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General News

Survey – International Travel after IML

If you have traveled to a foreign country after President Obama signed HR 515 / International Megan’s Law into law on February 8, 2016, please complete this survey to help gather details about the effects of this legislation. We will also share this data with the RTAG group for incorporation into their travel matrix. Thank you.

Go to International Travel Survey

Join the discussion

  1. Ron

    So, has anyone received a passport identifier yet? I am living as an expat and I am not required to register here. I am wondering if I will receive a passport identifier

    • Timmmy

      As long as you are not on any registry, you will not.

      • Sam

        He’s from Florida. They keep you on the list but don’t require him to continue registering. So it’s a difficult position to think about.

      • Rob

        Timmy, Is this a factual statement?
        That if you are not on the registry you will not receive the passport identifier? The wording of the bill seems to be very vague (to me) and states something to the effect of “anyone who is on the registry and has committed a crime against a child (anyone under 18) will get the unique identifier”
        Does this mean that if you’re on the registry but have not committed crime against a “child” you won’t get the identifier or is it everyone on the registry also if you are off the registry but your crime was against a child, will you still get the stamp?
        Maybe I have missed it but has this actually been established?

        • Paul

          “(c) Defined Terms.–In this section–
          “(1) the term `covered sex offender’ means an individual
          “(A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 4(f)
          of the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child
          Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced
          Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders; and
          “(B) is currently required to register under the
          sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;
          “(2) the term `unique identifier’ means any visual
          designation affixed to a conspicuous location on the passport
          indicating that the individual is a covered sex offender; and
          “(3) the term `passport’ means a passport book or passport

          The emphasis is on “and”. You must be both A, and B, to receive the unique identifier.

          The confusion will be, what about persons who previously resided in states such as Florida, North Carolina, and New York, who are no longer required to register in their current state of residence, BUT are still subject to the nonsense of their previous jurisdiction.

          Also, and I’ll just throw this out there given the wording is intentionally vague. But what about persons who have never resided in a state such as Florida, North Carolina, or New York; who only resided in a single state, and are no longer required to register in said state. Technically speaking, those persons are still “currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction”.

          I know that common sense implies that this section applies to persons currently required to register. BUT technically speaking, a person with specific convictions who has only ever resided in a single state, and is no longer required to register in said state, would still be “…required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction”. If said person wanted to travel to Florida for a period of time in excess of whatever their triggering date is, then they would technically be subject to the registration program of Florida.

          I know it’s a stretch, but rarely (if ever) does common sense prevail in these situations.

        • Rob

          Thanks for the response. So basically the government could go full a$$hole and put everyone who has committed a crime against a “child” on the passport stamp or any registrant for that matter. This is what happens when the law has been made in such a way without debate and being rushed through, sort of like the tax law.
          We don’t know what they even intended, I don’t think even the State department knew at first or the original author. Many what “if’s” guess we will have to wait for the issues to present themselves before we know what they really intend to do.

          What we do know is that there will be a lot of registrant’s who will have to deal with yet another draconian measure to degrade and humiliate them from our government. Very selfishly I hope, I will not get the stamp but I don’t think it would be fair for me not to and some others have to deal with a stamp. Compared to other states I’m lucky that I committed my crime in the state I currently reside in.

          – For example, if you are currently required to register and are relieved, will you be able to get a new passport without the stamp?
          – Will green notices still be sent out?

          I guess thats the real kicker, especially with all the various rules and vagueness in each state pertaining to registering laws that have come about because of no set uniform policy across the U.S. I guess are we always sex offenders, can we really ever escape the label?

          I have only lived in one state as a registrant due in part because I was afraid of what might happen if I moved to another state, would have to start my registration time over again and would I have to even register longer?
          I recently completed my 10 year registration in the state of Maine. While I actually really enjoy living in this state and would definitely retire here someday, I would also love to move and see the country but I’m afraid of what will happen. Will I be put on another states registration list and have to start all over after waiting for these last 10 years to past?
          There is no set guidelines for us, while that should be illegal, states do it and seem to get away with it. This whole Florida crap is beyond comprehension.
          I’m hoping to at least not have this stamp and be able to travel again, we shall see.
          I’m thankful for people like Janice who fights for us and has created this forum.

    • debi

      Here is the current list of countries and requirements.
      The following countries have laws governing sex offender registration and notification systems at the national
      and/or provincial level, and are marked by a red tag, below: Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, France,
      Germany, Ireland (Republic of), Jamaica, Jersey, Kenya, Maldives, Malta, Pitcairn Islands, South Africa, South
      Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, and the United States.
      The following countries have considered or are considering sex offender registration and notification laws, but
      such laws have not yet passed, and are marked by a yellow tag, below: Austria, Bahamas, Fiji, Finland, Hong
      Kong, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.

  2. Sam

    I’m still waiting on this as well. Are you stuck on a state registry too?

    • Ron

      I do not register any more, as I am not required to, but Florida still has my 10 year old information on their sex offender registry.

      • PK

        You should sue them.

      • Sam

        Florida makes me wonder about this law because they don’t take people off the registry even though they aren’t required to register anymore. New York on the other hand makes you check in every few years or any time you move or get a new email.

        • Paul

          I have to imagine the state would lose if sued. How can the laws of one state be applied to a person not physically present in that state? If that were the case, a person with a valid CCW could carry in any state he/she wishes by simply saying that they’re legit under the laws of the former State! It doesn’t make any sense!

          How the heck can NY mandate a person not in their state to do a damned thing?

        • Sam

          Very easily. They won doe v O’Donnell. Due to a lack of wording in the law it’s implied that they have power over you no matter what state or country you move to. Wisconsin has the same sort of thing but they charge you money as well.

          Right now I’m trying to see if I can be removed as my conviction didn’t originate in NY which was the deciding factor in doe v O’Donnell

        • Ron

          One more ingredient to throw into the soup is that my Adjudication was withheld. So, while I am a sex offender, I am not a felon. – although in reality I see little difference.

    • David

      Yes. My conviction and incarceration were in Florida, but I have now lived in a different state (California) since my release 17 years ago. So I’m sure I remain on Florida’s list.

      • debi

        NO ONE ever gets off the Florida registry. It says so right on the site itself.

  3. Covered

    Something that I think is being missed on this thread is changes in sex offender laws in various countries. Often we make plans for travel based only upon whether registrants will be allowed into the country, but there should be other considerations. Consider this fact: Poland is part of the EU and Schengen. Registrants can go there, but did you know that the harshest sex offender laws of Europe may be found in Poland since 2010. It is law in Poland that a sexual assault against a child under age 15, or in the case of incest, or repeated crimes, can be forcibly castrated. It is the only European country that allows this. Some others, like France, Spain, and Czech Republic allow for voluntary castration, but in Poland it can be forced. EVEN IF ONE HAS COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCE. Let’s say that an applicable registrant goes to Poland on vacation and gets arrested for some non-sex related crime (say getting into a fistfight in a pub), could that registrant be in danger of having this law applied against them? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t want to find out. Poland also has two SORegistries. One with limited accessibility and another one that is public (child related offenses would be on the public). Do you know the reporting requirements in Poland? I don’t. Here is a link about the castration law.
    I think we need a full workup of sex offender laws to go along with the RTAG information and other information that we glean from registrants reporting their travels. Foreign sex offender laws are in flux, and we need to know the risks before making travel decisions.

  4. International Traveler

    U.S. Customs/Border Control agents will now need to have reasonable suspicion of a crime before they search your electronic device:

    • Covered

      This makes not a bit of difference where registrants are concerned. In CPB and most other agencies of the government, registrants are already under suspicion of conducting illegal activity just because they are registrants. Even the change doesn’t matter. They can still inspect any international travelers electronic devices, and, if they find something they find suspicious, they can go the next step. This sounds more like an accommodation to the ACLU while they continue to expand searches of devices.

    • CR

      CBP will always claim to have “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity on our part when we re-enter the country. That claim is explicitly incorporated into the Interpol Green Notice that is sent to every foreign country we travel to.

      I agree with the ACLU. The standard needs to be “probable cause”, not “reasonable suspicion”.

    • TS

      RCs should always expect to be having their electronic devices searched based upon the alleged nature of who they are when a green notice is sent in advance alleging why they are traveling with USG saying so and the US Courts saying it is ok for the USG to do that without basis. Send the phone home before you leave on your return trip.

      U.S. customs agents are searching more cellphones — including those belonging to Americans–including-those-belonging-to-americans/2018/01/05/0a236202-f247-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.fac7078c8410

      Border inspections of electronic devices hits record high

      CBP Releases Updated Border Search of Electronic Device Directive and FY17 Statistics

      • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

        “Send the phone home before you leave on your return trip.” This is what I used to do before I quit traveling. One thing, make sure that you do not volunteer that information to Customs when you are, inevitably, sent back to Secondary on your return trip. If they ask where all of your electronics are (as would happen to me) I simply told them that I traveled without them. For those items still in the process of being shipped back home, there is always the opportunity for CBP to intercept them. They have plenty of other people doing nothing but inspecting shipments coming into the country. Plus, you will have pissed them off by telling them of your end-run around their inspection.

        • TS

          @David K

          I should’ve attributed the “send phone home” to you as it was you who said it long ago. I was merely reiterating it for the masses. My apologies.

        • David Kennerly, There But For the Grace Of Dog...

          No problem. I’m sure that others have already independently hit on the solution. I really resented having to do this but could see no other choice. I would have to find a post office or FedEx, UPS, etc. on my last day of the trip when I would much rather be enjoying the country.

        • Tired Of Hiding

          I would recommend the following if you plan on attempting to even travel with these green notices sent out. If you do make it out when you return you will be taken to secondary…that is a given and always done. So knowing this you should travel with a cheap phone and not your regular phone. A phone with nothing on it at all and that is simple used while on the trip.

          Take a table for checking the web at internet cafes but which has nothing on it. A browser is all you need for checking web based email such as a gmail account.

          Cameras…these make them so happy going through your person photos in search of anything at all so take your camera and then FTP your data from the chips to the server of your choice and then reformat the chip (full format and not quick) so there is no data on the chip. Do take some photos of churches while you travel and keep those on a separate chip which you put into your camera prior to landing back in the USA. Nothing irritates them more than expecting to see naked photos and finding only churches.

          Best of luck and bon voyage!


        • Fresa

          So, even as tier 3 (victim under 13) offender you can still visit Greece and Italy? They don’t care about the green notice? Just trying to gather information to determine whether we will try to fly there on vacation.


        • James

          Yes, Fresa, that is my understanding.

          There are no promises of course, but if you stay out of Great Britain, all of Europe should be open to you.

          I might further add that you should do this now, if you can, if only because this might change. Take advantage of this opportunity.

          The level of your conviction does not matter….and that was your real question.

          Best Wishes, James

        • CR

          There are some unlocked smart phones available for as little as $130 (even $99 to Amazon Prime members, if you are willing to tolerate offers and ads). They may not be the best phones, but they are functional. You can do everything you need to do with them.

          Before your return trip home, upload everything to the cloud. If you don’t mind the privacy invasion, just bring the device back with you and let them search it. Or if that really bothers you (as it would me), just destroy the phone and discard it before you return.

          It’s insane that we have to even consider such things.

        • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

          The Blu R1 HD was available for $50 from Amazon to Prime customers (all without a plan) but now appears to be $85. You can buy a prepaid SIM card when you arrive in whatever country along with some data which always seems to go far too quickly than sending and receiving a few emails and checking a few webpages would suggest. Of course, most hotels now have wifi and many offer it free these days. When travel is nearly done, stick it in a padded envelope and send it home. Much easier and cheaper than sending a laptop, a camera AND a phone back. I can’t throw anything away. Or bring it on through. I miss travel…

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      Not us! A judge ruled several years ago that our merest appearance on the Registry fulfilled the requirement for reasonable suspicion at borders, no further evidence is necessary. This was very explicitly stated. I’ve posted it here several times but could try to find it again.

  5. CR

    I haven’t had occasion to go out of the country for the past couple of decades. When I do, I may take a cell phone and/or tablet with me, maybe even a cheap laptop or notebook computer, but nothing valuable or expensive. In some countries, it might be easier to simply buy whatever I need once I get there. Probably something cheap, as it might have to be disposable.

    I figure that anything of value on the device I can sync or upload to cloud storage before I return. Then I can leave the device in the foreign country with family or friends (maybe gift it or have them hold it for me for my next visit), wipe or reimage it and ship it back home, or wipe/reimage and carry it back with me.

    I’m thinking a wiped device might seem suspicious, so maybe better to take something cheap, and don’t bring it back. It may add a few hundred to the cost of a trip, but I would consider it worth it if it saved me the indignity of having my device searched upon reentry.

  6. E

    Advice, anyone?

    I’ve waited this long to book several trips to Europe for work this spring and summer. Should I book them? Keep waiting on a letter from State Dept?
    On another note: has anyone while visiting Schengen countries and after filing full itineraries with hotel names in AWA compliant states been visited by local cops at the hotels they listed?
    Geez what a screwed up situation.

    • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

      Go ahead and book them. You will, almost certainly, be okay. I can’t imagine that the Western Europeans care enough to check on you at your hotel. Just remember: do NOT try to go to the U.K. or Ireland (The Republic of). They will not let you in and, if they were to be your arrival country from the States, they would send you straight back to the U.S.

    • David

      Hi E. Yes, I have recently gone to France for vacation. I had no problems entering France or returning to the US afterwards. It would be extremely unlikely for police in any European country to come looking for you at the hotel where you’re staying. For the most part, Europe simply doesn’t worry about registered citizens like the U.S.A. does.

    • Robert

      @E, I’m in Europe right now. No problems. US to Stockholm. Visited France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Amsterdam no issues. Had alerts sent when I travel to Philippines but nothing for Europe.

      • robert


        Nice to hear that you didn’t have any problems. Did you stay in hotels? We are planning to visit Spain and Germany in Oct. along with my girlfriends son and his girlfriend. He wants to use Airbnb using his account, do you think that there will be any problems? Any tips would be welcomed by all. Thanks

      • Bob

        You said alert was sent to the Philippines. Were you still able to enter into the Philippines? I plan on going to the Philippines next year anam a RSO.

        • Tom

          Philippines is a no go. I had a wedding set up in 2012 had been there in 2011 got sent home lost $10,000. Repeat don’t try to go to the Philippines. Hong Kong is where my wife and I are meeting up now.

    • E

      Thanks much. Just to confirm: I have been in Europe 3-4 times per year but my state didn’t require a “detailed itinerary” til now. New 2018 paperwork. Yeehaa. Have you guys been traveling AFTER submitting detailed itineraries including all flights and hotel info?

      I’ve never had to tell them what hotel or what friends I was staying with. I’m still not comfortable giving them the addresses of friends I might stay with. Kills me.

      • James

        Dear E:

        I hope and expect to make it twice to Europe this year…oddly, since I normally just wander, I think I will have actual addresses for part of my stays this year.

        My intention is only to give flight dates, outbound and return, and countries I expect to be in, not an actual itinerary with addresses etc.

        If they want more, I don’t intend to give it….under most any circumstances.

        I am in CA with a pretty (easy?{it is never easy inside myself!}) agency to register with…but we should know within a couple of months how this goes. I will report back regardless on how this works out.

        Best Wishes, James

      • David

        E, it’s David again. Yes, prior to my European trips, I have submitted detailed itineraries including the addresses of where I will be staying. My recent trip including one hotel for a couple days but primarily I was staying in private hosted rental unit. I lieu of a hotel name, I simply note “Private residence” or “Private apartment” on the itinerary. I do NOT indicate it as a short-term rental because that information is not required.

        • E

          Thanks @James and @David. Very helpful as I need to book my flights in the next days. James, as you described, my agency has always been really easy. But the new state-wide paperwork I had to acknowledge for 2018 changed to now require all the AWA detail (instead of just sending flight out and back into the States, and countries visited). They now want full itinerary (every flight and all addresses). Well that freaked me out. Glad to hear that even though you’ve provided that detailed info you were not visited at those addresses while you were there.
          Maybe I need to move to a non-Sorna compliant state.

        • Trish

          Not visited that you know of!

      • PK

        “my state didn’t require a “detailed itinerary” til now. New 2018 paperwork”.

        What paperwork exactly are you referring to? I’m a NY Registrant and I traveled in November. I called them and they had no clue about submitting an itinerary. Even though I did submit a half-baked certified letter based on the suggestion of my Attorney. Hopefully I wasn’t the cause …

        • Sam

          When I traveled outside New York they just wanted to know how long I was going to be gone and when I was going to be back and the flight numbers. I asked them if they wanted my passport number and they told me they didn’t need it. Pretty sure the form they had me fill out this past time when I moved out of the US didn’t ask for my passport number either.

        • E

          I’m in a Sorna compliant state; it was the new “Notice to Require to Register” paperwork I get every few years and the new verbiage about Int’l Travel had a lot more detail required than previous (all flights, all addresses, all cities, times, dates, yada yada). I don’t usually even know that info ahead of time! Used to be they just required my passport number, flights into and out of the USA, and countries visited. Craziness

        • AJ

          Just so everyone understands: not providing 21-day notice is a violation of Federal Law, period. Your State’s decision whether to comply or ignore its portion of AWA has zero effect on your requirement, as an individual, to comply. States are constitutionally protected from having to comply with what Congress says when it comes to regulation. Citizens are constitutionally bound to comply. So be aware that any time you travel, there is a chance of getting flagged in a federal database. From there, all it will take is a US Attorney trying to make a name or trying to be tough on crime, and you’re headed in a bad direction.

  7. FrankGP

    Just a comment on the phone conversation… if you have an iPhone with an iTunes account…
    Create a travel iTunes account, travel gmail account, etc.
    Set it all up and test before you go.
    When you leave back up your phone (your regular itunes account).
    Then factory reset and log into your travel itunes account and restore the backup created when you set it up.
    When you arrive, you can restore back to your regular account.
    Use the travel account when you come home, with just the nice ‘church’ pictures, etc.
    I have not tested this, but seems like it would work.
    Anyone tried anything like this?…

    • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

      If I’m understanding your procedure correctly, and I’m not sure that I am, then, if you are wanting to “wipe” your phone before crossing U.S. Immigration, simply restoring the phone to its factory-fresh state may not accomplish your intended goal. I suspect that it will merely delete memory pointers and not the memory itself which could then be easily recovered by software that ICE uses all of the time. You may need to install a “wipe” program. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Darrin

        I find all of this phone conversation fascinating. Between 2015-2018, I have traveled to Jakarta(2x), Jamaica, Hong Kong(3x) and Barcelona. Not one time have I ever had my phone searched or even questioned. I even took my laptop (for work) a couple times without issue. Only once, in Dallas, I was asked about a memory card. He asked if there was anything on there that shouldn’t be and I said “Are you kidding? No way!” End of discussion. I always give my 21-day notice and follow all rules/laws. I’m glad I’ve never had that kind of problem.

  8. David

    I forgot to mention that I missed my flight!!🤤 So despite my best efforts to submit a 21-day-in-advance travel itinerary before my trip, the flight number and departure date changed. I informed the record’s person at the police department – via email – AFTER arriving in Europe and she said it was “no problem”.
    So there you have it – a flight change NOT 21 days prior – but the very day of – my departing flight ….. providing the information AFTER my flight occurred ….. and being told that it was “no problem”.
    So if this is “no problem” and since Angel Watch already has the airline passenger manifests (which they’ve long used for the green notices), what is the point of our submitting a 21-day-in-advance travel itinerary?? I appreciate the records officer’s understanding, but the truth is that that very understanding itself cinfirms the fact the 21-day-in-advance-notification is unnecessary! There’s no good reason for it!!! This charade is just another way for them to jerk our chains!! 😡

    • James

      The 21 Day Notice thingy really, really makes me unhappy…but I comply because, well, because I must, and so I shall for all the inconvenience this injects into my life.

      (actually, it makes travel very difficult, having to give 21 day notice)

      Unhappy face here.


      • AJ

        it makes travel very difficult, having to give 21 day notice
        Which flies (no pun intended) in the face of Smith, not to mention plenty of other case law about freedom to travel…including internationally. See Kent v. Dulles ( or Aptheker v. Sec’y of State (

        From Aptheker, at 505:
        In 1958, in Kent v. Dulles, 357 U. S. 116, 357 U. S. 127, this Court declared that the right to travel abroad is “an important aspect of the citizen’s liberty'” guaranteed in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Court stated that: “The right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. . . . Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, . . . may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.
        Note the “across frontiers in either direction (i.e. international travel)” and “inside frontiers (i.e. domestic travel of any kind) phrases. The Government is depriving you of a liberty interest without due process as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. It doesn’t mean the Gov’t cannot do it, but it does mean it’s on them to show why it’s needed (it isn’t), and to ensure it’s narrowly tailored (it isn’t).

    • Tim Moore

      They could care less about our chains. All these little seemingly pointless requirements are there for the convenience of law enforcement, to use or not use as they see fit. They can bypass the process of getting a warrant if they suspect you of a real crime. So they think you were doing child sex tourism and can’t prove you weren’t. They can still arest you for not giving notice. The more little traps they put out the more likely you will fall in, and they can detain you, arrest you, question you, imprison you at will. They can can proclaim they are stopping a child sex criminal in any case, true or not. The public doesn’t ask for details.

      • Tim Moore

        Opps, correction. “So they think you were doing child sex tourism and can’t prove you weren’t.” I meant “were”. Arrest has two r’s also. Sorry, I am going to bed.

  9. Redeemed1

    I was just curious if there was anyone here who has traveled internationally after getting off the hit list? If so, did you try to inform anyone that you were leaving. I’m lucky to be in that boat and was just curious if I would have to do anything if I ever had the chance to take a trip to Europe. Thanks

    • Robert Entwistle

      I have been off the registry in New York since March of 2016. Since then I have been to Singapore and Indonesia a couple times, Malaysia and Hong Kong. I have not and did not notify anybody that I left and had absolutely no problem coming back into the states

      • Joe

        While the passport identifier applies ONLY to those currently registered based on an offense against a minor, the notification requirement language says “anyone convicted of a sex offense”.

        One of the plaintiffs in the original law suit had been relieved of registration, but was turned away from the destination country due to a Green notice anyway. The government’s response to that was “yeah that should not have happened”, but oh well.

        Also, on ACSOL conference calls about the subject ACSOL personnel RECOMMEND submitting the travel notice – to the last registering agency – for those relieved of registration, just to CYA.

        So, who knows?

        However, here is a FAQ sheet from the US Marshall’s Office which mirrors a State Department publication (which I cannot find at the moment).

        It says:

        Q: Can I personally submit an International Travel Form to the United States Marshals Service (USMS), National Sex Offender Targeting Center?

        A: No. All International Travel Notices must be completed and submitted by your local sex offender registry.

        Since there is no such thing as YOUR local sex offender registry, it would be damn impossible to properly provide the travel notice.

        So there is no definitive answer, but rather a personal call based on your (dis)comfort level with the whole scheme. The concept that a US Citizen – not on parole or probation, let alone not subject to this unconstitutional registration – must provide a, any travel notification, is so distasteful I do not even know where to begin. Travel restrictions were a big part of the reason the old USSR was considered the Evil Empire, and a sorry statement on the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

        Thank you Janice et. al.

        ps. please note on the USMS link above the complaint form for those affected.

        • Sam

          Did you also notice that their FAQ states

          “Whom does the International Megan’s Law apply to?

          The IML has notable provisions that may impact all registered sex offenders who intend to travel outside of the United States.”

          IML affects ALL registrants? Not just the ones who had a case against a minor.

        • R M

          The only viable source is what is put into law. I’m not sure the info on the USMS correctly states the details of the law. See

        • Sam

          This part really irritates me

          “The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General, and their agencies, officers, employees, and agents, shall not be liable to any person for any action taken under this section”

          Basically if shit hits the fan because of all of this, no one is at fault or can be sued. What kind of crap is that anyway? I’ve heard about covering your ass, but this is immunity to any horrible shit that happens to us because of these people.

        • TS

          @Joe, et al

          Please note the complaint form does not work when you try to open it. Interesting…


          Good catch. The “..may impact ALL…” is a catch all caveat phrase because travel notifications could impact ALL, whereas passport markings are for those who have convictions where a minor was involved. That is the the delineation.

        • David

          Sam, if a government employee is conducting his/her job duties “in good faith”, he/she has broad immunity from prosecution. (Yes, one could attempt to sue them, but it would be a steep uphill battle trying to prove that they were acting in bad faith.)

      • Darrin

        Hey Robert… please write to me at

        I have a few questions for you.


  10. J S

    I have been lurking this site for a long time, but I’d like someone to interpret this clause excerpted from International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders in layman’s term. I personally do not comprehend the mumbo jumbo. I am aware that you all are not an attorney or a legal analyst.

    Section 3 (10) (C)
    Foreign convictions; offenses involving consensual sexual conduct — The limitations contained in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of section 111(5) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 USC 16911(5)) shall apply with respect to a sex offense against a minor for purpose of this Act to the same extent and in the same manner as such limitations apply with respect to a sex offense for purposes of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

    Excerpt from the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 – 34 USC 20911 (5)(C) (Old code: 42 USC 16911 (5)(C))

    (C) Offenses involving consensual sexual conduct
    An offense involving consensual sexual conduct is not a sex offense for the purposes of this subchapter if the victim was an adult, unless the adult was under the custodial authority of the offender at the time of the offense, or if the victim was at least 13 years old and the offender was not more than 4 years older than the victim.

    Does it mean a person, who is a guilty of a sex offense against a minor but it was consensual, does not have to receive a special marked passport and submit a 21-day travel notification? Please clarify this if you can.


    • T

      The purpose of these advance notifications of the IML is only to prevent registrants whose conviction involves a minor from ever traveling overseas based on logical fallacy of risk of recidivism. The IML will never prevent any sexual crime through these advance notifications of traveling registrants (with convictions involving minors) and the government is doing this in a hypocritical manner of showing the world how tough they are against international sexual crime. But one day we will all eventually wake up to all this madness and say it’s crazy and ridiculous and won’t fall for this kind of mess, and to get rid of the IML.

    • Van

      Are you serious? A minor can never give permission period.

  11. T

    What the IML should have done instead of just sending advance notifications to prevent registrants from ever traveling and entering a country thinking they’ll commit future crime, instead do the notification process of travel but without advance notices being sent out to foreign government agencies, but let registrants travel freely and unmolested, but if that person gets caught in some criminal activity overseas and the US government is notified, then that’s when the notices should’ve got sent out about the individual that was caught, which should’ve been the least thing for the IML. Other then that, the IML is unconstitutional and punishment.

  12. bm

    I was refused to enter today Santo Domingo (DR). I went to DR 2016 and 2017 without any problems. Nobody explained the reason. It says you not allowed to enter. Do you know where I can find the reason?

    • James

      I’m sorry to hear this…but it has been general common knowledge that the Dominican Republic was refusing entry to RSO’s. I believe the DR was even listed on the RTAG Matrix, (which I can’t find at the moment).

      Could you please maybe give some details on how they detained you and turned you around? The mechanics of this, I suppose.


      Best Wishes, James

      • bm

        They scanned my passport and my daughter and wife and told just me that I am not allowed to enter DR. The USA government sent some notes. It’s confidential an officer told me. However I was their in 2016 and 2017 and my conviction is from 2011,involving 17 year old consensual relationships. Age of consent in our state is 17. The immigration officer followed me including drinking, bathroom everywhere until plane went into the sky. How I can find out from where and what kind of info they received?

        • AJ

          File a request with INTERPOL,which involves snail-mailing a request to France ( The USG may have used other avenues, but they almost certainly pinged I’POL to issue a Green Notice.

        • James

          It was an Angel’s Watch Interpol Notice…a green notice of your conviction. Angel’s Watch is a division of the US Marshal’s Service, I believe, though it could now be part of Customs and Border Protection.

          I am surprised to say that I don’t think that anyone has seen the Green Notice sent out on them, except for those few that had a brief view on a computer screen when being denied entry at whatever county they were trying to get into.

          This is a pretty politically savvy group of people here…and as noted it is surprising that no one has filed a Freedom of Information Request to see whatever is being sent out on themselves. I remember bringing this up a couple of years ago…and there was some kind of answer….maybe a prohibition from seeing Law Enforcement files….something like that. (I wish someone would correct me on this).

          1. Are you on a registry?

          2. Did you send or give the required 21 day Notice of International Travel as required by the International Megan’s Law? (though I thought the IML really applied to Minor’s, 14 and under convictions.)

          It is becoming obvious as I type this that there is a lot I don’t know…yours is an honest question, and my attempt to respond is sincere. But I don’t know.

          Hopefully others with more knowledge than I will chime in on your problem…which really is all of our problems. Personally, I used to travel frequently to Latin America and the Caribbean…but have not attempted travel anywhere except Europe since the passage of the IML.

          Let me try again…you could or should file a Freedom of Information Act request with CBP or the US Marshall’s Office. I don’t know if it will be successful, but this is the honest answer to your question.

          Good Luck, (and I am so sorry for your ordeal…or my detention was an ordeal so I presume yours was also).

          Best Wishes, James

      • Darrin

        The travel matrix can be found at

  13. James

    Let me ask AJ a question since he responded while I was still typing my reply…;>}}

    Has anyone filed a request through INTERPOL? (or has it been denied as confidential at the request of the US Government?)

    Heck, if this were possible, a simple request for information to INTERPOL, I think I’d like to see what they are sending out on moi.

    Have other people filed such a request?


    Best Wishes, James

    • AJ

      The only instance I know of someone making the request was recently on here. Someone mentioned they’d done the request (not recently). I want to say they got a goose-egg for results, but cannot recall for certain.

      To my recollection, I’POL’s rules do not allow them to deny the request for self-info. I don’t recall whether or not redaction was part of the picture. What I gleaned from it is they would release all non-sensitive information in their files. I suppose it’s possible USG would want some stuff held back, but I think if that were the case, it would probably use a less transparent means than I’POL.

      I’m not sure I’ve properly or fully answered your question, but it’s all I have! 🙂

      (What sucks is there being no online method to request the info, nor a domestic mailing address. All requests go to France by post.)

      • James


        I appreciate this. I probably have to find my old passport and get the exact date South Korea detained me. And then make the request…if I do this, it probably helps everyone, (knowledge is everything and empowers)

        On the other hand, I have three, (I hope), important trips to Europe this year and I am not sure I want to attract attention to myself.

        This is always the problem.

        Thanks for your response. If I do anything with this, I will of course report back and let everyone know how it goes.

        Best Wishes, James

    • mch

      James & AJ

      I have filed a FOIA request with CBP out of curiosity. I did receive a couple of pages of dates when I crossed the border at San Ysidro returning from Baja. It gave the date, time and that I was sent to secondary, but all personal information had been deleted or blacked out. I had also requested from the FBI which only had my California arrest info and no action taken. I did also make a request to Interpol and they required a notarized proof of identity. I have yet to follow up on the request. My “international” travel was limited to driving into the tourist zones in Baja. My return trips had been uneventful; CBP was professional, at times jovial. They ran my passport, saw the dozens and dozens of times I have crossed the border, sent me to secondary, wait 10 minutes and back on the road. It had not been a problem.

      • David

        Have you been able to drive to Baja recently?
        No problems at the border crossing into Mexico by car?

        • Mike G

          Unless it has changed very recently (within the last month), you can drive right into Mexico. I don’t do it anymore, because I don’t want to give the 21 day international travel notice to the feds and have them send notification to Mexico. I have permanent residency in Mexico, and I don’t want to get on their radar because of some notification they receive.

  14. T

    I officially made a donation to RTAG in hopes in the efforts to fight the IML.

    • PK

      Greetings, I’m sure Paul from RTAG appreciates your donation, and they sure do a lot to make sure RSO travel information is on point!
      However, the actual challenge to IML is being brought by ASCOL, and there is a donate button here on this website!

  15. Enough Already!

    Was looking to take a beach vacation with my wife. Anyone know about getting into Belize as an SO? What about places in the Caribbean like the Bahamas or St Lucia? I know the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are out of the question.

    Also wondering what it’s like to enter the US through Atlanta or Charlotte. I’m not able to fly directly to my home state from there and wanted to know if it’ll be easy or will they take a really long time and humiliate me like they do in Miami.

    Thanks for any advice!

    • @Enough already

      You can check the RTAG website for the info you seek.

    • Rob

      Why not go to Puerto Rico or the U.S Virgin islands, Hawaii etc? I wouldn’t take a chance on any of the other Caribbean Islands. Speaking from experience there is not much of a worse feeling then getting turned away when you land to start your vacation. Makes for a long flight home and the look of sadness on the GF face is almost to much to bear, not to mention the money you lose. When we travel internationally next time, we will have an agreement where She will stay of I get turned away, I’m not having her lose out on another vacation again.
      If you do book a vacation, buy travel insurance and pay with a credit card. We were able to get half of our money back at least from our CC company.

      • James

        I Think both Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin islands would be a worse risk than Belize in that you have to Register within 72 hours upon arrival…or 48 hrs, it is a ridiculously short period of time regardless, and who wants to be registered in another place?

        I have tried to look this up for you…the info used to be on this site, (I believe), but I can’t find it now.

        If I am wrong in this, I apologize, but, there may be another wrinkle out there you may not have considered…this is what I am saying. Check this aspect out also.

        Best Wishes, James

    • Darrin

      I went to Belize in November of 2017 and was not asked a single question. Earlier in the year I went to Jamaica without issue as well. I have since seen that Jamaica is on the matrix, and heard about 1 person turned back from Belize, but as far as I know it’s still good to go there.

  16. James

    I heard that Belize was Okay…but that was maybe 12~18 months ago…so who knows now?

    I would like to go back to Belize myself…if it were a cheap flight it might be worth the risk of being turned back.

    But there are two of you, double the price, maybe you fly ahead by one day?

    This is a very tough decision.

    I wish you well…but Belize is probably problematic.

    If not, let us know…it is a great place to visit.

    Best Wishes, James

  17. T

    Some countries allow registrants entry into the country but that could change.

  18. Mike G

    Well, the time has come for us to throw caution to the wind. We leave tomorrow for a 14 day tour of Central Europe.
    The tour begins in London, and my wife booked our airline tickets to there without checking with me. After I convinced her that was a bad idea, she got me a new ticket where I fly directly to Amsterdam and join the tour there.
    I haven’t received any certified letters. I uploaded my passport information to the airline and to the tour company, and so far, nothing has happened.
    I will be holding my breathe until I clear customs in Amsterdam; after that, I think we will be good to go.
    I did give my 21 day notice, with flight numbers, and a list of countries we will be visiting. I don’t know what Angel Watch will do with that, but only time will tell.
    My wife has grudgingly agreed to continue on if I get turned away at some point, so if there are no posts from me for the next two weeks after tomorrow, all is probably good!
    (Actually, maybe I will try to post from there if everything seems okay.)

    • JM of Wi.

      Mike, I’m leaving in 3 ish weeks, same method. I’ll be watching for update here, or could we possibly exchange E-mails ?

      • Mike G

        I will try to post updates. All the hotels we are staying in along the way say they have WiFi.
        I have no problem with email, but I am a little reluctant to put my email out in the open here and have it get in someone’s database (has anyone had a bad experience from doing this?).
        At least if my trip goes well, yours probably will too!

        • JM of Wi.

          I was able to communicate through Narsol website with another traveler. Good luck today & tomorrow. Pray at the Beer Temple for us all. (off Dam square)

      • Mike G

        Success! Arrived in Amsterdam about 4 hours ago!

        • JM of Wi.

          Mike G: A major feeling of hope & relief here. Hope your trip is rewarding and fun. Thanks so much for communicating so quickly.

        • R M

          Good for you Mike G! Have a great vacation.

        • Sam

          Congratulations! Hopefully you have a great vacation.

    • James

      Wise decision, Mike, really.

      If you had some difficulty with your wife over London now, it is better than being turned away. That would really be difficult! I might add that other people, people not with our disabilities, have trouble really understanding the care we must take…(they have real difficulties believing what we say and know to be true, ie London, is in fact true).

      Be that as it may, I am certain that Amsterdam will be fine for you.

      Enjoy yourself and once you clear customs in Schiphol, relax, force yourself to relax, you are golden and will have clear sailing.

      Good luck and have a fine time.

      Best Wishes, James

      • Mike G

        Thanks James for the encouraging words!
        After we got turned away from Thailand (her home country), my wife has been much more understanding of my issues.
        Once I clear Schiphol I will certainly relax!

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Then go have a stiff jenever, an advocaat, an Amstel and a joint.

    • Relief

      @Mike G- You wont have any issues flying direct to Amsterdam and the rest should be fine as well. No crowds this time of year -a little cool now but off season prices. Enjoy!

      • Mike G

        Thanks for your good words. As long as State Department doesn’t pick tomorrow to revoke all the passports, I should be good!

    • Robert

      Mike G,

      Hope all goes well. Look forward to your reviews on the trip and hope you have some good tips on traveling. Best wishes. I feel the same as JM, wish we could exchange emails so I could get more info.

      • Mike G

        Happy to help, Robert. I have a fair amount of travel experience, but since things can change daily, I don’t know how much good it will be.
        If you want to risk posting your email, I will definitely reply. I don’t know if there is another way to exchange them.

        • Robert

          I guess I could make another email address just for use on this site. Let me know what you think.

        • Mike G

          Yeah, an alternate email sounds like a good idea. If you make one, let me know it and I’ll email you back.

        • Robert

          Mike G,
          Hope all is going well. Here’s the email you can contact me at Would love to see pics of the sites.

  19. Mike G

    Just as @James, @Relief, and others predicted, I had no trouble entering Amsterdam to start our 14 day middle European tour.
    Although my passport was scanned at LAX when I checked my bag at the curb, and again in Philadelphia as I boarded my connecting flight, nothing happened. When I went through Passport Control after getting off the plane in Amsterdam, they took my passport, opened it to an empty page, stamped it, and handed it back. That was it. I think even the “Red Letter” passport wouldn’t have been noticed in this case.
    Based on past experience, I doubt my passport will be looked at again by government in the next seven countries we visit. Of course my hotel wanted to see it when I checked in.
    I’ll update later if anything unusual happens.

    • Relief

      @SAM, @David Kennerly, et al- The original IML bill of 2010, H.R. 5138 by Chris Smith, mandated registration at US embassies in foreign countries by US registrants living/visiting abroad for more then 30 days (Sec 5 of that bill). That bill passed the House back then but not the Senate and that section was removed in IML HR 515 to facilitate final passage of the base IML.

      The US Congress / Chris Smith certainly believe they have legal jurisdiction on any US citizen living abroad (like US Taxes) and this could well be a future stage in their registration scheme.

      Having to register in foreign countries would of course be far worse then any marked passports / notices…
      Just FYI.

      • Sam

        That would be some bull. Especially if you were no longer a resident of the US. Just to get into the embassy here I need to schedule a month in advance.

        Im am not US property. And I have never considered the US my home, even before I attained a criminal record I was treated like shit in the US because I was a “chink”

        I should have let them deport me like they originally tried.

        Technically I am registering in my foreign country. But not to my country. NY just wants to not let go.

  20. Mike G

    Update on my trip to Europe, referenced above:
    I am happy to report that I have had no trouble at all during my trip. I traveled from Netherlands to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, and France. In almost every case, we just drove across the border, as if you were driving from California to Nevada. The only time there was a Passport Check was driving from Hungary into Austria, and then all they did was look at my passport picture to see if it was me.
    The final challenge will come tomorrow when I fly from Paris to London, change planes, and fly to Los Angles. If I make it through Heathrow unscathed, then all will be good.
    Of course, I’ll have to go through Secondary Inspection in LA, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on what kind of mood they are in. It may be tougher this time since my wife isn’t on the same flight. She arrives in LA two hours before me, and will be waiting for me in the airport.
    I’ll try to post the final update from home this weekend.

    • James

      Dear Mike G:

      I am curious how coming back and changing planes in HTR worked for you?

      You wrote on 4/6

      “The final challenge will come tomorrow when I fly from Paris to London, change planes, and fly to Los Angles. If I make it through Heathrow unscathed, then all will be good.”

      You have been very faithful on reporting your experiences…so thank you for that…especially for the Austrian/Hungarian border that I will have to cross in August….but the London connection remains an open question, at least to me…

      Let us know when you get time.

      Thanks in advance

      Best Wishes, James

      • Mike G

        Hi James,
        Sorry to take so long to reply – guess I’m still a little jet-lagged.

        Good News! Transiting through Heathrow was no problem! After getting off the plane from Paris, there were two directions: Transiting to other flights, and staying in London. Those transiting to other flights were sent to the “transit center” which consisted of a security screening (same as regular screening when going through an airport), but no looking at passports. Then you just headed to your gate.

        When actually boarding my flight back to LA, I did have to show my passport along with my boarding pass, but all they did was look at the picture to make sure it was me.

        One caveat; I was on British Airways coming into Heathrow and leaving Heathrow, and I think the “transit center” may have only been for British Airways flights. It is possible that if you flew in and left on different airlines that you could get routed through customs (like if you had to change buildings, maybe), but I doubt it.

        Of course every one of us who has re-entered the US knows about Secondary Inspection. Other than the fact that they made me stand next to a column in front of all the other passengers for 45 minutes while they “looked” for someone authorized to handle me, it was pretty much the same as usual: Searching thru my luggage, though they didn’t even look at my carry-ons. So far, in maybe 50 times going through Secondary (mostly from Mexico), They have never asked for my cell phone, camera, nor iPad. Maybe I have an innocent looking face. 🙂

        • CR

          Sorry, Mike G, maybe I missed it, but how is it you are able to get into Mexico? I thought Mexico was totally off limits for registered citizens due to either green notices or IML 21 day notification requirements, etc.

        • James

          Thanks, Mike G:

          As always from you a very fine, useful and detailed write up!

          You touched all the bases…what the heck, I’ll say it…a Home run!…lol


          Best Wishes, James

        • JM of Wi.

          Mike G
          Thanks for the updates. I fly next week. Hope I have as easy travel as you. Your info was much appreciated.

        • mch

          Regarding travel into and out of Mexico;
          I have traveled into Mexico since 2009 when I was released from probation. I travel exclusively by car and go only to the “tourist zones”, no farther south in Baja than Ensenada. I cross at San Ysidro and return there in a couple of days. I have made many trips there, with no issues going, staying or returning, other than secondary inspection. I requested from CBP my crossing records and any files they had on me through the FOIA. What I received was nothing more than the list of dates and times of my crossing into the US with the notation of secondary at each crossing. The times in secondary have been shorter and shorter and I’m almost on a first name basis with the officers…almost. They have been professional and polite for the most part. Always one that has a bug up their butt but not very often. I know the drill, I prep my vehicle for their inspection, leave my bag open, windows open and make their job easier. Next year I renew my passport, so it may change.

        • Need to Know

          Mike G – Thanks for your update. Helps us all figure things out. Would be great to know if you receive a letter revoking your passport. Some has speculated this is based on the notification.

        • Mike G

          Regarding Mexico:
          There are no passport checks driving into Mexico (San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, etc.) unless something has changed in the last several weeks.
          My wife and I have a place not far south of the border on the side of a hill overlooking the ocean. We used to spend a lot of time there each year.
          My wife and I have Permanent Residency in Mexico (like a green card in the US). Obviously, Mexico is not aware of my RC status, since I only drive in.
          We had pretty much ignored giving notices of travel because California is not a SORNA state, and didn’t seem to require them. IML changed all that.
          We had traveled to China, Egypt, Russia, and had taken several cruises, but when we tried to visit my wife’s family in Thailand, and I was denied entry, that was a big wakeup call!
          Now, I give the 21 day notice when we travel, but we have only traveled to Europe since then.
          I have never been asked about the 21 day notice when returning to the US.

          But, back to Mexico; I am not about to send a 21 day notice about travel to Mexico. I am off their radar, and I want to stay that way. I don’t know if my local sheriff actually forwards the 21 day notices or just sticks them in my file. I don’t know if border patrol coming back into the US has any way of knowing whether I sent a 21 day notice or not.
          Chances are, right now, I could drive into Mexico with out notice, and come back to the US without problem, but I have decided not to risk it. I don’t want to be the first test case to get the 10 year federal sentence.
          So, for the time being, my wife and I drive down to the border, a friend of ours comes across the border and gets my wife, and they go down and check on our place, while I hang around San Diego for a few hours. (My wife hates to drive long distances, and refuses to try driving in Mexico.)
          Hopefully the tiered registry will happen in 2021, and I’ll be able to get off the damn thing, hopefully still healthy enough to travel. In the meantime, we’ll probably restrict our travel to Europe, hoping the marked passport doesn’t screw that up, too.

        • CR

          Mike G, thank you for the detailed response. I asked because my husband is Mexican. He recently got his green card and is now able to visit Mexico and return back here without problem. I’d like to be able to travel to Mexico with him, but I decided not to attempt it when he went back last month to visit his family for the first time in 25 years. I don’t want to get on Mexico’s radar either, nor am I willing to risk traveling without giving the 21 day notice.

          I hope that if I ever get off the registry, I’ll be able to travel to Mexico, and perhaps even retire there. Until then, I try to ask and learn whatever I can from RCs with Mexico travel experience.

  21. FrankGP

    Question about coming back into the US…
    Do they take your phone and any electronic devices you have for inspection?
    If so, I assume you have to unlock?
    Can anyone describe the experience?
    5 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour.. etc.
    Of has anyone had their phone taken and not returned….

    • E

      @FrankGP. 15 years of travel, last fall was the first time I was asked for my phone and had to unlock it (Houston). When I got it back I saw he had opened my browsers and was looking at Internet history. He spent five minutes going through the phone and I stood there awkwardly.

      They’ve never looked at my laptop or even pulled it out of my backpack when they are doing the secondary search.

    • Need to Know

      They look at my phone about 70% of the time and laptop about 15%. They will ask you to unlock it. You don’t have to, but then they might keep it for a longer inspection. I believe they can hold it for up to 3 days, but not 100% sure if that is accurate Typically they look for pictures and a couple times went through e-mails and internet history. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. I always comply so I can get through quicker.

      • Two phones

        So, if you had a second phone with you that was an old flip phone that could ONLY make phone calls, could you get away handing just that phone to the customs agent to speed your way through customs? Everything on my smart phone is boring and uninteresting for officials, but if having a second dumb phone to hand customs would speed the process up, it might be worth having. Anyone know if that might work?

        • Need to Know

          That would work, assuming you aren’t carrying your other phone. I also might have overstated the number of times my phone is looked at. Probably closer to 50%. I travel a lot for work.

        • CR

          Intentional deception is seldom a wise policy.

          It sounds like you are suggesting carrying two phones, one being your “real” phone (the smart phone), the other being a decoy phone. If that’s what you meant, I would not suggest trying that. If the “real” phone is found, and it is likely to be given that they go through all your belongings, they’ll be convinced you’re trying to hide something from them. It might even be illegal. In any case, you’ll likely be detained longer, and they will probably retain all of your electronic gear for an extended search.

        • Harry

          When I was allowed to travel to the Philippines, my smart phone did not work their, therefore i left in the car at the airport. My wife and I bought cheap Filipino phones, which, did not take pictures.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Take your real phone with you and then ship it back to yourself (in the States) the day before you return. I used to do this with my phone, my SLR, my computer, etc. A definite hassle, and kind of expensive, but well worth the grief and stress of going through Customs and having them inspect them one at a time.

    • David

      Last year and the year before, I visited Europe. My cellphone was not searched on either occassion when coming back into the U.S.

  22. Chris

    Does anyone know exactly what they check or use if applying for a passport. What makes an individual have an identifier. Do they check just the DOJ registry website and the state u are from website or do they check your whole criminal record. Im off my states registry and I checked the DOJ registry website and my name doesn’t appear on there either. Just curious because I’m looking into applying for a passport and wanted to know if I will have an identifier or not.

    • TS


      Recommend getting what the FBI has on file for you though an electronic background check too. Don’t do it via the snail mail to their West Virginia processing center if you can because it takes a long time unless time is not an issue and you want to go low cost (mail vs electronic has a price difference). I’m talking many months of a difference.

      The FBI website has directions and references for people in your area who do electronic requests, which will require fingerprints taken at the place to be submitted with the request. I got mine back within one business week in my email and then another week later when I got the paper copy in the mail.

      Very good information to have WRT what they have on you and what your state may be telling them.

      • TS

        I should’ve mentioned fingerprints are required regardless of which method, mail or electronic, you choose in the end because you have to prove who you are and that is the one way you prove it.

  23. 290 air

    If your crime was expunged, but you still have to register per CA law, how could they put a unique identifier that says you were “convicted” of a sex offense involving a minor? Doesn’t expungement mean the conviction was set aside?

  24. Davidh

    What’s going on with that second IML lawsuit this organization filed. Never heard another word about it–I thought we were to be heard in Feb of this year???

    • David

      It’s my understanding that the Feds have received an extension and will have until the end of April to file their response to the new (i.e.,”2nd”) IML lawsuit.

  25. JM of Wi.

    flying out soon to europe- no stamp, wish me luck. gave 21 day notice etc.
    Thanks to all especially Mike G for lots of info.

  26. Jm wi

    T. Y.
    Zythos festival and all points in between.
    Sateing my travel bug while I still can.

  27. Jm from wi

    Into amsterdam no problems. Glad I kept my passport. Beautiful and sunny here.

  28. Mike G

    Received my cerfified letter from the State Department saying my Passport (and passport card) are both revoked. The letter was dated April 16th, about a week after we returned from Europe.

    I guess I should be thankful it happened after we got back and not before we left, but it is still very depressing.

    Does anyone know if the pending lawsuit were to be successful, is there any chance my passport could be re-instated? They want me to return my passport immediately, but I’m sure I could hold off a little bit.

    Glad JM of Wi got out in time. His trip should be okay.

    • someone who cares

      Oh no Mike G. I was following your post and was happy that you had an uneventful trip, and now this. Don’t you just feel like a Jew in Nazi Germany? I can’t believe that passports are being revoked in this day and age. Are we completely insane? Once all this is coming to an end, we have a lot of ground for major lawsuits, infringing on our privacy, punishing us without due process, etc etc. I just can’t believe that history is repeating itself. Has this country learned anything at all???

      • Really??

        Using the Jewish suffering from 1933-1945 within Europe as an analogy regarding the actions taken against them are similar to what RCs suffer today is one thing, but to ask an RC don’t you feel like a Jew from then because what has happened today is not necessary and really trite (unless they suffered then). Sticking to the overall analogy is at best the furthest it should go.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Whenever I have spoken with Holocaust survivors about the Holocaust (and I’ve known very many people with tatooed numbers on their forearms, almost all of them now dead), their greatest hope was that it should serve as a warning from history to prevent it happening again. I can’t think of anything more analogous to that horror today than the steady drumbeat of OUR rights disappearing. To those ready to pounce in indignant outrage whenever anyone suggests that anything happening today bears a stark resemblance to what happened to the Jews then I tell them that they are badly misinterpreting the lessons of the Holocaust. For one thing, the Holocaust didn’t start with “the Holocaust,” it started small but then escalated. For another, I ask them “what good are the lessons of the Holocaust if they never apply to anyone else?” These lessons have no value if they cannot be extended in the human imagination to what is happening to other people right now. I have just asked a friend of mine, himself a survivor having been sent into hiding at age four in Belgium by his mother and after his father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz (where he perished), what he thought about comparing “sex offenders”/Registrants today to what happened to Jews in Europe. His response? “I can’t think of anything happening today that is closer to the Holocaust than what is happening right now to sex offenders.”

    • James

      Dear Mike G:

      I am sorry to hear this.

      However, I suspect that this is how it is working…you, (or any of us), give our 21 day notice, additionally get logged in when we do international travel, and then upon our return, that is when the revocation kicks in, the certified mail being triggered by international travel.

      Thanks for letting us know…because, for example in my situation, I need to space both my planed European trips far enough apart that I can do trip one, come back to the US, get the revocation, apply for a new passport and have enough time to receive it before leaving on trip two.

      Or, cancel trip one.

      (in truth, I’m just working hard and have somewhat rededicated myself to work and consider myself lucky to be working considering the troubles afflicting {unjustly} all of us…I don’t want to be working this hard or this much…but I’ve got to roll with these severe body blow punches I am absorbing from my society…so we do what we have to to emotionally survive).

      Were I you, I’d just apply for a new passport now…play their game well, I suppose.

      Good luck to you. (and let us know what you do…thanks)

      Best Wishes, James

      • @James

        Why wait for their letter? Just get your new one now if you know you’re going to get a revocation letter and enjoy both trips. Play their game.

        Hoping you don’t get stopped and denied travel with your current passport at the airport outbound for trip one is a gamble, don’t you think?

        • James

          Well, I got a new passport last year to avoid the stamp, (it was expiring this year anyway)…but I am somewhat disinclined to just automatically do this again…and again.

          I think it is the travel that triggers the State Dept and forces them into action…bureaucracies tend towards inertia, I think they need prodding to act…though I could be wrong on this. Also, I have not seen a report where a passport has been revoked out of the blue…without travel or some reason.

          See a shrug of my shoulders…hope does spring eternal….I do have a 1204 expungement…maybe I’ll be treated differently, or not.

          I’ll play the cards I got…lol

          Best Wishes, James

          PS At least for today, all this poo-poo takes some of the joy out of the thought of even traveling…sometimes I am coming to feel it is just better to stay at home….sigh

        • PK

          I would think that an RSO cannot simply apply for a new Passport with the required Identifier.

          My thinking is that the revocation is triggered either before leaving the US by virtue of providing 21 day advanced notice, or upon return to the US.

          If it is the first scenario, the second scenario, or both scenarios- that would be crucial information to know.

          If someone could please clarify if this is not the case.

        • TS


          Read the article today that was posted with the letter from the Department of State for an individual in Illinois who just received his revocation letter and how he can reapply for a passport.

      • Mike G

        Thanks James. Right now I’m still in shock. Half of me wants to play their game and apply right away (Has anyone actually received one of the new ones yet?). The other half wants to wait for 2021 and see if I can get off first. But by then I’ll be 70, so that is a lot of time to waste…

        • James

          @Mike G:

          So you are a young man, eh? ….;>}}}

          If you have the inclination and you have the time…get yourself gone…lol…time’s a` wasting!

          A much younger female friend of mine just passed away from a massive stroke, age only 48. Decisions had to be made…when brain dead, when do you turn off the ventilators when someone is in a permanent vegetative state (PVS)?

          After my conviction, 288(a), I pretty much traveled a lot for 30 years…I have backed off of course now…or since 2016…I however will never regret all the time and memories I have from traveling.

          I recommend this routinely for everyone now…we never know…and this is why I am fairly unhappy with myself in that I keep now pushing off travel…well, I’m busy and that’s a good thing too.

          But I don’t think you should be in shock…smile in whatever you decide; living well is more than the best revenge against an unfair system…it may be an affirmative duty.

          (well, one last point, I have spoken, with passion, to three other people today about your report…and I was fairly depressed until about 6pm…Heck, then I decided I have a duty to be as happy and as productive as I can be…(I am older than you)….so I took myself by the scruff of the neck and gave myself a severe shaking this evening…)

          We’ll be fine.

          Though, when we were convicted way back when, How could we possibly know we would end up as we have in 2018? Crazy….so, forgive yourself and be happy, (as possible).

          Best Wishes, James

        • AJ

          so I took myself by the scruff of the neck and gave myself a severe shaking this evening…)
          Thank you ever so much for making my mind go to the scene from “Airplane!” with the woman having a panic attack ( I especially love when Leslie Nielsen gives her one more slap “for the road.” 🙂

    • Ts

      @Mike G

      Holding off doesn’t do you any good. The passport is USG property,

      There seems to be no pattern on the revoke letters or actions, e.g. before or after traveling, because reports here have been both. Interesting…

      • PK

        “There seems to be no pattern on the revoke letters or actions, e.g. before or after traveling, because reports here have been both”

        Now I’m wondering if this trigger will occur for ALL RSO’s by either providing 21 advance notice, or upon return of an international travel.

        Have there been any reports where zero notification for revocation was received?

    • PK

      I really really wish they would just post something already about the IML Lawsuit. The last word on this came in February.

      People are trying to determine whether to travel internationally or not, or even return from overseas,,, all depending on what’s going on with this Lawsuit.

      For example, if the passport revocation is triggered upon the return the the U.S. port of entry, who would want to return so quickly to the U.S. if someone has the option to wait it out?

      Other people are not sure whether to pursue a Visa now or later, all dependent on the IML Lawsuit.

      If your going to be asking for support from people at some point in the future, concerning this Lawsuit, it would definitely be appreciative to let people know what is going on.

    • AJ

      @Mike G:
      Received my cerfified letter from the State Department saying my Passport (and passport card) are both revoked. The letter was dated April 16th, about a week after we returned from Europe.
      This seems to be the pattern State is using, and it makes sense. I suspect your passport was actually revoked the moment you were cleared back into the US or perhaps completion of your entire travel itinerary, and it just took a little bit of time for the paperwork to follow. By revoking only upon a traveler re-entering the US, State avoids the problems and hassles of stranding people overseas and in need to temp passports (read: making work for themselves), and also keeps them from having to bother with dormant and/or expiring passports. It’s actually a rather efficient and smart way of doing it, versus en masse revocations and re-issues.

      • PK

        I’m wondering if the revocation is based upon the receipt and signature of the certified letter?

        What if an RSO has an international address, is still a U.S. Citizen with a valid Passport, and only comes to visit the United States for a couple of days?

      • Mike G


        I think your assessment is most likely the best explanation of what they are doing.

        It appears that for anyone subject to IML, the next trip they take out of the country will be the last one with that passport.

    • Lee

      Mike G, dumb question, but does the certified letter has your name on it? I received a certified letter in the mail; however, it did not have my name so I returned it back to the sender. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that’s what it was as I did just return from Europe trip as well and the time it took about the same as yours; however, strange thing it does not have my name on the certified letter. Since then I have not heard anything back. Does that my passport is “invalidated” now if say it’s been revoked but I did not sign for the letter?

      • PK

        Did the Certified Letter have someone else’s name that you knew?

        Could you tell where this Certified Letter came from?

        How long ago did you return back to the U.S.?

        I’m not sure how you could check to see if your Passport has been revoked, but it may be worth investigating.

        Please please please- keep us advised about what you find out, or if in fact you do receive a Certified Letter with your name on it.

        • Lee

          I don’t recall the sender address, unfortunately. I was too careless. Now I am wondering non stop if that was it. I returned from Europe in February, and then about a week later or so, that certified thing came but has no anyone’s name on it, just the address and there are two people live in this household and so we were not sure who it was for. Therefore, I just send it back and never received any certified thing ever since. Just so we are clear, I am not talking about letter letter, it’s more of like a certified mail slip asking for signature type, I believe it was orange/brown color slip, so I never got to see what it was as I did not go sign for it.

        • PK

          Understood. It was a postcard for you to go to the Post Office to sign for the Certified Letter. Usually they send 2 postcards, the last one being a notification that they will return the Certified Letter to the Sender, if you don’t go and sign for it.

          What would be most helpful is to find out- if in fact your Passport is revoked? or is it NOT revoked?

          I think just calling and asking if there is a problem with your passport, and you need not give them more information than that. You just want to double-check the expiration date. Don’t mention anything about it “could be revoked” or “you think you received some letter from the State Dept about a revocation”. You’re just calling to find out the expiration date, because you are not sure- period.

          If your Passport is not revoked, then we will know that the revocation is dependent upon you signing their Certified Letter. You didn’t do that. If your Passport is revoked, there’s nothing you can really do, except get a new one. But then we will know that the revocation is NOT dependent upon you signing their Certified Letter.

      • @Lee

        Do you recall the entity on the return address by chance on the certified letter you returned or possibly the address, maybe even the city?

  29. PK

    @MikeG I feel really bad for you.

    May I ask you what type of conviction you had? Misdemeanor or Felony?
    And how long ago was your conviction?

    • Mike G

      Thanks @PK.

      It was 24 years ago. A couple of neighborhood girls were in my office to play on my computer, a common occurrence. Computers were rare then. The girls were in 5th grade. I’d known one of them for several years, the other for a few months. They sometimes helped in my son’s kindergarten class, where I also helped out occasionally.

      The girl I had known the longest lifted up her shirt and told me to touch her. Of course, she was flat chested, and my first thought was that she wanted me to feel a lump, or something. But after I touched her, she giggled and pulled her shirt down. The other girl, not wanting to miss out, pulled up her shirt and told me to touch her too. I should have known better, but I touched her also. After she giggled and pulled her shirt down, they both asked me for money. I realized then what their game was, but I really didn’t think much about it. About a week later, the first girl came to my office with a third girl. When I saw her, I said “you want me to touch you too?” And she said “NO!” And I said, “Good for you.”

      Apparently, the third girl told her mother about this guy that touches girls and gives them money, and the girl’s mother called the police, who visited a few days later and asked if I had touched the girls, and I said that I had. They said they would get back to me. I decided to talk to a lawyer that I knew, and he said he would check for me. About a week later, he called and said they were charging me with 2 felony counts of 288(a). He said not to worry because they always plea bargain. They didn’t. He said there was no point in going to trial because I already admitted to doing it. So I pled no contest and was sentenced to 300 days in jail, and 5 years probation, but the judge said I didn’t have to register as a sex offender. I actually spent 30 days in jail, and 180 days at home with an ankle monitor. The lawyer said, don’t worry, we’ll get it expunged after a year. But they wouldn’t. Don’t worry, we’ll get your probation shortened. But they wouldn’t.

      My second probation officer said “I see you haven’t registered yet” I said, “The judge said I didn’t have to.” She said, “I don’t care what any judge said, if you don’t register I’m going to throw your ass in jail! Besides, it is no big deal. You just do it one time, and you are done. And no one will ever see it except Law Enforcement.” So I registered. We all know the end of that story.

      Sorry about all that. When I am depressed, I sometimes feel like rambling on…

      • PK

        @Mike G
        I actually had a bad dream last night, and John Kerry was with eating dinner with my parents when my letter arrived. He picked it up and said something, and I screamed at him “why don’t you do something, you run the place!” Too funny, I know ….

        I’m actually supposed to be coming back this weekend by crossing the bridge, and all last night I was thinking of ways to cross like the illegal’s from South America do it. Believe it or not, I’ve actually been taking notes from news articles about where there is no fence. Would you call that reverse illegal immigration? lol.

        I’m not sure if I can and should delay coming back, I actually do need to go back at some point for medical reasons. Plus Spring and Summer are my busy seasons and I need to get back to work.

        I guess if I knew what was going on with the new IML, such as an imminent injunction, I would be able to make a better informed decision.

        Convicted in California 28 years ago for 2 Felony’s ?

        Mine was 1 Misdemeanor from 17 years ago in NY.

        Even though this horrible thing happened to you MikeG, hopefully the information about what they are doing will be helpful for someone in the Group.

        • Mike G


          Well, your dream experience gave me the first laugh I have had for a while!

          Thanks for your kind words.

          You really have to wonder what kind of country we have when a 17 year old misdemeanor can wreak such havoc on someone’s life.

  30. Jm from wi

    @mike g
    Sorry to hear about passport revocation. Guess mine will come shortly. I’m traveling with a friend with a passport with an identifier. He’s had no problems yet. Hope that’s good news for the both of us.

    • E

      @JM. Are you saying your friend already has an identifier and has been going to Europe with it, with no issues? That’s the first I’ve heard of actual travel with a new passport with an identifier on the back page.

    • PK

      @Jm from Wi

      “I’m traveling with a friend with a passport with an identifier.”

      Could you please tell the group what this Passport Identifier looks like?

    • PK

      @Jm from wi

      For everyone- This would be extremely important information to know.

      There have been some reports that the Identifier is simply a written endorsement on the Passport’s last page.

      Paul R has reported that someone had to apply for a new Passport with the Identifier, but yet when he received it, it had no endorsement or Identifier at all- that he could see.

      • mch

        No one really knows what this unique identifier is, or on who’s passports it will be shown. There is a string of numbers and letters at the bottom ID page of passports, so perhaps upon renewal it might be included in that, only to be decoded by some cereal box secret decoder ring or the all knowing data base that has all of our information.

        • PK

          @mch Whoever has the new passport would know if they see something “conspicuous identifier”.

  31. Harry

    What is happening to the IML lawsuit? I have not heard or seen since it was filed, than it was addressing only the technically of procedures. Is there any court dates, etc. ?

  32. 290 air

    Just got back from Canada (I’m a dual citizen). This was my first time giving a 21 day notice. This is also the first time I’ve been pulled into secondary going to Canada using my Canadian Passport. They must send a real generic notice that says we are some kind of fugitive or something. The guys at the Canadian border were totally confused as to why I was flagged. To expedite the process I just told them why I thought I was flagged. They said it made it much faster than having to search and after some basic questions I was on my way. On the return to the US they pissed me off pretty badly. We were waiting for over an hour in secondary and when I stepped away to go to the bathroom they asked my wife if she knew what I was arrested for. I didn’t even think it was legal for them to divulge this kind of information without my permission. She knew, obviously, so not a big deal. Foiled again, DHS. I think the more they “cry wolf” to other countries the less impact it will have over time when they send these notices. Hopefully…

    • AJ

      @290 air:
      I didn’t even think it was legal for them to divulge this kind of information without my permission.
      As SCOTUS said in Smith, it’s just release of already-public information…no harm, no foul. Riiighhht….

  33. AD from MN

    Worried….to say the least. I came into this discussion late, better later than never may have saved me; from my reading of your extremely helpful posts.

    I was charged in 2012 and received 14 days in jail, 5 years of supervision and was subject to registry. My supervision was completed this past December (2017).

    So my significant other and I thought we would go to Europe in June to visit my son who lives in Germany.

    We are flying into PARIS, spend time in Paris then take train to Germany to stay with my son and his wife. To end our travel we had plans to fly to LONDON (via Ryan Air) spend the weekend in London and then fly back to US from LONDON.

    First and foremost, thank you for the “heads up” on the 21 day notice. I will be filing that in a couple weeks.

    Secondly, am I correct that I am NOT ALLOWED into LONDON?

    Lastly, what other tips or suggestions would you all have for a 1st time INTERNATIONAL traveler on the registry?

    Thank you in advance.


    • James


      I think you are golden, except for the London leg of your journey….which I think is more than problematic.

      If you don’t list London on your 21 day itinerary….hummm? How will London know since you are flying in from outside the US?

      I’d be curious also if one could take the ferry to Dover or the Chunnel to London…and again, who would know?

      Personally, since you came here for advice….I’ll give some…as wonderful as London is, (and it really is), I would not chance it….myself….but maybe you can be a trailblazer in these regards.

      PS I think you CAN list London on your 21 day notice and London will not get a green slip on you, that will only go to Paris, your initial stop.

      Good luck, let us know

      Best Wishes, James

      • Jim

        I am very interested in knowing if you can travel to London via the chunnel from Dover. Will they require you to show your passport? Will they dent you entry if you enter via the chunnel?

      • E

        I don’t think the green slip only goes to the first country. Just got back from Spain. This is the first time I’ve had to give my full itinerary (change of rules in my Sorna compliant state to give all itinerary information as if this year).

        No issue at passport control in Germany (same as always). But when I got off my flight from Germany to Spain, Spanish customs was looking for me. They were checking all passports as people got off the plane and when they got to mine, they nodded at each other and escorted me to customs inspection. They stopped looking at any other passports so they were def looking for me. ON AN INTRA-SCHENGEN FLIGHT.

        one guy xrayed my luggage but looked no further. The other guy had my passport and disappeared. First guy asked me how long I was staying, what hotel, etc. I’d put all that on my 21 day notice but they didn’t seem to have that info. He was extremely friendly and my impression was he was mystified why they had to pull me out. He was not treating me with suspicion. A couple minutes later he went and got my passport and said, have a nice trip. After I thought I was on my way home for sure!! Whew

        Sooooo, I’ve been in Europe 3-4x per year for business for years. I used to only have to give the outbound flight, not my full itinerary on the 21 day notice. Kills me that the first time I gave my full itinerary sure enough, something changed. For the rest of the trip I was worried the local Spanish cops would show up at my hotels. But that never happened and my departure from Spain was no issue, and transit through Germany with passport control no issue as always (on the way home).

        I wonder what the Spanish guys would have said if I’d had the pretty RC notice on the endorsements page??

        • Mike G


          This is very scary and definitely an escalation!

          Is there anything other than your 21 day notice that could have triggered them looking for you?

        • E

          @Mike G
          Nothing else should have triggered it. I’ve never had a second glance in Europe before

      • AJ

        I don’t think omitting London from the itinerary would be either effective or wise. The UK is part of the Five Eyes, so they have access to the US info, and would probably bounce a traveler independent of any US-generated paperwork or notifications. I think it’s also unwise, as one instantly risks violating Federal law. USMS, or whomever, could easily put a notification in CBP computers to grab a traveler upon returning to the US.

        I suspect one would have a better chance of slipping through the cracks via land or sea versus air, but since the UK has maintained its immigration borders, there’s still the possibility of the above situation.

        I also don’t know that the US only sends a Green Notice to the country of initial entry. If that were the case, why ask for one’s full itinerary. I believe a Green Notice is sent to every country one lists.

        Now if a traveler had no declared intention of visiting the UK, but while in NE France happened to do it on a lark, then there may be escapability on the 21-day crap. This would entail returning to the US via mainland Europe, but that’s a small inconvenience, IMHO.

        It’s amazing how one can get wrapped up in the beauty and history of Europe and make an unplanned detour…

    • Mike G

      Hi AD,

      I just returned from 15 days in Europe and had a great time, and I hope you will too.

      If you scroll back you can see my posts if you haven’t already.

      You didn’t mention if your offense involved a Minor. If it didn’t, the IML with its 21 day notice doesn’t apply to you. Also, in that case, since your offense was over 5 years ago, and your sentence was short, the customs officer in London can let you in at his own discretion.

      However, if your offense did involve a Minor, you do need to give the 21 day notice. Flying into Paris is no problem, but if you try to get into London, they will scan your passport, and I think they will deny you entry. Whether they will send you back where your flight just came from, or allow you to just fly on to the US, I don’t know. Also, your passport will likely be revoked after you get back.

      Personally, I would not try to stay in London, but if you do, and get in, let us all know. I was able to transit through Heathrow airport in London without a problem since I didn’t have to go through customs. My wife split from me in Paris, and came across to the UK on the ferry, and she did have to go through customs.

      Keep in mind that none of us knows what will actually happen in any situation since things can change “without notice”. All we can do is share our own experiences, and ones we have heard about, and give our best two cents worth.

      Have a great time in Paris and Germany!

      • PK

        @Mike G
        “Half of me wants to apply right away, the other half wants to wait for 2021 and see if I can get off first”

        My guess is that your Passport has already been revoked, by virtue of you signing the Certified Letter from the State Department. Or it could have been the case that the first revoke, and then send the letter, who knows.

        You may as well just get the new one at this point since holding on to the revoked one isn’t going to do you any good.

        Then hopefully we can get a final answer on what the heck these new Passports look like.

        Secondly, since your wife is a Permanent Resident in Mexico, and you are married to her, have you ever considered applying for the Family Unity Visa in Mexico?

        • CR

          My spouse is a Mexican national. I know I could apply for Mexican permanent residency at the Mexican Consular office, but I wonder if I’d be approved due to my status as a registrant and past criminal history. Or if I’d be denied entry at the border anyway (due to green notice and/or IML passport stamp), even if I had my permanent residency approved by the Mexican Consulate here in the states?

        • PK

          “I wonder if I’d be approved due to my status as a registrant and past criminal history.”
          Yes Family Unity trumps everything in MX

          “Or if I’d be denied entry at the border anyway”
          Don’t need a Visa or travel document to apply for Family Unity.

          “Even if I had my permanent residency approved by the Mexican Consulate here in the states?”
          It’s better to do it within the interior of Mexico.

        • CR

          @PK, thank you. I also googled it and found some info about obtaining permanent resident status. You can apply from within Mexico under certain circumstances, or from outside.

          It’s a little unclear to me, but it seems that if you apply for permanent resident status from within Mexico, you would need to have been granted temporary residence already for two years before applying. If you do it from outside Mexico, you can apply directly for permanent resident status. The latter seems preferable to me.

          The biggest problem with applying from within Mexico is that I have to already be there to do that. However, in order to go there, I will have to provide 21 day notice of my travel plans to my local police, who will forward it on to the US Marshals or DHS. The US will notify Mexico that I’m a registered sex offender (Interpol green notice, presumably), and I’ll be denied entry based on that. So that route would appear to be foreclosed.

          The next question is whether being granted permanent resident status before traveling to Mexico will make any difference. Hence my question about whether the Mexican government would grant it to me given my status and history. They wouldn’t get a green notice on me if I applied from here, but presumably they check an applicant’s criminal records, just as the US does when a foreign national seeks to travel to the US for any reason. Would the fact that I’m married to a Mexican national make a difference? I believe that the US will deny the spouse of a US citizen entry if the spouse has a serious criminal offense on his record. Does Mexico do the same? That is what I need to find out, and for that, I think I’ll have to consult a Mexican immigration attorney.

          Here are some sites I found a lot of good info on:

          There is also this immigration guide available for $20, which I might buy:

        • PK


          “I will have to provide 21 day notice of my travel plans to my local police, who will forward it on to the US Marshals or DHS. The US will notify Mexico that I’m a registered sex offender (Interpol green notice, presumably), and I’ll be denied entry based on that. So that route would appear to be foreclosed”
          Cross by land.

          “whether being granted permanent resident status before traveling to Mexico will make any difference. Hence my question about whether the Mexican government would grant it to me given my status and history.”
          It’s more difficult if not impossible to do it from the United States. You would be wasting your time and money.

          “Would the fact that I’m married to a Mexican national make a difference?”
          Yes. Mexico places higher consideration if you are married to a Mexican national, irregardless of your past criminal record.

      • @Mike G

        The 21-day travel notification rule for IML notification doesn’t have anything to do whether a minor versus no minor being involved, as far as it’s understood. It’s required regardless of the offense based upon the rules of SORNA. If you can show where a minor has to be involved to invoke the 21day travel notification rule, then that would be wonderful.

        • Anonymous

          I read to be subject to IML notification must have the component of a underage victim to trigger the green notice via Interpol. I am however in Florida now and they (FDLE) stated although I am not under IML I am under Florida’s rules and SORNA that allows for a travel notice to a destination country and Provide 21 days out of country notification. I have seen the notices they are a email and I believe 1 time not stuck for years like a green notice. It appears when I have given notice I have been denied entry to country’s expected…When I have not because of travel plan changes at the last minute nobody blinked. It’s clear the notice is the issue and I have been told by the immigration officers in at least 1 country to come back another day when the USA doesn’t notice them to deny my entry and return.

          “The International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 4573) was a bill that would require the notification of foreign governments when a citizen of United States registered as a sex offender for sexual offense involving a minor is going to be traveling to their country.”

        • @Anonymous

          The quoted text from Wikipedia you posted was language from a bill that did not pass or get signed. Keep reading to see what the two houses of Congress did and finalized.

          Then read:

        • Mike G

          Sorry if there is some mixing of apples and oranges here.

          First off, California is not a SORNA state, so we have never had to file the 21 Day notice required by SORNA states.

          I assume that if you live in a SORNA compliant state and your offense did not involve a minor, you would still have to give the 21 day notice of international travel. I don’t know what problems this causes when traveling, if any.

          The 21 day notice of international travel required by IML is a separate matter. It only applies to those convicted of sex crimes involving a minor. It also requires those registrants whose crimes involve a minor to have the new “marked” passport, and it authorizes Angel Watch to scan the airline flight manifests for all flights leaving the US so they can send notice to that country that the registrant is coming. This happens whether or not a 21 day notice was given (I speak from personal experience). There should be no notice sent by Angel Watch, and no requirement for a passport change for those whose crime did not involve a minor.

          Keep in mind, as I have stated before, that some countries deny entry based on any criminal record, sex or not, child or not. You need to check out any country you plan to visit if you have any kind of criminal record.

        • @Mike G

          Quit mixing fruits. International Megan’s Law does not have a 21-day advance notice requirement, SORNA does. This is for all states and territories within the United States regardless if your state is SORNA compliant or not because it’s Federal guidance. Whether the conviction involves a minor or not is irrelevant because as any sex offender who wants to travel and who is supposed to register knows, 21 day notification is due even if your LE registering office doesn’t know anything about it.

        • Anonymous

          The issue is IML allows for Interpol Green notices for qualified offenders SORNA does not yet it appears some people with no underage charge still get notices sent via email/fax. But not via a green notice. Some people and Attorneys I spoke to believe we have a violation with these notifications that are getting sent without a traveler having a underage charge.. The 21 day notice is for everybody.

        • AJ

          Green Notices are not the only way the Feds tell other countries about us. The in-country LE liaisons at the embassies and consulates also provide info to their counterparts. That’s no secret, either. I recall reading it in some sort of AWC document, or perhaps even SORNA or IML, I forget.

          My point is that the Feds send all sorts of info about all sorts of convicted citizens, and do it through multiple channels. If they choose only to send info about RCs who had charges involving minors would seem, at least to me, to be within LE’s discretion.

        • Mike G

          I wish I knew who I was replying to, but you are wrong. I have been registered for 23 years in California, traveled international over 50 times, and was never required to send a 21 day notice until IML was passed and implemented. And IML is only for offenses involving a minor.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          AJ: ” If they choose only to send info about RCs who had charges involving minors would seem, at least to me, to be within LE’s discretion.” Well, that’s really at the core of everything that is happening to us – not just IML – isn’t it? We can accept the proposition that our government can exchange intensely damaging information about us at its discretion and with anyone else, even foreign governments, or we can challenge it. I say that we must challenge it and stop laying down and getting steam-rollered. This must never to be seen as acceptable governance.

        • AJ

          @David Kennerly:
          I was no way saying I agree with the selective dissemination–or *any* dissemination–of criminal info to foreign entities. I was merely saying that LE is given broad authority in what it does with information and if they choose to focus on RCs, or DWIs, or jaywalkers, it’s completely within their discretion. I am nowhere near laying down or accepting it.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          AJ, I know that you know better than that, of course, but there is a habit of mind with which one must be aware in making these distinctions (“within their discretion”) which is important to guard against, i.e. appearing to confer legitimacy when speaking of established legal doctrine and acknowledging state claims of authority versus fundamental liberties which we possess but are denied. This isn’t just you but it is a larger issue in which I’m afraid that many are in danger of ceding our rights through their intimate familiarity with contemporary juridical scholarship and constitutional law.

          In other words, some are very admirably familiar and current in jurisprudence but I’ve noticed that often they (not you) have a regrettable tendency to “give up” in the face of what appear to be constitutional “brick walls” but which should be viewed within the prism of current zeitgeist. This is certainly true of some of our lawyers fighting for our cause and of their views on U.S. notification of foreign governments, in particular. I’m very much afraid that they have ceded this fight because it is unlikely to be easily won given what one branch of government has said is permissible for another to do. This is where it is essential that we argue for the cause of justice beyond the constraints imposed upon us by the state and its courts. Lawyers and legal scholars have their own form of tunnel vision in which fundamental principles of what is right can be lost in the midst of legal arcana and institutional artifact.

  34. Only ME

    i seen this i don’t know about if your green card noticed if you can still move here

  35. TS

    Here you go folks, here is what an IL gent faced when his passport was revoked after getting home from international travel (copy of the letter he received after traveling can be read in the article):

    Passport revoked (

    • PK

      I’m wondering if this is the same occurrence that happened to Mike G.

      • Mike G

        Yes @PK, he received the same letter that I did, was even dated on the same date. However, that person apparently didn’t have a passport card, since that wasn’t mentioned in his letter. My letter announced the revocation of my passport book and passport card. It said that I could apply for a new marked passport, but that I was not eligible for a new passport card.

  36. PK

    There are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding the Certified Mail Notification that a Passport has been revoked.

    Is this correct- SOME RSO’s but NOT ALL RSO’s have received the Certified Mail Notification that their Passport has been revoked, upon their return back to the United States, or prior to leaving the United States?

    To date, I have only seen 1 instance where Mike G received the Notification of Revocation after he had already returned to the United States. Is this correct?

    The other 2 published instances occurred prior to RSO’s leaving the United States. I believe these 2 occurrences involve the 2 Plaintiffs in the IML Lawsuit.

    • Mike G

      Of the two published revocations I read about before I left for Europe, one of them was received after returning to the US, I think from South or Central America.

    • T

      What happens if a registrant with this new passport travels to a foreign country with it and when a foreign country takes notice of this new passport that says this person is a cover sex offender and was convicted of a crime against a minor, what are they going to do? Should we take note to this and one day make this useful in a future lawsuit against the IML?

      • Mike G

        All we can do is wait until someone tries it and reports back. I’m guessing the identifier won’t be noticed a lot at first, but eventually everyone will know to watch for it. After that, who knows? But it won’t be a positive reaction. A flat out denial of entry would seem to be a good start for a lawsuit, or if there were several, maybe a class action lawsuit.

        • PK

          I’m still so confused about what the new Passports look like.

          The only reports that I’ve seen in this Blog, is that there is no identifier or endorsement at all.

          So which is it? Is there an endorsement or not?

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          PK, yes, there’s an endorsement or, really, more of a counter-endorsement/condemnation. I don’t have it at hand but there was an image of it available a while back showing it on the endorsement page (the back of the passport) that says something to the effect that the bearer has been convicted a sexual offense against a child.

        • PK

          @David Kenerly
          At least 2 other people have reported that their passport had no endorsement whatsoever.

          Do you know who has received the passport with the endorsement?

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          PK, I don’t know why some have not had the endorsement on their new passports. Were they with “child victims?” I also don’t know who has received this statement. We need a way to keep this stuff better organized, don’t we?

        • CR

          @PK, at least one person I recall reading about who reported not getting the mark had applied for a new passport without first having his passport revoked. It seems like the people who are getting their passports revoked are those to whom the law applies, who have actually traveled. So maybe it is the travel that triggers the revocation.

        • TS

          Those who are eligible for the identifier and travel make it easy for State Department to do their work by traveling. It fills in their stats/metrics. They aren’t going to research who needs one because a passport can be bought but never used for traveling (2nd ID purposes maybe). They can also wait until everyone needs a new one if they want to travel. It’s a game in a sense (sadly) for them with them having the upper hand. Not saying it’s right (it isn’t), but it’s their’s to play.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          If only there were a group whose specific mission was fighting IML…

  37. MANUEL

    I’m traveling to mexico in July I have (new passport American) but I also have a (Mexican passport) since a was born in mexico I hope they will let me in to mexico last time in 2015 a was denied entry I’m no longer in the Registry do I still have to give the 21 day notice or is just not necessary ? if they let me pass i will give more detail of the trip

  38. David

    @CR and TS: It does seems contrary to the stated intent of the IML for the State Department to knowingly allow an “identifier-eligible” registrant to travel first, then revoke his/her passport upon return. How does that protect the children of the country he/she just returned from visiting?? Apparently, “protect the children” is a red herring and the true intent is further punishment for past paid-for offenses.

    • TS


      That is a mighty big hole you just poked into their canvas with that statement of yours. They could wince on it, possibly, and hopefully would because your statement is spot on.

  39. David

    Indeed. If they are going to wait until AFTER I return from my next overseas trip, why not just wait until my current passport expires as there as clearly no rush to “protect the children.”

  40. PK

    How to Determine if your Passport has been Revoked:

    “I think just calling and asking if there is a problem with your passport, and you need not give them more information than that.”

    I called the National Passport Information Center: 1-877-487-2778

    They’re saying you actually need to send a written letter by postal mail:
    US Dept of State
    Office of Law Enforcement Laison
    44132 Mercure Circle
    PO Box 1227
    Sterling, VA 20166-1227

    Does anyone know of any other way to determine if in fact that a Passport has been revoked?

    • TS

      Without attempting to travel on it, of course, if you know it might be revoked…that could be expensive and embarrassing. It is an obvious “don’t do that”, but someone might try it without thinking first. Don’t need a Darwin award nominee.

      • PK

        @TS and other people may have no choice but to return to the U.S.

  41. David

    @PK: I think you are jumping the gun. Have you considered those instances in which passports have been revoked? From everything I have seen/read, the individual receives a Certified letter from the State Department stating that their passport has been revoked. And these letters have, to the best of my knowledge, all been received AFTER the person has returned from their overseas travel. It seems pretty clear that it is an individual’s overseas travel that triggers the revocation. Apparently, the State Department is not going to hunt down all the many passports that may have been issued to registrants – instead, they are waiting to be notified that a registrant is actually using a passport to travel overseas. (Why should they waste their time revoking the passport of someone who doesn’t even travel?)

    • @David

      There have been two documented instances here on this website of passports revoked prior to travel, which are part of the IML lawsuit. That is where the query on wanting to know if anyone knows how to find out if their passport has been revoked, other than directly asking through USPS. You after travel supposition appears to be the method, but no one really knows.

    • PK

      “I think you are jumping the gun. Have you considered those instances in which passports have been revoked?”

      I’ve actually been analyzing this very carefully.

      And yes, I am aware of the facts as we know them:
      “to the best of my knowledge, all been received AFTER a person has returned”

      Perhaps you were not informed of the fact that @Lee returned back to the United States, and received some type of Notice to pick-up a Certified Letter. He didn’t know who it was for or where it came from. He didn’t respond to the Notice, nor did he sign for whatever Certified Letter was possibly waiting for him.

      So now he is not sure if his Passport is revoked.

      That is why I posted the information about how to determine if one’s Passport is revoked. Not that “I’m jumping the gun”.

      This bears repeating:
      Does anyone know of any other way to determine if in fact that a Passport has been revoked?

      • David

        Well, here’s one way to find out: Buy a ticket to travel overseas, head to the airport, and see if you are allowed to board the plane.

        Or you could do what I did: Go to the State Department’s Passport website and call every phone number you find until you get someone to answer your question. I called 20 – 30 phone numbers before I finally reached someone who could provide me with an answer.

        • CR

          If you know the right number to call, why not post it here? You could save everyone else the effort of making their own 20 to 30 calls.

        • PK


          “I called 20 – 30 phone numbers before I finally reached someone who could provide me with an answer”

          Exactly, that would have made sense @CR. And what answer would that be David? Mail a letter or did they tell you straight-up that your passport was no longer valid?

  42. AD from MN

    Thank you everyone for responding. Sharing your experience is VERY beneficial.

    FYI – we have decided to AVOID London. We are now flying into PARIS…staying for 4-5 days…then train to Germany…then drive to Switzerland…flying back to ATLANTA from ZURICH.

    MIKE G – you wrote…

    “You didn’t mention if your offense involved a Minor. If it didn’t, the IML with its 21 day notice doesn’t apply to you. Also, in that case, since your offense was over 5 years ago, and your sentence was short, the customs officer in London can let you in at his own discretion.

    However, if your offense did involve a Minor, you do need to give the 21 day notice. Flying into Paris is no problem, but if you try to get into London, they will scan your passport, and I think they will deny you entry. Whether they will send you back where your flight just came from, or allow you to just fly on to the US, I don’t know. Also, your passport will likely be revoked after you get back.”

    Let me tell you…my offense was possession of child porn. I pleaded guilty to 1-count in December of 2012. I was sentenced to 14 days in county jail (with daily work release 6AM-6PM) and 5 years of probation. Sentence was completed in December of 2017.

    I have a couple more questions:

    1. Does IML consider my charge with a “minor”?
    2. You mentioned that “since your offense was over 5 years ago and your sentence was short”; does that allow me to avoid IML travel restrictions to UK and IRELAND?

    • AJ

      @AD from MN:
      my offense was possession of child porn.
      1. Does IML consider my charge with a “minor”?

    • Mike G


      I investigated UK (& Ireland) entry laws on their website a couple of years ago. With a “standard” crime over 5 years ago with a short sentence, the Customs Agent has discretion to let you in, according to the website. The issue of “sex” crimes was not addressed.

      My guess is that had your crime not involved a minor, they might let you in. But now, since you are subject to IML, they would receive the notice from Angel Watch, so I doubt you could get in.

      I think your plan to fly into Paris is a good one. Note that France will also receive the notice from Angel Watch, but for now, they have been ignoring them.

      Have a great trip!

      • AD from MN

        How about when I file my “21-Day”…do I need to include my train from Paris to Germany? I was hoping to “play it by ear” on when we left Paris…but we could narrow it down and buy train tickets in advance if it is mandatory on the “21-Day”.

        • @AD

          Are you listing your stay in Germany and when you arrive/staying?

        • AJ

          @AD from MN:
          How about when I file my “21-Day”…do I need to include my train from Paris to Germany? I was hoping to “play it by ear” on when we left Paris…but we could narrow it down and buy train tickets in advance if it is mandatory on the “21-Day”.
          The Feds cannot mandate how, when or if you travel, so you are under no obligation to buy tickets ahead of time to satisfy IML. IML, to my understanding, requires you to give as complete an itinerary as you have available when submitting it. If you’re undecided–which I’m *sure* you are 😉 –how you’re going to get from Paris to Germany (could be train, plane or automobile, right?), I’d simply state “unknown” or “undecided” if asked about that travel segment. If that’s a good faith statement, you have no fears. But if you somehow end up in Spain and not Germany, there may be a problem.
          On side note, did you serve all 5 years of probation? From what I know of MN sentencing laws, you were given a presumptive stayed sentence of Imposition or Execution (hopefully the former!) and the longest possible amount of time for that charge. However, from a PO officer I know in the TC area, typically one can get early discharge after 2/3 served (in your case, 40 months). Were you denied, or did you not even try? Just curious…and feel free to tell me “NOYB.” 🙂

        • AD from MN


          I put together a DETAILED itinerary and will be submitting to Washington County tomorrow morning along with the Notification form.

          To answer your ?s in regards to MN probation. I was charged and sentenced in WI. Moved across the river (thank God) between charged and sentencing. So my supervision was 100% in MN. MN encouraged me to petition WI when I was 2/3 done. WI does not allow for sentences to be amended down, only UP! (GO FIGURE)

          I had a good experience with supervision with Washington County. I really liked ALL the POs and there are still a good resource for me after supervision.


        • E

          @AD. Do you have to register in WI and MN? Just asking. My conviction was also in WI and my probation was moved out of state (20+ years ago). I still have to register in WI and my state if residence. Is that your experience?

        • AJ

          @AD from MN:
          Thanks for the info and clarification. Yeah, WI can be a PITA state for a lot of things. From what I’ve been told, the courts and supervision in the TC in general are pretty good, excepting the Ramsey Co. DA (who apparently is a total, nail-everyone-to-the-wall prick), and the courts in Anoka Co.

          Be sure to keep a copy of that itinerary and the notification form and have them with you for your “extra special” welcome home (read: secondary inspection) from CBP. It’s not needed, but can only smooth any hiccoughs that may occur. Have a great trip!

  43. Disallusioned

    I stumbled upon this blog and thought it well done. My apologies if the link has already been posted before.

    Someone actually gets it!

  44. Josh B

    “Does anyone know of any other way to determine if in fact that a Passport has been revoked?”

    I actually called the passport information center, and they indicated to me that the only way to determine if a passport is not valid, is to write a letter to the State Department Law Division, and specifically ask them if your passport has been revoked.

    From what I can tell there is no online system to verify one’s passport.

    It would probably would be good to know, if anyone has any other information about how to determine if a passport is valid.

    • TS

      By asking them, if you know you are eligible to have it revoked as defined by IML’s two part criteria, is a fine way of helping them ID who should have it revoked, so they can send a letter.

      • PK


        As I was explaining to @Lee that he need not be specific about why he thinks his Passport is no longer valid. He is simply “not sure about the expiration date” because he has misplaced his Passport, and he wants to know if he should continue to look for it.

        Obviously your right @TS by letting them know you are a covered RSO would be stupid, as this might trigger a revocation when one was not being planned.

        • TS


          I see what you’re saying.

          On the other side, they could reply with getting a replacement passport for the misplaced/lost passport to avoid ID theft,

          IMO, it is a fine line to walk if using the misplaced or lost topic when questioning the expiration date. In one vein, you want to know if the passport has been revoked, but in the other you don’t want to draw unwanted action against you either. One never knows what Dept of State will say or do on any given day.

  45. JM of Wi.

    Travel report–
    Passing into Netherlands after 21 day notice with identifier on passport and without identifier was the same. (traveled with several friends). Reentering US was also the same. 2ndary less than 1 minute wait. For me, 5 minutes for a friend with marked passport. I will report back if the travel brings on revocation in the following weeks…
    Note; I realized this trip how many times my passport was asked for. All hotels, Train, Casino… nice to still have my passport card. Using the passport is cumbersome and will eventually be both embarrassing and potentially dangerous.

    • PK

      @JM I’m a little bit confused.

      Your passport is marked? Or is your friend’s passport marked?

      What is the mark? Simply the statement on the last page of the passport?

      • Jm from wi

        Mine is not marked, my friends is. Mark is at back of passport. It has a statement something like the bearer of this passport is a registered sex offender…

        • PK

          @Jm from wi

          Now that you have returned from an international trip, are you expecting to receive the notice from the State Department that your Passport is being revoked? Do you care?

        • TS

          @Jm of Wi

          Given the history of revocation and IML implementation, should you expect a revocation letter given IML requirements and its pattern since implementation as noted here? OR Are you just reporting back how it went with someone who has the passport mark? Both of these perhaps?

        • JM of Wi.

          @ PK & TS
          I generally expect to have my passport revoked. I think crossing customs may trigger it.( I hope I am wrong). A friend I traveled with was proactive and just turned his in and bought a new one which came with the “unique identifier”.
          We both had appointments well prior to travel to get new ones with the Identifier. I decided to wait- he did not want to take any chances his would be revoked at the last minute.
          I know I read all posts, researched as best I could etc. before making my decision. I appreciated greatly the help and feedback and trip reports I received. It was a tough decision with all the non-refundable $ spent( hotels etc.)

        • PK

          @Jm from wi

          Did you return exactly on May 8th?

          Definitely please let us know whether you did or did not receive any certified letter about your Passport.

    • alucardi

      So… traveling (as of today 2018) to any European Union country is acceptable as an RSO? Would this include Iceland and some Scandinavian countries even though they are not part of the EU?

      • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

        I don’t think that we have heard anything about Iceland, yet although it is currently a candidate for EU admission. I would be surprised, however, if they block Registrants from entering, given their very liberal society. I also cannot be sure about non-EU European members. However, as far as I know, the EU itself has not taken a position on Registrant visitors and the fact that most of them (except for the U.K. which is in the middle of withdrawing and Ireland which definitely also bars us) do accept us is somewhat coincidental. It has more to do with European-held values than it does with being in the EU. Obviously, those things overlap. I had thought that, in addition to Russia barring us (which is known), one or two of the former Eastern Bloc countries might also bar us. I see no sign of it on the RTAG website, and certainly Poland is another question, but that seems still to be information missing from their list. Some of that is due to not getting reports from travelers but others are obviously an oversight, e.g. no mention of Russia despite that government’s stated policy (in law) to ban sex offenders from entering. That does not appear on RTAG’s list.

        • alucardi

          Thanks for your response. I am planning a trip (vacation) with my girlfriend this summer to Europe entering via Holland and taking the EuroTrain to southern Europe, then returning to the States via Iceland. I will keep the group posted of my adventure with this ridiculous law.

        • TS


          “…returning to the States via Iceland” how, e.g. a layover on the way back or actually seeing Iceland? I’m gathering the latter.

  46. David

    @ PK,
    No, when I spoke with the official from the State Department, it was when IML had just gone into effect. It was not a question about my own passport, but rather, it was a general question of what happens when a passport is revoked and what is USDOS procedure for revoking a passport. He told me that the procedure was that USDOS sends a certified letter to the passport holder notifying them that their passport has been revoked (effective as of the date of that letter, I assume). He said a passport is not instantaneously revoked (i.e., it is not instantly revoked just before your overseas flight lifts off from a U.S. runway.)

  47. Need to Know

    Appeals court ruled that cellphones cannot be searched at border without cause. I assume just having a prior conviction is not enough cause given details of this case. Would be great to know the real impact and what RSO can and cannot do/expect in secondary screening. Assume this also includes computers too.

    • CR

      This ruling will have no impact on registrants during secondary screening. CBP will continue to inspect and/or retain our electronic devices, as they did before the ruling. The CBP only needs reasonable suspicion of a crime in order to conduct a search. Reasonable suspicion is a lower legal standard than probable cause. They have reasonable suspicion based on a person’s status as a registered sex offender.

    • David

      Thank you for posting this link, Need To Know. I will contact CBP and ask them if this applies to individuals who are required to provide the 21-day travel notification. And, if so, upon what are they basing their “reasonable suspicion” of a crime? I understand what CR has posted. However, merely being required to register due to a decades-old offense does not seem adequate to meet the required standard of “reasonable suspicion of a [current] crime”.

      • David

        @ CR, Let’s not make their arguments for them and let’s not accept their efforts to subjugate and oppress us. We need to fight these bastards every time and on every front. No rolling over!! No playing dead!! We fight!!

      • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

        I’m tempted to say “Save your breath,” but would be mildly curious to know what comes out of their mouth even though I am certain (based on a Judge’s explicit directions several years ago) that Registrants do not enjoy any such protection. Simply having a sex crime on our record is considered reasonable suspicion for the purpose of intensive searching at the border. That’s already been ruled on. I also would not believe anything that comes out of Homeland Security’s mouths. CBP is the absolute worst law enforcement agency in a field of terrible law enforcement agencies.

      • CR

        @David, I wasn’t making their argument for them. It comes from Cotterman v United States, from several years ago, circa 2013-2014. It was a sex offender case.

        An en banc panel of the 9th Circuit determined that reasonable suspicion was required to perform a forensic analysis of an electronic device seized by border patrol. However, the court also held that there was reasonable suspicion in Cotterman’s case because he was a convicted sex offender and there was an alert informing CBP of the possibility of child pornography.

        SCOTUS denied a certiorari petition from Cotterman, letting the decision of the 9th circuit stand.

        Here is the denied petition for certiorari:

        Here’s another article that talks about this case;

        • TS


          This brings to mind the offense previously committed by Mr. Cotterman and the potential for recidivism leading to the inspection as CBP may see it.

          The only way to know the electronic inspection pattern is to ask who else has had or who has not had an electronics inspection with a similar history to Mr. Cotterman or does not have a similar history to Mr. Cotterman. Is it blanket inspections for all RCs or for those only who have offended where a minor was involved, e.g. like the passport marking?

    • David

      Go to Google News and search “Kolsuz” – there are several news articles about the Court’s decision. Here’s another good one:

    • David

      Wow!! These CBP agents chose the WRONG people’s phones to search!! 10 plaintiffs altogether including the owner of a security technology business, an employee of JPL, a computer programmer, a few journalists, ….AND a Harvard graduate student in international security and journalism ….. AND a former U.S. Airforce captain and professor of homeland security!! CBP poked the wrong bears!! 😄

    • alucardi

      Be advised that with an RSO Flag in the database you will be subject to all electronics search. I’ve been through this situation when arriving to LAX. At Second Revision the Custom agent will immediately call for an sex crimes specialist CPB officer that will kindly ask for access (unlock) to your electronics. He stated that I had the right to refuse access “but” by doing so, he would have to confiscate the devices until forensics had completed the review. And that would take some time and he would have to hold me at the airport until such issue has been cleared, thus in the interest of time I give him access to the devices.

      In front of me he review both my cell phones (personal and business) as well as my laptop plus my luggage. He spent around 15 minutes at each device. Upon review completion, he wrote some notes in his notebook and returned the electronics to me while stating that I was free to leave. He mentioned that it would be best if and when I travel internationally to travel as light as possible and with minimal electronics.

      So now, when traveling int’l I will only carry a basic phone with no camera capabilities and one suitcase with the basics or an smartphone with the basics installed. I assume/hope, I can always ship (UPS/FedEx) any excess clothing/souvenirs from the last country a visited. Advance planning will yield better results.

      • David

        @ alucardi: I have now returned from Europe three times and have never had my cellphone searched, never been asked for my cellphone, and never even asked if I had a cellphone in my possession (which I did). I am mentioning this because there seems to be no consistency with regard to CBP border searches of electronics. Some will f#ck with us just to be @ssholes while others don’t hassle us.

  48. Canadian

    Hi guys,

    I’m a Canadian and had my passport revoked on me in February…
    I have since hired a immigration lawyer to get it back,we work very hard to submit them information on why i’m not a risk of offending abroad..I am just waiting on their response to the revocation.
    They also said they would issue a green notice in my name base on the same reason why i got my passport revoked…Now my lawyer is working on the Green notice and from i’m seeing the goverment is breaking so many of our rights doing this…I’ts absurd!!…

    • Mike G

      Wow, I had no idea that Canada has their own International Megan’s Law and Angel Watch!

      Let us know if your lawyer is successful, but it probably wouldn’t change anything for us in the US.

      • Canadian

        Sadly my request to get my passport back has not work…clearly a dead zone..

  49. TR

    If a person is no longer required to be on the registry and wants to travel internationally, does that person still have to comply with the IML of giving a 21 day advance notification and also getting this crazy passport?

  50. E

    Travel report UPDATE:

    I posted the below on April 25 after returning from Europe. I have not yet received a letter from the State Dept revoking my passport, though now that I’ve said it it will probably come today.

    Please note that I was pulled aside after a flight WITHIN SCHENGEN COUNTRIES. While it ended up ok, that’s still a scary escalation.

    Just got back from Spain. This is the first time I’ve had to give my full itinerary (change of rules in my Sorna compliant state to give all itinerary information as of this year). I used to just give my outbound flight info to the first destination outside the US.

    No issue at passport control in Germany (same as always). But when I got off my flight from Germany to Spain, Spanish customs was looking for me. They were checking all passports as people got off the plane and when they got to mine, they nodded at each other and escorted me to customs inspection. They stopped looking at any other passports so they were def looking for me. ON AN INTRA-SCHENGEN FLIGHT.

    one guy xrayed my luggage but looked no further. The other guy had my passport and disappeared. First guy asked me how long I was staying, what hotel, etc. I’d put all that on my 21 day notice but they didn’t seem to have that info. He was extremely friendly and my impression was he was mystified why they had to pull me out. He was not treating me with suspicion. A couple minutes later he went and got my passport and said, have a nice trip. (I thought I was on my way home for sure!!)

    Sooooo, I’ve been in Europe 3-4x per year for business for years. For the rest of the trip I was worried the local Spanish cops would show up at my hotels. But that never happened and my departure from Spain was no issue, and transit through Germany with passport control no issue as always (on the way home).

    I wonder what the Spanish guys would have said if I’d had the pretty RC notice on the endorsements page?

    • E

      Nevermind. Got the certified revocation letter from State dept today

      • Need to Know

        Sorry to hear. Assume you will get a new passport, so would be great if you can update us on the process. For example, on the application only asks if this is a new passport, renewal, or lost/stolen. How do we answer that? Also curious how long it takes to get a new one.

        Good luck! And please keep us updated.

      • PK

        17 days after you returned?

        • E

          It was about 21 days after my return

        • E

          I’m wondering about suing for an injunction to fight the revocation letter. @Mike R or anyone else have any thoughts on this? I don’t think I have the guts or time to go Pro Se as you have, though I’m impressed by your effort. I don’t know where I’d start.

        • PK


          Did the Certified Letter arrive at your house with your name on it? So you specifically had to sign for this? Or could anyone have signed for this?

      • JoshB

        I think E’s comment is the last straw for me.

        I was considering returning to the United States, because of the fact that I’m loosing a ton of money by not working.

        The problem is that I’m in the middle of trying to get a Visa in a country in South America, and the application has among other things, the original passport number. Needless to say, things are a little slow down here, and this process could take months for them to even come back with a decision. Being an RSO makes my visa application a little more complicated to be sure, however, I am married down here, which is a plus.

        I’ve simply seen too many reports of people receiving the revocation letter.

        The risks are just too great that they would revoke my Passport in the midst of my visa application process, and I would probably have no way of knowing about it. They would probably just deny my application outright, for providing the immigration here with a passport that has become revoked.

        • PK

          I’ve actually changed my plane ticket 4 times, to return to the United States.

          On one hand I really need to return back to work, and every week that goes by is costing me a ton of money. I’m turning away project after project, which is so against my nature.

          On the other hand, I’ve worked pretty hard to get to the point where I’m at now with my visa process. It’s taken years to first find the right Attorney, and then plan about how and when to start my process. I am 95% sure that they would revoke my passport within 21 days of returning to the United States. The same passport number that is on my visa application, which I’m sure is what they use to conduct their background investigation. This would simply mess-up the entire process, which I may or may not be able to resolve. Or perhaps I could restart the entire process all over again, with a marked passport. I don’t think so.

          My visa process could take another 6 months, nobody knows.

          Talk about stress!!

    • Tom

      I traveled to Hong kong in February. Upon return in secondary processing they revoked my passport in DFW I left with them having my passport. I received the revocation letter a week or so later.

      I’m certain the return was what triggered the notice.

      • JoshB


        This is the first time I have heard where they took someone’s passport right there at the airport.

        Could you elaborate generally about long ago your charge was, and if it was a Misdemeanor or Felony?

        • Tom

          My offense was 15 years ago. It’s a misdemeanor child related offense and I’m the highest level thanks to bullshit evaluation.

          I read somewhere else a similar situation that they took the passport but their story was worse. They were refused entry to the country they were going and revoked passport upon return.

          I’m currently fighting to get my wife here thanks to the AWA. She knows everything but they still are “protecting” her so not letting her come. This is such bullshit that two adults can’t be together.

        • PK


          “I’m the highest level thanks to bullshit evaluation”

          What do you mean by highest level? What state are you registered in?

        • PK


          I think that it’s possible the reason that they snatched your passport when you returned at the airport, is that your passport had already been revoked. You just didn’t know it. Perhaps the State Department attempted to send you a Certified Letter before you left, and you didn’t get it.

          Again, this is only a possibility. CBO could have determined your “high level” and decided to take matters into their own hands, and take your passport right then and there.

        • AJ

          CBO could have determined your “high level” and decided to take matters into their own hands, and take your passport right then and there.
          Does CBP have that authority to act autonomously regarding passport seizure? I suspect not, since it’s a document of the State Department, not Homeland Security. That leads me to believe CBP got some sort of notification from State saying, “let this person in, but seize the passport for us, as it’s revoked once the traveler is inside the United States.” This may be State’s new method of handling things–it certainly ensures they get their document out of your hands! Just my $0.02.

        • PK


          Yes but there has only been 1 instance where the CBP seized the Passport.

          Every other instance that I know about, involves the State Department sending a Certified Letter to revoke.

        • TS

          What are the other specifications of the airport passport revocation? I already understand that it was revoked upon return from overseas travel by customs border patrol at the DFW airport.

          Was it back-to-back International trips to where the letter could not catch up before the second international trip started? To me, in my opinion, it appears to be a timing issue from when the letter was stamped and mailed to when the individual returned with a revoked passport. Was there a precipitating international trip that was returned from that started the letter process or something else? A few more finer details might be helpful in understanding what appears to be an outlying data point in passport revocation.

        • T


          Offence occurred in New York.

          Bullshit evaluation is because they used things like drug and alcohol as things to increase my level. There was nothing involved in my offense and I so rarely drink most people would say never if asked. Also said established relationship for victimization when knew the family since I was a child.

        • T


          I’m fairly certain they had not revoked it before as I was out of the country for 3 weeks without being informed. And only received the notice about 2 weeks after my passport was confiscated.

          Before leaving I had not been out of the country since May.

          Trip was my second to Hong Kong to be with my wife from the Philippines. First was last May. This time I did get pulled into second inspection in Hong Kong first time I didn’t. Both trips notified reporting agency before the travel.

          Not sure if the level on the registry has anything to do with why mine was taken at customs.

        • PK

          @T and @Tom is the same person?

          Or do we have 2 instances of someone’s passport revoked passing through Customs?

          Are you a Level 2 in NY? I am.

          “Bullshit evaluation is because they used things like drug and alcohol as things to increase my level”
          They used previous marijuana use to increase my evaluation.

          My Lawyer has indicated that someone had succeeded in a Level Reduction Petition based on those BS factors, and that he would raise the same issue for my Petition as well.

          Have you considered or tried a Level Reduction?

        • TS


          Thank you for that update. Your revoke makes no sense.

        • T


          Yes T and Tom the same changed it as I realized should have used less identifying name.

          I have considered the level reduction but it is pointless since lvl 1 is 20 years in NY. I am currently lvl 3 and my offense was a misdemeanor.

          When I get close to 20 years I will probably fight ut.

      • TS

        That’s interesting to hear it was revoked upon return through CBP secondary inspection. I don’t think this particular, or type of, instance has been noted here before but I could be off on that and not remembering it being previously noted. Either way, that’s three ways they are revoking passports, i.e. 1) after return home through a letter, 2) on the way out of the country, or 3) on return and going through CBP secondary inspection. They really could get you coming or going…

        • PK

          @TS That is well noted.

          Now if there only was a way to find out if a passport is actually revoked.

          For example, what happens if someone refuses to accept the certified letter?

        • TS


          Still revoked in the system I bet. The letter is notification and direction. They’ll get the passport at the airport when it’s attempted to be used regardless is my thinking.

        • E

          @PK. Agree with other post. My letter stated my passport IS REVOKED. So regardless of whether you sign for the letter it seems the passport is dead.

        • PK


          Do you think it makes any sense to wait to get the new Passport with the Endorsement?

          I’m wondering if the Lawsuit were not be dismissed and continue, if the next step would be for Janice to file a Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

          A preliminary injunction would put a halt on the issuance of Passports with Sex Offender Endorsements, would it not?

        • E

          @PK. Janice’s suggestion to me was to wait till after June 25 to apply for the new one, if I can avoid traveling before then. However, I wouldn’t speculate on the exact WHY to wait, but your supposition on what might happen if the suit is not dismissed sounds good to me!!

        • PK


          June 25th is the date for Oral Arguments, and I doubt the Judge would make a decision that day as to whether he would want to dismiss the IML Challenge.

          I’m guessing at some point after his decision, then Janice would hopefully apply for a Preliminary Injunction, which again could take a month or longer for a decision.

        • PK


          The bigger question should be:
          An RSO has already received the new Passport with the Sex Offender Endorsement.
          If an Preliminary Injunction were to be successful, could they then claim that Passport as “lost” and then receive another Passport without the endorsement?

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