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Where can I search to find out if a sex offender lives near me?

Updated June 01, 2017

The prospect of having a convicted sex offender living in your neighbourhood can be worrisome. There are a number of registries available online that allow the public to search specific people or parameters, such as zip code or address.

What Is a Sex Offender?

A sex offender is a person convicted of crimes involving sex, including sexual assault or rape, child molestation, indecent exposure or distribution of child pornography.

Registration Requirements

Each state has specific registration requirements, which include all current addresses, fingerprints, and DNA. Failure to follow these registration requirements can result in criminal charges.

National Sex Offender web site

The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry web site, or NSOPW, provides a search of all state registries, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, District of Columbian and participating tribes. Dru Sjodin was a North Dakota college student murdered by a registered sex offender.

State and Local Sex Offender web sites

Every state has a sex offender registry available online which is maintained by the state's department of public safety. Many cities also have local sites.

Searching Registries

Each web site gives a variety of searchable fields, like name, zip code or city zone. Most sites are easily navigable.

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About the Author

Lea Cook began writing professionally in 1994. After completing her bachelor's degree in journalism/theater arts in 1998 from Texas Tech University, she attended law school at Texas Tech University School of Law. Cook began practicing law in 2002 as a prosecutor and general practice attorney.