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.

For the year leading up to the end of my probation in October 2020 I made it my business to research and account for all these laws. Florida law doesn’t allow a registered offender on probation to use the internet, and part of my “risk reduction plan” worked out with my state-sponsored shrink is to never have home internet service or a cell phone data plan even after completing probation. Thus you may be surprised to learn that I got permission from both my shrink and my PO to use local library computers to conduct this research.[1]

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.

On the Florida Action Committee (FAC) website resource page you will find “State Contacts and Registration Requirements for Visiting Persons Required to Register as Sex Offenders.” It contains responses to letter they sent to the SOR offices of all 50 states (but not territories) asking a series of questions about state laws affecting visiting registrants. About 20 states responded to that letter, and some of those responses actually contain helpful information.

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 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!

[1] Florida law doesn’t prohibit registrants on probation from going to a public library - although there are plenty of probation officers who don't allow it. Every state has its own rules, however – e.g. Iowa, where no registrant can go to a public library whether on probation or not.

Legal Disclaimer


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:

Summary Map Click here:

The Traveling Registrant

The Once Fallen website offers this must-read information for all registrants planning to travel. Click here:

Unwelcome Images

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

Your first hurdle:

Permission to leave town

My state’s registry law, 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 my state for any other reason than to establish a “permanent residence,” “temporary residence” or “transient residence” wherever their going. Therefore I assume that I and many of you 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 100% 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, making sure to do so “within 48 hours before the date he or she intends to leave this state.”

That’s when I met my first roadblock because as I’m sure you know the person behind the COVID-protective window at the sheriff’s department registry desk is without a doubt the LEAST knowledgeable person when it comes to registry requirements. So when I said, “This is the date I’m leaving, this is my estimated date of return, here is generally where I’m going but (a) I definitely WILL NOT be establishing any permanent, temporary, or transient residence in another state or jurisdiction while I’m gone and (b) I have no idea how far I’ll get on any given day so there’s no way I can tell you what hotel or campground I’ll be at,” the first words out of his mouth were “You can’t do that! You need to tell me the name and address of every hotel or campground and the date of arrival and departure at each of those locations right now or I will not approve your travel.”

After some circular conversation he made a phone call and said, “The sergeant will be here shortly.” When the sergeant arrived things went much more smoothly. After hearing me out he said of the guy behind the window, “He’s new here. Yes, as long as you don’t establish a permanent, temporary, or transient residence in another state while you’re gone, and as long as you strictly follow the laws of every state you travel in, you don’t have to tell us the name and address of every hotel or campground and the date of arrival and departure at each of those locations. Just give us as much information as you can and that will do.” So I did that and everything was fine.

However, I hasten to point out that you may not encounter a sergeant nearly as understanding as I did. In fact my county’s sheriff’s department has a reputation for being one of the more “reasonable” in my state. You may need to educate your local law enforcement staff on your state’s SOR statutes before you can get permission to leave. You may need the assistance of an attorney to do this.

Florida is one of many states in which the local sheriff’s department is required to periodically check each registrant’s residence in person. That means there is a specific sheriff’s deputy assigned to me. Shortly after my return from my travel in November 2020 he stopped by my house to conduct this residency check and we discussed how to handle my travel in the future so that I could avoid trouble. He suggested handling it like they do with registrants who are long-haul truckers and routinely spend long periods out of town and may not know their specific destinations ahead of time.

In these situations the registrant “checks in” by email or text message periodically to update the deputy of his whereabouts and travel plans. This sounded to me like an in intrusion on my privacy with no foundation in state law, but I agreed to it because (a) I DO NOT want to get in trouble in my future travels and (b) I recognized the usefulness of having an analogous travel situation that the local sheriff’s department can relate to in handling my situation. I mention it here because I’ll bet almost every local law enforcement agency, including yours, has some arrangement to deal with trucker registrants. You might want to suggest using this arrangement next time you have to get permission to leave town.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Tips for Traveling Registrants 2021

1.      Know the laws that apply to you

·        Laws of your state of registry relating to your out-of-state travel

·        Laws of the state(s) you are traveling to pertaining to out-of-state registrants, especially number days in state when registration is required; presence and residency restrictions for visitors.

·        You must comply with both state(s) rules at all times.

2.      Never try to “fly under the radar”

·        Always notify your local law enforcement of your intention to travel and provide as much detail as possible about your travel plans.

·        It helps to have at least one specific destination for your trip. Your local law enforcement will feel more comfortable with this even if your plans include extended time to get to and return from the specific destination(s).

·        Never assume you can travel without anyone finding out.  You don’t want to risk a “failure to register” that would result in incarceration!

3.      While traveling, never stay in any state or location long enough to risk a requirement to register

·        Being registered in one state is enough!  You do not want to risk a requirement to register in multiple states.

·        Unless you have good reason to know otherwise, always assume that:

(a)  You should stay one day less than the  number of days stated in law.

(b) partial days in state will count toward the number of days stated in law.

·        Some states allow you to leave and then return multiple times per month or year; some do not.

·        Some states allow you to be removed from their registry after you leave their jurisdiction, but some do not!

4.      Obey all state and local traffic laws and other regulations

·        Why would you want to invite trouble?  You don’t!

5.      Document all your movements

·        Keep a travel log showing where you have been on your trip and when.

·        Retain all receipts for your trip – they document date, time & location.

·        Your log and receipts are your proof that you are following the travel plan you provided to your local law enforcement.

6.      Prefer Interstate and Federal highways; avoid small towns and local roads where possible

It pains me to offer this advice, because I love to visit America’s small towns and countryside.  However, as a registered citizen you should:

·        Avoid situations where you will look out of place.

·        Prefer major roads and tourist destinations where you will not stand out.

·        Blue Ridge Parkway; Skyline Drive; Natchez Trace Parkway.

Friday, March 5, 2021


From the 50 state visitor guide :

Va. Code Ann. 2019 §§9.1-900 through  9.1-923 and §18.2-472.1.  Va. Code. Ann. §§18.2-370.2 through 18.2-370.5.

AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

Initial registration and updates for residents, in-state employees, and students within 3 days. Those employed in state for more than 14 days or more than 30 days in a calendar year must register within 3 days of arrival. §9.1-905.

Visitors on “an extended visit” of “30 days or more” must register within 3 days of arrival.  §9.1-905.  Per Virginia SOR response letter (2019), a procedure is available for removal from registry after departure.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence restriction:  Certain adult offenders with convictions involving minors sustained after July 2006 may not reside within 500 ft. of a school or parks adjacent to schools.  §18.2-370.3.

Presence restriction:  Certain adult offenders with convictions involving minors sustained after July 2006 may not loiter within 100 ft. of school, day care center, playground, athletic field or facility, or gym.  §18.2-370.2.  SVPs may not enter school grounds, with exceptions.  §18.2-370.5

Duration & updates:

Lifetime. Petition to remove –15 years §9.1-910.  SVPs update every 90 days; all others annually. §9.1-904.

Most recent visit: November 2020


Luray Caverns, Virginia

I don’t know if registered people talk much about Virginia where you live, but people travel back and forth quite a lot between Florida and Virginia.  They have family there, they find work there.  Virginia’s reputation as a decent place to visit that allows registrants to stay up to 30 days seems pretty well known here.  Thirty days is the longest statutory specified time period of any state.

However, be careful of residence, presence and loitering restrictions if they apply to you, because Virginia is a state where they will apply while you’re visiting.  And as with so many states, be careful of local sheriffs & police departments.

Having said all that, Virginia has a lot to offer visitors – history, national parks and forests, vacation resorts, theme parks, and beaches.  I have visited many of these places, but that was before - - before I wrecked my life.  Now that I’m traveling again I plan to go back and visit many of those places again, but in October 2020 I was “just passing through” on my way back to Florida from my brother’s house in New Jersey.

However, I wasn’t in a huge hurry so I decided to visit two places I’d never been.  I drove the length of the Skyline Drive, which was beautiful with many scenic overlooks and lots of fall color.  From a registrant’s point of view it also offers another positive attribute – Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are both under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Parks Service rather than the state police or local sheriff’s departments.  Neither you nor I have any intention of violating any law while traveling, but it was still nice to know I was under that much reduced threat of police harassment.

I also made a side trip to Luray Caverns.  If you have read my other state blogs you’ll know by now I am a cavern junkie.  Luray Caverns was my second cavern on just this trip (the other being Diamond Caverns in Kentucky).  It’s a great place to visit even during a pandemic.  Unlike most caverns they don’t have tour guides; instead they hand you a brochure to use during your self-guided tour (maintaining social distance of course). 

By late in the afternoon I was starting on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There are national forest campgrounds along the way so I found one and bedded down for the night.  The next morning I was off to North Carolina.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


From the 50 state visitor guide :

Tenn. Code Ann. 2019  §§40-39-201 through 40-39-306

AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

48 hours for initial reg. and updates, but “within 48 hours” is defined to not include weekends and holidays.  §40-39-202(32). 

Visitors must register “within 48 hours” of entering state. Per Tenn. SOR office, the 48 hour clock starts upon crossing the state line but will be interrupted from midnight to midnight on weekends and holidays. Also, per SOR office there is no limit on number of repeat visits per week, month or year.

“Primary residence” established after 5 consecutive days. “Secondary residence” means any residence for 14 or more aggregate days in a calendar year, or 4 or more days in a month.  “Residence” means physical presence. §§40-39-202, 40-39-203.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence & Employment Restriction:  1,000 ft. from school, day care center, child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or athletic field, or the offender’s victim or victim’s family. §40-39-211.  In 2019 TN applied new restrictions to residence with any minor; these restrictions are under a Temporary

Restraining Order pending trial (see NARSOL Digest 8/19 p. 5).

Residence restriction:  Violent offenders and those with convictions against minors may not reside in on-campus housing of any institution of higher education.

Presence restriction: 1,000 ft. from school, day care center, child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or athletic field, with exceptions. §40-39-211.  Tennessee libraries have authority to restrict access by Registrants.  §40-39-216.

Per Tenn. SOR office, these restrictions don’t apply to visitors during the 48 hour grace period.  Supposedly.

Duration & updates:

Life.  Petition to remove – 10 years from end of probation.  §163A.125.

Violent offenders update quarterly; all others annually.  §40-39-207

Most recent visit: October 2020

Graceland - As far as I know it's not a public park, so you can go there.

Tennessee is a very tough state if you get caught up in their registry.  As noted above, they have a long list of residency, employment and presence restrictions.  If you do end up on their registry it’s lifetime, although you can petition to be removed starting ten years from the end of your probation.  I don’t know about you, but when they say you can petition, I hear they can turn you down.  I don’t like that.

According to the SOR office, a procedure is available for removal from registry after departure, but it’s cumbersome & time consuming.  Once you’ve returned to your home state, you write or email them providing documentation that you’re back home and why you shouldn’t be on their registry – and supposedly they’ll take you off.  But the nice lady at the SOR office pointed out that your request for removal has to go through their attorney - - which sounds to me like a place where your request can get indefinitely delayed or turned down.  Better to avoid getting on in the first place!

Forty-eight hours is a very short time period to be allowed in any state.  Per the Tennessee SOR office, the 48 hour clock starts upon crossing the state line but will be interrupted from midnight to midnight on weekends and holidays.  So pay attention to your time, keep receipts to prove your whereabouts if you get pulled over, and if you plan to linger long enough to visit the Smokies, Dollywood, Opryland or Graceland, my advice would be to arrive on a Friday and leave on a Monday – or Tuesday if your weekend includes a holiday.  Be careful of local sheriffs & police departments!

However, per the Tennessee SOR office there is no limit on number of repeat visits per week, month or year. Supposedly you could hop in & out of Tennessee, overnighting in surrounding states having much longer visitor periods, e.g. Kentucky, North Carolina or Georgia.  Of course in doing that you’d have to keep track of your days or partial days in those surrounding states too.  Then cross back into Tennessee and start the 48-hour clock all over again.  Supposedly.

Also, regarding all those onerous residency, employment and presence restrictions, according to the SOR office these restrictions don’t apply to visitors during the 48 hour grace period.  Again, supposedly.  If that’s true I’m confident it would be for the usual reason (e.g. see Nevada and Rhode Island), namely that they just don’t want to have to deal with all that paperwork if you’re going to be gone in a few hours or days.

Having said all that, in October 2020 I was just passing through Tennessee on my way from Florida to the Midwest.  I left my national forest campground in North Georgia and asked myself – did I really want this drive thru trip to become a test for any of these supposed time limits and exclusions from residency and presence restrictions?  For example, did I want to stop at a motel and just assume that I didn’t have to check if it was within 1000 feet of a school, child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or athletic field?  After thinking about it a while I decided … no, not this time.  Instead I barely stopped except for food and gas, heading toward Mammoth Cave in Kentucky as my destination for the day.

I resolved that Tennessee will be one of the states I’ll double check before I leave Florida in the Spring.  I’ll call the SOR office one more time and see if I get the same answers from the next random SOR office person who answers the phone, and I’ll update my 50 state visitor guide accordingly.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

 South Carolina

From the 50 state visitor guide :

S.C. Code Ann. 2019  §§23-3-400 through 23-3-550.  AWA Compliant.

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

3 business days for initial registration and updates for “residence.”  Residence / temporary residence means one’s home, or any place where one “habitually resides” or resides for a period of 10 consecutive days or more.  Residing in the state for 30 or more days during a 12-month period also establishes a residence. §§23-3-430, 23-3-450, 23-3-460.

Visitors: “Summary” FAQ website states that registration is required if you are planning to visit for 10 days or more.

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

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence restriction: For certain offenses against minors, may not reside w/in 1,000 ft. of school, day care center, “children’s recreational facility,” park, or playground.  §23-3-535.

State pre-emption: A local government may not enact an ordinance that: (1) contains penalties that exceed or are less lenient than the penalties contained in state statutes; or (2) expands or contracts the boundaries of areas in which a sex offender may or may not reside. §23-3-535(E).

Duration & updates:

Lifetime.  Tier III and SVP update every 90 days; all others every 6 mo.  §23-3-460.

Most recent visit: Election Day 2020

A historic street in Charleston, SC

In early November 2020 I traveled thru South Carolina on my way home to Florida from the Northeast.  It was getting late in the day and I was looking for a campground as close to Florida as I could get so I could make it home the next day as planned – and as I had notified my local sheriff’s department.

Looking over South Carolina’s residency and other restrictions, I decided that:

(a) my offense wasn’t covered by the state’s “certain offenses against minors” clause (see above); and

(b) even if it was, national forest campgrounds wouldn’t count against the state’s residency restrictions because national forests are not parks; and furthermore

(c) even if they did count, staying at a campground overnight wouldn’t count as establishing a “residence” because to do that I’d have to be there “for a period of 10 consecutive days or more” which I was not.

This line of reasoning led me to a campground in Sumter National Forest, which was quite beautiful and completely empty that particular evening.  After a good night’s sleep I left South Carolina the next morning and proceeded on my way.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

 Rhode Island

From the 50 state visitor guide :

R.I. Gen. Laws 2019  §§11-37.1-1 through 11-37.1-20

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

24 hours for initial reg. and updates for all registrants who are moving to state, working in state, or are students.  §11-37.1-4. 

Statutes make no specific provision for visitors.  However, RI SOR office states that visitors in state for not more that 10 bus. days or two weeks (whichever comes first) must “check in” at local police department within 24 hours for “temporary registration” which does not go on the registry. Return to “check out” when departing the state. Also, there appears to be no limit on number of repeat visits per year.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Level 3 offenders barred from schools and parks. Level 3 also can’t reside within 1000 feet of a K-12 school.  Note: this restriction was enjoined in 2015 pending a trial on the merits.  Lawsuit still pending in 2020 & injunction still in place.

Other registrants including visitors – can’t reside within 300 feet of K-12 school.

Only Level 2&3 offenders are placed on the public website. §11-37.1-12.

Duration & updates:

10 years to life.  Updates: SVPs – quarterly.  All others – quarterly for first 2 years, then annual. §11-37.1-4.

Most recent visit: Halloween Day 2020

Rhode Island -  small but mighty

I began participating in (at least listening in on) the ACSOL monthly call-in meetings since they switched over from in-person to call-in meetings due to COVID-19.  Interstate travel has been one of the most requested topics of discussion at every one of those call-in meetings.  Each time, the meeting hosts provide the very good advice that registrants should be keenly aware of the amount of time allowed in any state you visit before registration is required because some states’ deadlines are very short and you do not want to end up on any state’s registry (aside from your home state) if you can possibly avoid it.

At most of the ACSOL call-in meetings I have attended, Rhode Island has been given as an example of a state to be avoided because their registration deadline  among the shortest of all – just 24 hours!  Another short-deadline state they often mention is Nevada (48 hours) which makes sense because ACSOL is based next door in California.  They have a lot of California members that need to be warned about this.

However, when I conducted my research for this travel blog in the summer of 2020 I called as many states SOR offices as would answer the phone to clarify what their policies actually were, and I found that Rhode Island (and Nevada) is one of a handful of states that, by policy, claimed to treat a statutory very short visitor registration requirement as a “duty to check in” but holds registrant visitor information pending a commitment to depart within a specified time – the friendly RI SOR office lady said 10 business days or two weeks, whichever comes first.  At departure she claimed it is discarded or filed without ever going on the registry.

Dear friends: I agree with everyone who keeps cautioning me that you can’t take at face value anything that some random SOR office lady tells you on the phone.  I’m just reporting the news here.

Although Rhode Island is a tiny state, the question of what their registration policy is concerns me more than it might the average registrant because I have a brother and sister-in-law living there.  I want to be able to visit them.  However, on my trip to the northeast in October 2020 I elected NOT to test Rhode Island’s visitor registration policy.  Instead, I left New Jersey Halloween morning, spent about six hours visiting in Rhode  Island, and drove right back to the Garden State that same evening.

If I’m going to test this registration policy I want to do it when I have more time available AND have the option of skedaddling out of state if the local police department gives me a different answer than the SOR office did.  Another thing I plan to do before I leave Florida for the 2021 summer travel season is re-call all the states that gave me these suspiciously hopeful sounding answers to see what the next random SOR office employee has to say.

Saturday, January 16, 2021


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.

“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.

List of registration sites:

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: October & November 2020

Hickory Run State Park

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 , and of course the FAQ doesn’t answer this particular question.  Because of this the only way to answer this question would be to visit one of Pennsylvania’s “registration sites” (see ) which turn out to be state police regional headquarters. 

I resolved to do this on my 2020 trip when I passed through the state twice.  However, even though I stayed at a state park campground overnight the first time I passed through (perfectly allowable because Pennsylvania has no presence or other restrictions), I was in kind of a hurry to get to my brother’s house in New Jersey and excused myself by saying I would take care of this errand on my way back, which I expected would be on a Monday.  But then it turned out that the second time was actually on a Sunday when the offices were closed.

I could kick myself.  But I’m quite sure I’ll be in Pennsylvania again in 2021, so one of my New Year’s resolutions is to get this errand done next time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


From the 50 state visitor guide :

O.R.C. Ann. 2019  §§2950.01 through 2950.99.  AWA Compliant

Registration Triggers and Deadlines:

3 days for initial reg. of residence or “temporary domicile” if in state for more than 3 days. §2950.04.  Those employed for more than 3 days or more than 14 aggregate days in a calendar year shall register w/in 3 days.  Ohio SOR interprets “day” as beginning when you spend a night.

Residency/Presence and Other Restrictions:

Residence restriction: 1,000 ft. from school, preschool, or child day-care premises.  §2950.034.  Per Ohio SOR office, applies only to certain types of resident registrants. Does not apply to visitors not yet required to register.  Procedure available for removal from registry after departure.

Duration & updates:

10 years to life. Updates: T1 – annual, T2 – 6 mo. T3 – 3 mo.  §2950.15.

Most recent visit: October 2020

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Ohio’s rules for visiting registrants are a mixed bag.  The bad news is that you only get three consecutive days in-state before you will be required to register.  However, according to the state SOR office they interpret “day” as beginning when you spend a night (so the first partial day when you enter doesn’t count), and supposedly it’s the fourth day that trigger’s registration.  Still, it’s a pretty short period of time.

After that the news gets better.  There appears to be no limit on return visits per month or year, so technically you could leave Ohio for a day or two, return and start the clock all over again.  Also, although certain types of resident registrants face a 1,000 ft. residence restriction from schools, preschools, or child day-care premises (§2950.034), according to the SOR office this does not apply to visitors not yet required to register.  Lastly, if you do end up on Ohio’s registry there is a procedure available for removal after departure.

Admittedly, when I visited Ohio in October 2020 I didn’t test any of these rules because I was just passing thru on my way from Iowa to New Jersey.  I had just spent the night in Indiana, so I was on to Pennsylvania by early afternoon.  Therefore, according to Ohio’s rules I never started their three day clock. 

Maybe next time.

  Tips for Traveling Registrants 2021 1.       Know the laws that apply to you ·         Laws of your state of registry relating to you...