The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington

Sex Offender Laws in Washington State: Sex Offender Registration Requirements

The sex offender laws in Washington State apply to anyone who is convicted of a sexual offense or a kidnapping offense, whether you’re a state resident, nonresident student, or worker. This includes convictions from other states, or countries, and federal convictions, as well as findings of not guilty by reason of insanity.

At Findley & Rogers, we’re here to help you understand these laws, comply with them, and, whenever possible, appeal your sex offender registration and expunge your record in Washington state.

Sex Offender Registration Requirements: Where to Register as an Offender

Washington’s sex offender laws require registration at the county sheriff’s office. It is best to do so in person, although there are some situations when you can register via certified mail. Ultimately, your registration requirements depend on your residency status.

  • Residents: As a Washington state resident, you must register in the county where you currently reside, not the county where you were convicted.
  • Nonresidents: If you are not a resident — meaning you have recently moved to Washington or are in the state for work or school — you must register in the county where you’ll be working or attending classes.
  • New Residents: If you are a new resident, then you must register in the county where you plan to reside.
  • Visitors: If you are only visiting, the Washington State sex offender laws still apply to you: you must register with the county you are visiting if you plan to spend ten days or longer within the state. Additionally, you must register with each county where you will be staying, and you will also need to inform the authorities in the state where you currently reside that you will be traveling.

A police car drives down a city street

When to Give Notice to the Authorities

Washington State’s sex offender laws require you notify the authorities in various circumstances, particularly when you travel, to help them keep track of your whereabouts. These requirements are listed in RCW 9A.44.130, Washington’s sex offender law.

These requirements cover virtually all forms of travel, including business, leisure, education, camping, family emergencies, and if you move or become homeless. You must sometimes give notice in advance — including up to 21 days — for international travel. You must also advise the sheriff’s office if your travel plans change.

How to End Your Requirement to Register as an Offender

The sex offender laws in Washington State allow for most people who have been convicted of a sexual offense to end their registration requirements after they complete a mandatory waiting period. The waiting period differs based on the severity of the crime, as well as on whether you were convicted as a juvenile or an adult. It’s worth noting that most adult sex offenses are never eligible to be vacated or expunged, but it is possible to lift your registration requirement for almost any offense.

Contact Findley & Rogers for a Free Consultation

If you have any questions about the sex offender laws, Washington State’s sex offender registration requirements, or ending your requirement to registration, Findley & Rogers can help. Our mission as a law office is to help ordinary citizens who have worked hard to overcome and make-up for their mistakes regain control over their lives. If you’ve been convicted of a crime in your past, there are many legal remedies available that you may not even know about, including:

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about what you can do to overturn your sexual offender registration.