said that the Feds don’t even want them to send in the notification, probably just because it is redundant.

    • Trust me

      Malaysia is okay. although they are starting work on their own laws based on the US.
      The people here felt it was too inhumane to implement them so far and found Caning and prison a better deterrent
      They wont give a second look at immigration unless you look creepy or have an active warrant.

  12. Bill Arthur

    My wife and I are planning a cruise on Princess from Ft. Lauderdale through the Panama Canal to LA. Anyone have any experience on Princess lately? I have seen reports of SOs being barred from Carnival and Royal Caribbean. What about shore excursions? The cruising blogs seem to suggest that there is no customs when going ashore for the day, and that you don’t even need to take you passport, only the cruise ID.

    I’m reluctant to call Princess directly to ask about this, because I don’t want to call their attention this issue.

    If this works, we’re thinking of another Princess cruise — to Alaska. The wrinkle there is it lands in Vancouver (Canada) and I would have to get to the airport for the flight home. I have seen that there is a way to get either permanent “rehabilitation” or “special permission (temporary resident’s permit) to enter Canada,” which would work because I will only be going from the dock to the airport. Has anyone gone through the process with Canada? Did you use a lawyer of try to fill out the online forms yourself?

    If it matters, I live in a non-SORNA state and am required to give only three days notice of travel to the police.

    • @Bill - Cruises

      Canada – skip it if you can altogether. You will be questioned because you entered Canada regardless of going to the airport only. Try talking with an Canadian immigration atty about the info you seek from Canada and process. May be more hassle than worth. If you do do an Alaskan cruise, get off at the last AK stop and fly home from there to avoid the hassle, but it would take away from the cruise.

      I believe you will need to check on each cruise stop to see if they will allow you in from FL to CA.

    • Warren

      Me and the wife took the cruise with Princess from Ft. Lauderdale through the Panama Canal to LA 2 years ago with no problems. Also did a 10 day Caribbean cruise in March 2017 with Princess and again no problems. No customs check when going ashore for the day on any of the ports we visited.

  13. E

    Who has traveled Schengen in the last MONTH? European Parliament is implementing new rule causing massive waits at Schengen airports, including “security checks.” Anybody been through a Schengen passport control in July? I was there in Mar and April and going in September for work.

    EU Regulation 2017/458 (google for info)

    • Tired Of Hiding

      GREAT! So they have a little delay in their vacations…boo hoo. At least they get where they are going…eventually. We on the other hand can wait through the same mess and get put right back on a plane back to the USA!

      “Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.” – George Carlin

      So too bad I say, hope they enjoy the new world that the majority have allowed to happen by giving up their rights to politicians all over the world…they are all the same. Shady sociopath control freaks

      Hope everyone is having a great summer!

    • kerry

      I flew into Paris on June 18th. after giving notice that I was relocating to France from Mass. No problem. Since then I have flew to Albania, Italy, and recently to Spain without incident (July 01, 2017) Albania, who is not an EU country, did not even stamp my passport coming or going. They want Americans to live there as long as they want. (the official visa limit is 1 year, but not enforced)
      I have had zero problems since arriving in Europe.

  14. Frank

    I know that this isn’t a travel question, but is it possible for an RSO to study abroad?


    • James

      Dear Frank:

      This most definitely a travel question…but as you seem to suspect, there are wheels inside of wheels working here:

      Some suggested approaches and issues that would need to be resolved or answered first:

      1. Do you need to check out with your registering agency? Answer, probably certainly Yes, but, need you re-register, yearly or whatever is required of you even if you are over seas?

      2. Will the school over seas accept a RSO? But before that even, can you get into that country? Continental Europe you can most certainly get in, but, will the school itself accept you? Is there a question on their application form concerning your criminal history?

      This is something I would encourage for everyone…but there are serious questions to be teased out into the open, and then answered, first, (imo).

      Good Luck, Really…


      • Concerned Registrant

        I do agree that there are questions that need to be answered. Not only must the school accept an RC as a student, but the country’s government must approve. We can currently enter the Schengen region on a “tourist” capacity, but staying as a student requires a “student” visa, which includes very specific questions and a background clearance. It is one thing to be allowed into a country by a border agent, and another to be approved by a bureaucrat. I hope someone succeeds in this process and lets us know about it. This could open up an option for many of us.

        • Lake County

          I would imagine that getting approval from the school is the easy part. Getting the student Visa will be the challenge. As Concerned Registrant stated, you will likely not have any problem visiting a Schengen country, but staying their and passing a background check will be difficult at best. You would definitely need the help of an attorney in that country.

      • Frank

        I have done some preliminary research and questioned the consulate of the country I wish to study in and they didn’t seem to care that i am an RSO. Unfortunately, I must verify my address every 90 days which would make studying abroad very difficult but maybe not impossible? I have been looking into Germany and they SEEM pretty chill with offenders and they actually offer free Masters/PhD programs.

        I suppose all I can do is hope and do some more research.

        I appreciate all the assistance I can get!

        • Distraught Grad student

          Can you tell me how this turns out? I’m currently a grad student in physics and my trial is on Monday. Trying to plan for the future and was possibly thinking about relocating to Germany for a phd once everything is over no matter how it turns out.

        • James

          Hi Frank:

          I don’t see how the registering agency can have you register every ninety when you have a bona fide permanent address abroad. I think you have to check out and check in when you return and forever long you are in the US…but I would see a local attorney on this….and, if you really can go to school abroad, maybe sue the registering agency and get a declaratory relief order from the court…

          I am not quite sure how this would be done….but you could be a trail blazer in this area of the law…good for you and good for everyone else.

          It seems like a moderately easy case, a clean and distinct question for the court, and worth doing.

          Best Wishes & Good Luck,


        • Frank

          Thanks for the insight James, I am certainly going to look into it. I remember reading a while back of a case where a state wanted to charge a registrant for not verifying his address, but he was no longer living in the country. I believe the judge sided with the registrant. So if I am able to get a student visa and move abroad, I wonder if the same would apply here?

        • James

          Dear Frank:

          Here is the case you want:

          However, how this interplay’s with the new IML is unclear to me…again, depending on your jurisdiction, I think you just have to check out…but I would cement this to the ground…by this I mean, work on it with your registering agency enough that you are in agreement on what is required.

          I know it is difficult to be pushy with the police, but this is their duty…be polite, but….not insistent, rather persistent.

          Hard as this may seem to actually do….you can do this.

          Though I am sorry you have such difficulties placed before you for no good reason. And yet, they are there…so take care of them.

          Best Wishes and Good Luck,


        • Frank


          I appreciate your help, it means a lot to me. I am sort of new to all of this and I’m not too certain on my states requirements. It’s seem pretty lax to be honest. I just have to verify my address every 90 days by signing a piece of paper, no residency restrictions and no need to inform anyone if I leave the state though it is recommended.

          I have a BA in international studies and it was always my intent to study abroad and stay there, not it just seems that the hurdle is a little taller.

        • concerned registrant

          I am kind of surprised that no one has brought up the fact that “signing out” means you are signing out of “jurisdiction”. That means you are no longer their responsibility, and YOU are no longer responsible to their jurisdiction. I see no way that any court would hold you accountable for registering every 90 days if you are out of jurisdiction.

        • Frank

          Very good point.

        • Quint


          Probably won’t happen, at least for a while. Probation and parole would have conditions.

        • Quint


          I moved for grad school abroad and now don’t have to register. I had to check out, but never checked back in. It would be the same for you.

        • AJ

          I agree with James about registration requirements. I would think there’s no way you can be required to fly back to the US and re-register every 90 days. If so, there is almost certainly a lawsuit for abridging freedom of movement. Suppose instead of college, you decide to do an around-the-world trip that will take 12 months. You’re not changing your permanent address, as you won’t have one while on the road. You have your itinerary, supply it to whomever for IML requirements, and head out. Are you then required to fly back every 90 days? I would suspect not…but then again, none of the RC rules follow logic or common sense. I’d pose the global travel example to the local authorities and see what they say. Get it in writing if possible. Also, if your state only requires one party to know of recording, I’d also try to get a recording of everything.

      • Quint

        @Frank and @James:

        Yes, you can move abroad freely, no problems, as long as it’s not part of your parole or probation. As long as the school supports your visa, you’re good to go!

  15. Counting the days

    For the benifit of clarity if anyone chooses to travel to Guam, their registry offender level designation is the reverse of the U.S.

    Level 1 – highest
    Level 2 – medium
    Level 3 – lowest

    They seem to run their registry more “civilized” than the U.S. as well. Any additional input or comments is welcome ( if constructive ).

  16. kerry

    I flew into Paris on June 18th. after giving notice that I was relocating to France from Mass. No problem. Since then I have flew to Albania, Italy, and recently to Spain without incident (July 01, 2017) Albania, who is not an EU country, did not even stamp my passport coming or going. They want Americans to live there as long as they want. (the official visa limit is 1 year, but not enforced)
    I have had zero problems since arriving in Europe.

    • ML (at Kerry)

      can you contact me at

    • Frank

      Hey Kerry,

      what was the process for relocating?



      • kerry

        When you give 21 day notice, just tell them your relocating to where ever. They will send a notice to that country. Once in Europe, you travel country to country under the Schengen rules with no border crossing guards. You don’t have to give them an agenda. (that is only for sex offenders who are registered in a jurisdiction that requires registration. Most countries in the world do not.

  17. Concerned Registrant

    Just received my new passport today. Still no markings.

    • AJ

      @Concerned registrant:
      Was your offense against a minor? If not, then from what I understand you will not be “entitled” to a special marking.

      • Concerned Registrant

        The answer is “yes”, against a minor. So the marking would be there if they were applying it.

  18. David

    Has anyone here returned from abroad, entering the U.S. through San Francisco airport? Customs was no problem when I returned entering the U.S. through LAX. What can I expect entering at San Francisco ?

    • Darrin

      I came threw SF last year when I was kindly sent back from where I was going. I had no problems Evanthough I had a big “X” on my printed picture at the US customs booth and the lady smiled and said “Welcome back” lol

    • TG

      I came back through SFO after a trip to Japan. They detained me for about two hours while they questioned me and looked through my phone and computer. Then they sent me on my way.

  19. AJ

    Has anyone ever requested copies of anything Interpol has on them? (, I want to know if INTERPOL is processing information related to me) If they give anything back, it would perhaps be helpful in future court cases.

  20. T

    In my opinion about the IML, it should’ve been handle like this, whenever a registrant is traveling anywhere internationally, a registrant should do the notification with the authorities like so and receive a notice beforehand that he/she will be allowed to travel to their destination unmolested and not have to worry about being turned away from a foreign country as long as they stay out of trouble and be in compliance. It’s the least thing for the IML, instead of our government collecting a list of registrants to be sent to the Angel Watch Center for analysis of anyone traveling that’s on the registry that alert notices will get sent off to their foreign destination, which is nothing more than a set up to be refused entry to that destination. Other then that the IML is unconstitutional, it’s cruel and unusual punishment and the purpose of it is to prevent all registered citizens from traveling to anywhere they want for business or leisure as normal travelers, and certainly nothing to with preventing child sex trafficking and tourism, but based on fear, anger, and hatred.

  21. Illinois Contact

    Any recent reports of travelers being turned away from Costa Rica? Is the Matrix going to be updated anytime soon? What about adding a cruise section. I’d gladly contribute if there were some attention to these issues. Thanks.

    • Van

      Why would you be turned away. Illinois is not a SORNA state. No letter will be sent.

      • David Kennerly, Poster Boy For Whatever Pisses You Off

        Oh, but notice/a letter WILL be sent. It has nothing to do with being from a SORNA state. And advance notification from a Registrant before travel, regardless of which state they are being subjugated by, is being encouraged as an abundance of caution in the face of a terribly ambiguous law.

        The U.S.’ ability to know of your travels is not limited to that notification from the Registrant, anyway. They now know everyone who is traveling and can check it automatically against the Registry.

        The U.S. governmental scheme of notifying foreign governments about your travel to their country has at least two or three mechanisms for prompting such a notification.

  22. Illinois Contact

    Van – Thanks for your input. I was just concerned that the RTAG Travel Martrix lists Costa Rica under “SOs turned away.”

  23. Illinois Contact

    I guess the issue is if the foreign country receives a notice — however — will they care? I notified local police that I was traveling to Germany last year, and breezed through customs in Frankfurt without a second look. Wonder how to find out what the reaction will be in Costa Rica (or other countries)? I don’t think RTAG is up-to-date and reliable any more.

    • Relief

      @Illinois Contact: Costa Rica is a 100% NO GO and has been for many years pre-IML (tied into US crime database). Extremely strict like the UK / Canada.

      Continental Europe for now, is fine.

    • AlexO

      Most of main land Europe doesn’t care about RC’s visiting. Germany especially seems to be one of the most progressive countries regarding this.

  24. Illinois Contact

    Whew! Glad I asked. Anyone have recent knowledge of Belize, my second choice?

    • Relief

      @Illinois Contact: Unsure on Belize and don’t recall anyone saying they were denied into Belize. The (not up to date) R-Tag says it is OK. Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica are definitely a NO. Aruba seems OK as well. (Puerto Rico and USVI can not deny entry.)

      Belize isn’t too far a flight from the USA and might be worth a try. You can’t be sure at all these days -except for some European countries…

      Good luck. Please report back.

    • David Kennerly, Poster Boy For Whatever Pisses You Off

      You had better make sure before trying to go to Belize. They have been very much in the hysterical camp in recent years. I have heard nothing but bad things about Belize vis-a-vis sex offenders. I am nearly certain that I have heard of Registrants being turned away although, apparently, it is not listed on RTAG but, then again, I have seen other gaps in RTAG before. There’s also Belize’s strong connection with the evil ECPAT organization.

      This story, though not entirely applicable (he was traveling on a fake passport), does point to their propensity for sex offender hand-wringing. Also, I have seen a number of stories over the years of their busting foreigners who were said to be sex tourists.

      There’s also these:


      • AJ

        Toss in that Belize (nee: British Honduras) is part of the Commonwealth, and you can expect they fall in line with what the mother ship (the UK) says and does.

        • TS


          Concur. What momma says the commonwealth must do, they do.

          The Dutch and the French are the same when it comes to the “extended family” abroad, but are more friendly and welcoming than the Brits are when it comes to visits from RCs.

  25. Jack

    AlexO germany lets us in?? Are you serious? And If you are, how do you know about all this stuff?

    • Relief

      @Jack: Most European countries will allow visiting/vacationing registrants. (UK and Ireland do not.)

      There are many reports of this being the case posted above in this thread which you can review.

      Also, see the “Travel Matrix” here: (somewhat out of date)

      • AlexO

        Thank you for posting this.

        Unfortunately, there is no official database with this information. Compiled information, like in the link above, and just word of mouth from other travelers (like this entire thread), is about the best we have.

        Countries could change their policies at any time, but Germany would likely be one of the last to do so. As I mentioned else where, they’re progressive in how they deal with sex offenses and it’s not the huge boogieman that it is here.

        In Germany, they actually have government sponsored hotlines that people can call to get help with their struggles viewing CP. You can call, state you have viewed CP, and they won’t press charges. They’ll actually offer counseling. They understand that people have addictions and they want to help curb them before they reach a point where the person is actually harming someone.

        While here in America (at least in California), they actually changed the laws a few years ago to where now a licensed professional is now obligated to report any viewing of CP under the threat of losing their license if they do not. So our government is now pushing the issue even deeper underground by cutting-off official means of help by licensed professionals, ultimately making things even worse. Imagine if smoking or drinking was illegal and it was illegal to seek help from a professional if you had an addiction to these things. That’s what we’ve done here.

    • David

      Jack, you should have no problem traveling to the 26 European nations that are parties to the Schengen Borders Agreement. I have had no problem entering Sweden or France and the customs/border control officers only asked the routine questions, “Are you here on business or pleasure?” and “How long will you be staying?” Easy-peasy.
      (It’s the U.S. that has the Border Nazis.)

  26. Mike G

    Was I just lucky in Canada? We recently returned from a trip to northern Europe. They stamped our passports going in and out of Russia, going into Switzerland, and leaving Denmark. In Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany, they never even looked at our passports. The night before we left Europe my wife showed me our return itinerary, and that was when I found out we were flying Air Canada, and stopping in Toronto. This could be trouble, I thought, and sure enough, when I tried to go online to print our boarding passes, the screen said something like “due to your documentation, you must check in with an Air Canada agent at the airport.” Expecting the worst, we stood in line at the airport, but when we reached the agent, she checked-in our bags, handed us our boarding passes, and said “Have a good flight!.” Surprised, we happily boarded our flight, figuring the trouble would happen in Toronto. We landed in Toronto, filled out the Canadian customs forms, and stood in line. I wasn’t sure what to put on the line which said “How many days will you be staying in Toronto?”, so I told the agent that we were just changing planes, so he said “Well, that means you are here for at least one day, so write in a ‘1’.” So they scanned our passports, took pictures, ran our carry-ons through the x-ray scanner, we picked everything up, and then we were basically in the country! In front of us were the open outside doors where taxis and buses were waiting. We were still kind of in a state of shock, so even though we had a 5 hour layover, we decided not to press our luck and take a ride downtown. Instead, we decided to head toward where our flight to L.A. would be leaving from. It is a good thing we didn’t wait, because that was where the trouble started. It turns out that if you are flying to the U.S. from Toronto (and maybe everywhere in Canada?) that you go through U.S. customs right there in the Canadian airport. Well, I have always had to go through Secondary Inspection when coming back into the U.S., but this was much worse than at LAX or the Mexico boarder crossings. I had to fill out forms, have my picture taken, fingerprinted, carry-ons searched, and then they insisted that they had to go through our luggage which was already checked through to LAX. This all took over 2 1/2 hours. If we hadn’t had such a long layover, we would have missed our flight. As a matter of fact, two other people stuck in Secondary with us did miss their flights. So strangely, we had no trouble going into Canada, but more than the usual hassle getting back to the U.S. The only good thing was that when we flew into LAX, we landed at a domestic terminal, so we just walked right off the plane to baggage claim, and then out the front door. (second attempt to post this – disappeared first time)

    • Relief

      @Mike G: How did you get into Russia? Don’t they require a Visa and thorough background check? (Their Duma proposed a 50 year visa entry ban on a CP conviction or any child offense.)

      And yes, Toronto Airport has a very strange arrangement. The US State Dept / CBP or the NSA has some type of jurisdiction overlap there. Perhaps that was it.

      Glad it turned out for you.

      • Mike G

        If you are part of a tour group, you don’t need a visa in advance. They issue your visa on the spot when you enter the country. Unfortunately, they fill out all the visa information by hand, so we were in line almost two hours. Obviously, they did no kind of background check. We spent two days visiting St. Petersburg and the Peterhof Palace, and we also took a boat trip on the Neva River. Our tour guide was a 23 year old native of St. Petersburg who was home for the summer while enrolled at the University of Illinois. It was never stated, but it was apparent that the tour guide was responsible for seeing that we didn’t run off on our own, though it wouldn’t have been that hard to do, but I’m sure they would have come looking for us. I do highly recommend visiting St. Petersburg. It is the second largest city in Russia. We could have toured Moscow, but we would have only had a few hours and we figured it wasn’t worth the additional travel on this trip.

    • NPS

      Russia accepts registrants? That is good to know. Three countries I want to visit: Italy, Mongolia, and Russia.

      • Mike G

        If you are joining a tour group in Russia, you don’t need a visa in advance. Italy is no problem, we spent 10 days there last year and plan to go again in March. I don’t know about Mongolia…

        • Concerned Mom

          Mike, are you from California? Did you give 21-day advance notice to the local police before traveling? I would love to go to Italy but I’m afraid to go anywhere now because of fear of my husband being turned away.

        • Mike G

          Yes, I am from California, and yes, I did give the 21 day notice, but I don’t think anyone paid any attention to it. We went to Italy about 18 months ago, and had no problems at all. I did not give 21 day notice for that trip. Italy should not be problem unless something changes, like they decide to crack down on refugees, and us RCs get caught in the net, but as of now, I don’t think it is an issue. I was turned away from Thailand last year, and that was very traumatic. I spent a lot of time and money getting a Thai visa in advance from their consulate in Los Angeles, but it made no difference. My wife is Thai, and we were trying to visit her family, which I have never met, but the Thai officials had a letter from Angel Watch stating that I was a dangerous person. I think Angel Watch is responsible for most all RCs being turned away from foreign countries. They have access to all airplane and ship manifests, and they computer match them to the SO database. Then send letters to that country’s immigration people. If they were a moral and upright organization, they would at least send a copy of the letter to the RC, letting him know before he spends all the time and money to fly out and then be turned away. In my opinion, Angel Watch is a scummy bunch of holier-than-thou government employees that find joy in persecuting any RC that they can.

        • Sam

          Maybe its because i dont live in the US anymore, but thailand let me in with no issues 2 weeks ago. (May have been 3) i flew into phuket scared to death they would turn me away. But had no issues.

          If they did it is only about an hour flight home for me so it wouldnt have been as bad. Most issue i had was going to singapore because my picture is before i had eye surgery so i dont look the same without glasses.

        • Relief

          @SAM: Congratulations. Did you fly on a US passport? And you obviously ‘de-registered’ when you moved from the USA (right?) So are you no longer in the NSOR? Your photo and info has been removed?

          Sorry for all the questions, but this does seem like a unique experience we haven’t heard before.

          (Japan and the UK, etc are probably still not likely with a direct tie in with crime databases.)

        • AJ

          I’d be more than willing to bet it is wholly to do with your being an expat. As an expat, you don’t give a 21-day notice, which means the USG isn’t told you’re traveling, which means they don’t even know they’re “supposed to” issue a Green Notice. I suspect you’re probably safe as long as you avoid close friends and family of the Five Eyes.

          One more reason to flee this sinking ship of state.

          P.S. Sam, are you willing to volunteer your current country of residence? I completely understand and respect your declining that info.

        • AJ

          …actually, given it was about an hour flight, that probably means you’re elsewhere in Thailand (though doubtful, since that would be domestic travel), Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma, or perhaps Viet Nam.

  27. Illinois Contact

    OK, so Costa Rica and Belize are out (and of course Mexico). Still looking for someplace warm to go with my family. How about Bahamas? It’s a British Commonwealth country (like Belize) but shows as a “no” on RTAG. Anyone have any real experience? Also, I have discovered Bahamas Ferry Express from Ft. Lauderdale which says on their website that a passport is not required — just birth certificate and drivers license. That might indicate lack of close customs inspection.

    • TS

      Hawaii, a good warm and tropical place with ten days to stay before you need to register.

      Dutch and French islands in the Caribbean are good, but with the recent storms, will be hurting for a while.

    • Relief

      @Illinois Contact: I’m curious on the Bahamas as well, hopefully someone has experience to share here. Ferry might be a good option except for the IML pre-notice requirement and of course having to step foot in FLA…

      Aruba is part of the Netherlands/Dutch Outer Territory and Amsterdam allows registrants. There’s also a strange treaty where USA citizens must be treated equal with Dutch citizens entering the Islands. Which is why only USA tourists get a 6 month tourist stamp on entry and everyone else gets 3 months – even Europeans. Perhaps this treaty would prohibit denial.

      The only place in the Caribbean where your are 100% sure is Puerto Rico and USVI, unfortunately.


        I was just in Aruba in July. I scanned my passport at an electronic machine, doors open, and I walk in to the country. Took under 5 minutes. Leaving however was another story as I was detained in secondary inspection, however the office i spoke with was extremely polite.

        • TS


          Secondary was done by who? US CBP? Were you back in US hands at that time? Please elaborate.


          Sorry! Yes it was done by US Customs. The Nice(Bad) Part of Visiting Aruba is US Customs is done in Aruba. After you go through Aruba Customs leaving (no issue), you then go through the US where I was pulled off. My friends breezed through in 15 minutes, I took about 2 hours. Leave your self plenty of time when flying out, but the nice part is I landed and walked off the plane like any one else as I was cleared already.

          If you have any questions LMK

        • Lee

          SCOTUS SAVE US NOW, did you have to give the 21 days notice to go to Aruba?


          I did – I sent it to NY in both email and writing and I know they passed it on to the marshalls (which i think violates NY law) but still

        • Lee


          One more question please. When you said you pass through machine that scans your passport, did you fill out the arrival card/immigration form of Aruba on the plane or online before hand?

    • AJ

      I agree with TS and Relief, as I was thinking the Dutch islands, too. The ABC islands may be worth checking into. I’ve only been to Bonaire and Curacao (which are more scuba-diving oriented), but did enjoy them. I’d check into Aruba, I think.

      As Relief says, USVI (which have been shredded by Irma) and PR are your best options…and no IML requirement, either!

  28. Illinois Contact

    Sam: Where are you living now? I’m thinking an hour flight from Phuket — where could that be? Were you able to move and live permanently in another country (with I presume a US sex offender record)? Do you still use a US passport? Do you still register in the US? Many questions. Sounds like you have done something many of us dream about.

  29. Sam

    @ relief and @ illinois
    Did you fly on a US passport? Yes

    And you obviously ‘de-registered’ when you moved from the USA (right?) Still registered in NY but with my address here as NY doesnt allow yoy to be deregistered

    So are you no longer in the NSOR?
    My National Sor shows all blank besides my name anyway and says out of country

    Your photo and info has been removed?
    New York has a photo from february this year as they said i had to. National never had one.

    Sorry for all the questions, but this does seem like a unique experience we haven’t heard before. (Japan and the UK, etc are probably still not likely with a direct tie in with crime databases.)

    Here people arent as nosy and rather not waste the effort to cause trouble with enough trouble already going on. As far as i have seen so far the databases on this side of the world arent connected. Last year i spent 3 months in South Korea visiting family and had no issues there either.

    Where are you living now? I’m thinking an hour flight from Phuket — where could that be?

    Just south of it.

    Were you able to move and live permanently in another country (with I presume a US sex offender record)?

    If married to a citizen there is no record check for long term visa. But permanent residence and citizenship are a lot harder to get here and can take 10-40 years.

    Do you still use a US passport?
    Yes good until 2024

    Do you still register in the US?

    In new york because cant get off their system. I had to fax then the address form. But they allow my emails as updates.

    Sounds like you have done something many of us dream about.

    If you call making $500 dollars a month a dream. Which honeslty isnt too hard to survive on if you find cheap rent.
    But i constantly watch the news back in the US to see if anything has changed since trump got in since i left right after the election.

    They were trying to put a registry here but people found it as cruel and shameful as much of the offenses were fom family. Besides the punishment here is more humane they cane you like 15 times and prison for 10 years and thats it. Depending on how serious it was. Worst case they hang you or firing squad.

    • Sam

      @AJ you guessed correctly it is one of those countries. Our PM just met with trump a few days ago and bought a bunch of Boeing planes

      I’m not an expat as my income is too low. I am just a foreign spouse with limited rights. Expats have more stringent looks until they get their visa card. As they are on a points system

      Btw does anyone else have problems reading replys as they show up one letter at a time?

      • Follow the $

        If you are viewing on a phone, rotate to horizontal.

      • AJ

        You made it too easy with that last clue! I had it with the canings reference. 🙂 Expat or foreign spouse…same “under the radar” when it comes to Green Notices.

        As to the single letter issue on here, I have run into that only when on a mobile device. If on a mobile device, try loading it in Desktop Mode (assuming Android OS) and see if that helps. I never have that problem on my laptop.



      NY took your email? They refuse to let me email them and say they only except updates via mail. Which always seems weird to me …

      I’m hopeful someone use’s packingham here to make them unable to continue to collect my email/internet identifiers…

      • Sam

        Well i had called them once from here. It was pointless the person picking up the phone in the state office was making things up as he went telling me that they were going to mail me a form every year that i had to mail back to come back to the US every year to check in. When i emailed them they told me that this was false and they would never mail anything outside of the US amd to just send them a picture every 3 years


          TBH i dont even think they can force you to send a picture… I can’t remember the case (it was recently) but basically said that once you leave the country you are no longer under there jurisdiction.

        • Sam

          Somehow New York is allowed to. Not sure how they worded the law but no matter where you move you still have to report to them. I’d rather not test the waters either as i only have the one thing on my record and from 10 years ago and dont want to chance my freedom.

        • AJ

          Yeah, it was a NY State court case that said something to the effect that since the law didn’t address a way for someone to escape the registration process, it continues ad inifinitum. I can’t remember whether it was NYSC or a Court of Appeals. Regardless, a completely horsesh!t ruling, and I doubt it would withstand any rational court review. It’s akin to the Roach Motel: RCs check in, but they can never check out. Or a “reverse” Hotel California: you can leave anytime you like, but you may never check out.

  30. Lee

    Hi everyone, looks like the agreement here is that if the islands belong to dutch/france, that entry is OK. Isn/t St. Maarten belong to either of them too?

  31. E

    As of September 2017, Germany is still fine. In and out of Frankfurt with zero issues, as always. Coming back at Houston, this was the first time ever CBP went through my phone (I’ve been going to Europe 3x per year for work for years). When he handed it back he had at least been going through my Internet history (app still open), maybe other apps. I live in a Sorna compliant state but have never filled out a form. I write my plans on my quarterly paperwork. The PD emails the info to wherever.

  32. E

    What’s up with RTAG? If they are not keeping updated, could we put a similar matrix here?

  33. Manuel

    i’m going to renew my passport i’m no longer have to register, and what happens do I still have to give them a 21 day notice when traveling outside the country

    • AlexO

      If you no longer have to register then you’re no longer subject to anything regarding the registry.

    • Paul

      My fix for that is to overnight any electronics from my hotel, to my home, using Fedex or UPS. Enter the USA with no electronic devices at all!

      • David Kennerly, the Very Model of "Containment"

        It worked for me. Granted, it was a hassle that effectively chopped off the better part of a day from doing other things I wanted to do on my trip. Finding a FedEx or UPS and getting there was not what I would have preferred.

  34. David

    I flew to France for two weeks vacation and just got back today (Oct. 8, 2017). Returned through SFO airport and, as expected, was escorted to secondary Border Processing. I was lead to a waiting room and, after 5 minutes, an officer came out of an office, handed me my passport and said, “You can go.” My luggage also received heightened scrutiny by 4 officers, but it was a standard search and they were courteous enough. I was not asked about my cellphone; they did not ask to see it. (Oddly, two of them asked me if I had ever been arrested. Stupid question. Or were they hoping I would lie to a federal agent??)
    They entire process took exactly 40 minutes.

    • James

      Dear David:

      Thanks for the detail rich report…this kind of information isn’t posted often enough, and so when it appears, it is greatly appreciated.

      Thanks again…

      Oh, did you fill out the Cal DOJ International Travel Notification form, or did you give any 21 day notice? I don’t know why I ask this…I feel I probably would have to give notice even if you and everyone said, No.

      Regardless, I am glad this all worked well for you.

      Best Wishes, James

      • David

        David here. Yes, James, I completed the 21-Day Advance International Travel Notification form. (I provided her with my actual stay locations/addresses a few days after submitting the flight information to her as those details had not yet been confirmed. She said that was not a problem.) As happens, I missed my booked departure flight and had to be rebook for the next day. I emailed her the new flight information – again she emailed back that that was not a problem.
        I certainly advise you to keep a copy of your 21-day notification with your luggage or on your person, so when you return to the United States you can show Customs Border Control that you submitted the required form. Annoying as that is, it may help soften their attitude at Customs as it seems to have done so for me.)
        Good luck!
        (FYI, continental Europe apparently disregards Angel Watch or IML notifications. I have never had a problem entering Europe.)

        • David

          * Clarification: the “she” and “her” to whom I refer is the Administrative Services Specialist at my local police department who handles RSO information.

    • David Kennerly's Spectral Evidence

      “Or were they hoping I would lie to a federal agent??”
      Bingo! That’s exactly what they are doing.

    • Mike G

      Probably is a stupid question David, but I was never actually arrested – I turned myself in to the bailiff in the courtroom. My court forms have no arrest date. But I did plead no contest and was therefore convicted. So if anyone asked if I have ever been arrested, I would say no, but I was convicted. (I know, meaningless technicality)

      • David

        Sir, please don’t bicker with the dolts. It only annoys them. 😁

      • AJ

        @Mike G:
        Are you sure about that? “Arrest: An arrest is using legal authority to deprive a person of his or her freedom of movement. An arrest is generally made with an arrest warrant. An arrest may be made without a warrant if probable cause and exigent circumstances are presented at the time of the arrest.” (
        If the bailiff took you into custody and you were barred from leaving, you were arrested. It may have been short-lived if in conjunction with arraignment, but unless you were free to walk back out after presenting to the bailiff, you were arrested. You just didn’t get to enjoy the back of a squad car, handcuffs, and a fine meal.

  35. Manuel

    i have a question if i no longer have to register if I go to mexico what would happen I’m deregister do you think they would let me in mexico

  36. Relief

    @Manuel: How long has it been since you are no longer required to register? Is the state of your conviction the same state that has relieved your duty to Register? And have you ever registered in a different state?

    It could take many months for your records to be removed from the NSOR. And if you have ever registered in a different state then SORNA/AWA may apply to you and this Federal entry could possibly send a Notice.

    Have you ever traveled to and been refused entry to Mexico before? (Is there a record of you trying to enter?)

    • manuel

      How long has it been since you are no longer required to register? 01/07/2017
      Is the state of your conviction the same state that has relieved your duty to Register? yes
      And have you ever registered in a different state? no
      Have you ever traveled to and been refused entry to Mexico before? yes
      (Is there a record of you trying to enter?)yes

      • Relief

        @Manuel: Well that’s good news on the single state of registry. You are likely on a banned list/Blacklist in Mexico. There has been at least one thread on this site where someone was refused entry and then after the correction to now being non-registry he re-entered Mexico without issue.

        Others can give opinions, but it is not certain you would be allowed into Mexico. (50/50?) My suggestion if you don’t want to test-travel and try to enter is to get a new passport (will have a new passport number). If you do try to enter now, bring official courts documents that you are NOT required to register in case they question you.

        You are most likely identified/flagged by all 3: Passport number, Name and Date of birth.

        Also, go to the NSOR web site and search for your name and make sure you are no longer posted on this national web-site.

        Good luck.

        • Manuel

          i did and i’m not on the list thank you for your help

        • Relief

          @Manuel: Good luck and please report back what happens to help others. And congrats on now being off the registry!

        • manuel

          do you know if the government still sends notice to mexico even though I’m no longer register? (deregister) does this ever stops?

  37. T

    Had any registrant ever travel to Ukraine or Russia and been refused entry and sent back, and are registrants barred from visiting these countries due to IML? because I don’t see Russia and Ukraine listed in the travel matrix.

  38. Relief

    @T: Russia is clearly out because they require a visa to enter with a detailed criminal background check and Russia wants a 50 year ban on child SO’s anyway. There’s no info on the travel site because no one has probably tried.

    There was one exception listed on a thread here where an RC person entered Russia as part of a strictly supervised, 1 or 2 day ‘Tour Group’.

  39. T

    Oh OK. How should registrants answer to people that question them about what happened to their vacation or business etc due to the IML, what are the do’s and don’ts in this matter, can there be useful tips to help when traveling under the crazy IML?

    • PK

      @T most of the questions can be answered by reviewing other Threads in this Blog regarding “Travel after IML” and “eg Mexican Travel Issues” Many issues were discussed at length immediately after IML was passed into Law.

  40. Lee

    Hi can someone tell me if I can go to Puerto Rico? When it recovers? What’s the registration requirement there? Do I arrive and depart as domestic flight?

    • Paul

      Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. You arrive, and depart, as a domestic passenger, with no passport required.

      They do have registration requirements:

    • Star51

      Just went to Puerto Rico, it was beautiful. No issues, it is a domestic flight. Was there in August before the hurricane.

      • Lee

        @Star51, when you exit PR, did you have to go through custom that they ask questions like secondary inspection that typically when return from international flights? I heard U.S virgin islands have that, and therefore I want to know if PR does as well.

        Is PR the same as traveling to Hawaii experience?

        Also, is 21 days notice required or that’s only for International countries?

        • AJ

          Traveling to PR, or any of the US territories or possessions, is just like traveling to another State. There is no customs or immigration, as it’s considered domestic travel. You shouldn’t have to show anything more than a RealID-compliant Driver’s License, but a passport works everywhere, all the time. There’s not 21-day requirement, as IML does not apply.

          You shouldn’t run into any CBP because anyone transiting from another country (BVI, DR, etc) would have already cleared customs in the US by entering PR/USVI.

        • Lee

          Thank you @AJ – do you know how many days to be in PR before one has to register? I cannot seem to find information on this.

        • TS


          Here is a US Territory source I have found from 2013 where PR is noted on pgs 42-47 (which says RCs have ten (10) days to register even when not establishing a residence):

        • TS

          Thanks for the update @Austin

        • AJ

          Try for your answers. It appears to have been translated into English by someone who primarily speaks Spanish, but it’s certainly readable.

          As a side note, PR requires its RCs to give 21 days notice prior to traveling to the United States (FAQ #16). I know PR is its own commonwealth and also a possession of the US, but it does seem odd that PR appears to be implementing IML for its US citizens to travel to the US proper.

    • Tired Of Hiding

      It’s just like going to Kansas or any other state. Totally domestic – You do not need a passport. You do not go through customs. You will not be stopped when returning to the mainland. Too bad you did not go prior to the hurricane. It’s going to be a decade to replace that growth. Even the national rain forest there was decimated. I loved going there…so sad.

  41. Robert

    It’s the same with the Marshall islands i am assuming since its another US Territory am i correct

    • AJ

      It’s quite dangerous to assume anything about RC laws. Were I going to the Marshalls, I would try to find their laws online or, barring that, contact them directly. Flying blind can land a guy in the pokey a bit too easily!

      • James

        I would agree with AJ here….extreme caution is required.

        I have a PDF as to territories:

        Sex Offender Registry_US Territories and Federal_2013.pdf

        But, alas, as a link this doesn’t seem to work now.

        I remember PR as being 48 hours, 10 days if you are moving…however, Virgin Islands is, like no time at all, register immediately…

        Do not take a definitive the above information…do your own due diligence and…be careful.

        I was recently in a US State that required registration after 72 hours, and maybe I stayed for more than 72 hours, and maybe I left the state and made a credit card purchase to re-set the clock, if this is possible, (I don’t think this technique has been tested), or maybe I left earlier than I wanted…

        But the point is that even travel within the United States requires….real effort to understand the state you will be in….or so I think, and recommend.

        Best Wishes, James

  42. Austin

    This really sucks. Found out today that American passports are now going to get the unique identifier due to the Magan’s law. Will this ever stop?

  43. Travel to Mexcio

    Researching travel by cruise ship to Mexico from California

    Conviction: PC 288(a)(b)1 [oral copulation, victim age 17], year 2007, guilty, Misdemeanor, required to register, but registration not disclosable to public. I do not appear on any state or national registries. Completed probation (granted petition to terminate early!), I still register annually, I have no passport.

    I would like to cruise to Mexico with my wife sometime in 2018. Any cruise line, departing from Los Angeles to Ensenada/Cabo San Lucas perhaps.

    Has anyone in my shoes made a similar trip with success? Will I be stopped/delayed if I travel with just a birth certificate?

    I would love to see this as a separate thread; I can’t be the only person with this specific question.

    Thank you all in advance for your considerate answers!

    • Mike G

      A Passport or Passport Card is required in order to visit Mexico. If you drive into Mexico, no one will check your passport, but you will face major trouble trying to get back into the USA without one or the other. If you fly into Mexico, your passport will be scanned, and you will be denied entry. No cruise line will let you board without a passport, and usually, they will want your passport information when you book the cruise (or you will need to fill in that information online on their site in advance of departure). Many cruise lines will not allow you to sail at all (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and maybe others – things are constantly changing). Also, since your offense involved a minor, the International Megan’s Law requires that you give at least 21 days advance notice before leaving the United States. Some RCs have gotten lucky and slipped through the cracks, but I wouldn’t count on it. We recently completed an 11 day cruise to northern Europe on Norwegian Cruise Line with no problems, one of the few options still open to us, for now.

  44. 290 air

    For those of you wondering if you have to give a 21 day notice prior to international travel if you are in CA, I just found out that they are enforcing this federal law. So you do have to give notice now even though we aren’t a SORNA state. Found out when i went to update my registration. The US Marshals had already called to inquire about my upcoming travel plans. Welcome to the USSA!

    • hh

      But this is just for those ImL affect right ? Those convicted of a child related offense ? My spouse is on the registry and we travel often , we never have given notice and live in CA but his offense was not child related.
      Who gave you the this Information or notified you ? Do you mind me asking if your offense was child related ?

      • 290 air

        Yes it was child related. I think anybody who is going to have the Scarlet Letter on their passport would have to do this, but not sure if it applies to all registrants. The local PD where i register informed me when i went in today to update my registration. The US Marshals had called to ask if i gave my 21 day notice. I’m supposing they were notified when i bought my ticket. I’ve never given notice in the past either and i travel internationally at least twice a year. I traveled this last May without giving notice and no problems. I think they are just scrutinizing things more.

        • hh

          Hmmm I just want to ensure he isn’t breaking in laws by not reporting our trip. He isn’t “covered “ involving a minor and we live in CA. We travel 4-5x a years internationally and always get hassled when we return but not one person has ever mentioned us reporting it. Never ending.

      • Mike G

        Yes, the International Megan’s Law requiring 21 day advance notice only affects those convicted of an offense involving a minor. Some states, however, may have different requirements of their own. California does not have any notification requirement other than requiring compliance with IML, which in your case wouldn’t apply.

    • AJ

      This isn’t surprising, as the 21-day notification is directly imposed on the RC as an individual, and has nothing to do with the State’s action or inaction regarding SORNA compliance. So even if a State chooses to ignore the Law, they only lose 10% of funding. You ignore it, you are in for all sorts of risks. IMO, every RC, regardless of a State’s state of SORNA compliance, must provide the 21-day notice. How to do that in a non-SORNA State is a whole other question…and if the Government does not or cannot provide a means for one to comply, it raises significant legal issues for them.

      • David Kennerly, "Wait, do you smell gas?"

        I’m hoping that Janice is aware of 290 air’s experience. The last time this came up in an ACSOL phone conference, i.e. if California Registrants/child-related must provide 21-day advance notification, the recommendation was that notice may not be required but that, out of an abundance of caution, one should go through the motions of notifying local registration authorities and be able to prove it. This appears to confirm that, at least in the febrile minds of the Feds, this requirement WILL be enforced, regardless of ones state’s SORNA status.

        • Relief

          @David K- HR 515/IML was passed independent of SORNA and attaches to the individual registrant. It does not have requirements for states to adopt. (I believe SORNA does apply to a individual registrant irrespective of the the State status if a registrant has moved across state lines.)

          Oddly though, the language was placed within the USC 169XX section of the SORNA/AWA US codification.

          Please see the PDF link below for the USM/IML travel form.

      • PK

        I did it even though it was half baked and cobbled together at the last minute, definitely not 21 days. Since they have not standardized way to report this, I provided just the basics. But it was a Certified Letter to my non-SORNA compliant SOR. They’re not going to know what to do with it, I already know that, but at least I have the proof of “trying” should the Feds try to pull a mwuahahaha on me.

        • Relief

          The US Marshal International IML SO Travel Notification Form PDF:

          You can fill it in online, print it out and perhaps bring it to your registering agent to be time stamped and delivered. (Ask for a copy). Then you know you’ve covered all the info they want.

        • James

          Well, I’ve saved this form, and a sincere thank you for providing it…though I will say that it completely makes me furious…


          I never have a set itinerary and they will just have to live with that.

          But a question, do I still have to file with my local agency the Calif Dept of Justice form that I have, or will this email to the US Marshals be sufficent?

          Best Wishes, James

        • Joe

          The IML dispatch that was released in Spring of 2016 specifically states that notice must be given to the registering (local / state) agency – not the federal government.

          Can the SMART Office Process a Sex Offender’s Notice of International Travel?
          The SMART Office is not authorized to collect or receive notifications of international travel from anyone, including individual offenders, attorneys, or registration officials. If an offender wishes to make a notification of international travel pursuant to IML’s statutory requirements, that offender must report it to his or her registration agency.

          That linked form is from 2012. Not sure how helpful it is to spread old and outdated information that might net you 10 years in prison.

        • Relief

          @Joe- That is exactly what I just said above “bring it to your registering agent.”

          This was the advice of a California attorney, current president of ACSOL. Do nothing, your call.

        • Joe

          I never said “do nothing”. But this form is so old it may not even cover all information required by IML. Then what? Current ACSOL president or not.

          And the person responding was under the impression that following instructions on the form (emailing to USM) might be sufficient. It is NOT. As you stated – but it got lost.

          I would suggest, instead of making their job easy, make your local cop shop work for their money. Let them come up with their own form, using this as a last resort. If every traveling registrant wasted a few hours of law enforcement time… 🙂

        • Relief

          I agree Joe, check with your local agency. This link posting was in response to, and I imagine a better option than “it was half baked and cobbled together at the last minute” from PK.

          (My attorney vetted this form with the Cal DOJ in May 2016, post IML.)

        • James

          lol…thanks Joe…this can be CONFUSING…thanks again.


        • Relief

          @James- This is the actual form the local agency fills out for the US Marshals. I provided this PDF to Chance Oberstein of ACSOL nearly 2 years ago and he suggested that absent clear procedures post IML, a California registrant should fill this out and bring it into their local agency and let them take it from there. You can say “put it in my file.”

          Just get them to time stamp and initial a copy for proof of compliance. Take it with you when you travel/return through customs. It’s just CYA.

          Yes, it’s ridiculous, but would you rather argue the merits while being detained post travel?

  45. hh

    Yes we got the same information regarding travel. Regardless of the passport stamp I don’t understand the law and if it’s required all are suppose to give 21 day notice or just child related offenses. He never has reported any Travel before , even after the passage of IML and we never had any issues besides being harassed by the customs agents and where we were and the utter look of surprise On their faces.

  46. jo

    20 yrs on the registry 288a, California, at the advice of Janice, called my registrating office and gave a courtesy call that was traveling in December to Paris. Was informed that it is mandatory and I needed to come in a fill out a travel form.

    • panamclipper

      So you must appear in person? How will you report any changes to your itinerary – or any details not finalized 21 days in advance? Failure to do so is a felony with a max 10 year prison sentence.

      Sec 6 (a) 1 B

      “Information relating to intended travel of the sex
      offender outside the United States, including any anticipated
      dates and places of departure, arrival, or return, carrier and
      flight numbers for air travel, destination country and address
      or other contact information therein, means and purpose of
      travel, and any other itinerary or other travel-related
      information required by the Attorney General.”

      • panamclipper

        … and addresses and contact information? What if you go visit friends or family? If you were visiting me overseas I would be less than enthused if my hospitality landed my name and address on a foreign government’s secret list.

        • David

          @ PanamaClipper: I usually provide the street address and list each address as “rental unit”, “private residence” or “hotel”. I do not provide the home owner’s name and I have never been asked to do so.

  47. CR

    @panamclipper, it’s the usual government overreach, as always. If they could have prevented you from traveling at all, they would have done that. Instead, they make it painful, difficult, invasive, embarrassing, and importuning, in order to discourage you from traveling as much as they can.

  48. Jo

    Did you know when you call the offices of Smart the message greeting actually calls it the Sex Offender TARGETING center?!
    ‭(202) 616-1600‬ See for yourself

    • CR

      I’m not surprised, and not just because I feel like I carry around a target on my back all of the time. Any honest review of sex offender laws reveals that we are targeted at every step, and in every way, for all time, in the future, and retroactively in the past, with no assurance that it will ever end, by government at all levels who clearly believe that we are fair game for any restriction or burden, so long as they don’t refer to it as punishment.

      I gain some hope from the fact that we are starting to win cases here and there, that some judges are waking up, and that some in the media and in the public at large are starting to see our oppression for what it is (i.e., punishment).

    • jo

      Interesting conversation in follow up to this: So, I called and spoke with “Eric” and explained that my notice got in 16 days in advance instead of 21 due to mix up at my reporting precinct. He said as long as it’s in I would not be arrested for it being in late.

      • Tim Moore

        So sad, it is like living in some alien universe now, a world that doesn’t remember constitutional rights or grasp the idea of redemption. How may of us have been years if not decades from being “off paper”, and yet we exhale a big sigh of relief when we find out we won’t spend years in prison for being caught four days late submitting paperwork to law enforcement.

      • Paul

        I’d be asking “Eric” to send that in writing. Then print it and carry it with you. And send a copy to an attorney for safe keeping. You cannot trust these hacks any further than you can throw them.

  49. Warlock

    The Big Island is really laid back concerning registration. Go to the station once a year, then sign and return a letter every quarter. The form also allows multiple residences for your registration. I usually update one of those before international travel with my foreign address.

    I have also never had any trouble traveling to the Philippines from Hawaii using the 21 day arrival stamp, possible because this is a non-SORNA compliant state. Been a couple years since my last trip there, so that may be out of date. I only travel to Africa now.

  50. Sam

    I am at level one offender register as undomiciled in New York State. I did notify New York State via a letter sent postal mail 21 days prior to my leaving however I was not required to do so because New York state does not comply with sauna travel regulations.

    I left one year ago flying from JFK to Frankfurt Germany, once arriving in Germany it was a nonevent, I passed through customs with my family as if nothing ever happened.

    Since then I have been to nearly 35 countries in Europe & Africa; Traveling exclusively by train, boat, or car.

    I have never been stopped or questioned once other than routine passport scanned at the border and the corresponding entry or exit stamp.

    I think the problem anybody faces is when ICE through the angel watch center sends a green notice on your initial travel.

    I have heard rumors that the United States can scan passenger manifest in the lake but I don’t plan on finding out if that is true or not because until I decide to come back to United States next year I don’t plan on getting another airplane.

    I’m sure my luck will change once I return to the United States and face the scrutiny at the border and with the whole IML passport law change I am not sure I would ever be able to do what I am doing again so I am taking advantage of seeing as much of the world as I possibly can before returning back to United States.

    • Sam(the original)

      From one Sam to another. Congrats on being level 1 I’m stuck as a level 2 even though I no longer live in the US. Im working on trying to get removed still.

      If possible to petition off the registry you should try to do so. And luckily you’re not a level two or three with no chance of removal even if you have move out of the state or country without sheer luck and a good lawyer.

      Coming back to the US through JFK isn’t so bad. You sit there for two hours and in the end they ask you 3 questions roughly.

      I’m not planning on returning ever if possible and have informed my family that I wouldn’t be able to attend any funerals when they happen.

      Hopefully since you’re a level 1 and not on the public registry they won’t put the marker in your passport.

      • Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

        @ Sam & Sam the OG

        Allow me to Posit:

        It would be a great opportunity to seek legal counsel in the Country’s where you both now Domicile in order to Invoke under International Human Rights

        1. The Right to seek “Amnesty” and:

        2. Officially “Abjure” from the Jurisdictions of The United States of America.

        Seeking the Right to Amensty is the reason why countries like Mexico & Asian countries will not give a Copy of the Statement Issued by the USA or Interpol seeking the return of US Citizens when traveling abroad.

        These Countries similar to Mexico are seeking to avoid a US Citizen from invoking the International Right to Amensty because it will expose the Hypocrisy of their position that they insist that their Mexican citizens have International Human Right.

        Furthermore I posit that German, Russia, & many other Countries would enjoy demonstrating to the World at Large a Pious & Superior Position in contrast to President Trump of The United States.

        Inaddition Germany could Factual show that they do not Harbor any Nazi Ideology or Practices such as Markings of Minority Groups such as they once did to The Chosen People that is to say the Jews upon their Passports in order to be denied entry.

        The Russian Republic under President Putin would be as like proven to be Enlightened should they Grant Amnesty to the besieged American Registered Citizens.

        Gentlemen go Forward in Strength The Most High Who Alone formed the Light and Alone created the darkness His sole domiciles be with you and shine upon your paths.

        I speak a True Song

        As Yehovah Lives, so should we

        • Sam the original.

          After that Jerusalem thing my current country is not technically on good terms toward the US. Much of the country has been trying to ban American goods and companies until they realized that all the local franchises had nothing to do with the US.

          Pretty sure my current country would let me stay here as I’m married to a citizen and have a valid visa. I’m more concerned with the US being ridiculous and asking them to return me even though I have broken no laws.

          The issue with seeking refuge here is that refugees get put into camps an have no rights here. Like the Rohynga people (however you spell it).

          I’ve got hope that everything will work out but common sense seems to be in short supply within the US government lately (IE the last 15 years)

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