Sex Registration

Registration as a sex offender under California Penal Code section 290 is the most severe and permanent type of registration. However, under limited circumstances, cleaning up your record can remove your registration requirement.

Will the remedy remove my registration requirement?

    Expungement—NO, an expungement alone does NOT remove your sex registration requirement.[3257]
    However, if you also get a Certificate of Rehabilitation[3258] AND
    You qualify for relief from registration under California Penal Code section 290.5 (which has additional requirements and restrictions),[3259] you may no longer have to register.
    Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR)—Maybe, but it will depend on what offense you were convicted of.
    A COR WILL remove your sex registration requirement if you were not convicted of one of the disqualifying offenses under Penal Code section 290.5(2).[3260]
    For the serious (felony) sex offenses listed in Penal Code section 290.5(2), a COR will NOT remove your sex registration requirement (unless you also get a pardon).[3261]
    Remember, a COR is available for misdemeanor sex offense convictions that are expunged under California’s expungement statute (Penal Code section 1203.4).[3262]
    If your conviction was for certain sex offenses involving children (Cal. Penal § 288 or 288.5 ONLY), you received probation, AND you received a COR before 1998, a judge may remove your sex registration requirement after 10 years with no new felony convictions.[3263]
    Pardon—YES, this will remove your sex registration requirement.
    A full pardon from the governor will remove your sex registration requirement, BUT a pardon is VERY difficult to get and granted only in “extraordinary circumstances.”[3264]

Sex Registration & Megan’s Law

Under “Megan’s Law,” the California Department of Justice is required to keep a public website with personal and criminal history information about anyone who is required to register as a sex offender under California Penal Section 290. The website is available to the public, and includes information about your conviction offense, certain other information about your criminal history, a photograph and description of what you look like, and other personal information (name, date of birth, the community and zip code or county where you live, and in some cases even your address).[3265]

IMPORTANT: In some cases, you may be able to get your information removed from the Megan’s Law website. If your conviction was for a less serious sex offense, AND you do NOT have any other convictions for more serious sex offenses, you can ask the DOJ to remove (“exclude”) your information from the public website. If you meet all of the other requirements (listed in Cal. Penal 290.46(e)), the DOJ is required to remove your information.[3266] BUT even if your information is removed from the DOJ website, you are still required to register under section 290 (unless you get your registration requirement legally lifted).


Learn more about restration requirements and other laws affecting people required to register for a sex offense in the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER, on PG. 163.

  1. 3257

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.007, 1203.4; see also Cal. Penal Code § 290.5.

  2. 3258

    Remember, misdemeanor sex offense convictions are eligible for Certificates of Rehabilitation. See Cal. Penal Code § 4852.01.

  3. 3259

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.007; see also Cal. Penal Code § 290.5.

  4. 3260

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.5(a).

  5. 3261

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.5(b).

  6. 3262

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.01

  7. 3263

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.5(b)(3).

  8. 3264

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.01(e).

  9. 3265

    Cal. Penal Code § § 290.46(a)-(d).

  10. 3266

    Cal. Penal Code § 290.46(e).