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General News

50-state survey of relief from sex offender registration

We have prepared a new 50-state chart detailing the provisions for termination of the obligation to register as a sex offender in each state and under federal law. This project was inspired by Wayne Logan’s recent article in the Wisconsin Law Review titled “Database Infamia: Exit from the Sex Offender Registries,” discussed on this site on April 15. The original idea of the project was simply to present Professor Logan’s research in the same format as the other 50-state charts that are part of the NACDL Restoration of Rights Resource, supplementing it as necessary. But getting all of the state laws condensed into a few categories turned out to be a considerably more complex task than we imagined, in part because we had to fill in a lot of gaps, and in part because of the extraordinary variety and complexity of the laws themselves. From the Collateral Consequences Resources Center (note: this was not created by California RSOL. It is provided for information only and is not intended to replace qualified legal advice.)

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Excellent resource tool but the laws that are unquestionably clear in certain states are patently ignored or twisted by the courts. For example, all I have is a 20 year old dismissed conviction out of California. Now, if you reference the chart for Mississippi, my current residence, registration ceases according to law via the dismissal. I’m here to tell ya’ that it doesn’t. What’s their reasoning for a bunch of robed clowns to defy law? California can still legally register me if I lived there. (and many other states based on the chart) PC290 has gutted PC1203.4. It’s got to… Read more »

What you are citing is not the state laws. Federal law now required that is you are required to register in your home state, then when you move to another state, you still must register there even if you otherwise would not be required to register under that state’s laws. So, your issue is not that the court have twisted Mississippi’s law (although they very possibly have in any number of ways), but that the federal law overrides and requires you to register anyway. That very situation makes this chart a lot less useful that it otherwise would be, This… Read more »

Thanks for this fine compilation of important information. But here’s a puzzler. What do you suppose happens to a person who is convicted in federal court within California? For a Tier I offense would he be subject to the 15-year Federal term of registration or to the lifetime California term? Hmm…

Excellent! But you’re operating under old laws for IL. They upped their lowest tier to 15 a few years ago… Prior to that it was 10.

The chart you put together for CA says get a Certificate of Rehabilitation 10 years after dismissal. However, Both my private attorney and the LA County Public Defenders Office separately told me that I am eligible to petition to get a COR 10 years from conviction date.

This chart was not compiled by California RSOL. We will add a disclaimer to the chart to reflect that fact. I agree that the information about California is not completely correct. The biggest problem I see is that it doesn’t reflect that granting a Certificate of Rehabilitation is a DISCRETIONARY decision by a judge. It is not guaranteed. Those who have applied for a COR in Orange County know quite well that it is virtually impossible to obtain a COR there.

I am VISITING California soon…… I have finished a 10 year registration in ILLINOIS where I was convicted -LEVEL 1 offender in 2000.

No OFFICER can give me a straight answer in CALIFORNIA on what, or how long I can VISIT there w/o/ regeristering ? Are they that DUM ? Maybe I should tell them I will bring some donuts ?


I’m in the exact same scenario as Turtle. Just got removed from 10 years as level 1 in another state. Wanted to visit some family in CA, and had the same question.

I tried looking through the “Registration Laws for all 50 states” on this site, but I can only find where it talks about residing, working, or going to school. Nothing about visiting. Wish I had more answers.


If you guys are not required to register anywhere – why is this even a concern? Am I missing something?

Maybe I am just being paranoid. I keep thinking of a story I heard from a guy who was off the registry and then moved to North Carolina. One day he got pulled over for speeding, and then told that he had to go back on the registry. Yes I am in no way moving to CA, but I have a fear that I could be in rental car and get pulled over, and then told, well you’ve been here 5 days, and hence have “residency” here and hence must register. Please let me know if I’m being overly paranoid?… Read more »

It is the ADAM WALSH act of 2006 that created this MESS… Every time I want to visit another state I call 1st to protect myself and I almost ALWAYS get conflicting answers concerning visitation… It very frustrating. Arrrgh lol

@Art: From my understanding, if you received jail/prison time, then it’s from the date of conviction. If you just received probation, then it’s from your release from probation.

Man I really wish one of you guys who have the resources would file for injunction relief based on the issues I’ve presented in other post. It’s ripe especially for you guys with these charges from decades ago. Here’s just one issue that should relieve you. IT’S RIPE AND TIME. 4. The sex offender registration and notification laws are completely irrational as applied to me in my case. Since I am a non-violent, non-contact, first time offender from a incident that occurred over a decade ago there is no rational basis to continue to subject me to these laws that… Read more »

It’s called entrapment laws and you never know who you will run into.

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