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Updated: Registration Laws for all 50 States

In time for Summer we have updated our Summary of Registration Laws for all 50 States. Hopefully this will be of use to those planning on traveling during the summer months. Please note that this is a ‘best effort’, it is not intended to take the place of qualified legal advice, and please check the laws at your destination thoroughly (with the links we have provided to the best of our ability).


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  1. Dr

    Thank you this is helplful for me. I will be goi g to new York for five days this summer looks like I will be fine. Thank you so much for all the work you have put in this.

  2. Tired of hiding

    Thanks but no thanks.

    I plan on traveling without reading this list. I am already fully registered in California which is my state of residence. I do not plan on moving and a vacation is not establishing residence somewhere else so there is no need to inform anyone of my plans.

    Have a happy summer!

    • Anonymous

      Great way to get into legal trouble. All it takes is a fluke incodent like being a witness to a crime or being involved in an accident. Then, you are tagged. Then by some chance the “massive” database reveals your being spotted outside California and then they come looking for you.

      It’s not the first time i’ve seen it.

      Welcome to prison, my friend. Your on your way there with that attitude. I highly suggest you follow the rules, as much as it is inconvenient.

      • Tired of hiding

        Your attitude has already locked you up in a mental prison in your mind my friend.

        They have you right where they want you and you have not put up any fight at all. As I said, I am doing my part here and I will not be driven insane or made paranoid.

        As I said, have a great vacation…some of the US or better go to Puerto Rico and scuba dive heck even enjoy a drink on the beach.

      • Q

        Anonymous :

        I’m inclined to agree with you. All it could conceivability take is being pulled over for speeding, or a minor fender bender, parking ticket, flat tire by a preschool; or any school for that matter, and an A-Hole cop and hell is back on at full throttle. I don’t recall seeing this happen yet; but there is a first time for everything, as the saying goes.

        I used to travel without informing anyone and I was OK with it. That was before 06 when the anal meter started registering off the charts for registrants. I believe this is when the AWA was born which seemed to trigger a flurry of new laws and ordinances by anyone and everyone that wanted to get on the ill informed screw the registrant as much as possible now that he has already been knocked down band wagon. I’ve flown to NY-NY, Atlanta, and various other places. Today I’m uncomfortable even traveling here in Southern California because of the mass of confusing and at times conflicting laws and ordinances from town to town, city to city.

        I’m eternally grateful Janice, Chance, Frank, Robert and others are standing up and really making a difference. My advice to anyone traveling would be to stay safe by being informed; knowledge is power!

    • wonderin

      I agree. Too many people advocating compliance on a reform site?

      • Janice Bellucci

        It is important that everyone remains compliant until we can change the laws.

        • MA Citizen

          I agree with you in principle Janice, and I applaud and appreciate all the work you’ve done for us and continue to do.

          But, I don’t see change on the level you’re talking about, or that we’re all hoping for, anytime in the near future. My kids are growing up fast. So much for that dream vacation to Florida, etc…

          For a bad decision I made years ago, my family continues to suffer because of these insane rules and regulations. So if I have to “cheat” a little, I will. For now…

        • Q

          Well put; clear, simple and to the point. Thank you.

        • Tim

          Its not that simple. I have a bachelors degree, and I can’t figure out these “regulations.”

        • Q


          I was at a CA-RSOL meeting in L.A. Last year and someone had compiled all the laws relating to registrants. There were THREE FULL BINDERS and they were pretty thick! So don’t feel bad (sarcasm) because I don’t think a single human being living or dead would be able to make sense out of the whole mess. That would take a large team of dedicated attorneys a long time to accomplish! Something to think about; there are so many laws aimed at us that it’s conceivable a registrant could be arrested for just about anything! All a cop has to do is look hard enough and I’m sure there would be something to use against us.

        • Tim

          I’ve come to believe that is the true purpose of these laws, to streamline an arrest if they so desire.

        • Anonymous Nobody

          Q, my compliant posted here many times is that simply the California laws related to registration are so voluminous, so tremendously many interpretations by the courts, and constantly changed every single year that no one at all, not even the lawyers and the judges, can consume and understand it all.

          I contend it is so impossibly much simply from the one state of California that that has to make it unconstitutionally vague. Now, add all the same kind of volume from 49 other states, not to mention any and all local municipal ordinances you might run into – it is not possible to stay in compliance, impossible.

          But still, this package put together here is good, and necessary, and people should at least take a basic look at the state laws for where they are going.

      • wonderin

        I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear in my response.

        First of all let me say that I have been treated very well by the judicial system and most law enforcement official during my lifetime. I have always been respectful and appreciative of their task to uphold laws which serve to protect the community.

        My gripe is with the irresponsible entities of those who enact knee jerk laws without regard to the complexities of humanity, enforcement and costs.
        I believe we should all be responsible for our behavior and how it effects our fellow citizens. That being said, I feel that any behavior which relieves the government of it’s responsibility to make clear to registrants the ever changing laws which govern them is detrimental to their well being.

        Clearly, these new and increasing leash laws do not fall under common sense
        or common knowledge which any registrant should understand nor has the government worked out a system of notification and testing for reasonable compliance.

        My desire would be for this site to attempt to persuade the “powers that be” to take responsibility for these actions and hold them accountable when they fail to do so rather than publish pseudo legal advice which may or may not apply to the reader.

        Incidentally, it might prove interesting to see the results of a government educating and testing registered citizens for compliance verification within the state or country and what about those who can’t pass the test?

    • Tim

      I agree and disagree. The Registry is a morally reprehensible institution and by opposing it, you are doing a justifiable act of civil disobedience. On the other hand, you’re not considered an “innocent” and therefore you can rot in jail before anyone notices. Basically, the registry is an economical form of incarceration. It is a backdoor to getting someone thrown behind bars without going through the process of determining whether one is truly a threat to the safety or wellbeing of others. It is an evil worse than the rapists and child molesters it claims to control. Why? Because it devalues the Constitution. As someone here (Bruce?) recently mentioned, people are going to wake up one day and realize why their rights have vanished. And it will be in part because people defended this registry in one form or another. When you’re off probation or parole you’re off. No compliance checks no restriction not applied to all citizens under a fair process (@brubaker). Will you go to prison or not for doing this or that? That apprehension is built into the laws. It creates a prison climate in our virtual prison. That being said, you try to ignore it as best you can, because there is not that much time to live. And yet, next week I do my annual sublimation before Morgoth, who wishes to see all, know all (address, vehicles, employers, email addresses, IP addresses, first born, underwear color? [@j]). I reserve the right to hate it with all of my being. That feeling is mine and they can’t change that, although they will wish to know it and control it. You can’t control what is fleeting in nature. The week after next I will be thrilled and amazed by the three feet of spring growth on the cypress trees that are still thriving off the meager rainfall of last March. Amazing (@ Tim).

    • Joe

      Totally respect @Tired of Hiding’s attitude about this issue.

      However, few can afford this view. If anyone depends on your ability to be free and productive at all, be that a spouse, child, parent, sibling, cat, dog, parrot, etc, treading lightly is advised. Any spotlight, for whatever reason, on a registrant in a different state, will set things in motion. And you can bet that the government will win that game of chicken, and no, your sorry tale will not make the evening news and rally the masses. One thing to sit in prison for something stupid because you chose a course of civil disobedience, another to sit in prison for something stupid that you were not even fully aware of.

      If this is a chance you can afford and are willing to take – more power to ya.

      • Q

        It’s kind of like playing Russian roulette; eventually you lose.

  3. turtle

    I was convicted in Illinois back in 2000..I did a 10 year registration that i have successfully completed…sex offender level 1… I no longer need to register in ILLINOIS but i do have to follow the PARK,SCHOOL, and some other restrictions cuz my ONLINE officer was posing as a 14-15 year old so i am considered a CSO…No victim…a sting set up…lol—GOTTA laugh, it is soooo stupid !!!

    My question is, and most of us know about this IDIOTIC AWA act that was FEDERALY placed in 2006.

    DO I still have to FOLLOW these rules going and traveling state to state ?????

    THANKS MUCH and will this EVER END !!!! 🙂

    ARRRRRRGH…any help would be appreciated !!!

    • Anonymous Nobody

      I think a final answer to your question would require a lawyer who does some thorough research.

      That said, one key would be whether your conviction has been decidedly and fully expunged, even sealed. I think not since you say you are still under some restrictions.

      As I understand it, you can be required to follow all registration laws in a state even if your conviction, and former residence, were in another state and that state does not require registration for your offense. Such as New Jersey does not require registration for indecent exposure (nor for any misdemeanor, I think). Yet, for someone convicted of that there who moved to California — California law says you have to register if you were convicted of that offense, even if convicted out of state. So, if that conviction stands, you have to register in California even if you did not have to in New Jersey.

      So, same for your case — it depends on what any particular state requires. And some require you to register for offenses they do not require their own residents to register for, if you otherwise have to register in your home state — and New Jersey is one of those.

      I would expect the same applies to relief from registration. I suspect that even if your former state relieved you of registration after you met that state’s standard for relief, you still would have to register if you moved to California as California has its own standard. (Actually, this point really calls for a federal standard of relief that applies to all states, overrides any particular state’s stiffer standard.)

  4. JBCal


    You should consult a lawyer for your specific case, but it appears your offense is a 25 year duration under AWA which applies irrespective of your Illinois release. Travel or vacationing in any state subjects you to their reg laws (independent of AWA), many of which say “for an offense if committed in this state…” Visiting California beyond the exemption period would require you to register and moving to Cal would require you to register for life.

    Because many of these laws are evolving, it is uncertain if you would be subject to notification of international travel. H.R. 4573 International Megan’s Law, if passed, would seem to apply in your case, for 25 years.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      If passed? They have been notify of international travel by all registrants since at last last December! There is a whole section on CA RSOL with tons of postings about it, everyone confirming that every registrant is being sent back home as soon as they get off the plane in another country, even for minor offenses that the federal government does not require registration, such as all the additional offenses for which California requires registration.

      • JBCal


        True, the SMART office and ICE, has been notifying destination countries since around Feb 2013 of traveling registered sex offenders. H.R. 4573 mostly codifies what already is being done beyond the AWA/Sorna framework and perhaps more importantly applies it to “sex offender” notification for the duration under Sorna, whether you have been relieved or not.

  5. ab

    Yay! Fifty two sets of laws to keep track of, how fun. Wait you might be thinking in your head (there only fifty states), but don’t forget the district of Columbia and any laws at the federal level that a particular state may or may not be following.

    I think ever year there should be a sex offender tour of the United States of America that sends registrants from every state to all the best spots in the country just long enough to trigger mass registration there just before moving on to the next place. Force so much paperwork on law enforcement that they will wish the laws would change.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      You forgot to add in all the varying additional ordinances in many municipalities all over the country.

  6. Tim

    “Call me paranoid. I’m frequently right.”
    Seanan McGuire, A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2)

  7. Tim

    This is where it gets surreal, and I wonder when I pressed the remote button and ended up in some twilight zone like crazy alternate universe. We are talking about the possibility of going to jail for taking a vacation. No, no, we are not talking about traveling somewhere to have a tryst with a minor, or buy some illegal pictures, no we are talking about visiting the Washington Monument or seeing Niagra Falls just like millions of others do all the time. The only difference between them and us is they don’t have to carry a book with all the state and local notification laws just to go and enjoy some clean summer fun. Of course one should respect the laws of the state you are in but come on, if you make an illegal right turn while traveling, and don’t hurt anyone, you might get a warning, but not thrown in jail for years. And the traffic laws moatly make sense, these notification laws do nothing to protect people. What crazy world did I enter?

  8. me

    hello and thanks for the information but i am traveling at the end of july 2014 for 9 days to puerto rico so my question is should do anything like tell them and etc

    • Tired of hiding

      Are you moving from your state of residence or going there on a vacation? If vacation then notify no one. Go and have a great time (I have many times)! I highly recommend it. Do not give one more dollar to Florida.

    • david

      How many hours was your flight to Puerto Rico?

    • Anonymous Nobody

      I strongly suggest you read everything in the International Travel threads — the US since last December as been sending information about apparently all registrants to the receiving country — and all registrants report they have been getting sent back as soon as they get off the plane in the other countries, denied entry. See those threads here:

      Now, I know Puerto Rico is a – what, a commonwealth of the United States, but that is not the same as being a state. It appears this information being sent is not linked to your passport, is simply linked to your air or sea travel. I have no idea whether any of this international travel crap applies to Puerto Rico or whether they could “send you back to your country” even if they wanted, since we are talking of a place with US connections. You might get the answer to that in those threads — or post and ask about it there.

      What has been going on with international travel is that your information is being sent at the time you board the plane, and when you land, you get hauled aside and rejected, sent back — and lose all the money you spent up front for your trip, screw with everyone you might be traveling with, and all with no notice to you, no way for you to find out until you get rejected after arriving in the other country. It is not even clear what information is being sent, maybe no more than to say you are a sex offender, so the receiving country might not even know it was for a minor misdemeanor of indecent exposure from maybe 30 years ago, has to treat everyone as a mad, insane child torturer and rapist.

      • NPS

        I’m going to have to disagree with the assertion about Puerto Rico. The response is bordering on paranoia. Yes, P.R. is a commonwealth. Furthermore, all residents born in P.R. are American citizens, so the U.S. law are applicable there, too. Traveling to P.R. is the same as traveling to another state. You don’t need a passport. There is no special customs.

        I’ve flown to other states and there was never an issue. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that I no longer have to take off my shoes or remove my computer and liquids from my bag.

        • JBCal


          You’re able to be on the TSA pre-screen list ?? How is that possible (assuming) as a registrant? I know several non registrants who only have a minor shop lifting misdemeanor from 20-30 years ago that get rejected..?

          And I agree with you on P.R. You can travel to P.R. without a passport and board with only a DL and be fine. Notices do seem to be attached / generated on passport required travel based on information submitted by the ticket buyer/passenger entered at purchase and/or check in.

          In the future it seems unlikely you would (could) ever be denied travel or entry to another state, but it is certainly reasonable to assume in a few years, registrant status could be transmitted or stored on a registrant by boarding any plane to cross check on time limits for registering in that state.

        • Tim

          That’s why they want your email and other identifiers, when you book online your status is identified? Oh, the efficiency of oppression, will it ever end?

        • NPS

          I never applied for any TSA pre-screening list. When I approached the security line, they directed me to pre-screening and said have a nice day. I think it has to do with certain airlines that allow their frequent flyers to by pass the extra security. I belong to 2 frequent flyer programs and only fly those airlines exclusively.

  9. david

    Is it less dangerous traveling to another state by plane and taking public transportation? Seems like you’d avoid the main risk of detection…a traffic stop.

    I’m not brave enough to risk ignoring the laws, but as someone mentioned, even calling beforehand isn’t airtight. And some of the states (thanks for posting that, Janice) either have conflicting laws are ones I’m unsure of…like Michigan, where it says “register immediately/ within 7 days.”

    Just seems like you’re less likely to risk trouble if you fly rather than drive. Surely they’re not checking domestic flights for sex offenders.

  10. me

    I’m just vacationing for a family reunion for nine days and the total flight from ca to pr with stops is around 11 hours

    • david

      Thanks…by everything I’ve heard on this board I will take my next beach vacation there rather than Florida…plus, I’ve been a Roberto Clemente fan since I was a kid, so Puerto Rico has sentiment for me.

  11. Illinois RSO

    Illinois restrictions that state CSOs cannot live 500 feet from a park are incorrect. There is actually a problem in the Illinois law where the statute that dictates what is present on the Sex Offender Registration Form says that you cannot live within 500 feet of a park but the actual statute only says you cannot live within 500 feet of a playground. The state police are aware of the discrepancy but they can’t do anything to fix it without a legislator changing the law that dictates what information is supposed to be on the form. CSO restrictions are listed in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.3 and 720 ILCS 5/11-9.4-1.

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