Ticket To Ride—Can Sex Offenders Travel to Other States?
Registered sex offenders carry the burden of their crimes with them for many years.
Being on a state sex offender registry brings with it restrictions on many aspects of their lives in an attempt to keep the general public safe.
Can sex offenders travel to other states? DoNotPay helps you understand whether sex criminals can travel and who should be informed about it if they do.
Being convicted of a sex crime can result in a custodial sentence, but the most long-term consequence is that offenders have to add themselves to their state’s sex offender registry.
Each registry contains details of convicted sex offenders and is available to the public so that citizens are aware of where the criminals are. This is a result of Megan’s Law (1994), which enforces the right of public access to sex offenders’ names and whereabouts.
The details captured in each registry vary from state to state but always include an offender’s:
- Conviction history
Once a criminal is on the registry, they are required to update their entry annually or if any of the information changes. For tier III (or level III) offenders, the requirement is a quarterly update in most states.
The restrictions a sex offender faces can include:
- Prohibition from living in areas near to schools or childcare facilities
- Restrictions on travel without informing authorities
- Control of social media activities
- Disbarment from holding jobs that involve contact with children
Most states use registry information proactively to inform schools, childcare facilities, social services, and public housing organizations of the presence of a sex offender in their neighborhood.
The consequences of registration for a sex offender can be:
- Difficulty in finding a job
- Inability to access credit
- Impossibility of securing public housing
- Trouble with interstate or international travel
A sex offender registry intends to allow authorities and the public to map the whereabouts of sex offenders to ensure public awareness and safety.
Sex offenders can travel to other states if they are not on parole or probation, but each state requires varying levels of information about their travel plans.
The state the sex offender normally lives in may require:
- Destination details, including addresses and contact information for the offender’s overnight stays
- Proof of accommodation bookings
- Travel dates and flight information, if relevant
The destination state that a sex offender intends to visit could be even more stringent in its requirements, requiring:
- Advance permission to visit
- Registration after a certain number of days
- Proof of travel plans and bookings
There are no federal laws on what information sex offenders need to provide when they are traveling, so each state can set its own rules.
In theory, sex offenders are allowed to travel internationally but face several hurdles to do so.
As a consequence of registration, sex offenders receive a mark on their passport that flags their status to immigration officials as soon as the passport is checked.
This is a result of Congress passing H.R. 4573 or the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking. Under this law, the U.S. Government is required to inform other countries when a registered sex offender plans to travel there.
In such cases, the destination country may:
- Refuse entry
- Require registration on arrival
- Place restrictions on movement or activity in-country
Your and your family’s safety is paramount, and you have the right to know if you may be close to a sex offender.
To find out if you may be in danger, you have two options:
|Resident sex offender||If you are worried that you may have a sex offender in your neighborhood, you can check on your state registry for the names of registered sex offenders in your vicinity|
|Visiting sex offender||If you think a sex offender may be visiting and can ascertain their name, you can use the national registry to check whether they are registered anywhere|
Unregistered sex offenders are difficult to track, so you should immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local law enforcement.
A sex offender’s whereabouts can change overnight, though. If you want to keep updated about whether a sex offender has entered your neighborhood, DoNotPay has the solution. We can perform a one-time search or send you weekly updates about specific names or your area!
DoNotPay understands how much you value your safety and that of your family.
With DoNotPay’s Sex Offender Search product, you can perform a once-off search for your area or a specific name. You can even sign up for weekly updates, so you can have ongoing peace of mind with zero hassle.
Here’s how to use our feature:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
- Type in the name of the offender or your address, and set the search parameters
You will get your report in a flash, and—if you choose—updates will be sent to you every week!
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