Sex Offender Registry Requirements Across the United States

What is the Sex Offender Registry?

Every state and U.S. territory requires those convicted of sex offenses to be added to a registry to be monitored and tracked after their release back into the community.  Information about the offender is collected and shared with local and federal authorities, as well as the general public.  Requirements and restrictions are often placed on registered sex offenders.  That registration process is unique in each state and U.S. territory.

Reentry (2)

What is SORNA?

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) was passed in 2006 as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act to provide federal standards for jurisdictions to follow.  SORNA calls for states and U.S. territories to meet minimum requirements for sex offender registration and notification.

Why Are the Requirements for Sex Offender Registration Different Everywhere?

While SORNA’s guidelines streamlined registration and notification requirements across the country, these requirements are far from uniform.  Each jurisdiction determines the details of their own registration process.  This leaves a patchwork of rules for sex offenders that vary widely depending on where a registrant lives or works.

Where PIN Comes In

Probation Information Network developed a list of questions regarding the sex offender registration requirements across the country.  These are questions that might concern the public, victims and their advocates, or those who are facing registration or are currently registered and their loved ones.  We then searched the statutes or code of each jurisdiction for the laws surrounding sex offender registration and notification.  Where necessary, we consulted with the law enforcement agency in charge of the jurisdiction’s registry to provide clear and concise answers to the following questions:

 

    • What is the duration of registration?

How long must a sex offender remain on the registry?  The length of time a sex offender must comply with registration requirements varies widely depending on the jurisdiction where the registrant lives, and the level of the offense committed.  All but 2 jurisdictions offer a path for eventual removal from the registry for at least some of their registrants.

 

    • Must the immediate community be notified directly, either by the offender or law enforcement?

Every jurisdiction has passive community notification in the form of a public sex offender registry website.  Concerned citizens are free to search the website and can sign up for email notifications if a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.  Some jurisdictions go even further and require active notification, where either law enforcement or the offender themselves is required to directly notify the immediate community that a sex offender is in the area.  This can take many forms, including electronic, mail, or in-person notification, publication in local newspapers, and community meetings.

 

    • What are the residence distance restrictions?

Are there any restrictions on where a registered sex offender can live?  Some jurisdictions restrict registrants from living within a measured distance of certain places.  This restriction could be for all registrants, or only for higher-level offenders or those under supervision.  Some jurisdictions do not have a state-wide restriction but do allow local jurisdictions to enact their own.

 

    • What are the employment distance restrictions?

Registered sex offenders are usually restricted from certain types of employment, and from working at establishments that specifically cater to minors.  Some jurisdictions go even further and restrict registrants from working within a measured distance of certain places.

 

    • Is an employer’s information included on the public registry?

Returning citizens of every type need to find employment upon reentry, and sex offenders are no exception.  Some jurisdictions include registrants’ employment information on the public registry website.  This could be the employer’s address or in some cases the name of the employer.

 

    • Are online identifiers included on the public registry?

Some jurisdictions require registered sex offenders to report any identifiers they use online, such as email addresses and social media user names.  In some jurisdictions that information is included on the public registry website, separate from the registrant’s profile, in a feature that allows the pubic to search by specific identifiers.

 

    • Is a state-issued ID required to be labeled?

Some jurisdictions require a state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, to be labeled to identify the holder as a registered sex offender.  This label could be the words “Sex Offender” printed on the ID in a prominent place or a more subtle designation known to law enforcement.

 

    • What is the cost of registration?

Is there a fee to register as a sex offender?  Some jurisdictions pass on some of their administrative costs to the registrants.  This could be a one-time fee paid only upon initial registration, or an ongoing fee paid annually or quarterly.  Some jurisdictions charge a fee every time a registrant updates their information.

 

    • How long can a registrant be in the state for work or education before registration is required?

Does a sex offender have to register if they work or go to school in a different state?  It depends on the state, and how long the registrant will be there.  Some jurisdictions require registrants to notify authorities immediately, while others allow limited stays without requiring registration.  Registrants currently under supervision usually need permission from their Parole or Probation Officer before traveling and should always consult their supervising officer.

 

    • How long can a registrant visit the state before registration is required?

Can a registered sex offender go on vacation?  Does a sex offender have to register if they visit a different state?  It depends on the state, and how long the registrant will be there.  Some jurisdictions require registrants to notify authorities immediately, while others allow limited stays without requiring registration.  Registrants currently under supervision usually need permission from their Parole or Probation Officer before traveling and should always consult their supervising officer.

 

The answers provided are taken directly from the laws found on the state or territory’s legislative website or, where necessary, from the website of the law enforcement agency in charge of the jurisdiction’s registry.  In some cases, we contacted state or territory officials for clarification and have directly quoted those conversations.

Disclaimer

While we stand by our research, it is for informational purposes only.  It should not be considered legal advice and, while we strive to provide accurate and up to date information, it is not guaranteed to be complete or correct.  We provide links to each jurisdiction’s legislative and law enforcement websites and maintain a directory of lawyers who specialize in sex offender registration laws.  For those currently under supervision, consult with your Parole or Probation Officer for guidance.

Are online identifiers included on the public registry?

Some jurisdictions require registered sex offenders to report any identifiers they use online, such as email addresses and social media user names.  In some jurisdictions that information is included on the public registry website, separate from the registrant’s profile, in a feature that allows the pubic to search by specific identifiers.

Online Identifiers Included on the Public Registry Map

5 states and territories require online identifiers to be included on the public registry website.

This comparison chart is intended to be a quick reference guide to compare the sex offender registry requirements across jurisdictions.  It does not provide enough details for a full and accurate picture and should not be used by itself, but rather as a tool alongside the full-text versions.

StateAre online identifiers included on the public registry?
AlabamaNo
AlaskaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
ArizonaFor Levels 2 & 3: Searchable by specific identifiers separate from registrant's profile
ArkansasMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
CaliforniaNo
ColoradoMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
ConnecticutNo
DelawareMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
FloridaSearchable by specific identifiers separate from registrant's profile
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
IdahoNo
IllinoisMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
IndianaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
IowaSearchable by specific identifiers separate from registrant's profile
KansasNo
KentuckyNo
LouisianaSearchable by specific identifiers separate from registrant's profile
MainePre-2013: No; Post-2013: Must register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
MarylandMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
MassachusettsNo
MichiganMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
MinnesotaNo
MississippiNo
MissouriSearchable by specific identifiers separate from registrant's profile
MontanaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
NebraskaNo
NevadaNo
New HampshireMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
New JerseyNo
New MexicoMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
New YorkMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
North CarolinaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
North DakotaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
OhioMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
OklahomaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
OregonNo
PennsylvaniaPost 12/20/12: Must register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
South DakotaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
TennesseeMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
TexasMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
UtahNo
VermontNo
VirginiaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
WashingtonNo
West VirginiaMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
WisconsinMust register online identifiers, but they are not included on the public registry
WyomingNo
Washington DCNo
GuamNo
NMINo
Puerto RicoNo
US Virgin IslandsNo

Alabama

No.

Alaska

While offenders must register online identifiers [AK Stat § 12.63.010 (b) (1) (I)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Arizona

Offenders must register online identifiers.  While this information is not included on an offender’s registry profile, there is a separate search feature that allows the public to search by specific online identifiers for Levels 2 & 3.

A.R.S. § 13-3821.

P. Any person who is required to register under subsection A of this section shall register the person’s required online identifier and the name of any website or internet communication service where the identifier is being used or is intended to be used with the sheriff from and after December 31, 2007, regardless of whether the person was required to register an identifier at the time of the person’s initial registration under this section.

A.R.S. § 13-3827.

D. The department of public safety shall maintain a separate database and search function on the website that contains any required online identifier of sex offenders whose risk assessments have been determined to be a level two or level three and the name of any website or internet communication service where the required online identifier is being used.  This information shall not be publicly connected to the name, address and photograph of a registered sex offender on the website.

E. The department of public safety may disseminate a registered sex offender’s required online identifier and the name of any corresponding website or internet communication service to a business or organization that offers electronic communication services for comparison with information that is held by the requesting business or organization.  The requesting business or organization shall notify the department of public safety when a comparison of the information indicates that a registered sex offender’s required online identifier is being used on the business’s or organization’s system. The requesting business or organization shall not further disseminate that the person is a registered sex offender.

K. For the purpose of this section, “required online identifier”:

1. Means:

(a) Any email address information, instant message or chat information.

(b) A social networking platform account name or identifier.

(c) Any identifier used for communicating on a mobile application or internet website.

(d) A mobile telephone number.

(e) Any mobile device identification information.

(f) Any other similar internet communication name.

2. Does not include a social security number, date of birth, personal password or pin number.

Arkansas

While offenders must register email addresses and social media account information [AR Code § 12-12-906(g)(3)], this information is not included on the public registry.

California

No.

CA Penal Code § 290.45

(h) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, a designated law enforcement entity shall only use an Internet identifier submitted pursuant to this chapter, or release that Internet identifier to another law enforcement entity, for the purpose of investigating a sex-related crime, a kidnapping, or human trafficking.

(2) A designated law enforcement entity shall not disclose or authorize persons or entities to disclose an Internet identifier submitted pursuant to this chapter to the public or other persons, except as required by court order.

Colorado

While offenders must register online identifiers [CO Rev Stat § 16-22-108 (2.5) (a)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Connecticut

No.

CT Gen Stat § 54-258

(a)(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, a registrant’s electronic mail address, instant message address or other similar Internet communication identifier shall not be a public record, except that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection may release such identifier for law enforcement or security purposes in accordance with regulations adopted by the department. The department shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to specify the circumstances under which and the persons to whom such identifiers may be released including, but not limited to, providers of electronic communication service or remote computing service, as those terms are defined in section 54-260b, and operators of Internet web sites, and the procedure therefor.

Delaware

While offenders must register email addresses and internet identifiers [11 DE Code § 4120 (d)(2)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Florida

Offenders must register email addresses and internet identifiers.  While this information is not included on an offender’s registry profile, there is a separate search feature that allows the public to search by specific email addresses or internet identifiers.

FL Stat § 943.0435

(4)(e)1. A sexual offender shall register all electronic mail addresses and Internet identifiers, and each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name, with the department through the department’s online system or in person at the sheriff’s office within 48 hours after using such electronic mail addresses and Internet identifiers. If the sexual offender is in the custody or control, or under the supervision, of the Department of Corrections, he or she must report all electronic mail addresses and Internet identifiers, and each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name, to the Department of Corrections before using such electronic mail addresses or Internet identifiers. If the sexual offender is in the custody or control, or under the supervision, of the Department of Juvenile Justice, he or she must report all electronic mail addresses and Internet identifiers, and each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name, to the Department of Juvenile Justice before using such electronic mail addresses or Internet identifiers.

Georgia

No.

Hawaii

While offenders must register online identifiers [HI Rev State § 846E-2 (d) (5)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Idaho

No.

ID Code § 18-8323

Information within the sexual offender registry collected pursuant to this chapter is subject to release only as provided by this section.

(3)  The following information shall not be disclosed to the public:

(d)  Any internet identifier associated with and/or provided by the offender;

Illinois

While offenders must register online identifiers [730 ILCS 150/3 (a)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Indiana

While offenders must register online identifiers [IC 11-8-8-8 (a) (7)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Iowa

Offenders must register internet identifiers pursuant to IA Code § 692A.101 23.a (9).  While this information is not included on an offender’s registry profile, there is a separate search feature that allows the public to search by specific email addresses or internet identifiers.

IA Code § 692A.121

9. A person may contact the department or a county sheriff’s office to verify if a particular internet identifier or telephone number is one that has been included in a registration by a sex offender.

Kansas

No.

K.S.A. 22-4909

(f) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the following information shall not be disclosed other than to law enforcement agencies:

(5) internet identifiers of the offender.

Kentucky

No.

Louisiana

Offenders must register email addresses and internet identifiers. While this information is not included on an offender’s registry profile, there is a separate search feature that allows the public to search by specific email addresses or internet identifiers.

LA Rev Stat § 15:542.C

(m) Every e-mail address, online screen name, or other online identifiers used by the offender to communicate on the internet. If the offender uses a static internet protocol address, that address shall also be provided to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Required notice must be given before any online identifier or static internet protocol address is used to communicate on the internet. For purposes of this Subparagraph, “static internet protocol address” is a numerical label assigned to a computer by an internet service provider to be the computer’s permanent address on the internet.

Maine

Pre-2013 applies to a person sentenced prior to January 1, 2013.

Post-2013 applies to a person who commits criminal conduct and is sentenced on or after January 1, 2013.

Pre-2013 No.

Post-2013 While offenders must register online identifiers [34-A ME Rev Stat § 11281.1.A], this information is not included on the public registry.

Maryland

While offenders must register online identifiers [MD. Crim Pro Code Ann. § 11-706 (a) (7)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Massachusetts

No.

Michigan

While offenders must register all electronic mail addresses and internet identifiers [MI Comp L § 28.728 (1) (i)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Minnesota

No.

Mississippi

No.

Miss. Code Ann. § 45-33-49

(4) (b) (iii) The public website shall not display the identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration under this chapter or the registered sex offender’s social security number, travel or immigration document numbers, Internet identifiers, telephone numbers, or any arrests not resulting in conviction.

Missouri

Offenders must register online identifiers. While this information is not included on an offender’s registry profile, there is a separate search feature that allows the public to search by specific online identifiers.

MO Rev Stat § 589.402.

3. Only the information listed in this subsection shall be provided to the public in the registered sexual offender search:

(10) Any online identifiers, as defined in section 43.651, used by the person.  Such online identifiers shall not be included in the general profile of an offender on the web page and shall only be available to a member of the public by a search using the specific online identifier to determine if a match exists with a registered offender.

Montana

While offenders must register online identifiers [MT Code § 46-23-504 (3) (h)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Nebraska

No.

NE Code § 29-4009.

(1) Information obtained under the Sex Offender Registration Act shall not be confidential, except that the following information shall only be disclosed to law enforcement agencies, including federal or state probation or parole agencies, if appropriate:

(e) A sex offender’s email addresses, instant messaging identifiers, chat room identifiers, global unique identifiers, and other Internet communication identifiers;

Nevada

No.

New Hampshire

While offenders must register online identifiers [RSA 651-B:4-a], this information is not included on the public registry.

New Jersey

No.

New Mexico

While offenders must register online identifiers [NM Stat § 29-11A-4 B. (8)], this information is not included on the public registry.

New York

While offenders must register internet identifiers [NY Corr L § 168-B. 1. (a)], this information is not included on the public registry.

North Carolina

While offenders must register online identifiers [NC Gen Stat § 14-208.7(b)(7)], this information is not included on the public registry.

North Dakota

While offenders must register online identifiers [N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-15. 7], this information is not included on the public registry.

Ohio

While offenders must register internet identifiers [ORC § 2950.04 (C)(10)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Oklahoma

While offenders must register online identifiers [57 OK Stat § 57-584 A. 9. and D. 5], this information is not included on the public registry.

Oregon

No.

Pennsylvania

Post 12/20/12 applies to those whose offense was committed on or after December 20, 2012.

Pre 12/20/12 applies to those whose offense was committed before December 20, 2012.

While Post 12/20/12 offenders must register online identifiers [42 Pa C.S. § 9799.16 (b) (2)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Rhode Island

No.

RI Gen L § 11-37.1-12

(b) (4) (iii) (H) The following information shall not be available to the public on the sex offender registry website:

(V) Internet identifiers (as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 16911);

South Carolina

While offenders must register online identifiers [SC Code § 23-3-555 (B)(1)], this information is not included on the public registry.

South Dakota

While offenders must register online identifiers [SDCL § 22-24B-8 (13)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Tennessee

While offenders must register online identifiers [TN Code § 40-39-203 (i) (17)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Texas

While offenders must register any online identifier [TX Code Crim Pro Art 62.051.(c)(7)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Utah

No.

UT Code § 77-41-110

(4) Except as provided in Subsection (5), the Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Notification and Registration website shall include the following registry information:

(a) all names and aliases by which the offender is or has been known, but not including any online or Internet identifiers;

Vermont

No.

Virginia

While offenders must register online identifiers [VA Code § 9.1-903. B], this information is not included on the public registry.

Washington

No.

West Virginia

While offenders must register online identifiers [WV Code § 15-12-2 (d) (8)], this information is not included on the public registry.

Wisconsin

While offenders must register online identifiers [WI Stat § 301.45 (2) (a) 6m], this information is not included on the public registry.

Wyoming

No.

WY Stat § 7-19-303

(c) (iii) Notification of registration under this act shall be provided to the public through a public registry, as well as to the persons and entities required by paragraph (ii) of this subsection. The division shall make the public registry available to the public, with the exception of internet identifiers, telephone numbers and adjudications as delinquent unless disclosure is authorized pursuant to W.S. 7-19-309, through electronic internet technology and shall include:

Washington DC

No.

Guam

No.

Title 9 GCA § 89.11

(e) Prohibited Information. The following information shall not be available to the public on the sex offender registry website:

(5) any Internet Identifiers.

Northern Mariana Islands

No.

6 CMC §1374

(b) Prohibited Information. The following information shall not be available to the public on the sex offender registry website:

(5) Internet identifiers.

Puerto Rico

No.

L.P.R.A. § 536f.

The following information shall not be disclosed:

(e) The Internet site, electronic mail, and username that identifies the sex offender in social networks.

U.S. Virgin Islands

No.

14 V.I.C. § 1727

(f) The public sex offender registry website shall not include the following information:

(5) internet identifiers (as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 16911 [now see 34 U.S.C. § 20911]);

Sex Offender Registry Removal

Some states offer the possibility for registrants to be removed from the registry after meeting certain requirements.  Visit the Collateral Consequences Resource Center for a state by state comparison of relief from sex offender registration obligations.

If your state offers a path off the registry, search our directory for a lawyer with experience in registry removal applications.