How to check for local sex offenders

Sex offenders are required by law to register with law officials. Registrants are then entered into a database that is accessible by the public. Each state maintains its own database, or website, for sex offenders.

Those state databases are fed into the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) maintained by the US Department of Justice.

Go to the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the Department of Justice.

Select your state from the drop-down menu under "Search Options."

Enter your ZIP code in the corresponding field. All registered sex offenders living in that ZIP code will be listed.

Click on each name listed to see the perpetrator's last known address, photo, description and charge.

Visit the FBI's sex offender directory. The directory doesn't offer a list of local sex offenders; instead it maintains a list of state-run sex offender registries.

Select your state and you will be redirected to your state's sex offender registry website.

Enter the details required to look up information on your state's database. You may be required to enter a name of the perpetrator, or possibly just the ZIP code. Every state's website is different.