Certificate of Rehabilitation

The first comment below is a very detailed description of the Road to a Certificate of Rehabilitation. We believe it deserves its own post. Thanks to the poster for taking the time to share.

Although this unfortunately is not an option for many (PC 290.5), hopefully it will help someone.

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Can i get a cor to take away my requirement to register? I was convicted 261.5(d) statuatory. I had to serve 1 year in prison. Thank you. Im 19 female..long story but i want to know my options thank you.

I was told its wobbler and i pled to it as a felony. Thank you all for the help

I was awarded a COR yesterday! Took me over a year but it happened! I can’t remember where I read it at ( either CA Business Code or CA Penal Code) but it said that one a COR was granted your criminal history could not be used against you for employment. I can’t seem to find this code. This is the main reason why I want a COR, but would really like to read the actual code on this. I did find the code that states licensing agencies can’t use your criminal history against you. Can anyone help me?

My convictions were forgery and embezzlement. I got the COR for employment purposes to work in the health care field.
Thank you

I received my certificate of rehabilitation for one felony. How do I get a pardon? It is suppose to be automatic or do I need to file something?

Don’t just take my word for it but from I have heard…

When a COR is granted…there is something automagic that happens. As in…a pardon request is generated and sent to the Governor for consideration.

You’re more likely to win the lotto than have the pardon granted. The last person to get a pardon for anything would be an SO. Bad for business.

HUGE congrats on the COR!!! No longer required to register…correct? So long Price Club!

I was scrolling through these comments, and it seems like a lot of you guys didn’t read the comment from Chance. It’s pretty simple actually. Anyone can apply for a COR, but the real question everyone has is, if after you are awarded a COR, Will you be removed from the registry? Well it’s simple, look under 290.5, and if your penal code falls under that category, if IN THE FUTURE, you commit those crimes, you will never get off. Well, as a 243.4(a) can get you off the internet, you still have to register, unless of course your judge, if in LA grants a COR and clearly specifies that you no longer have to register pursuant to section 290.5. Then you or your paralegal, or attorney will send that info to DOJ, and then DOJ sends you a letter stating your registration is terminated. Now as far as a pardon goes, once you get your COR granted, it’s an automatic application for a pardon. Doesn’t mean you will get it. I learned something interesting.. After you receive your COR, which you have to wait, for the most part, 10 years from the time you were released from prison.. According to the governors office, to get a pardon, it has to be 10 years from the time you were released from parole. Which was very strange when I got that letter, so I have to wait til the end of February this year to finish the pardon. They said it will be reactivated once the 10 years from parole release date is completed. This is something I’m sure many of you are not aware of. I know there are a lot of discrepancies on what to do, or do you qualify? Well, you really can do this on your own, like I said in my posts above. Hey, it worked for me. Not only was my COR granted, but I never have to worry about walking into a police station to register every time I move! That’s a huge relief! Even when I took the letter into the police station, the cop said “wow, you have been exonerated, well done!” If you get this, you will know exactly how I feel! It’s an amazing feeling! It can happen, just have patience, and do your due diligence. Oh, and read every post on here before asking questions that have already been answered for you. It’s all here in black and white. There is really no need to be confused about it. Every county is the same, however each judge may use their own discretion. Good luck!


I received a COR in Sacramento County. Was on the 290 for a misdemeanor 647.6. I performed a life scan about 2 months after receiving COR. 290 was still listed and the COR did not show up. I sent in a Copy of the COR describing the I was still on the 290. DOJ sent me a termination letter of the 290 registration about a week later.

The COR does not need to spell out that you are to be removed from the registration. As long as it is granted.

I highly recommend anyone going for a COR to hire an experienced lawyer and to not take any chances of doing it yourself for a 290 termination.

About “live scans” from my experience:

Before I left Calif two years ago I needed a copy of my Calif criminal record for the next State. But Sacramento wants to know it’s real YOU who is asking ! Now in the olden days you went down to your local cop station, and for a fee (Around $20) they physically fingerprinted you on two separate cards. They then give the cards to you. They keep no copies. Then you mail both cards along with your request letter (And a check too, with their fee) up to Sacktown.

NOW, however, they want you to go to a place that digitally does the same thing ! So I went to a UPS store. Not all the UPS stores do it ; they’ll direct you to one close by that does. BUT, they (UPS) want $50 to do it ! But I still had to mail a letter with a check…

Just received my certificate of rehab, although I’m happy for getting it, it still doesn’t relieve me of registering or appearing on Megan’s website without a pardon from the governor. I will continue to be positive and hope in the end I do get that pardon. As far as what I had to do to get to this point pretty much the same as the original post, I hired a lawyer first thing he had to do was reduce original charge to misdemeanor and then expunge from their which he did. Once convictions where expunged he filed for COR with the county, I then received a packet from the local bureau of investigations in which they asked for a lot of info such as work history, finances, debt, cars owned, and also asked for six reference/character letters from friends/ coworkers or family and to provide them with three numbers of people for them to call to budge for you, I did all that sent it back within two weeks. Two weeks later setup an interview with the investigator who was taking care of my case for COR. Prior to the interview I spoke with my lawyer as to what expect, he told to me to be honest but do not get into specifics of the case. So the day of the interview he started asking me question into which he already knew the answers for, I suppose he was trying to catch me in a lie. Right after he asked to talk to him about what happened to go back and tell him everything, I told him I didn’t feel comfortable and that I was advised by my attorney not to talk about it, his demeanor changed immediately and said that it wouldn’t look good in front of the judge but I didn’t budge. Long story short my attorney later told me that he knew of a case where an attorney advised his client to be open and talk about his case, the investigator ended up persuading him into opening to the point where they where able to open up a new case and eventually got 8 years in prison. So I guess me not opening up to the investigator didn’t really matter in front of the judge, he approved my COR and now I just wait for a pardonz

I’ve read the thread a few hundred times about the importance of letters – but I’ve never been able to find any good examples (either through the dead link in this thread or anywhere else online). Does anyone have any letters (written either by the person asking for the COR or as testimonials from friends/colleagues) that they could share?

I just wanted to post here because I got my Certificate of Rehabilitation!! Thanks be to God!

Thank you also to the ACSOL community for your great information and support. Because of this website, and this forum in particular, I was finally able to get my case off the ground.

This forum was also where I found out about my attorney, Chance Oberstein (now president of ACSOL).

Here’s my take on the process and how Chance helped me – if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I will do my best to answer without being too specific to my case.

For definitive answers to legal questions, please call Chance! The folks on this website are in general not lawyers.

Chance Oberstein helped me get my life back after twelve years of anxiety as a registered sex offender. This is a minor miracle.

I believe Chance is simply the most competent specialist in post-conviction relief for sex offenders in California. For Chance, winning relief for eligible registrants is a cause and a passion. He does not approach these cases with a “business-as-usual” attitude. He takes great pride in helping people restore their lives.

In 2005, I was convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense (647.6). Fortunately, my offense was one of the few that qualified for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and removal from the registry. In 2015, I began a serious search for help in obtaining my COR. I started by consulting the attorneys I used to get my termination of probation and expungement. They seemed flummoxed by the COR process, so I had to look elsewhere.

I interviewed the lawyers my former attorneys recommended, as well as someone who was recommended by the Bar Association. These attorneys also did not inspire confidence. They either knew little about CORs, had no documented success in obtaining them for clients, charged exorbitant fees, or hyped false promises of success. One even discouraged me from applying.

I was really at the end of my options when I found Chance. I knew immediately by the questions he asked me that he was an expert in these cases. Unlike the other attorneys, he was realistic and focused. He wanted to make sure I truly qualified before he took my case.

The road to a COR is complex, draining, and and nerve-wracking. It involves asking friends to write letters in support, subjecting yourself and others to intense scrutiny by investigators, anticipating court dates with anxiety, overcoming possible glitches, and dealing with numerous other hurdles.

Making the COR even more confusing is the inconsistency in both procedures and outcomes among the various jurisdictions in California. It is very hard to find comparative information that you can use to guide you in your county. Chance has so much experience and success with these cases that he can help you navigate the bureaucracy in your particular situation.

The COR is not a process that should be undertaken without expert help and advice. It is requires that the attorney helping you be available for questions, emotionally supportive, and determined above all else to win your case.

When I finally got my COR in San Francisco, after a year of delays due to changes in personnel at the DA’s office, among other setbacks, I could barely believe the ordeal was finally over. I can’t express my gratitude enough for Chance’s constant guidance through this grueling process.

Chance is the authority on post-conviction relief for sex offenders. No other attorney that I interviewed even came close in terms of knowledge, experience, and professionalism. On top of his expertise, Chance offers personal understanding of what it means to be in the vise-grip of anxiety about constantly changing registration laws.

If you have any opportunity at all for relief from registration and want the most competent counsel in California, don’t waste your time with other attorneys. Consult with Chance Oberstein first.

That is great news!! Congratulations to you and also Mr Oberstein. Right now, we are in the process of working on the reduction/ expungement. I found a law firm that offers a money back guarantee and has a flat fee of $799 for felony expungement. It almost sounds too good to be true, so I was wondering what others think about the price. I know that the expungement has to be granted if probation has been completed without violations (for offenses that qualify), so we could technically attempt this ourselves. However, the money might be worth it to save us the headache and humiliation, which I am sure would be part of going to court. As for the COR, I believe we have to wait 7 years (10 years for some offenses) here in California. Is that 7 years from date of conviction, or 7 years from release from probation?

An update: The attorney Mark Devore who got my Certificate of Rehabilitation (first post) just vacated 3 misdemeanors from my record using the new law 1473.7 which went into effect 1/1/2017. It works on felonies as well and just might get you off 290. This is for immigrants who are facing immigration consequences from past pleas. It’s time sensitive so if it applies to you, FILE THE MOTION IMMEDIATELY.

My atty’s website is devorelaw.com and he kicks ass. He obtained my C.O.R. & has vacated 4 total misdemeanors for me. Best of luck.

I am curious if a Live Scan will show you have a COR on file? Anyone have had this done? I’m waiting for mine to come back to get my Contractor License.

Hi James,

Thank you! And yes I just got cleared from the live scan today from the contractors board! So yes!! I’m excited I will be getting my contractors license!

Hello Maria, my suggestion is call Attorney Chance Oberstein, he will know best on how to help you.

So I was recently granted a COR and according to the paperwork i got form the court, the clerk was going to mail this to all parties but after reading a few comments above I’m not sure if I have to submit anything to get my name of the registry of if i need to wait for the DOJ. Its been about 45 days since my COR and I was just wondering if anyone had some insight. I was told that i could send documents to the CDOJ Sex Offenders tracking program? Anyone done this?

Hi all. I am eligible to apply for a COR next month. I have an appointment with my lawyer next week to get the process started. My lawyer, and a couple people in this thread have used the word “scrutiny” from investigators during this process. Can anybody tell me exactly what that means? I need to know what I am getting myself into. And what I am getting my family into. I will be asking my lawyer the exact same question, but I would really like to hear from people who have gone through it. What can I expect from law enforcement, the DA’s investigators, etc.? What is reasonable guess for how long the process will take? Is the new investigation like being on probation again, or is it something different? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Can someone answer my questions? Thank you for your time in advance.
I was convicted by a Jury in 1998 with a felony 289(d) here in California. I was sentenced to prison for 3 years. I did my time (I was released from prison for good behavior in 2000) and completed 3 years of parole. Last year, in May 2018 I was granted my CoR and now I guess my PARDON APPLICATION is sitting at the governor’s desk unless it was denied by former CA governor J. Brown.


I have been looking into what legal options do I have in order to get myself off the sex offenders registry. Unfortunately, as I read the post from Justplainme on February 1, 2016, under PCP 290.5 I do not qualify under any legal option to be off the registry. However, I have read about some type of tiers that will be up for voters this year.
Q2) Does anyone knows about how the tier system will work?

I have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 28 years and now I am planning to move to Florida.
Q3) I heard FL is one the strictest state for sex offenders. Any suggestions or comments will be appreciated.

Michelle ~ I believe a person has to be crime free for 10 year (7 years for some offenses) before they can apply for a COR, so it seems like the clock starts fresh from when he picked up the FTR. I know. it’s probably too late now since he is on Parole, but was it a “willful” FTR? CA 290 law states that the FTR has to be willful or knowingly.

I was released on May 1st from Post Release from Prison (Not Parole, under AB 109), I was convicted back in 04′ with PC 288 (c)(1), PC 288 (b) (1) & 289 (i), had a violation and did 9 more months for that and then re convicted back in 08′ on PC311.11 (a) did my time in Prison and released and had no more problems since.
my question and confusion is when can i try to start accomplishing the COR & reduction and expungement of the the charges??? I believe i may have 3-4 years more to wait..am i wrong?

How do I know if I am eligible for a COR? I’ve already had my case dropped from a felony to mm, but will remain on the registry for lifetime. Getting it reduced has not helped in finding work, since I am still slated for being a SO. How do I obtain a COR if I am eligible?