California Sex Offenders

The California sex offenders law is also known as California’s Megan Law. Established in 1996, the Penal Code § 290.46. protects the public from sex offenders.

The law makes sure the general public are aware of registered sex offenders.

The name "California's Megan Law" is from a victim of rape and murder Megan Kanka. Megan, age 7, died at the hands of a convicted child molester living across the street. Her parents did not know that a child molester lived across the street.

Megan’s parents had the local authorities inform the public about sex offenders.

The parent's efforts lead other states to adopt this measure. Now “Megan’s Law” helps protect the public from sex offenders.

California Sex Offender Registry

The California Sex and Arson Registry manages the primary source of information for sex offenders.

The registry updates the sex offender database with information from local law enforcement.

The registry also informs the general public of registrants that are violating registration. You can aid the registry by reporting any information you may have on a sex offender to your local law enforcement.

California Sex Offender Facts


  • There are 35,281 registered sex offenders in California

Top Offenses


Counties in California with the highest number of offenders:

  • Los Angeles County
  • San Bernardino County
  • San Diego County
  • Riverside County
  • Sacramento County
Zip Codes in California with the highest number of offenders:
  • 93307
  • 90013
  • 90037
  • 90044
  • 92101
  • 90003
  • 93535
  • 93308
  • 93722
  • 92509
Nearby States:
California Sex Crimes Requiring Offender Registration

Offenses Requiring Registration and Community Notification Under ALA. CODE. § 15-20-20:

Kidnapping (CAL. PENAL CODE § 207, 209 (West 2008).) with the intent to commit:

  • Rape - CAL. PENAL CODE § 261 (West 2008).

  • Sodomy - CAL. PENAL CODE § 286 (West 2008).

  • Lewd or lascivious acts involving children - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288 (West 2008).

  • Oral copulation - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288a (West 2008). Penetration by foreign object -CAL. PENAL CODE § 289 (West 2008).

  • Assault with the intent to commit rape, sodomy, oral copulation, penetration by foreign object, lewd or lascivious acts involving children, or aiding or abetting a rape (Cal Pen Code 264.1) - CAL. PENAL CODE§ 220 (West 2008).

  • Sexual battery of severely disabled or medically incapacitated victims - CAL. PENAL CODE § 243.4(West 2008).


  • when the victim is incapable of giving consent;

  • by force or fear, or in concert with force or violence;

  • by the threat of retaliation;

  • of a drugged victim;

  • of a victim unconscious of the nature of the act; or

  • Of a spouse by force or violence for which the offender is sentenced to the state prison; CAL. PENAL CODE § 261 (West 2008).

  • Spousal rape for which the offender is sentenced to state prison - CAL. PENAL CODE § 262(a)(1) (West 2008)

  • Aiding or abetting a rape - CAL. PENAL CODE § 264.1 (West 2008).

  • Enticing an unmarried female to a house of ill-fame for prostitution - CAL. PENAL CODE§ 266 (West 2008).

  • Inducing consent to a sexual act by fraud or fear - CAL. PENAL CODE § 266c (West 2008).

  • Pimping of a minor - CAL. PENAL CODE § 266h (b) (West 2008).

  • Pandering of a minor - CAL. PENAL CODE § 266i (b) (West 2008).

  • Procurement of a child - CAL. PENAL CODE § 266j (West 2008).

  • The abduction of a minor for prostitution - CAL. PENAL CODE § 267 (West 2008).

  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child - CAL. PENAL CODE § 269 (West 2008).

  • Incest - CAL. PENAL CODE § 285 (West 2008).

  • Sodomy - CAL. PENAL CODE § 286 (West 2008).

  • Lewd or lascivious acts involving children - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288 (West 2008).

  • Oral Copulation - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288a (West 2008).

  • Penetration by foreign object - CAL. PENAL CODE § 289 (West 2008).

  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288.5 (West 2008).

  • Sale or distribution of obscene matter depicting a person under age of 18 years engaging in sexual conduct -CAL. PENAL CODE § 311.1 (West 2008).

  • Production, distribution, or exhibition of obscene matter - CAL. PENAL CODE § 311.2 (West 2008).

  • Sexual exploitation of a child - CAL. PENAL CODE § 311.3 (West 2008).

  • Employment of minor in sale or distribution of obscene matter or production of pornography - CAL.PENAL CODE § 311.4 (West 2008).

  • Advertisement of obscene matters depicting minors - CAL. PENAL CODE § 311.10 (West 2008).

  • Possession or control of child pornography - CAL. PENAL CODE § 311.11 (West 2008).

  • Annoying or molesting children - CAL. PENAL CODE § 647.6 (West 2008).

  • Solicitation to commit rape by force or violence, sodomy by force or violence, oral copulation by force or violence, Aiding or abetting a rape, Lewd or lascivious acts involving children, or Penetration by foreign object - CAL. PENAL CODE § 653f(c) (West 2008).

  • Indecent exposure - CAL. PENAL CODE § 314(1)-(2) (West 2008).

  • Luring minor under 14 away from home to commit an offense involving lewd or lascivious conduct - CAL. PENAL CODE § 272 (West 2008).

  • A felony violation of sending harmful matter to minor by telephone messages, electronic mail, Internet, or commercial online service - CAL. PENAL CODE § 288.2 (West 2008).

  • A conviction for the attempt to commit the offenses above.

  • Any person required to register as a sex offender in another state, unless the conviction was for the equivalent of indecent exposure, unlawful sexual intercourse under Cal Pen. Code § 261.5, incest, sodomy, or oral copulation, provided that the offender notifies the Dept. of Justice that the sodomy or oral copulation was between consenting adults and the Dept. can verify that fact.

  • Any person convicted in any state, federal or military court of any offense that, if committed or attempted in California, would have been punishable as one or more of the offenses above

Information maintained in California Sex Offender Registry

CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.015 (West 2008)

(a) A person who is subject to the Act shall register, or re-register if the person has previously registered, upon release from incarceration, placement, commitment, or release on probation under subdivision (b) of Section290.

This section shall not apply to a person who is incarcerated for less than 30 days if he or she has registered as required by the Act. He or she returns after incarceration to the last registered address, and the annual update of registration that is required to occur within five working days of his or her birthday, under subdivision (a) of Section 290.012, did not fall within that incarceration period. The registration shall consist of all of the following:

  1. A statement in writing signed by the person, giving information as shall be required by the Department of Justice and giving the name and address of the person's employer, and the address of the person's place of employment if that is different from the employer's main address.

  2. The fingerprints and a current photograph of the person taken by the registering official.

  3. The license plate number of any vehicle owned by, regularly driven by or registered in the name of the person.

  4. Notice to the person that, in addition to the requirements of the Act, he or she may have a duty to register in any other state where he or she may relocate.

  5. Copies of adequate proof of residence, which shall be limited to a California driver's license, California identification card, recent rent or utility receipt, printed personalized checks or other recent banking documents showing that person's name and address, or any other information that the registering official is reliable. If the person has no residence and no reasonable expectation of obtaining a residence in the foreseeable future, the person shall so advise the registering official and shall sign a statement provided by the registering official stating that fact. Upon presentation of proof of residence to the registering official or a signed statement that the person has no residence, the person shall be allowed to register. If the person claims that he or she has a residence but does not have any proof of residence, he or she shall be allowed to register but shall furnish proof of residence within 30 days of the date he or she is allowed to register.

Community Notification and Websites

CAL. PENAL § 290.45 (West 2008)

(a)(1): Any designated law enforcement entity may provide information to the public about a person required to register as a sex offender by whatever means the entity deems appropriate, when necessary to ensure the public safety based upon information available to the entity concerning that specific person.

CAL. PENAL § 290.46 (West 2008)

(a)(1): On or before July 10, 2010, the Department of Justice shall make available information concerning persons who are required to register under Section 290 to the public via an Internet Web site as specified in this section.

Limitations on Residency or Employment

CAL. PENAL § 290.95 (West 2008)

(a): Registrants who apply or accept a position that has direct and unaccompanied access to minor children must disclose their status as a registrant on their application for that position or upon acceptance of the employment.

(b): No registrant who has been convicted of a crime against a victim under the age of 16 may work in a position where the registrant would have direct and unaccompanied access to minor children or have supervision or disciplinary power over minor children.

CAL. PENAL § 3003.5(b) (West 2008)

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is unlawful for any person for whom registration is required under Section 290 to reside within 2000 feet of any public or private school or park where children regularly gather.

Duration of Registration

CAL. PENAL § 290 (West 2008)

  1. (a)(1)(A) Sex offenders must register for life.

Timeframe for Registration

Within 14 days of entering any county or city; 10 days of changing the address

Applies to Offenders Convicted in another State?

Yes, both adults and juveniles, including federal and foreign convictions.

Verification of Address

Offenders update registration info annually with local law enforcement within 10 days of birthday; verify address with the Department of Justice.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

If guilty of a misdemeanor, failure to register or update is a crimeup to 1 year in jail; if guilty of a felony or have a prior failure, failure is a felony16-36 months in state prison; mandatory 90 days imprisonment; parole/probation revocation.

What does a Sex Offender Look Like?

Most people think sexual predators are scary-looking and creepy. But three out of four adolescents who were sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.

Most of the time, sexual predators look like regular people. Children and parents need to know and to understand that anyone can be a sexual predator, no matter how "normal" they appear.

Encouraging Children to Share

It isn't always easy to build a trusting relationship with your child. Trying to get your children to share what is going on in their lives can be difficult.

Building an open and welcoming environment from the beginning stages of a child's life is essential. Children are less intimidated and more likely to discuss issues and topics in their lives with an open and supportive environment.

Getting your kids to share serves as a building block for times when your child needs to discuss pressing issues like sex and sexual abuse.

Free Parental eBook

KidsLiveSafe put together a comprehensive parents guide about sexual predators and keeping children safe. This free online eBook includes vital statistics, how to tell if a predator is victimizing a child, and social media and cyber-bullying.

See KidsLiveSafe eBook