Before I wrecked my life and ended up on Florida’s Sex Offender registry I always intended to travel in my retirement. Now, after prison and probation, I am in fact retired, and “free,” and have not given up my dream of seeing natural wonders and historic sites, visiting great cities, traveling to as many places as possible within the restrictions placed on me as a registered citizen.

While I may attempt traveling the world in the future, everything I’ve heard and read about International Megan’s Law requirements makes it sound difficult and even dangerous for a registered person. I therefore decided that my own home country is a pretty big place that, so far at least, nobody can keep my out of. Including all of its states and territories the United States spans half the globe and extends from the arctic to the equator. A guy could spend his whole retirement traveling this great land and never really see all of it.

As many of you may have discovered, however, interstate travel as a registered citizen isn’t as simple as getting in your car and driving away. Unless you don’t mind the prospect of inadvertently violating the registry laws of either your own state or whatever state you’re in at the time and ending up back in prison for a registry violation, it’s crucial to be conversant with and obey the registry laws of every state you plan to pass thru, which for me is every US state and territory.

The starting point for my research was the chart “Summary of State and Territorial Registration Laws Concerning Visiting and Temporary Residence by Adults” available on the Association for Constitutional Sex Offender Laws (ACSOL) website. It’s a good summary chart, but it hadn’t been updated since 2018. Using the state statute references in the ACSOL chart I downloaded every state and territory’s registry laws, read them all, updated the information on the chart and corrected any errors that I found.

I also obtained a list of phone numbers for all 50 states’ SOR offices, and called every state to ask supplemental questions. As you might expect, some SOR offices don’t answer the phone and never call back if you leave repeated messages. Some states SOR offices have outgoing messages that don’t allow you to leave a message but only refer you to unhelpful online FAQ documents. A few states’ outgoing messages say their SOR offices are closed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, I found that when I was able to speak to a real person (which was about half the time) the SOR office personnel were uniformly courteous and willing to provide helpful answers to my questions.

The result of my research is the new and improved Summary of State and Territorial Registration Laws Concerning Visiting and Temporary Residence by Adults” chart. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW. My plan is to keep re-researching and updating this chart for at least the next ten years (i.e. 2021-2031) while I travel the USA.

However, all of this research – whether the state laws themselves, written responses to letters, or the oral responses by a random person in a state SOR office – may bear no relation at all to what you or I may experience if pulled over by an over-eager redneck sheriff’s deputy because you have a blown tail light. Do you want to be the first person to test the limits of any of this? I’ll bet the answer to that is NO.

So be careful out there, and safe travels!
Legal Disclaimer

I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR QUALIFIED LEGAL ADVICE.

Because sex offender laws are frequently revised by legislatures and reviewed by courts, the most current version of the applicable laws should be consulted and can generally be found by using your search engine to locate the statutes referenced on this site. This website does not include all laws that may apply to registrants in any particular state.


State & Territorial Visitor Registration Laws Guide

Click HERE. It'll pop up on your screen in a separate window.

Summary Map Click HERE. It'll pop up on your screen in a separate window.


NEW! State & Territorial Visitor Registration Laws for FORMER & LONG-TERM Registrants

MANY REGISTRANTS DO NOT UNDERSTAND that most states have registration laws that apply to out-of-state visitors even if you have served your registration duty in your state of offense and are no longer required to register there. Violating these states' laws during your visit can get you caught in these states' registries or even incarcerated EVEN THOUGH you have been removed from your own state's registry!

Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that some states' registration laws may not apply to visiting registrants who have, in your state of offense, served your registration duty for the number of years specified by law in the state you are visiting - even if you are still on the registry in your state of offense.

Because confusion surrounding this issue will be a growing problem as more and more Americans (including myself) become long-term or former registrants, I have researched the registration laws of every U.S. state and territory related to this issue.

Click HERE to see this new research.


The Traveling Registrant

The Once Fallen website offers this must-read information for all registrants planning to travel. Click here: http://www.oncefallen.com/travel.html

Unwelcome Images

My personal story of prison, probation and ... redemption? is posted on Medium. If you're interested you can click here:

https://therabbitisin.com/unwelcome-images-c06a3760b11a

Your first hurdle:

Permission to leave town

My state of offense (Florida) has a registry law that, like those of many other states, is completely silent on the question of what notice I as a registered person have to provide in the event that I intend to travel out of state temporarily but have no intention of establishing any “permanent residence,” “temporary residence” or “transient residence” in any other state. Instead, Florida’s SOR law reads as follows:

“A sexual offender who intends to establish a permanent, temporary, or transient residence in another state or jurisdiction other than the State of Florida shall report in person to the sheriff of the county of current residence within 48 hours before the date he or she intends to leave this state to establish residence in another state or jurisdiction … The sexual offender shall provide to the sheriff the address, municipality, county, [and] state … of intended residence … The department shall notify the statewide law enforcement agency, or a comparable agency, in the intended state [or] jurisdiction … of the sexual offender’s intended residence. The failure of a sexual offender to provide his or her intended place of residence is punishable as [a third degree felony].”

943.0435(7) FS.

Apparently, the drafters of Florida’s SOR law – and the many similarly worded statutes of other US states – never anticipated that a registered person would ever leave their state for any other reason than to establish a “permanent residence,” “temporary residence” or “transient residence” wherever they're going. Therefore I assume that I and many of you could legitimately assume we would be within our legal rights to just leave our state without telling anybody as long as you have no intention of, and scrupulously avoid, establishing any kind of residence that would violate your state’s statutes.

However, I DO NOT recommend doing this under any circumstances.

Why? Because there’s a 120% chance that your local sheriff’s department believes you have to tell them you’re leaving and where you’re going no matter what your state’s SOR law says or doesn’t say. Suppose you get pulled over somewhere for having a blown tail light. The sheriff’s deputy looks you up and discovers you’re an out-of-state registered offender. Next, he calls local law enforcement in your home state and asks, “Hey, did y’all know this guy was here?” They of course will say “No, we didn’t even know he left our state and we think that’s a registry violation – he is an ABSCONDER!” at which point you’ll be arrested, handcuffed and sent back to prison.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to spend my vacation.

Therefore I strongly suggest that you visit your local sheriff’s department or registry office and inform them of your intention to travel. I did this for the first time in October 2020, and have traveled out of state frequently since then, each time making sure to do so “within 48 hours before the date he or she intends to leave this state.”

Having gained some experience with traveling while registered I offer you the following advice:

Always notify your local law enforcement of your intention to travel and provide as much detail as possible about your travel plans. In particular, it helps to have at least one specific destination for your trip. Your local law enforcement is expecting you to have a destination. You probably do have at least one destination, and if it’s not a friend or relative’s home you probably had to make some kind of reservation ahead of time. Either way you know at least one address where you’ll be, so give it to the staff person behind the glass. They will feel more comfortable with this even if your plans include extended time to get to and return from the specific destination(s), during which you’ll be enjoying yourself.

I have found that if I give a general description of your travel, like some of the states you’ll be passing through, the staff person will happily enter that onto whatever form their filling out as “additional notes.” This may actually help you in case you get pulled over someplace because when the sheriff’s deputy calls your home state it’s all right there in the computer.

Recently I established a summer home in Iowa. Unlike Florida and many other states, Iowa’s registry law explicitly, but clumsily, addresses out-of-state travel. It says:

“[A] sex offender, within five business days of a change, shall also appear in person to notify the sheriff of the county of principal residence [i.e. the principle residence in Iowa], of any location in which the offender is staying when away from the principal residence of the offender for more than five days, by identifying the location and the period of time the offender is staying in such location.” 692A.105 IS.

While I was at my new Iowa sheriff’s department registering, getting photographed, fingerprinted and providing a DNA sample, I took the opportunity to ask how travel was going to work in my new state. I pointed out that although I can always provide a destination when traveling, there is no way I’ll be able provide locations and addresses ahead of time for every campground or motel room I might be staying at along the way.

The lady behind the bullet-proof glass stated that their policy for this type of travel is that I will need to keep a travel log for each trip, which I will need to turn in upon my return. This just shows how local sheriff’s departments come up with some policy to deal with these situations. As you know from reading elsewhere on this blog, I recommend you always keep a travel log as well as all receipts just in case you need to prove your whereabouts, so this sheriff’s department requirement, while ridiculous, turns out not to be a problem for me or anyone following my recommendations.

Monday, August 8, 2022

 New Hampshire

North Conway Scenic Railroad (one of the better ones)

From the 50 State Visitor Guide:

NH R.S.A. 2019 §651-B:1 through 651-B:12; Admin. Code Saf-C 5501.01 through 5506.7

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Five business days for initial registration and updates. §§651-B:4, B:5

Visitors: “Residence” defined as more than a total of five aggregate days during a one-month period (but not a calendar month per NH SOR office). §651-B:1(XIII).

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

None. 

Duration & updates:

Tier 1 – 10 yrs. Tiers 2&3 – life.  Petition to remove – T1 – 5 yrs. T2 – 15 yrs.  Updates:  T1&2 – 6 months.  T3 –3 months.

No I didn't climb this mountain.  I found this photo in Google Images!

Most recent visit: July 2022

New Hampshire’s SOR law is unusual in that while there are a few states cruel enough to limit registered visitors to only a few days per calendar year (Florida, Illinois and Alabama come to mind), this is one of the few states that has an aggregate standard per month – specifically five aggregate days.  Also, although the state law is silent on whether the words “one month period” means a calendar month, the nice lady at the New Hampshire SOR office was NOT silent.  She said that “month” means any 30 day period whether a calendar month or not.  Thanks for nothing.

Beyond that small number of days, however, New Hampshire is pretty easy to get along with, since at a state level at least it has no residency, presence or other restrictions. Local restrictions may apply and as with so many other states you must assume that any partial day will count against the five day total.  So to that degree you can travel the state without worry.

I had passed briefly through the southeast corner of Granite State a couple of times on my way between Massachusetts and Maine, but July 2022 was the first time I have spent enough time (four partial days total) to justify writing a blog entry about it.  Really, the only reason I was there the first time I entered the state was because I had been unable to reserve a Maine campsite for a Saturday night during peak tourist season.

I entered far northern New Hampshire from Maine and drove twisting scenic country roads south until I came to the tacky tourist mecca of North Conway.  After inching my way through all that traffic I turned west into White Mountain National Forest on SR 112 where there are several campgrounds, fingers crossed hoping to find one – just one – little empty campsite.  Going right past the “Campground Full” signs, I drove slowly around each campground loop until suddenly *gasp!* there it was, apparently empty and available.  I pulled into the campsite parking space, approached the “campground host” to ask about it and he said “Yup, those people just left a few minutes ago.”  Tadahhh!

The next morning I was up and gone, headed for my brother’s house in Rhode Island.  But that wasn’t my last time in New Hampshire on this trip to New England.  A few days later I was back after having visited Boston with my family, tagging along with them on their way to Maine.  This time it was a weeknight and I had a reserved state park campsite.  The next morning I split up with my family again.  They headed north and I zoomed southwest to New Jersey.  

Now as you can see, on this trip I spent a total of four days in New Hampshire within a single 30 day period.  All of those days were partial days but they all still counted toward my allowable total.  Therefore I wore out my welcome in the Granite State for at least 30 days, and as of this writing those 30 days have not yet elapsed.  Oh well.

  Maine

Yes, of course I visited Portland Head Light

From the 50 State Visitor Guide:

M.R.S. 2019

Offenses committed before Jan. 1, 2013: M.R.S. 34A §§ 11201 through 11256

Offenses committed on or after Jan. 1, 2013: M.R.S. 34A §§ 11271 through 11304

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Convictions before Jan. 1, 2013:  Registrants have 5 days to register with the state Bureau of Identification (generally in writing) and 24 hours to register with local law enforcement using a form provided by the Bureau.  §§11222-11223.

Employees and students (and probably visitors) in the state must register with the bureau w/in 5 days and with local law enforcement w/in 24 hours of working for either (1) more than 14 consecutive days in the state, or (2) for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year.  §11224.

Convictions on or after Jan. 1, 2013: Registrants have 3 days to register with the state Bureau of Identification (generally in writing) and 24 hours to register with local law enforcement upon establishing a residence, using a form provided by the Bureau.  §§11282-11284.  “Residence” means 14 consecutive days in the state, or 30 days in one year.  §11273(12).

Procedure available for removal from registry after departure.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Restriction on Contact with Minors:  For registrants convicted after June 30, 1992 of an offense against a person younger than 14, Maine prohibits the knowing initiation of contact with a person younger than 14 in a “sex offender restricted zone,” unless the parent consents or the contact is for employment purposes.  “Sex offender restricted zones” include schools other than high schools, day cares, parks, playgrounds, and other places “where children are the primary users.” M.R.S. § 17-A:261. 

Duration & updates:

10 years to life.  Duration of reg. requirement and frequency of updates are determined by date convicted and tier.  §§11222, 11285.

 

Whale-watching tours - 3;  Whales seen - 0

Most recent visit: July 2022

Maine’s rules for visiting registrants shouldn’t be too difficult to follow.  Registration Triggers and Deadlines for convictions before January 1, 2013 are confusing to read, but the bottom line is they’re about the same as for on or after January 1, 2013.  Fourteen consecutive days or 30 days per calendar year establishes a “residence,” so just don’t stay that long.

As for presence restrictions, if your offense was against a person younger than 14 (and I would always assume that includes a pornography offense), Maine prohibits the knowing initiation of contact with a person younger than 14 in a “sex offender restricted zone,” unless the parent consents or the contact is for employment purposes.  “Sex offender restricted zones” are the usual places.

As I read over these restrictions before entering Maine in July 2022, my reaction was, no problem.  I only planned to be in Maine for four days (including partial days) while my family was staying with my ex-wife’s cousins on Long Island, and of course, like any of you I had absolutely no intention of initiating contact with any person younger than 14 years, or much of anybody else for that matter.  I was there with just one purpose in mind – to go whale watching.

As I had the year before I overnighted at state park campgrounds, which are a little on the expensive side ($28-$38 per night for out-of-staters depending on the park) but quite well equipped, including nice clean hot water showers.

On my trip to Maine last year (May 2021) I had snagged a seat on a whale watching tour boat, only to see no whales.  The silver lining was that the tour boat company issued “standby tickets” to all passengers, good through the end of the 2022 season.  So now I was back to try to use my standby ticket and maybe see whales this time.  

Although it was peak season when you woul expect it to be pretty difficult to use a standby ticket, the tour boat company was also running more frequent tours in July than they had been in May and I showed up for a mid-week (Thursday) morning tour on which there are often a few unfilled seats – in this case 20 (out of 125).

Tadahh! Off we went – but unfortunately, no whales!  

The tour boat company issued more standby tickets to all passengers.  Before returning to my campsite I asked the nice lady at the ticket booth how things were looking for the next morning’s (Friday) tour and she said, “Not good. Right now there’s 16 seats available.  If I put you on the list now you’ll be Standby #2.”  I said “Please do that and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Next morning, 15 minutes before boarding, the nice lady at the ticket booth announced, “There are three standby seats available.”  I was #2.  Tadahh! Off we went – but again, no whales!  I told the tour guide lady. “I must be jinxing your tour!” but she replied “No, this just happens sometimes.” 

“Well there’s a limit to how much disappointment I can take in one vacation,” I said.  Besides, my final (partial) day in Maine would be a weekend day and the tours were already booked up.  The tour boat company issued yet more standby tickets to all passengers, good until the end of the 2023 season.

Well, we’ll see.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Arizona – Travel Alert

From the 50 State Visitor Guide:

A.R.S. 2019  §§ 13-3821 through 13-3829, 13-3727

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Visitors must register if staying for more than 72 hours excluding weekends & holidays. §13-3821(A) or 30 days per year (state policy). Updated 8/2022

Initial registration required “within 72 hours excluding weekends & holidays of entering and remaining in any county.”  §13-3821.  Updated 8/2022.  Registrants working in state must report in any county where present for 14 consecutive days or an aggregate of 30 days/yr.  Address change etc. required within 72 hours (business days only).  §13-3822.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence restriction:  1,000 ft. restriction applies to Level 3 offenders. §13-3727. Local governments are pre-empted from adopting more restrictive requirements. §13-3727.

Duration & updates:

10 years to life. Transients report every 90 days.  All others annually.

Travel Alert: Registration deadline reduced to 72 hours!

As part of my 2022 update of my 50 state registered visitors guide I have discovered that the state of Arizona has reduced the time period in-state which will trigger a registered visitor’s obligation to register from 10 days (which wasn’t so bad) to just 72 hours (excluding weekends and legal holidays).  

That’s pretty short!  It also puts Arizona in the same category as Tennessee by specifying a number of hours instead of days while excluding weekends and holidays from the calculation.  For a state with so much for any visitor to see, it’s a real shame.

There are a couple of silver linings to this change.  First, by expressing their new deadline in hours instead of days, Arizona has eliminated the whole question of whether a partial day counts toward the calculation.  Instead, if you cross the state line at, say, 2:00 pm on a Thursday, your time clock will start and you will have used up 34 of your 72 hour allotment by midnight on Friday night.  Your clock starts again on Monday at 12:00 AM and you’ll have until 2:00 pm on Tuesday to get out of state.

Second, there is nothing to prevent registered visitors form leaving for a couple of hours – having lunch at a restaurant just across the state line (making sure to keep your receipt so you can prove you left Arizona) – then returning and starting the clock all over again.  In theory, if you left on Tuesday and returned Wednesday morning, your next 72 hours would take you into the following weekend and you could stay until the wee hours of the following Monday morning. That’ll give you back most of the 10 days you had before this change in Arizona law.

On the other hand, you will have to plan your Arizona vacation more carefully.  Good luck to you all.

Monday, August 1, 2022

 Pennsylvania

So-called "historic train ride" in Strasburg, PA

From the 50 state visitor guide :

42 Pa.C.S.2019 §§9799.10 through 9799.9

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Within 3 business days of establishing residence, becoming employed, or attending school.  3 business days for updates.  If fails to establish residence but nevertheless resides in state, shall register as transient. §9799.19.

Visitors: “Residence” means place where domiciled for 30 days or more w/in a calendar year.  “Transient” means no residence but nevertheless resides in state in a temporary place or dwelling, including a homeless shelter or park. §9799.12. Per the Lancaster State Police office, PA has no specific time limit for visiting registrants but staying more than 30 days per calendar year or becoming employed or attending school establishes residency and would trigger a requirement to register. Updated June 2021.

List of registration sites: www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/VerificationSites

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

None.  Registry website supposedly only shows:  Sexually violent offenders, Sexually violent predators, Sexually violent delinquent children.

Duration & updates:

15 years to life.  Updates: T1 – annual, T2 – 6 mo., T3 & SVP – quarterly, Transient – monthly

 

Most recent visit: May 2021

You MUST have a Philly cheese steak sub!

In theory, Pennsylvania should be a pretty easy state to get along with as a registered visitor.  Their SOR statute states that “Residence” means place where a registrant is domiciled for 30 days or more within a calendar year.  Also, there appear to be no statewide residency or presence requirements (although as with many other states you should be careful about local restrictions).

Unfortunately “Transient” means the registrant has no residence but nevertheless “resides in the state,” but while the word “residence” is defined, the word “resides” is not, so … if you’re traveling through Pennsylvania, how long do you have to be there before you “reside” without having a “residence” …?    To the average traveler this may seem like a ridiculous question, but as registered citizens you and I know it’s far from academic.  You can’t count on the state police officer who pulls you over for having a blown tail light to give you the interpretation you wanted.

Worse, calling Penn. SOR office is useless because they don’t answer the phone and the outgoing message only refers you to the FAQ at www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us , and of course the FAQ doesn’t answer this particular question.  Because of this the only way to answer this question is to visit one of Pennsylvania’s “registration sites” (see www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/VerificationSites ) which turn out to be state police regional headquarters.  

I resolved to do this on a trip I made to the Northeast May 2021. After staying overnight at a PA state park campground I visited the Lancaster State Police office (which is also a Registration Verification Site) and was referred there to speak to an officer who admitted he was “not the sex offender expert” (then why was he assigned to answer this question? Was the “expert” out of the office?).  

After going back to his office and reading the statute he nevertheless opined that PA has no specific time limit for visiting registrants but staying more than 30 days per calendar year or becoming employed or attending school establishes residency and would trigger a requirement to register. That confirmed the same conclusion I reached after reading the statute.

In July 2022 I returned to Pennsylvania while tagging along with my family on their trip to the Northeast.  My ex-wife likes Pennsylvania Dutch Country very much.  I find it to be hopelessly commercialized.  What must it be like to be an actual Amish or Mennonite person trying to go about your life surrounded by billboards and tacky trinket shops and fake buggy rides? You have my sympathy, folks.

Nevertheless she had reserved a hotel room right in “downtown” Intercourse.  I stayed at the very same state park I had the year before, about 40 miles away.  We spent way too much time at that tacky tourist village in Intercourse, but the upside to that place is that trapping all the tourists there keeps us away from the locals.

Later that day we were all rushing eastbound on I-78.  They spent the night at a hotel in Stroudsburg while I had reserved a campground in nearby Hickory Run State Park.  We were splitting up after that – they were on their way to Long Island to spend four days with my ex-inlaws, while I was headed for Maine to go whale watching.  

On the southbound leg of our Northeast trip we came back thru Pennsylvania, this time to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World and Hersheypark.  I was roped into this part of the trip because our granddaughter wanted more than anything to ride on some of the scariest rollercoasters in that theme park, and although Mom insisted that she be accompanied by an adult neither she nor Grandma were willing to do the accompanying.

Wow, some of those rides were truly terrifying!  I told my granddaughter that going on them was something I would consider to be an item on my bucket list, but don’t expect me to do that again!

At the end of a thrilling day we said our goodbyes and split up – they to continue their vacation down the east coast, while I sprinted cross-country back to Iowa, which I was able to do by the evening of the following day.

 Maryland

The U.S.S. Constellation at Baltimore's Inner Harbor

From the 50 state visitor guide :

Md. Code of Criminal Procedure 2019  §§11-701 through 11-721

AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Three days for initial reg. and updates for permanent or temporary residents, those who habitually live, students, transients, and those employed in the state.  “Employment” means 14 consecutive days or an aggregate of over 30 days per calendar year. §11-705.

“Transients” (including visitors) present in state for a period exceeding 14 days or an aggregate period for 30 day in a calendar year, for a purpose other than employment or education, must register within 3 days. §11-701(r).

“Habitually lives” means “any place where a person visits for longer than 5 hours per visit more than 5 times within a 30-day period.”  §11-701(d)(2).

Procedure available for removal from registry after departure.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Presence restriction: May not knowing enter school grounds or property containing a child care home or child care institution, with exceptions.  §§11-705, 11-722.

Duration & updates:

15 yrs.- life depending on Tier. 

Updates: T1 – 6 mo.  T2 – 6 mo.  T3 – 3 mo.  Homeless registrants – weekly.  §§11-705, 11-707.

Most recent visit: July 2022

Maryland’s rules for visiting registrants shouldn’t be too difficult to follow.  “Transients” (including visitors) intending to be present in the state for more than 14 consecutive days or an aggregate period for 30 day in a calendar year, for a purpose other than employment or education, must register within three days of arrival. §11-701(r).  That should be enough time to cover most situations.

It so happens that I have a sister who lives in Maryland with her husband and several progeny.  In July 2022 my own family was traveling to the Northeast from Florida.  I was tagging along on this trip, coming from my summer home in Iowa and meeting up in Washington DC.  To accomplish all this I spent parts of four consecutive days in Maryland, which was well under the state’s limit of 14 consecutive days or 30 aggregate days per calendar year which would have triggered an obligation to register.

On my first partial day in Maryland I entered from West Virginia on I-68, staying overnight at a motel in Frederick before proceeding on I-70 and I-270 on my way to DC.  I parked at the Branch Ave. Metro station, also in Maryland close to the motel I had reserved for my second night.  It was a weekend, so Metro parking was free and the Metro itself was only $2.00 per trip – VERY cheap compared to the astronomical prices my family paid to park and stay at their downtown hotel.

As I noted in my blog post about DC, we spent parts of two days seeing the sights.  My motel on the first night was in Maryland, and after the second day I visited and spent the night at my sister’s house, also in Maryland.

On my final day in Maryland I met up with my family at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  It was an oppressively hot July day but we made the best of it, after which we all left for Pennsylvania – my family to another hotel and I to a comfortable state park campground.

 District of Columbia

Just don't get any crazy ideas about getting anywhere close to the White House

From the 50 state visitor guide :

D.C. Code 2019 §§22-4001 thru 22-4017; C.D.C.R. §§6-A400 thru 6-A499.

AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Initial registration is required within 3 business days for those released from incarceration, or “who enter the District of Columbia from another jurisdiction to live, work, or attends school.”  “Work” defined as a period exceeding 14 days or 30 days in a calendar year.  Updates to registration info within 3 business days. §§6-A406.2, 6-A412, 6-A499 (“Day” defined as business day).

Note:  No statutory provision addresses temporary domicile or visitors, but you should assume that staying in the District more than 14 consecutive days or 30 days in a calendar year would trigger registration under the definition of “work.”

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

None

Duration & updates:

10 years or life. §22-4002.

Updates: lifetime registrants – quarterly; other registrants annually.

For those working, living or attending school, it’s unclear if there is a procedure available for removal from registry after departure.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Building on July 19, 2022, showing there will be plenty of space available for the WAR vigil in March 2023.  Y'all come join us!

Most recent visit: July 2022

Washington DC is, of course, a place that every American should visit. I had visited DC several times, but that was before - - before I wrecked my life.  Now that I’m traveling again I have gone back twice, most recently in July 2022 when I was tagging along with my family on their trip to the Northeast. We were in DC for 1 1/2 days.  

Before we met up on the first day of our visit, I had time to take a shuttle bus over to scope out the Supreme Court building where several advocacy groups led by Women Against the Registry (WAR) will be holding a vigil against the registry on March 7, 2023.  It will be preceded by a conference March 5-6.  There have been concerns expressed by some that perhaps the whole place might be fenced off and inaccessible following the Court’s recent controversial and ignorant rulings. Yes the Supreme Court steps are fenced off, but I found that there was plenty of room available on the sidewalks and across the street at the U.S. Capital green.  So don’t be shy my fellow advocates!  See you next March!

After meeting my family later that day at the Lincoln Memorial we took in the Vietnam War Memorial, MLK Memorial, Korean War Memorial etc.  There are almost no restaurants near the Mall. There are a whole lot of food trucks but my family didn’t want that so we ended up walking way too far for dinner, after which we split up for the night.  They stayed at an expensive hotel near the National Mall, while I stayed at an affordable motel near a Metro station in Maryland.  

The second day was museum day.  We were supposed to meet up early at the Washington monument but my family doesn’t know the meaning of the word “early” so we only visited two, the Hirshhorn and the Natural History Museum.  Be advised:  The Air and Space Museum is closed for renovations and the African American History Museum requires advanced ticket reservations.  Others you can walk into without reservations.

In case you’re interested, you can’t get anywhere close to the White House or the Capital because, sadly, they are completely surrounded by barricades and suspicious-looking vehicles and cops.

We did all our touring on foot, and by the end I was completely wiped out.  We should have rented a bicycle or scooter at one of the many kiosks that nowadays dot all of the tourist area, but my ex-wife didn’t want to.  The way these things work would be, you pay for a 24 hour “membership” at any one of the kiosks.  Then, take any of the bikes in the rack and start your tour.  

Whenever you come to a spot where you want to stay for a while, put your bike in a nearby rack and log out at the kiosk.  No need to worry if somebody else takes that bike because when you come back to that (or any other) kiosk all you have to do is log back in and take any of the bikes in the rack.

At the end of that second day they went back to their expensive hotel and I went to visit and stay the night at my sister’s house in nearby Maryland.  For more information about Maryland’s requirements for visiting registrants, see my Maryland blog post.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

 Yellowstone National Park:

2022 Travel Advisory:

From the 50 state visitor guide (Wyoming):

Wyo. Stat. 2019 §§7-19-301 through  7-19-320

AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

3 business days for initial registration and updates, including temporary trips and vacations. “Temporary residence” includes hotels, motels, camping areas & parks. §7-19-301(xi)(C).

Visitors must register within 3 business days. §7-19-302(c)(iv).

Per Rolfe Survey, visiting registrants once placed on state’s registry ARE NOT REMOVED.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence restriction: Adults “who are required to register … pursuant to §7-19-302” may not reside within 1,000 ft. from schools. §6-2-320.

Presence restrictions:  Adults “who are required to register … pursuant to §7-19-302” may not enter school grounds if s/he “has reason to believe children … are present and are involved in school activity or when children are presents w/in 30 mins. before or after scheduled school activity” and may not “knowingly loiter on a public way within 1,000 feet from the property line of school grounds.” Various exceptions apply. §6-2-320.

Because §6-2-320 says these restrictions apply to adults “who are required to register … pursuant to §7-19-302”, and visitors in state for less than 3 business days are not required to register, such visitors would, in theory, not be subject to these restrictions.  However, this theory remains untested.

Duration & updates:

Lifetime; petitions for removal available. §7-19-304. Updates: §7-19-302.

From the 50 state visitor guide (Montana):

Mont. Code Ann. 2019 §§46-23-504 through 46-23-520.

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

3 business days for initial registration and updates; transients shall register within 3 business days of entering state.  

Visitors: Must register within 3 business days of entering the state for a temporary residence of 10 days or more, or for an aggregate period of 30 days in calendar year. §§46-23-504, 46-23-505.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

None

Duration & updates:

Life. Petition to remove – T1 - 10 yrs.  T2 – 25 yrs.

Updates by mail: T1 – annual; T2 – 6 mo.; T3 –90 days. Transients in person - 30 days. §§46-23-504, 56-23-506.

From the 50 state visitor guide (Idaho):

Idaho Code 2019 §§18-8301 through 18-8414

I.D.A.P.A. §11.10.03.000 through 11.10.03.012.

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

2 working days for initial registration and updates.  Transient registrants must report location every 7 days. §§18-8307, 18-8308.

Statutes do not address registration requirements for visitors.  Rolfe survey indicates that visits of 7 days or more require registration.  

Temporary volunteers or employees:  Must register if in state for more than ten consecutive days, or for an aggregate period of 30 days in a calendar year.  If “employment involves counseling, coaching, teaching, supervising or working with minors in any way,” must register “regardless of the period of employment.” §18-8303(6).

Per Rolfe Survey, Visiting Registrants once placed on state’s registry ARE NOT REMOVED.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

May not reside or loiter within 500 ft. of school, and may not reside within more than one person also required to register, with certain exceptions. §§18-8331, 18-8332.

Presence restriction:  Day cares, unless picking up or dropping off one’s own children. §18-8327.

Duration & updates:

Life.  Petition to remove – 10 yrs.  Sexually Violent Persons must update every 3 months.  All others update annually. §18-8307.

Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful

Registered visitors travel advisory

I’m not writing this travel advisory because I recently visited Yellowstone.  Actually, I have visited Yellowstone only once, and that was before I wrecked my life and ended up on the registry.  On that trip I spent three days at Yellowstone and still didn’t see nearly all of it.  

I’d like very much to return and see more, and now that I’m on the registry I realize that the number of days allowed in each of the three states – Wyoming, Montana and Idaho – without triggering an obligation to register, is a tricky issue that will involve careful planning.  Now that recent floods have closed the park’s northern Mammoth Hot Springs entrance and shut down other parts of the north half of Yellowstone for at least the rest of the 2022 season, I need to offer some words of warning and advice to any registered traveler. 

First let’s compare the visitor requirements of each of these three states.  Most important is Wyoming, where visitors must register within 3 business days. §7-19-302(c)(iv).  NOTE: “Within 3 business days” means the third day will trigger your obligation to register, so you really only get two days; however, it’s business days, so if you include a weekend that stretches it to four days (five if you can throw in a holiday).  Keep in mind that, as with many other states, partial days will count.  Also, Wyoming law defines “temporary residence” to include hotels, motels, camping areas & parks. §7-19-301(xi)(C), so they’ve got you covered no matter where you spend the night.

However, Wyoming has no limitations on the number of return visits per month or year.  This is an important consideration for registered visitors because it means that if you leave the state for at least two nights and one day (so that the intervening day can’t be counted against you as a “partial day”) you can return and restart the clock.  By planning carefully you can have the time you need to really see Yellowstone.

If you need to spend a little time outside Wyoming, the obvious choice for registered visitors is Montana.  That’s because unless you’re staying 10 or more days there (or 30 per calendar year) you don’t need to register.  Also, Montana has no statewide residency or presence restrictions.  So your Yellowstone trip can be split into two 4-5 day weekends with a mid-week side trip to Montana.  How bad can that be?

Except that now the northern Mammoth Hot Springs entrance from Montana to Yellowstone is closed for the rest of 2022!  What now?!

Actually, there is a West Yellowstone entrance, which is also in Montana and has motels, resorts and campgrounds in Gallatin National Forest.  The most recent news report I saw claimed that this entrance is still open.  It’s just that there’s not really much to do in West Yellowstone while you’re on your two night hiatus, and it’s remote from many Montana or even Idaho attractions.

Speaking of Idaho, this is a state for which I have very little information.  Idaho statutes do not address registration requirements for visitors.  The state SOR office wasn’t answering the phone when I tried to call in 2020, perhaps due to the pandemic or perhaps because they’re a bunch of jerks.  The 2017 “Rolfe Survey” indicates that visits of 7 days or more require registration, but that information is so old now I wouldn’t trust it.  

The only fallback is to assume that the initial registration deadline of two working days will apply, with the second day triggering the requirement.  That, friends, is a mighty short and unhelpful deadline in a state where visiting registrants once placed on state’s registry ARE NOT REMOVED.  In other words, Idaho is really not an option for your mid-week Yellowstone side trip.

That puts your side trip back in Montana.  For the rest of the 2022 season, just pay very close attention to what entrances and parts of Yellowstone National Park are open and accessible.

  New Hampshire North Conway Scenic Railroad (one of the better ones) From the  50 State Visitor Guide : NH R.S.A. 2019 §651-B:1 through 651...