The State of California has imposed a registration requirement for sex offenders the Sex offender Registration Act. In most cases this is a lifetime requirement. The basic requirement is set forth in California Penal Code Section 290.
(a) Sections 290 to 290.023, inclusive, shall be known and may
be cited as the Sex Offender Registration Act. All references to
“the Act” in those sections are to the Sex Offender Registration Act.
(b) Every person described in subdivision (c), for the rest of his
or her life while residing in California, or while attending school
or working in California, as described in Sections 290.002 and
290.01, shall be required to register with the chief of police of the
city in which he or she is residing, or the sheriff of the county if
he or she is residing in an unincorporated area or city that has no
police department, and, additionally, with the chief of police of a
campus of the University of California, the California State
University, or community college if he or she is residing upon the
campus or in any of its facilities, within five working days of
coming into, or changing his or her residence within, any city,
county, or city and county, or campus in which he or she temporarily
resides, and shall be required to register thereafter in accordance
with the Act.
(c) The following persons shall be required to register:
Any person who, since July 1, 1944, has been or is hereafter
convicted in any court in this state or in any federal or military
court of a violation of Section 187 committed in the perpetration, or
an attempt to perpetrate, rape or any act punishable under Section
286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 207 or 209 committed with intent to
violate Section 261, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 220, except
assault to commit mayhem, Section 243.4, paragraph (1), (2), (3),July 1, 1944 (Section 290.03)
(4), or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261, paragraph (1) of
subdivision (a) of Section 262 involving the use of force or violence
for which the person is sentenced to the state prison, Section
264.1, 266, or 266c, subdivision (b) of Section 266h, subdivision (b)
of Section 266i, Section 266j, 267, 269, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.3,
288.4, 288.5, 288.7, 289, or 311.1, subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of
Section 311.2, Section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, 311.11, or 647.6, former
Section 647a, subdivision (c) of Section 653f, subdivision 1 or 2 of
Section 314, any offense involving lewd or lascivious conduct under
Section 272, or any felony violation of Section 288.2; any statutory
predecessor that includes all elements of one of the above-mentioned
offenses; or any person who since that date has been or is hereafter
convicted of the attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the
The requirement applies to just about every sex offense, as well as murder, kidnapping and assault crimes for the purpose of committing a sex act. Registration also applies to anyone who is adjudicated a sexually violent predator (Section 290.01) People who are required to register in another state, who are living or working in California are also required to register (Section 290.02) The requirement applies to anyone who has served a sentence of confinement for one of the enumerated offenses since July 1, 1944 (Section 290.03). It also applies to anyone adjudicated a mentally disordered sex offender since July 1, 1944 (Section 290.04). The requirement also applies to people convicted of equivalent offenses in other states, federal or military courts (Section 290.05). The California courts also have the authority to order a defendant to register for any offense not enumerated in Section 290(c) if it is found that the offense was committed for the purpose of sexual gratification. (Section 290.06). Section 290.07 requires offenders to register even if the underlying offense has been dismissed and expunged. Section 290.08 extends the registration requirement to equivalent convictions in the juvenile justice system. 290.09 requires students and employees of institutions of higher learning in the State of California to register if they are convicted of a listed offense.
Sections 290.010 through 290.020 address the procedural requirements of registration.
The remaining sections of the Sex Offender Registration Act, 290.021 through 290.023 address government procedure and applicability.
Collectively, the sections that make up the Act require anyone convicted of a listed offense to register every year on his birthday for the rest of his life. Failure to register is a misdemeanor if the registerable offense is a misdemeanor, and a felony if the underlying offense is a felony.