“Every person who commits certain sex acts must register with the police department as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life while residing in California, or while attending school or working in California. (Pen. Code, § 290 subd. (a).)
The convicted sex offender must register for his or her lifetime with local law enforcement for each city or county in which the offender resides and to update that registration annually or upon any relevant change.
Registered sex offenders must update their information annually with local law enforcement, within five working days before or after their birthday. Some sex offenders must update their information more often: transients must update every 30 days and sexually violent predators must update every 90 days. (Pen. Code, §§ 290–290.024) The California Sex Offender Registry keeps track of the next required update, and if a registered sex offender violate the update requirements, the website will show the registrant as being in violation.
Registrants who attend colleges or institutes of higher education in California must register in person with the campus police department of that institution, or the law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the location of the campus. (Pen. Code. § 290.01)
Registrants who solely participate in online courses with absolutely no requirement to be present on campus at any time and shall not be present at any time on campus may register via the mail with the DOJ Online Course Registration Form. (Pen. Code. § 290.01)
Sex Registration Affects an Offender’s Life
Penal Code section 290 allows law enforcement and the public to monitor the sex offender on a daily basis. It also restricts places a sex offender may visit and the people with whom he or she may interact. The law regulates a sex offender’s duty to inform law enforcement where he or she resides, law enforcement’s ability to track a sex offender’s movement through a global positioning device, where and with whom a sex offender may reside, what sort of jobs or volunteer positions a sex offender may accept, and the public and private places a sex offender may visit. (See, People v. Nguyen (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 1168)
On October 6, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB-384 into law, substantially altering California’s sex offender registration system. Starting in 2021, this law will allow those who were convicted of lower-level, nonviolent sex crimes or who are judged to be low risks to re-offend to petition the court for removal from the registry after 10 or 20 years, depending on the offense. SB 384 (Wiener, D.- SF and Anderson, R.- Alpine). Tiered sex offender registration. SB 384 modifies the lifetime sex offender registration requirement in current law by establishing three tiers of registration with different durations (10 years, 20 years or lifetime) depending on the severity of the underlying offense and on other factors, such as repeat offense history and risk scores on the SARATSO risk instrument. SB 384 establishes a process by which a Tier 1 or Tier 2 registrant may petition the Superior Court for relief from registration and removal from the state registry. The bill sets out evidentiary and other criteria the court must follow in determining whether the individual qualifies for relief. The bill provides for situations in which a Tier 3 lifetime registrant may petition the court to be moved to Tier 2. Juvenile sex offender registration requirements are modified by SB 384 as follows. First, the bill includes a provision that its changes shall not be construed to expand the juvenile sex offender requirements of current law. Additionally, the bill amends Penal Code Section 290.008 to establish Tier 1 and Tier 2 registration periods for juveniles required to register after release from the Division of Juvenile Justice.
On February 8, 2016, Congress enacted the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (IML) (Public Law 114-119).
The IML prohibits the Department of State from issuing a passport to a covered sex offender without a unique identifier, and it allows for the revocation of passports previously issued to these individuals that do not contain the identifier (22 USC 212b).
The identifier is a passport endorsement, currently printed inside the back cover of the passport book, which reads: “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).” Since endorsements cannot be printed on passport cards, covered sex offenders cannot be issued passport cards.
Only the DHS/ICE Angel Watch Center (AWC) can certify an individual as a “covered sex offender.” Therefore, any questions by the applicant about such status must be directed to and resolved by AWC.
Applicants who have questions for AWC regarding their status or believe they have been wrongly identified as a covered sex offender as defined in Title 22 United States Code 212b(c)(1) should contact AWC at [email protected]