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US Sex Offender Registration Laws

How to Stay Compliant by Meeting State Registration Requirements

Registered citizens must meet registration requirements in the states they visit as well the states in which they reside. State visitor requirements vary widely from 48 hours in Florida to 10 days in Hawaii. These requirements apply regardless of whether the visit is a vacation, business trip or school-related activity.

“It is essential for registered citizens to remain compliant when they visit another state,” said CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “In order to remain compliant, registered citizens must know the requirements of the state they choose to visit.”

Below is a link to a spreadsheet that provides an overview of requirements for state visitors as well as the verbatim laws from which this information was gathered (current as of May 2014). This information will be permanently linked from the main Navigation under “Legal”.

US Registration Laws Overview

TypeFile NameSize

Rsol States Overview 86.7k

Individual State Laws

TypeFile NameSize

Rsol Alabama Reg Req New 140410 250.6k

Rsol Alaska Sex off Reg 140406 150.7k

Rsol Arizona Sex off Reg Req 140407 79.5k

Rsol Arkansas Reg Req 140406 257.5k

Rsol California Reg Reqmnts 140406 182.6k

Rsol Colorado New Reg Req 140429 318.5k

Rsol Connecticut New Reg Req 140429 154.4k

Rsol Dc New Reg Req All 140429 164.6k

Rsol Delaware Reg Req from Del Gov 140410 131.8k

Rsol Florida Reg Req Full 775 21 to 944 607 140412 250.8k

Rsol Georgia Text 42 1 12 through 42 1 19 129.1k

Rsol Hawaii Reg Req 846e 1 to 12 140415 114.5k

Rsol Idaho Reg Req 140415 260.9k

Rsol Illinois Reg Req 140415 233.4k

Rsol Indiana Reg Req 140416 404.9k

Rsol Iowa Reg Req 140417 475.7k

Rsol Kansas Reg Req 140421 180.8k

Rsol Kentucky Reg Req 140422 112.4k

Rsol Louisiana Lexis Reg Geq 140422 533.9k

Rsol Maine Reg Req Lexis 140422 109.7k

Rsol Maryland Lexis Reg Req 140422 348.8k

Rsol Massachusetts Reg Req 140422 220.6k

Rsol Michigan Reg Req 140422 310.2k

Rsol Minnesota Reg Req 140422 185.1k

Rsol Mississippi Reg Req 140422 210.2k

Rsol Missouri Reg Req 140422 126.7k

Rsol Montana Reg Req 140422 104.4k

Rsol Nebraska Reg Req 140423 212.7k

Rsol Nevada Reg Req 179d 176 0931 62f Etc 140423 183.6k

Rsol New Hampshire Reg Req 140423 197.1k

Rsol New Jersey Reg Req 140423 255.8k

Rsol New Mexico Reg Req 140423 130.9k

Rsol New York Reg Req 140423 252.6k

Rsol North Carolina Reg Req 140423 502.8k

Rsol North Dakota Reg Req 140424 63.1k

Rsol Ohio Reg Req 140424 567.6k

Rsol Oklahoma Reg Req 140424 197.3k

Rsol Oregon Reg Req New 2013 140424 508.4k

Rsol Pennsylvania Reg Req 140424 736.4k

Rsol Rhode Island Reg Req 140424 150k

Rsol South Carolina Reg Req 140424 248.5k

Rsol South Dakota Reg Req 140424 352.2k

Rsol Tennessee Reg Req 140425 493.2k

Rsol Texas Word Reg Req 140425 297.3k

Rsol Utah Reg Req 140425 166.6k

Rsol Vermont Reg Req 140425 307.6k

Rsol Virginia Reg Req 140425 360.8k

Rsol Washington Reg Req 140425 238.8k

Rsol West Virginia Reg Req 140425 369.7k

Rsol Wisconsin Reg Req 140425 553.3k

Rsol Wyoming Reg Req 140425 159.9k

Join the discussion

  1. FRegistryTerrorists

    I trust that every American thinks this situation is unacceptable.

    But thanks to Janice and company for such effort to put together more useful resources. I also think it is crucial that every person who is Registered follow all Registration laws but ONLY because those laws are weapons of criminal regimes that they will use to attack you. There is no other reason to follow Registration laws.

    As long as these laws exist, all people who are attacked by them should use every legal means available to ensure that the laws are not just worthless, but much, much worse. All Registered people should also retaliate by all legal means available.

    For nearly two decades, I have ensured that in my case, the Registries are very counterproductive. I spend time around all kinds of people all the time who do not know that I am Registered. It’s trivial to do. I do it mostly because I live a normal life but I also go out of my way to do it simply because the Registries exist. I spend a lot of time in many different types of situations and try to determine exactly how it is that supporters of the Registries dream that their Registries help prevent the situation. I am constantly trying to determine if the SORs are legitimate in any way. I have found no situation where they might be useful/needed and there are not better means.

    I also spend quite a bit of time individually identifying people who are supporting the Registries and then taking actions that are legal to lower the quality of their lives. That is what they do to my family on a continuing basis so I simply return the favor. Another big thing I do is work to keep law enforcement, and government in general, broke and dysfunctional. I work to ensure that they have much bigger problems to worry about than their precious Registries.

    The SORs could possible have been useful if 1) people would have simply used them as they were originally intended – to be “informed”, 2) people listed on them had no legal requirements related to the SORs, and 3) all the rest of the Registries that should exist did. But none of that has happened and the SORs are simply an illegal harassment scheme. No American should ever accept them. There is plenty that can be done to ensure that the Registries are worse-than-worthless and that appropriate retaliation is delivered. A person simply needs to be creative and work at it.

    • Lilly

      I’ve got a question I’ve been living in a hotel with my kids for 7years and recently just found out that the person they put next door to us is a sex offender the hotel management recently tried to kick us out after we just made payment on rent it didn’t make sense then just realized that he didn’t care to let us know that the person that’s been talking to me and my little girl is a sex offender that’s why he tried to get rid of us is because of all the red tape that goes on just for him to make money can I fight against him trying to put us homeless out there after making payments because of him putting a sex offender next to us with out warning us about this he put my family in danger

      • R M

        @Lily: Your family is in LESS danger living next to a sex offender.

        Recidivism rates for sex offenders were low and lowering BEFORE the registries and have not significantly been reduced AFTER the registries. There have been 21 studies and reports that show recidivism rates for registered sex offenders are 5.3% or less, getting less as time goes by (lower than any other type of crime, except for murder maybe.

        NEW sex crimes are 95+% committed by those without any previous conviction and are mostly by teachers, clergy, coaches, parents, and those in “close relationship” to the victim.

        Registered sex offenders have a right to live. If he/she violates any residency restrictions, then he/she will be prosecuted for it.

        Your beef with the hotel is not due to to who lives next to you. If you “think” your family is in danger move but I’d think before you act.

      • rosebud

        Sorry, Lilly, but what puts your kids at “risk” (as you perceive it) is your decision to have children combined with your inability or unwillingness to take care of them in a manner you view as “safe”.

        If you object to your neighbors – who have the audacity to speak to you and your children – while living in a hotel, perhaps having them live in a hotel is the first problem.

        Food for thought?

      • AO

        @Lilly – What’s the reason you’re being kicked out if you’re paying on time? I can’t fathom any business choosing registered person over a non registered person if everything else is on the up and up?

      • Will Allen

        How do you know this person is a “$EX offender”? I don’t think there is any way for you to tell unless you have seen the person committing $EX offenses. No other way.


  2. Alienated

    This is very helpful but still a little complicated to interpret.
    For example if you are a California resident how long do you have to register in another county if you were on vacation 5 or 14 days ?
    Please answer if anyone knows.
    Oh ya and what about Puerto Rico and all the other U.S. territories ?
    does anyone know ?

    Thanks RSOL for helping us through this maze of inconsistent national and state laws.

    • Tim

      Also, sounds like you sleep overnight anywhere not your listed residence and you have 5 days to notify law enforcement that you were there???. It takes away any illusion that you ever became a somewhat free person after the end of your sentence, but it might be safer to call law enforcement ever time you plan to spend a night at a friend’s or take the family camping over the weekend?

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Alienated, as I have said in other threads, the answer is less than definitive, but I have read California appellate cases iwhere they say that if you are in a town for even one night, you must register, but that you have five days in which to do that registration. I know this sounds ridiculous, even impossible, but the clause regarding that is written in a way that it can be interpreted to mean this, and at leas some appellate courts have interpreted in this manner.

      I must also again state here: 290 is so impossibly voluminous, and so impossibly far, far, far too many appellate and high court rulings on it over the years, on so many minute details — this makes it so impossible to consume it all that I see lawyers left and right and judges and court decisions all over the place that clearly can’t follow it all. As such, it seems to me that that in and of itself should make it unconstitutionally vague. Nobody can consume it all and follow it and mix this part with that and know what the heck it is and not trip up on something somewhere — and so maybe land in jail. I’ve seen too many case of just that that have landed people in jail.

      That said, I know I’ve read the clause you are speaking of in 290 various times in years gone by. But I just can’t find it now, 290 is just too voluminous for me to even find something I know absolutely is there. But by memory, the language is that when you come into a town, you have five days in which to register. Originally, that was taken to mean that if you were in the town for five days, you must register. But courts later said no, it means if you are there even one night, you have five days in which to register.

      Now, these things have to be read together with all other law. And even in 290 itself, there is the other clause that speaks about residence. Under that, any place you stay “regularly” is deemed to be a residence of yours and you must register there too, in addition to wherever might be your primary residence. But note, that is “regularly,” not simply one night. So how can the other clause mean one night if one night is not enough for this “regularly” clause? Who knows?

      In the end, as Janice has noted, RSOL does not give any legal advice on the Website, that’s against its policy. So you would only have we other users to give our non-legal-licensed thoughts.

      But in the end, you are seeking a definitive answer, and I don’t think there is one unless and until the state high court rules definitively on the question — as if we need yet even more legal opinions to try to follow, as if there isn’t already far too much. But mind you, if you take it to mean you can be somewhere for five days before you are required to register, and you end up busted over that and the court rules no, its one day and you have five in which to do the registration — well, you land in jail.

      In fact, that is how the language for the other clause came about, talking about “regularly.” Some guy had no idea he was supposed to register at his girlfriend’s house simply because he stayed over about one night a week — the clause was not there then, but the court interpreted that any place he stayed “regularly” was a residence of his, and he landed in jail on that interpretation, before that clause even was in 290 (they followed up and added that clause to 290, to thwart any subsequent challenges)!

      So in the end, it is left to each individual registrant to interpret and decide how much risk they want to take — and maybe land in jail for something they had no control over interpreting and could not find out for lack of any final definitive answer. Or you can go in and register in every town you are even in overnight one night to be safe, or you can figure you have to be there five days before the registration rule is sparked and so take your chances. Who knows? Or, maybe you can just use the defense that you might have been there overnight, but you never slept, so it is not your residence — as after all, how do overnight hours make something your residence if daytime hours do not, other than the mention of sleep that courts have stated in some cases? They will have to PROVE that you were sleeping. (I would not want to risk my freedom on this defense! 🙂 But it does point out how impossible all of this is to understand, and so it really should be declared unconstitutionally vague.)

      • MA Citizen

        I reside in Massachusetts, where I was convicted and am registered. I sent an email to asking about visitation and vacationing in CA. Here is the verbatim reaponse I received. Even THEY aren’t quite sure what all the regulations are. Take it any way you like:

        Thank you for your e-mail dated April 16, 2014, which you sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

        In your e-mail, you request information concerning a registered sex offender vacationing in California.

        Currently, California Penal Code section 290 requires a registrant who is residing in one location for more than five (5) working days to register with the law enforcement agency (Police or Sheriff Department) having jurisdiction over his/her location.

        Unfortunately, under existing law it has not been determined whether a person on vacation is actually “residing” in a temporary location while on vacation. As a result, it is at the discretion of law enforcement to decide when a person vacationing on a temporary basis must register in their jurisdiction. Therefore, we suggest you contact the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the California location you intend to visit.

        If you have any additional questions you can contact the DOJ’s Sex Offender Tracking Program at (916) 227-3288.

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        CA Department of Justice
        Sex Offender Tracking Program

        • guest

          This is exactly my previous point of how ridiculous posting these laws state by state are.
          RSOL ought to be about reforming sex offender laws not how to conform to willy nilly local laws.
          RSOL ought to lead the way in putting the responsibility on law enforcement to make clear to registrants the requirements of travel to anywhere USA and World.
          Registrants need to be a burden on the system, the more burden the better.

        • Tim

          Thank you, MA citizen. Basically, that is what our county Sheriff clerk told me. At least she was in line with the DOJ. Still crazy. The law is set up so you have to call the jurisdiction you’re visiting or risk violating the law. So why not just call them up to be safe? Well the last thing I want is to be in a campground with family or friends and have the local sex offender squad pull up in riot gear to do a compliance check. That’s not a vacation. Of course, neither is prison. Welcome to Catch 290.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      OK, here is one thought about how to protect yourself against interpretations by the court on this question:

      If you get an interpretation from a lawyer that you do not have to register unless you are in a town for at least five days, then if you get busted because you were there three days and did not register, you can defend against a conviction by showing that you were following the lawyer’s formal legal opinion given in advance. The lawyer’s opinion and advice is a defense for you. Even if the lawyer turns out to have been wrong, you can still defend on the basis that is what he/she advised you. Get the lawyer’s interpretation in writing, and make sure that is absolute and perfectly clear, no possibility of any ambiguity.

      (I note, being no lawyer myself, I can’t tell you there aren’t little details about that advice or this, that and the other thing about using it as a defense. You might want to ask the lawyer about that too.)

  3. turtle

    THX JANICE !!!
    I am going to DENVER , CO on business for 5-6 days in JUNE 2014…I hope I am reading this LEGAL STUFF right-lol…. “NO more than 14 BUSINESS days in a row in order to NOT have to REGISTER ?” ANYONE , please comment…THX 🙂

  4. Jason Wilson

    I’ll turn this into a feed widget for SOSEN’s network so that we can quickly get people to this resource… very nice work people! Good job on this. I’ll update this page when we have a feed widget we make distribute on websites…

  5. david

    When a state says something like Missouri does: “Missouri requirements are as follows: # of days to register, 3 days” Does it mean I might have to register within 3 days even if I just spend a single night there? I would hate to fly home and later find out I’m in trouble in another state.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      See my post above about that same question for California law. Also, who knows how Missouri courts will decide to interpret it, regardless of how California courts do.

    • Miles Wray

      I live in Missouri. My honest advice is to just not come here as a registrant. Nobody in law enforcement seems to know the answer to your question. Everytime I ask a question, I get different answers from different officials.

      • Timmr

        Same thing here in San Diego County, California. They seem to be more confused than me, and that is saying a lot.

  6. USA

    This is all so confusing. I mean, what if I flew to Nevada, rented a car and stayed for a week? I mean, I would literally have to register? I can just see me walking in and registering a rental car and hotel? Now, what if I forgot to visit the police station before I left? I mean, would I have to go back into the station and inform them I’m leaving? For the most part, I wouldn’t have to register in most of the states I visit since battery (expunged/not a child) isn’t registerable or ? Now, get this one. In most states, sexual battery isn’t registerable after 10 years (misdemeanor). Now, what if I have to register in California and technically speaking if I lived in Nevada or Utah, I would no longer have to register after 10 years and its now been 17 or so? Would I still have to register? Or, here is another one. What if I’m required to register in California for battery, but yet sexual battery isn’t a registerable offense in their state? WOuld I still have to register? In summary, these laws are both confusing and terrible. I also had no idea Yorba Linda and a variety of other cities had enacted these park bans and ect. I can now see clearly how the Judge made the right decision. Good Job!

    • Janice Bellucci

      You are correct, USA. The laws that have been passed are confusing. In fact, they have created a path of landmines which can and do harm even those who are attempting to stay in compliance. That is why we have begun the process of clearing out the landmines, starting with the elimination of all presence restrictions in California.

  7. Planted

    This list is a big step in the right direction but it’s still a bit vague and confusing. I think it’s safe to say that any modern slave aka Registrant is barred from vacationing out of the country due to the notification policy that has been unofficially enacted. Can anyone make a list of states where we can travel to within in the U.S. that require no registration if it’s under a set amount of days? I know Hawaii is one of these relaxed states that don’t require registration if you stay under 10 days, but does anyone know of any others? I’m looking to vacation soon and I rather avoid law enforcement because we all know how pleasant they are and lets face it, registration is a pain and will void the piece of mind vacationing is suppose to instill.

  8. ab

    Anyone else wondering how much havoc could be caused by figuring out a way to just stay Lon enough in each state to trigger registration requirements and then within a few days turn around and unregister in each state? I am not suggesting anyone actually try this, but if timed and planned out correctly it would be a huge headache for law enforcement agencies around the country. One person doing it would have little effect, but imagine hundreds of registrants all arriving and departing within days of each other in every state. For the sake of simplicity pick popular tourist destinations in every state and have the registrants visiting those cities around the same time. Again I am not suggesting or saying anyone or group try organizing a massive registrant tourist trip around the United States, but that could highlight the ridiculousness of the vast disparity between registration requirements for the fifty states.

    Outside of that or some incredible increase in interest via other means I didn’t see this getting less complicated anytime soon.

    • Tim

      Why not organize this as an act of civil disobedience? Or would it be uncivil obedience? One would get the feeling of having a real vacation out of this, cause registration would for a change be fun and have a real purpose, to make a point. Hey officer, we is just complying. That’s all.

      • cool rso guy!

        We can there are already at least 500,000. someone post it is 600,000
        Remember the “million men march”

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Tim, it actually would NOT be civil disobedience. It would be civil OBEDIENCE, which makes it even better. Civil disobedience is when you break the law, as in when a group of protesters refuse to disperse despite a legal police order to do so. Having all registrants travel somewhere the same week or two and all of them go in then to register as required is not DISOBEDIENCE.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      I agree on principle that this is something to do. However, I recognize in reality, it is far too much for far too many people to do, to travel and stay places long enough to have to register and to also deregister.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      And also, how about adding this on: when the police agencies all over fail to register people, we sue them all for failure to register people. The law REQUIRES these agencies to do the registration – they don’t have the option to not do it. They can defend by pointing out the circumstances, but let them –and bog them down in court presenting their defense. Bring them to their knees.

      And then do it again a month or two later, and again and again until they get the message and stop this.

      Such a nice dream. 🙂

      • Tim

        Yes, I think Janice has demanded (?) the State to update the registration info or take down the site. Let’s have jail time for those who willfully fail to properly register the registrants in a timely manner. Public safety is at stake here, so they keep saying, but their actions say “Eh? Meh? …no big deal…get to it someday”.

  9. mch

    I kinda think this is bull****. Pretty much anytime, anyplace outside of our place of residence a RSO is in danger of being “popped” because we don’t know the law in Podunk, Mississippi or wherever. Are there any other groups of ex felons to which this amount of scrutiny is bestowed? I think not!

    • Tim

      No. I think we are on the level of fruit and other produce. I remember having to throw out all our fruits at the border of Oregon coming to California. Some states allow imports of this but not that. We carry some imaginary but fearsome desease or pest with us, where ever we go, and it is thought to kill children on contact. Takes millions of dollars to regulate us with no known practical value, but, it generates much political capital for those in elected office.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      mch, I note how easy it is to not realize how extreme this law is. You ask if there is any other group of ex-felons who get this type of scrutiny. Hey, this is being done to MISDEMEANANTS in California! If you think it unconscionable to be done to ex-felons, consider it being done to mere ex-misdemeanants, and even those misdemeanants for whom the conviction has been “expunged” — and even to those misdemeanants who previously were relieved of the duty to register by meeting the previous standard and earning the relief from registration!

  10. Blizzzunk

    Hello Janice,

    First of all… I love you for all that you and your team do for us 290’s.


    I paroled in CA. In 2010. Homeless. Thanks to the 2500 foot rule close to a school. My dad found me a job in Minnesota in 2011. I transferred my parole to Minnesota. I am now off of parole as of 2013. Minnesota has a 3 level system. I am a level 1. The lowest threat to reoffend. This state only registers level 1 people for 10 years with no problems in that time. The problem is I was convicted in California where it is a lifetime registration. The yearly registration form that I filled out for Minnesota said if I was convicted in a lifetime state they will hold me to that even if I don’t live in California anymore. This does not seem right or fair at all. I made a mistake. I fixed it. I just want to move on with my life.

    I am tired of being held hostage by this crazy registration process.

    Any advice?

    • Janice Bellucci

      We do not provide legal advice on this website as each person’s facts and circumstances are different.

  11. brunello

    Laws controlling RSOs in Puerto Rico, also Guam and Samoa can be found at

    A good start for the laws in the District of Columbia is

  12. Anonymous Nobody

    This is very helpful.

    But it also points out a problem: Having to comply with different registration rules in 50 different states would seem to to violate the federal Constitution’s clause that bars states from passing any law that interferes with interstate commerce. Having to research and deal with all these different registration laws certainly seems to me to violate that clause. I think the states would only be able to apply their registration laws to their own residents, not outsiders going there without taking up real residence.

    Just my thought.

    And another thought: We have California and who knows how many other states saying that if you have to register where you live, then you will have to register in their jurisdiction too — even if they don’t require their own residents to register for the violation for which your state requires you to register. Something is VERY wrong with that. If that isn’t unequal application of the law I don’t know what is.

    For instance, I was looking at the New Jersey laws, the home of Megan’s Law. They use very different and vague and general terms for the offenses that must register. But it seems only the most serious offenses have to register there. In California, a LOT more offenses have to register, even many misdemeanors. The favorite example is indecent exposure, which is lifetime registration in California. In NJ, it appears one does not have to register for indecent exposure ever. Yet, if someone in California who was convicted of that were to travel to NJ, they would have to register in NJ because NJ says you must register there you have to register in your home state. How can that be?!

    Also, as I said, NJ appears to require only the most serious offenses to register, yet any registrant can get out from under registration — even the worst of the worst — after 15 years of a clean record. That’s the standard, simply a clean record for 15 years. They don’t have to go through all the crap of seeking a COR in California. Well, there is a tag of some vague language in the NJ law, that they must show they are “not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.” I suppose that kind of vagueness could bring problems. See that clause here:

    … a person required to register under this act may make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the obligation upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within 15 years following conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.”

    But the point is, they do not have to go through all the extreme and intense scrutiny of a COR — a COR is an application for a pardon, but in NJ you do not need to meet the standard for a pardon — and ANY registrant can ask the court for that relief, like I said even the worst of the worst. And I repeat, lesser offenders never have to register.

    Gee, CA RSOL is talking of a minimum of 10 years registration for minor offenders, even indecent exposure which is eligible for a COR in only 7 years. CA RSOL should instead be talking of taking minor and lesser offenders out of registration altogether — other states don’t make those people register, and neither does the federal government require it (But of course, no one is telling this to the people of California). CA RSOL also should not be talking of 20 years for more serious offenders, nor accepting lifetime for even the worst of the worst — even those, if they have been clean long enough, have passed the test of time, which is the best test of all, let go of them and without impossible standards to meet. NJ says if even those people are good for 15 years,they have passed the test of time.

  13. Anonymous Nobody

    BTW, that said, it also appears to me that if you were convicted of such a minor or lesser offense for which NJ requires registration, you will not have to register any more if you were to move to NJ. You would only have to register there if you traveled there for business or the couple other reasons it states and were there for at least 14 consecutive days, or an aggregate of 30 days a year. But if you live there, only those offenses for which NJ requires registration would have to register.

  14. david

    Just in case someone needs to know, I phoned the police department, sex offender registration Dept. in two cities I plan to visit. The St. Louis official said I don’t even need to register unless I’ll be staying for more than seven (7) days. I’m not, so that’s awesome (though I’ll still have to register in my own city if I stay away for more than 48 hours…bummer).

    The official in Vegas said I’d need to register if staying for longer than 48 hours…not quite as good.

    Just thought you guys would like to know. I’d love to hear the rules for other large cities worth visiting if anyone knows.

    • Janice Bellucci

      It’s a good idea to call the police department in the city where you plan to visit to learn how they are interpreting their own city, county and/or city laws. When you do, write down the name of the person with whom you spoke as well as the date and time.

      • Tim

        Will do that next time. Do you think we can or should also require them to have their opinion in writing?

        • FRegistryTerrorists

          I’m not a lawyer but I can’t imagine there is any possible way that you could force them to put anything in writing. But you can always ask them to do so. People/governments who are moral and upstanding should never have a problem writing down anything they say. But don’t be surprised if they won’t. They are sleazy.

          But what I have done in the past is have my attorney write a letter that says basically that “my client believes that the law says X, Y, and Z. My client was told by Mr. Whomever on 5/23/14 that blah, blah, blah.”. My attorney then sent the letter to the Sheriff’s Department, county attorney, etc. The county attorney has written back in some cases. And even if they did not, I think it would really weaken any legal standing they had to charge you with anything.

          What Janice said about recording any conversations is very good advice. I would take it a step further though and record all conversations with them. Just make sure it is legal first. I have recorded many phone conversations.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      I must say, I am VERY wary of anything some police officer tells you about law. They are NOT legal experts, they are not licensed to interpret law. They are muscle. I’ve heard them say all kinds of things about law that are just flat out wrong. Gee, just a year and a half ago I had a sheriff’s deputy teaching a class insisting that California no longer has a death penalty law! I had to argue with him for quite some time that that is just not so, it is still law here and people are still sentenced to death, even if few actually get to execution. He just insisted I was wrong.

      I would be very scared to not register on the basis of some cop’s say so — jeez, they don’t even know we have the death penalty here! (And that is just one example — I could give you plenty of others.)

      And writing down his/her name isn’t going to help much, as they will just say they never said that. You will need something a LOT better than that. I have not seen any reasonableness in enforcement of registration laws, so I don’t expect any such reasonableness if I were to insist that some cop told me I didn’t need to — they will prosecute anyway. In a perfect world, prosecutors would be reasonable and say OK, just register now. But we are not living in Disneyland. The problem is not only the state of the law on registration,but also the state of enforcement of it — it is extreme for both.

      Unfortunately, you cannot depend on people being reasonable — and thus on a cop’s say so. You must have something more extreme than that — because extreme is the level of enforcement we face. Now, as I said in another post in this thread, I believe if you had a letter from a licensed lawyer saying you do not need to register until ,,, — then you would have a serious defense. (I do not think it reasonable that registrants should need a letter from a lawyer every time they want to travel somewhere, but I do think that is the extreme that is needed in these Dark Ages we are in. Unfortunately, we cannot approach this reasonably.)

  15. Anonymous Nobody

    And another landmine, USA: some states require you to register even if your offense is not a registrable one in that state — simply because they require you to register there no matter your offense if you must register in your home state. So, don’t stop reading those laws at the list of registrable offense — you better read through to see if you must register as a visitor anyway.

    • david

      Janice, you’re a wealth of good common sense. Next time I’ll remember to write names and time/ date. I can imagine a scenario where they bust somebody for not registering and claim ignorance about giving the wrong phone information. Thanks again!

  16. Tired of hiding

    I refuse to register anywhere that I visit that I do not pay taxes. I pay taxes in California. I am a citizen of California. I reside and register in California.

    I will NOT take my time to register in any other state I visit. I will simply NOT do it. I will NOT take my time to read their regulations either…I simply will NOT do it.

    I am doing what is Federally required of me, which is registering in my state of residence. I will NOT register when visiting. I have a constitutional right to freely travel between states. I am not on probation. I am not moving. I understand that if I move I must register…this is not the case.

    It really is that simple.

    • steve

      I agree and do the same.

    • guest

      @Tired of hiding – and publishing this list is not consistent with reform but surrender. No thanks!

      • Anonymous Nobody

        Guess, I think your statement and feelings are well supported and even honorable. I actually agree with your outrage. However, I disagree overall — I think having information is always a smart idea. You can do what you want with the information, including ignoring it, or using it to know where to fight, or … .

        Posting this comprehensive list here is one of the best things this Website has done so far.

    • FRegistryTerrorists

      I love your attitude and I think it is morally correct to ignore Registration laws.

      Now having said that, I always like to think about how legitimate various laws are. A “pure” view would be that laws are always legitimate because they are put into place by legal procedures. If there is a problem with a law, there are legal procedures to fix it or get rid of it completely. So I think a pure view is that a law is always legitimate, as modified by courts (which of course can eventually be invalidating it). We are a nation of laws and people are not free to pick and choose the ones they think are legitimate. A government can put laws in place and expect that if a person does not want to follow them, then he/she should not visit their jurisdiction. But, this is the U.S. and person who is not on probation or parole should feel free to visit any part of it without any over concern for any strange laws. A person should feel comfortable that if he/she does not act like an idiot, then he/she will not be breaking any laws.

      Again, having said all that, there have obviously been many, many instances in the past where laws are simply illegitimate. I think the Registration laws have migrated into that area. I truly feel like the Registration laws have turned into little more than a mechanism where a majority of U.S. citizens who are bad people at heart, are using them as weapons to harm people that they have decided cannot be U.S. citizens any longer. I think the core of the people who support the Registries are bad, if not evil, people. They are immoral.

      But I think the way to beat them is to decide that the U.S. belongs to you and not them. The way to beat them is to live a better life than they do. Be better than they are. More successful than they are. Do what you can to raise the quality of your life and don’t worry about theirs. If lowering the quality of their lives increases the quality of yours, do it.

      You cannot do all of that if you allow them to put you in one of their prisons. A better alternative is to put them in prison. So, I don’t know. It is a tough decision to decide how to retaliate for the Registries. It is also a completely personal decision. But I think every Registered person should declare war on the Registry Terrorists.

  17. Tim

    You’re never going to win under the present system. Best we can do is survive to work on changing these laws. Some famous actress can get arrested protesting the Keystone pipeline, get thrown in jail for one night and get painted as a heroine willing to sacrifice for her convictions. We fail to follow a registration law, believing them all to be unconscionable laws, and if they feel like being bad ass about it, put you in prison for a good part of your life, and then you come across as a predator, who is trying to go unnoticed to commit unspeakable crimes. We have to be smarter than that. Geez, there is nearly 100000 of us in California 98% are not repeat criminals. That’s got to be some sort of moral force if moved.

  18. david

    Since they’ve made traveling abroad almost impossible, I’d like to see some good spots in the states. Since most of you good folks are from California, can you tell me how long I can be in either San Diego or San Francisco before I register? I am from Texas.

    • Joe

      Okay, I think we need to take a step back here…. traveling abroad is not “almost impossible”. True, sounds like Mexico and the Phillipines will return all RSOs swiftly. Canada does not allow anyone with any record in (like a DUI decades ago), and same may go for Japan. The anglo countries (UK, , IRE, AUS and NZ) are iffy.

      Wikipedia lists 206 sovereign nations on this planet, taking out the ones above, that leaves about 200 to pick from. Surely there must be one that strikes your fancy.

      Take Europe…. most of Europe is delightful and if memory serves they do not even swipe your passport when you enter, and a lot of the crimes that land you on the registry for life are simply completely legal there.

      Personally I would take my chances with one of those countries rather than driving to the state next to yours and get thrown in the slammer (like min. 2 years without parole in New Orleans) because you overstay your allowed time without registering by a few hours.

      • david

        That’s encouraging to know about Europe, Joe. My sister and her family toured Europe and loved it, and I’d like to go in the next year or two.

        I’d still like to know the registration requirements for visiting San Francisco or San Diego if someone knows for sure. Many have told me San Diego might be the nicest city in the country to visit or live.

      • B

        I had a great time in Europe last year. It is not that expensive and they think most of our laws are crazy.

        • david

          What country did you fly into? I guess that’s the key. I can’t afford to fly to Europe and get rejected.

        • B

          France. Amsterdam is even safer.

        • david

          Makes sense…Thanks!

    • George

      David, I’m not a lawyer but my interpretation for compliance is it is necessary to register “within five working days.”

      within means “b (1) : not beyond the quantity, degree, or limitations of ”

      So if still in the jurisdiction on the 6th working day without registering it is too late. Also, I don’t think traveling days count. The reason being that someone who is released from custody also must register “within five working days.” I don’t think the day of release counts. If released on a Monday, the deadline wouldn’t be the next Friday, but would be the next Monday because that is the fifth working day after release.

      I tried to find a court decision that defined “within five working days” but didn’t find one. So this is just my understanding of compliance. It really is confusing so if you can get a lawyer to explain it to you that would be best.

  19. MM

    Just got back from a seven day vacation in Maui …. Paradise. We knew we didn’t need to register … Only if more than 10 days. Only thing we did bring with us was a printout of the law, pre-highlighted …. Just in case!! Was awesome and we forgot everything for a week!!

    • david

      That’s so great to hear, MM. It’s good to know I can do some fun traveling without the excruciating experience of registering. I’ve heard Puerto Rico is the same deal.

      What about trips to Pacific islands like St. Thomas. My sister thinks theirs are the best beaches anywhere, but I would hate to get there and be rejected. It curdles my stomach when I read on this site about folks traveling abroad and being turned back. The disappointment and embarrassment has to be awful.

  20. Virginia Registrant

    I am registered in Virginia and will be going to Seattle (King County), Washington, next month for 6 days. I contacted law enforcement in King County and was told I did not need to register there for this stay. However, your spreadsheet indicates a visiting registrant must register within 3 days.

  21. JM

    @David–I’ve read the California states requirement for visiting, and even I (a native) am confused. Is it 14 days or 5? As far as visiting California, San Francisco is the most expensive place to stay, although beautiful. If you like beaches, then San Diego is your ticket. Miles and miles of beaches, and we have a mild climate. La Jolla cove is my favorite place, but too crowded during summer. I suggest visiting in September or October when the weather is great and the beaches less crowded. Also hotel/motel rates go way down. So much to do and see. San Diego county is divided into four areas; beach/coast, inland, mountain, desert, and all within driving distance of one + hour.

    • david

      Thank you, Jim. September/ October sounds great, especially since you can avoid the biggest crowds and still not forfeit the favorable weather. In the meantime, I’ll try to find out the length one can stay prior to registration, as I won’t take chances with my freedom.

      Your city sounds wonderful! I hope to experience it myself in the near future.

  22. virginia hall

    Well, we all know how I feel about travel. I think this represents a terrific amount of work and caring on behalf of CaliforniaRSOL. It really is a gift to anyone who wrestles with interstate registration issues. One thing that concerns me, is that one must be mindful of not triggering a residency requirement when traveling, also. For example, I believe Alabama has laws which state if you are there for more than 3 days, you are considered a “resident”, even if you just go visit Aunt Mary for a week. I apologize for adding yet more confusion to an already complex topic. I cannot imagine how such short stays can be interpreted as establishing residency, especially down the line when it comes to paying taxes. Forewarned is always forearmed. Nobody wants to risk a federal failure to register charge for traveling interstate. These laws are not our friends.

  23. t

    so what i have read about texas i can visit there for 7 days and not have to register is that correct

  24. John

    Hi, If I were to take a vacation in Peurto Rico How many days do I have before I would have to register? Triés googling it and cannot find anything. And if you know where I can find it Please link it. Thank You!

  25. Miles Wray


    I have chosen not to be anonymous. I am tired of hiding in anonymity for the sake of hiding that I am a registrant, as many people seem to do. I have seen several posts saying that we ought to make the registry less than useless. I very much agree. It is very inconvenient for my family as well as myself. It affects their lives. It affects the lives of my friends. It affects the lives of potential employers who can’t hire me due to policy.

    I have been out of prison for over a year, and have not been able to find work, because businesses are allowed to discriminate based on such a status. I tell people about my status. I don’t hide it. Once they know about it, it changes them. The thing is, most people actually like me. They want me to do well. When they learn that one single conviction (touching a 13 year olds breast, mind you) is keeping me from being self-sustaining and productive, it hurts them. Even people that don’t like me have fought for me, because they know the “victim” was lying.

    My friends are seeking a place to live where I can live with them, just to have some semblance of independence. This affects their lives and their families. Not to mention, their 4 year old son, who sees me as an uncle. He will always wonder why I can’t take him to the park, or go to school events. People I talk to generally see the sex offender laws as evil. This includes judges, sheriff’s deputies, attorneys, etc. I wish these people would come out into the open and voice their opinions against such laws. I wish all people opposed to these laws would open their mouth, without a mask, without an anon ID, and proclaim their position.

    We are meant to have a government which provides what our citizens request. Do you know what I bet the majority of people would say, if they were not scared to say it? They hate our laws. They hate this evil.

    I would bet that any divine being you may believe in would scorn these laws. We need to, as a people, let our voices be heard without fear.

    I am Miles Wray. I am 26 years old. I have no future. But I will build one. I will build it alone, or I will build it with a fearless army. That choice is yours.

    Blessed Be

    • James

      Good Luck, Miles, it is a road, but it can be successfully transversed…with patience, lots of patience, and some luck….which I wish bundles for you.

      Best Wishes, James

  26. Lily

    Where do I find information about the S.O. Laws in Puerto Rico? I would like to live there. I have been convicted in Missouri for a misdemeanor in 2005 BUT in MO. one is on the S.O. Registry for life….Does Puerto Rico have a tiered system and ability to get off the Registry?

  27. Bets

    I’m looking for information on registration on non-resident travel for a sex offender to South Carolina (4 days) and Georgia (3 days). He’s on probation and his Probation Officer has given him permission.

  28. Austin

    I found this site that lists all the states in one page while researching on Colorado requirement for RSO.

    • AlexO

      Nice find! Even if its not fully up to date, its a great starting place for those looking to travel. Looks like for the most part it shouldn’t be too difficult. I found the note on Florida particularly interesting. Along those lines (and not mentioned in your link), NY is apparently like that as well. In the IML thread some New Yorker’s said the state keeps you registered indefinitely, even if you no longer live in the country. And they apparently require to send updated information periodically, again, even if you do not live there. So avoid having to register with NY and FL if at all possible.

    • TS


      Very informative blog considering we have been discussing the Caribbean islands of late here, especially Aruba, St Maarten, etc. The overseas or foreign travel is on the far right upper side of the blog under “more”

      Might be helpful to put this link as a comment under IML travel postings here (

      You will also find, Austin, the state by state matrix under the legal tab at the top of this webpage of visitation, etc

    • AJ

      Thanks for finding and posting that link. Helpful as a rule-of-thumb, that’s for sure. Sometimes it’s a bit more nuanced than what’s listed. For instance, IL is 3 days in a calendar year, whether consecutive or not.
      I wonder about the RI and SC information: “No registration required but should check in to notify whereabouts.” Really? No registration and “should” check in? Should is by no means a command or mandatory statement. Sure seems odd (esp SC, where they want to ban RCs as locksmiths), but hopefully it’s correct!

      • JohnDoeNC

        @ Bets

        You Bet you gotta register. I have not lived in SC for 12 years and I’m still registered there now. It’s one of 5 states with lifetime registration. Even though I left the state in 2006 I’m still on their list.

        However —

        It’s actually one of the more lenient states when it comes to visitors. If you “habitually reside” in SC for more than 10 cumulative days in any calendar year you have to register. And I think it’s so nice that SLED recommends you check in and out with them. Even if you’re not going to be there more than 10 days.

        When I visit I never leave a paper trail of any kind. And you can bet I don’t check in or out either.

        Below is the FAQ section of the SLED SOR

        Now there was a bill in the SC House that never mad it out of committee to reduce registration from life to automatic 15 years.

        My local NARSOL contact there says not to look for any miracles until after the 2018 elections. But the good news is there were no more negative laws proposed in the last sessions. So in a way for SC that’s progress.

        • JohnDoeNC

          I’m not holding my breathe but IF this ever goes anywhere I’ll be ready.

          As soon as I saw this I symbolically packed a bag and put it figuratively by the front door.

          I’m way past 15 years so in the words of the immortal Red Foxx.

          “It’s the big one” ” Elizabeth I’m coming to join you”

        • Tim Moore

          The last reference to this bill was that it was refered to the juduciary committee on January 10 of this year. You know what happened to it? I like this bill, it is really simple and straight forward, none of the contorted language of the California bill. It says if you are offense free for fifteen years, you are off the list, even if you are from a different state. Wow, how sensible! Guess the bill stalled because it was too liberal.

  29. Austin

    Glad you all find that link helpful too, but I cannot seem to find definte answer on California. It says within 5 days of arriving, but how about the max days of stay to trigger the registration?

  30. Michael Harbison

    I am currently on a lifetime moderate registration as a sex offender in the state of Texas. I am getting married in Jan, 2019 and we are taking out honeymoon to Seattle, Washington. I am having a very difficult time finding out what I will need to do, or if I even WILL have to register in Washington state as I will only be there 6 or 7 days. I am getting conflicting info here.
    Can anyone please help me or point me in the right direction?
    Thanks so much, my email is below.
    Take care!

  31. Jon H

    I just downloaded the Pennsylvania set. Read through them. Then went to the PA site for their laws. Seems most of the sections were deleted or expired in 2012! Yet the document on this site is dated 2013/2014. And I can’t find anything useful to read if a linear fashion through PA’s own website to determine travel requirements.

    They want people to reoffend. Clearly.

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