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Registry Fees Fact Guide
By: Derek W. Logue
Created: November 2, 2011, Updated May 4, 2017

INTRODUCTION


"It's not that I wouldn't be for it because offsetting the costs to the taxpayers is a good thing. I just don't think the majority of them
can afford to pay, and they'll quit paying, quit registering and quit showing up and be a bigger problem."
-- Polk Co. FL Sheriff
Grady Judd on why registry fees are a bad idea. [1]

Registration fees are becoming popular in a select growing number of locations. Perhaps the biggest story on this issue in recent
memory is the ordinance proposed by the city of Lake Charles, LA, which would have increased yearly registration fees to $600 per
year. As of this writing, the law is on hold due to a temporary injunction [
2].

Obviously, registry fees and the fear over possible legal trouble for failing to pay fees is a very real concern. Some state laws
consider failure to pay registry fees part of the criminal charge of “failure to register [3].” Exacerbating the possibility of arrest for
failure to pay fees is due to the fact that registrants have far higher rates of unemployment than the average citizen. In Oklahoma,
“nearly 40%” of registrants are considered “unemployed, disabled, or retired [4]”; Washington State’s unemployment rate for
registrants was 25% in 2005, with a 9% rate of homelessness [
5].

While many locations have these laws, is it constitutional? There have been few stories regarding sex offenders arrested for failing to
pay fees, and even fewer court cases addressing the fees. This article will cover the very sparse commentary on this subject.

HORNER v. GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In 2008, Philip Horner argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court that imposing a semi-annual fee of $17 amounted to
“disproportional taxation,” while the state argued that the fees were regulatory. The justices sided with the state, agreeing the fees are
regulatory measure and that the “$17 semi-annual charge imposed upon sex offenders is not intended to raise additional revenue but,
rather, is used solely to support a governmental regulatory activity made necessary by the actions of those who are required to pay
the charge [
6].” The fees are seen as the registry itself, a “regulatory” measure which was upheld by the 2003 Smith v. Doe decision
[
7]. By arguing the law was a tax and not a fee, this case seemed doomed to fail.

EASTERLING V STATE OF FLORIDA

This case involved a life without parole sentence for a mere probation violation for not having a $10 registration ID card. Because
Easterling made every effort to comply with the law, at least the registration fee violation was reversed by the First District Court of
Appeals. Below is the case summary:

Easterling was convicted (by plea) of three counts of sexual battery on children under the age of 12 and sentenced to two years'
community control and sex offender probation. Easterling was charged with violating his community control in four respects by: (1)
failing to remain at liberty without violating the law by failing to register and obtain an identification card denoting his sex offender
status from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) within 48 hours of his release from prison as required
by section 944.607, Florida Statutes (2007); (2) failing to follow the lawful instructions of his probation officer directing appellant
to register as a sex offender with the DHSMV within 48 hours of his probation; (3) failing to be truthful with his probation officer
by omitting necessary facts regarding his failure to obtain the required identification card from the DHSMV; and (4) leaving his
home and visiting the DHSMV without his probation officer's permission.

The uncontradicted evidence demonstrates Easterling made a good faith effort to register and obtain a license in accordance with
section 944.607, Florida Statutes. The only reason he did not complete the registration was because he lacked $10 to obtain a new
license. In fact, Easterling obtained the license after attempting to comply with the requirement three days later, as soon as he had
obtained the necessary funds. While the trial court found that appellant could have asked the probation officer for the money, merely
because he did not take the wisest course of action, we cannot say the failure to register was willful and substantial. Van Wagner v.
State,677 So.2d 314, 317 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (holding where a probationer makes reasonable efforts to comply with a condition of
probation, the violation cannot be deemed willful). Because we determine that Easterling made a good faith effort to comply, we
must also reverse the violation relating to failing to follow the lawful instructions of his community control officer.

Based on the foregoing, we affirm the finding of violations as to two conditions of community control, but we reverse as to the two
charges concerning Easterling's failure to register. Because it is not clear from the record whether the trial court would have imposed
the same sentence based on the remaining violations, we reverse and remand for reconsideration of the revocation and sentencing
decisions
[8].”

OREGON’S REGISTRY FEES LAW

A recent article at Oregon’s Library of Defense Blog offers a very good assessment of Oregon’s Registry fee law:

“ORS 181.598 requires the assessment of a $70.00 fee for sex offender registration.  Sex offenders must pay that fee in the same
sense that any of us must pay money we legally owe.  However, recent case law makes it fairly clear that failure to pay the fee should
not prevent registration and it certainly should not form the basis of a charge of failure to register.

ORS 181.595-597 explain who is required to register as a sex offender. ORS 181.599 creates the crime of failure to report as a sex
offender. It requires making the report, signing the registration form, and submitting to fingerprinting and photographing. It does
not mention a fee.

The fee comes from ORS 181.598, which requires the Department of State Police to assess a $70 fee. But ORS 181.599 does not
require the person to pay it.

In State v. Depeche, 242 Or App 147, 252 P3d 861 (2011), the defendant failed to provide proof of his address while registering.
The court held that, because providing verification is not required by ORS 181.899, the defendant had not failed to register by
failing to provide proof of his address. Rather, the defendant merely has to show up and try to report in order to avoid liability.
Similarly, ORS 181.899 does not require payment of the fee, it just requires the police to ‘assess’ it. If the person hands over the
form, signs it, and submits to photographs, I don’t think any crime arises for refusing to pay. (But I’d probably advise my own
clients that they should pay anyway).”

Personally, I would refuse to pay the fees but I do not live in Oregon [9].

TYLER V. STATE

A blog post by Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney John P. Guidry II covers the recent case of Tyler v. State [10]

Remember Obama Care, with a requirement that all American citizens be required to buy something? Is there anything in the
constitution that requires a citizen pay for anything? Well, if you're a convicted sex offender, especially here in Orlando (where the
sex offender task force seems to work around the clock) you'll be paying registration fees for the rest of your life, even if you've
already served all of your sentence. Hum.

This is America, right? Let's say you're convicted of possession of child pornography, once your "debt" is paid to society via a prison
sentence and/or probation, it's over, right? Wrong. For the rest of a sex offender's life, he must report his whereabouts in person to
the local sheriff's office. In addition, with each change of address (even temporary) he must report to the sheriff's office and be
photographed, fingerprints rolled, and provide additional housing information. After sheriff's duties are completed--it's not over--it's
the beginning of paying fees to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Supposedly, poverty is no reason to put somebody in prison. But, sex offenders are forced to pay "fees" forever. The fees are $25, to
update driver's license info within 48 hours of any change in permanent or temporary residence. Remember, "temporary" means
staying somewhere for five (5) days total, during a calendar year!?!? Is this constitutional? Yep. A one week vacation requires
registration, and fees when you get there. Imagine spending the first day of every vacation at the sheriff's office, then at the DMV?
Shoot me now! Then, when you return home, more registration fees to tell them you're back! Wow. Driving two hours to visit mom
and dad for the week? Register there. Pay fees. Drive home, let them know you've returned, pay fees again.

Is all this fee paying constitutional? This issue was "sort of" addressed in Tyler v. State, 2011 WL 3300165 (2nd DCA 2011), where
the defendant was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender because he did not obtain an updated driver's license after
changing his residence. He challenged the constitutionality of forcing a sex offender to pay for constant updates to his driver's
license. Tyler claimed that he could not afford to update his information, and it's unconstitutional to force him to do so. (after all,
who's hiring sex offender's these days?)

The good news is that it seems as though the Tyler court may have been willing to tackle this issue favorably, but the facts weren't
ripe because Tyler presented no evidence of his inability to pay the fees. The court noted that "no law requires a typical resident, or
even a typical felon, to obtain a driver's license or identification card. On the other hand, sexual offenders such as Tyler are legally
compelled to obtain this documentation every time they change their residences, and they are expressly required to pay for it", Id at 3.

The court did not buy the prosecutor's argument that this law is constitutional, noting that "we disagree with the State's assertion ...
that his constitutional challenge has already been resolved against him by Florida's appellate courts. None of the cases cited by the
State, either in the circuit court or here, has upheld the statute against a constitutional challenge premised on the defendant's
indigence....Neither have we found such a case." Id. at 4.

Supposedly, a sex offender may be removed from registration requirements after many years have passed, but good luck getting a
judge to do so (hey, it's worth a try, the worst thing they can do is say no).

DOE, SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD NO. 10800 v. SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD

Like the Horner case, this court upheld an decision that the registry fees are not "disproportionate taxation," but it is the court's
assertions that pique interest. They claim the registration scheme actually benefits the offender. I beg to differ:

We add that the regulatory scheme governing the registration of sex offenders is not wholly devoid of any benefit to a sex offender
because it provides the offender with the opportunity to alter his classification level or terminate his registration obligation. Because
the risk to reoffend and the degree of dangerousness posed by a sex offender may change over time, a level two or level three sex
offender may file with the board, after three years from the date of his final classification, a motion for reexamination of his
classification level.

So let me get this straight-- the court actually determined the registry scheme actually provides benefit for registrants because they
can theoretically go to court to get off the registry? Unbelievable.

MOST REGISTRANTS CANNOT PAY THESE FEES

The following comments from the Marion, IL Police Department already sum up the hardships caused by these fees:

"
The majority of sex offenders are either low income, or on disability, unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck like everybody
else. With the fee increasing, it's been a hardship on everybody," explains Christina Burns, Marion police department's records
coordinator. Burns says only about five to ten percent of the city's sex offenders can afford to pay the $100 annual fee. She admits
it's difficult for them to hold down a job due to their situation. "If they can't maintain their job, they're certainly not going to
maintain or have accessible money to pay a fee that went from something that could be construed as quite miniscule to 100 dollars a
year
." [12]

As a result, many districts in Illinois have not enforced these fees or waived them due to indigence. One more recent article gives an
idea how the fees are being divided:

“The $100 is broken down between four agencies,” Breeze said. “Thirty dollars is kept by the Mt. Vernon Police Department; $10 is
sent to the Sex Offender Management Board Fund, which is part of the state treasurer’s office; $30 goes to the Illinois State Police
Sex Offender Registration Fund, since the State Police oversee all registration in the state; and $30 goes to the Illinois Attorney
General Sex Offender Awareness Training and Education Fund.”
[13]

Who says the registry is not an industry?

In 2012, Illinois introduced HB4670, which includes the following provisions:

  1. Those who cannot pay the $100 annual fee up front can pay in installments
  2. Those who cannot pay the fee can perform 100 hours of community service
  3. Failure to pay is a class C felony [14]

The bill stalled out but was reintroduced in the 2013 session.

DOUBLE FEES

If you live on a Native American Reservation, you could have to register, and pay those fees, twice. At least, if you live on Saginaw
Chippewa land in Isabella, Co., MI. So even the Natives realize this is now a money-making venture:

"Sex offenders in much of Isabella County now have to register and report twice, once to the state and separately to the Saginaw
Chippewa Indian Tribe. Those who register with the state but fail to report to Tribal Police could face federal prosecution and up to
$5,000 in civil fines in Tribal Court. Tribal Council adopted a sex offender registry ordinance in July and has been notifying law
enforcement, registered offenders, schools and local employers. Federal law requires Tribes to either enact their own registry or
delegate their authority to the state. Besides prosecution and civil fines, the Tribal ordinance threatens “exclusion,” which could
mean forcing violators to move from the five townships and half of two others that comprise Indian Country. Under agreements
signed just shy of a year ago, the state recognizes the townships of Deerfield, Denver, Isabella, Nottawa and Wise, plus the north
halves of Chippewa and Union, including part of Mt. Pleasant, as Indian Country as defined by federal law.

Local police and attorneys are fielding calls from confused sex offenders and say the process is redundant. City, state and county
officers already confirm addresses of sex offenders and track down those who do not comply. “These same sex offenders are now
required to appear in person at the Tribal Police Department to perform this same verification procedure as well as pay a fee,” said
Mt. Pleasant Police Capt. Tom Forsberg. “This is a clear duplication of effort.” There have been no talks about sharing
verification duties, and Tribal police officials seldom attend meetings held between local police agencies, police officials said.
[15]

DOE v. RAEMISCH, 895 F.Supp.2d 897 (2012)

There was a small glimmer of hope, as one court, as one court ruled the annual fee, declaring "imposition of the $100 annual fee on
Plaintiffs pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 301.45(10) constitutes punishment in violation of their rights under the ex post facto clauses of the
United States and Wisconsin constitutions and enjoining Defendants from assessing or collecting such amount from Plaintiffs [
16].

However, the 7th Circuit court not only overruled the US District Court decision and claiming the fees were not "unlawful fines," the
Court determined the plaintiffs could not proceed anonymously, despite the hardships placed upon public disclosure of their identities
[17].

DOES v. SNYDER

In Snyder [18], the US District Court, citing Wright v. McLain [18], determined Michigan's $50 annual fee is a tax as defined by the
Tax Injunction Act (28 U.S.C. § 1341). To determine whether an assessment constitutes a tax, courts utilize a three-factor test: "(1)
the entity that imposes the assessment; (2) the parties upon whom the assessment is imposed; and (3) whether the assessment is
expended for general public purposes, or used for the regulation or benefit of the parties upon whom the assessment is imposed.
Because the Court determined the $50 annual fee was a "tax," the court determined it was barred from assessing whether the fee
violated ex post facto.

Mueller v. Raemisch, 740 F. 3d 1128 - Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2014

This court distinguished between a fee and a fine and concluded that the plaintiffs had not presented sufficient evidence to conclude
that the sex offender registration fee was, in effect, a fine. This doesn't necessarily mean the argument will not work; in this case,
the courts simply ruled the plaintiffs didn't present a strong enough argument against the registry fees:

"
But what about the $100 annual registration fee? The state calls it a fee, the plaintiffs a fine. Fee and fine are two quite different
animals. A fee is compensation for a service provided to, or alternatively compensation for a cost imposed by, the person charged
the fee. By virtue of their sex offenses the plaintiffs have imposed on the State of Wisconsin the cost of obtaining and recording
information about their whereabouts and other circumstances. The $100 annual fee is imposed in virtue of that cost, though like
most fees it doubtless bears only an approximate relation to the cost it is meant to offset. A fine, in contrast, is a punishment for an
unlawful act; it is a substitute deterrent for prison time and, like other punishments, a signal of social disapproval of unlawful
behavior.

Labels don't control. A fine is a fine even if called a fee, and one basis for reclassifying a fee as a fine would be that it bore no
relation to the cost for which the fee was ostensibly intended to compensate. That is a common basis on which a fee is reclassified as
a tax... But it seems acknowledged in this case that if the $100 annual fee is not a bona fide fee, it is a fine rather than a tax.

The burden of proving that it is a fine is on the plaintiffs, and since they have presented no evidence that it was intended as a fine...
they cannot get to first base without evidence that it is grossly disproportionate to the annual cost of keeping track of a sex offender
registrant — and they have presented no evidence of that either. They haven't even tried.
"

REGISTRY FEE COLLECTIONS LEAD TO ABUSE

In 2013, Rebecca Hord of the Bedford Co. TN Sheriff's office was arrested for stealing over $10,000 from the Sex Offender registry
office. Hord had apparently stolen fees from individuals who paid the registry fees and forged documents claiming the registrants
were indigent. "According to an investigative audit by the Comptroller of the Treasury released in late 2013, a cash shortage of at
least $31,460 was found in 2012 from the sheriff's department's sexual offender registry office (SOR). After Hord was fired, the
new SOR questioned a sexual offender regarding $150 in fees the database said he owed. The offender presented a generic,
unofficial receipt documenting the payment, but the department had no record and could not trace it to a deposit. Several receipts
from sexual offenders also could not be traced to the accounting records of the department, or to the SOR, the audit reported, and an
investigation was initiated. The investigation covered the period Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2011. From 2006 to 2011, at least
$42,198 should have been collected [
20]."

It is no longer enough that registrants are forced to pay registry fees, now registrants should demand an official receipt for paying
fees. My advice is if you pay, do so with a check or money order, and demand a receipt for the payment. Of course, if you can
claim indigent and not have to pay altogether, that is better, but be sure the authorization comes from the proper person, usually a
judge.

"If this were a private industry...Management would say, 'This isn't working right.'"

Since 2012, the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board has collected $1.1 million in fees from men and women convicted of
sex crimes, but the board has failed to collect another $1.2 million in fees. (This number does not include those who were determined
to be indigent and thus not required to pay the $75 annual fee.) "If we were in private industry and you were basically saying, 'hey,
40 percent of what you think your revenue should be is not being collected,' management would say, 'this isn't working right,'" Rep.
Bradley Jones added. Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance stated, "Massachusetts is continually ranked as one of the
most expensive states to do business in, to live in and here we are passing over a group of people who owe money." As of June
2015, Massachusetts law does not penalize those who fail to pay the fee, but some legislators are considering passing a law that
would penalize non-payment by preventing registrants from getting their car registration renewed by the state. [
21]

It is bothersome to compare fee collection as a private industry, and the proposed solution reads like blackmail. Furthermore, denying
car registration renewal would simply exacerbate the difficulties registrants face in finding adequate employment, and as a result,
more registered citizens will become indigent.

"I don't have to pay the fee? Maybe I can be lax on the registration."

When fighting legislation on registry fees, expect hyperbolic statements from legislators desperate to keep the money train from being
derailed.

Massachusetts State Senator Bruce Tarr justified proposing stronger laws requiring registrants to pay  by claiming those who fail to
pay the fee today will fail to register tomorrow. "What are they gonna think about- 'I don't have to pay the fee? Maybe I can be lax
on the registration.' We cannot afford to go down that slippery slope with folks that are being required to register for a reason." [22]

New Hampshire State Senator Dick Marston helped derail a bill that would have abolished the $50 annual fee by claiming abolishing
the fee would lead to abolishment of the entire registry (which, in my opinion, would be a good thing). Minutes before the bill was up
for a vote, Sen. Marston posted the following blurb on the House Calendar: “There is a provision in the law that would currently
allow the fee to be waived if the offender was unable to afford it. The (House Criminal Justice) committee determined that repealing
the fee would have resulted in virtually eliminating the registry, which would be a disservice to the citizens of NH.” [
23]

SUMMARY

The legal history on registration fees is very sparse, but it appears the justification behind the fees relies on the same “regulatory
measure” arguments as Smith v Doe. The law is clear that registry fees are not taxes; however, as courts have recently admitted
current sex offender schemes are punitive rather than regulatory, chances are the fees would be considered a violation of the
Constitution (my argument would include the 8th Amendment regarding excessive fees; see also my civil versus criminal law fact
guide).

Because each state is different in penalties for failure to pay fees, it is wise to try to check the laws in your state. Some states have a
set criminal penalty attached, others do not. Some states allow indigence status, while others merely accumulate fees like you would
run a bar tab. I am including state laws regarding registration fees and penalties. Laws are subject to change and may not be accurate
after the next legislative session.

REFERENCES
  1. 9 Investigates uncovers proposed plan to make sex offenders pay yearly fee. WFTV9. Cox Media Group. July 6, 2015. Web.
    <http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/9-investigates-uncovers-proposed-plan-make-sex-off/nmsMj/>
  2. Theresa Schmidt, “LC sex offender registration law blocked for now.” KPLC-TV 7, August 8, 2011. http://www.kplctv.
    com/story/15228602/lc-sex-offender-registration-law-blocked-for-now, Retrieved Nov. 2, 2011.
  3. See, for example, the Jefferson County, CO Sheriff’s Office website at http://jeffco.us/sheriff/sheriff_T62_R49.htm,
    Retrieved Nov. 2, 2011. Register as a Sex Offender-- If you have been ordered to register as a sex offender, you may do so at
    the Sheriff's Office headquarters, Records section.  Effective March 1, 2008, the Sheriff's Office began charging a
    processing fee for sex offender registrants, pursuant to state law CRS 16-22-108 (7).  The initial registration fee is $50; re-
    registration is $25, and change of address is $25.  Fees must be paid in cash, check, Visa or MasterCard.  Failure to register
    and pay the fee may result in a criminal charge for failure to register.  For more information, please call 303-271-5855.” See
    also Louisiana R.S. 15:542-D
  4. Nicole Marshall, "Police say too many Okla. sex offenders unemployed.” Tulsa World, July 4, 2011. http://www.
    greenwichtime.com/news/article/Police-say-too-many-Okla-sex-offenders-unemployed-1451964.php#ixzz1cbUZbaUn.
    Retrieved Oct. 2, 2011. No longer online.
  5. Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP), “What are the challenges to successful offender
    transition and community safety?” http://www.accountability.wa.gov/reports/safety/20051130/offenders_main.pdf, Retrieved
    Nov. 2, 2011
  6. Philip S. HORNER v. GOVERNOR, State of New Hampshire and another. No. 2007-668. Argued March 27, 2008. -- June
    19, 2008. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nh-supreme-court/1152751.html
  7. See http://www.oncefallen.com/CivilVCriminal.html for more on the old civil versus criminal argument
  8. Easterling v. State, 989 So. 2d 1285, 1287 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008), http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%
    20FLCO%2020080915051.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR, Retrieved Nov. 2, 2011
  9. Rankin Johnson IV, “Do Sex Offenders Have to Pay a Registration Fee?” Library of Defense Blog, Sept. 8, 2011. https:
    //mpdtrainer.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/do-sex-offenders-have-to-pay-a-registration-fee/, Retrieved Nov. 2, 2011
  10. John P. Guidry II, "Sex Offenders Will Pay Government Fees Forever." Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Blog, Sept. 17,
    2011. http://www.orlandocriminaldefenseattorneyblog.com/2011/09/being-a-sex-offender-costs-lon.html, Retrieved Nov. 21,
    2011
  11. DOE, SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD NO. 10800 v. SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD, 459 Mass. 603 (2011)
  12. Fanna Haile-Selassie and Jared Roberts, "Many sex offenders not paying new fee." WSIL-TV3, Dec. 22, 2011. http://www.
    wsiltv.com/news/local/Many-Sex-Offenders-Not-Paying-New-Fee-136109823.html, Retrieved Jan. 4, 2012
  13. Tesa Culli, "Registered sex offenders to pay fee." Mt. Vernon Register-News, Dec. 22, 2011. http://register-news.
    com/local/x191076582/Registered-sex-offenders-to-pay-fee, Retrieved Jan. 4, 2012
  14. Illinois Legislature, HB 4670, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?
    DocNum=4670&GAID=11&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=64461&SessionID=84&GA=97
  15. Rick Mills. "NEW: Tribe starts sex offender registry." The Morning Sun, Oct. 22, 2011. http://www.themorningsun.
    com/articles/2011/10/22/news/doc4ea37070b7476871538179.txt?viewmode=fullstor, Retrieved Jan. 28, 2012.
  16. Full document info available for download at http://dockets.justia.com/docket/wisconsin/wiedce/2:2010cv00911/54454/
  17. Mueller v. Raemisch, 740 F. 3d 1128 - Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2014
  18. Does et al v. SNYDER et al, No. 2:2012cv11194 - Document 103 (E.D. Mich. 2015)
  19. WRIGHT v. McCLAIN, 835 F.2d 143 (1987)
  20. T-G Staff Report. Hord case cited in state audit. Shelbyville Times-Gazette, May 29, 2015. Web. <http://www.t-g.
    com/story/2199956.html>
  21. All Donelly. Investigation Finds Sex Offenders Are Not Paying Mass. Registration Fees. NECN.com, NBCUniversal Media,
    LLC, June 16, 2015. Web. <http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Investigation-Finds-Sex-Offenders-Are-Not-Paying-
    Mass-Registration-Fee-307757351.html>
  22. Ibid.
  23. Chris Dornin. Dornin: Pay $50 a Year Forever ... Or Maybe Not. Concord Patch, June 18, 2015. Web. <http://patch.com/new-
    hampshire/concord-nh/dornin-pay-50-year-forever-or-maybe-not>

STATE LAWS ON REGISTRATION FEES

CONTACT ME if your state has a registry fee not listed here (Big assist to eAdvocate and SOSEN members for helping me locate
many of the listed state fees)

For related DNA collection fees, VISIT THIS SITE at Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision

SUMMARY OF STATE REGISTRY FEE LAWS AS OF 5/4/2017

  1. AL: $10 quarterly
  2. CO: Municipalities can charge up to $75 initial/ $25 renewal
  3. GA: Those convicted of a “Dangerous Sex Offense” on/after July 1, 2006 must pay $250 annual fee
  4. ID: SVPs pay $50 annual fee plus $10 per registration period; all others pays $80 annual fee
  5. IL: $100 Initial; $100 annually; can be waived if declared indigent
  6. IN: Counties authorized to impose up to $50 annual fee and $5 per address change
  7. KS: $20 per registration period
  8. LA: $60 Annually; failing to pay within 30 days constitutes FTR; some local ordinances have created fees of up to $600;
    courts can establish own rules to determine indigence
  9. ME: $25 Annually
  10. MA: $75 Initial; $75 Annually; can be waived for indigence
  11. MI: $50 Annually
  12. MS: Grants Dept. of Public Safety to charge a fee (currently at $11)
  13. OH: Sheriffs are granted authority to charge up to $100 annually
  14. OR: $70 Annually
  15. TN: $150 Annually; local agencies can charge up to $50 more; failure to pay is FTR unless declared indigent
  16. UT: $100 Annually; $25 more can be charged if the registering agency is other than the DOC

RELEVANT STATE STATUTES ON FEES

Alabama: AL Code § 15-20A-22 (2013) -- Adult sex offender - Registration fee.
(a) An adult sex offender shall pay a registration fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10) to each registering agency where the adult sex
offender resides beginning with the first quarterly registration on or after July 1, 2011, and at each quarterly registration thereafter.
(b) Each time an adult sex offender terminates his or her residence and establishes a new residence, he or she shall pay a registration
fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10) to each registering agency where the adult sex offender establishes a new residence.
(c) If, at the time of registration, the adult sex offender is unable to pay the registration fee, the registering agency may require the
adult sex offender to pay the fee in installments not to exceed 90 days. The registering agency shall waive the registration fee if the
adult sex offender has an order from the court declaring his or her indigence. In the event the adult sex offender is determined to be
indigent, a periodic review of the adult sex offender's indigent status shall be conducted by the court to determine if the offender is
no longer indigent. Further, if the offender is determined to be indigent by the sentencing court, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit
the offender from being placed on a payment plan where the entire fee is collected in total.
(d) The fees collected under this section shall be appropriated to the registering agency to defray the costs of sex offender
registration, verification, and notification.
(e) Any person who willfully fails to pay the required registration fee at the time of registration, or at the time at which the installment
payment is due, shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for willful failure to pay the
required registration fee, the adult sex offender shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Colorado: CRS 16-22-108 (7)--  
(7) (a)  A local law enforcement agency may establish a registration fee to be paid by persons registering and reregistering annually
or quarterly with the local law enforcement agency pursuant to the provisions of this section. The amount of the fee shall reflect the
actual direct costs incurred by the local law enforcement agency in implementing the provisions of this article, but shall not exceed
seventy-five dollars for the initial registration with the local law enforcement agency and twenty-five dollars for any subsequent
annual or quarterly registration. (b)  The local law enforcement agency may waive the fee for an indigent person. For all other
persons, the local law enforcement agency may pursue payment of the fee through a civil collection process or any other lawful
means if the person is unable to pay at the time of registration. A local law enforcement agency shall accept a timely registration in all
circumstances even if the person is unable to pay the fee at the time of registration. (c)  A local law enforcement agency may not
charge a fee to a person who provides an update to his or her information pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
--NOTICE!-- If you are a Colorado registrant, CO-CURE and AFC has put out a notice that some jurisdictions are violating the law  
law by forcing registrants to pay more than the allotted $75 initial Registration Fee and $25 renewal fees.
VISIT THE EADVOCATE
BLOG for more info on this notice.

Georgia: OCGA 42-1-12(f) --
As passed by HB 1059 (2005), If the offender was convicted of a dangerous sexual offense on or after July 1, 2006, he or she must
pay the sheriff of the county of his or her residence an annual registration fee of $250.00.

Idaho: I.C. § 18-8307(2) --
At the time of registration, the sheriff shall obtain a photograph and fingerprints, in a manner approved by the department, and require
the offender to provide full palm print impressions of each hand. A violent sexual predator shall pay a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) to
the sheriff at the time of the first calendar quarter registration and ten dollars ($10.00) per registration every subsequent quarter in the
same calendar year. All other offenders shall pay an annual fee of eighty dollars ($80.00) to the sheriff for registration. The sheriff
may waive the registration fee if the violent sexual predator or other offender demonstrates indigency. The fees collected under this
section shall be used by the sheriff to defray the costs of violent sexual predator and other sexual offender registration and
verification and for electronic notification, law enforcement information sharing and tracking.


Illinois: 730 ILCS 150/3(c)(6) --  
The person shall pay a $100 initial registration fee and a $100 annual renewal fee to the registering law enforcement agency having
jurisdiction. The registering agency may waive the registration fee if it determines that the person is indigent and unable to pay the
registration fee.

Indiana: IC 36-2-13-5.6 --
Sex or violent offender registration fee; sex or violent offender address change fee; collection and distribution -- Sec. 5.6. (a) The
legislative body of a county may adopt an ordinance: (1) requiring the local law enforcement authority (as defined in IC 11-8-8-2) to
collect: (A) an annual sex or violent offender registration fee; and (B) a sex or violent offender address change fee; and (2)
establishing a county sex and violent offender administration fund to fund the administration of the sex and violent offender
registration system. (b) If an ordinance is adopted under subsection (a), the legislative body of the county shall establish the amount
of the annual sex or violent offender registration fee. However, the annual sex or violent offender registration fee may not exceed
fifty dollars ($50). (c) If an ordinance is adopted under subsection (a), the legislative body of the county shall establish the amount of
the sex or violent offender address change fee. However, a sex or violent offender address change fee may not exceed five dollars
($5) per address change. (d) The legislative body of the county shall determine the manner in which the local law enforcement
authority shall collect the annual sex or violent offender registration fee and the sex or violent offender address change fee. However,
the annual sex or violent offender registration fee may be collected only one (1) time per year. The sex or violent offender address
change fee may be collected each time a sex or violent offender registers an address change with the local law enforcement authority.

Kansas: Article 49-22-4904(7)(e)--
Every person who is required to register under this act shall remit payment to the sheriff in the amount of $20 on each occasion
when the person reports to the sheriff's office in the county in which the person resides or is otherwise located. All funds retained by
the sheriff pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be credited to a special fund of the sheriff's office which shall be used
solely for law enforcement and criminal prosecution purposes and which shall not be used as a source of revenue to reduce the
amount of funding otherwise made available to the sheriff's office.

Louisiana: R.S. 15:542(D) --
The offender shall pay to the appropriate law enforcement agencies with whom he is required to register, except for the campus law
enforcement agency of an institution of postsecondary education, an annual registration fee of sixty dollars to defray the costs of
maintaining the record of the offender.  The payment of such a fee shall be made in accordance with any rule regarding indigency
adopted by the judges of the judicial district court in the jurisdiction or as determined by criteria established by the Department of
Public Safety and Corrections.  The offender shall pay such fee upon the initial registration and on the anniversary thereof.  Failure
by the offender to pay the fee within thirty days of initial registration shall constitute a failure to register and shall subject the offender
to prosecution under the provisions of R.S. 15:542.1.4(A)(3).  The offender shall not be prevented from registering in accordance
with this Section for failure to pay the annual registration fee. (RS 15:542.1.4 (A)(3): An offender who fails to pay the annual
registration fee in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 15:542 shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not
more than six months, or both.  Upon a second or subsequent conviction for the failure to pay the annual registration fee, the
offender shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection.)
SPECIAL NOTE FOR LOUISIANA: Certain cities have fees that far exceed state laws. Lake Charles imposes a $600 initial
registration fee and a $200 annual fee [
Ord. #15739]. In September 2013, the nearby city of Sulphur passed a similar ordinance. In
October 2013,
Allen Parish raised their fees to $100 annual fee and $400 initial registration, with a $500 fee for failure to pay. They
claim the reduced increase was out of fears of a lawsuit. The
town of Kinder increased fees to $400 for initial registration and a $100
annual fee.

Maine: 34-A §11226. --
FEE The bureau may charge a $25 annual fee to persons required to register under this chapter. Registrants shall pay the fee at the
time of initial registration and shall pay the fee on each anniversary of their initial registration. The fee must be credited to the General
Fund and the Highway Fund in an amount consistent with currently budgeted appropriations and allocations.

Massachusetts: Part 1, Title II, Ch. 6, Section 178Q.
The sex offender registry board shall assess upon every sex offender a sex offender registration fee of $75, hereinafter referred to as
a sex offender registry fee. Said offender shall pay said sex offender registry fee upon his initial registration as a sex offender and
annually thereafter on the anniversary of said registration; provided, however, that no such fee shall be assessed or collected until the
offender has either (1) waived his right to petition for an evidentiary hearing to challenge his duty to register as a sex offender as set
forth in section 178L or (2) has completely exhausted the legal remedies made available to him to so challenge said duty to register
pursuant to sections 178L and 178M and has not prevailed in his attempt to eliminate said duty. A sex offender's duty to pay the fee
established by this section shall only terminate upon the termination of said offender's duty to register as a sex offender as set forth in
section 178G.
[Second paragraph effective until May 22, 2010. For text effective May 22, 2010, see below.] The sex offender registry board may
waive payment of said sex offender registry fee if it determines that such payment would constitute an undue hardship on said
person or his family due to limited income, employment status, or any other relevant factor. Any such waiver so granted shall be in
effect only during the period of time that said person is determined to be unable to pay the sex offender registry fee. The sex
offender registry board shall establish procedures relative to the collection and waiver of such fee by regulation. Said sex offender
registry fee shall be collected by the sex offender registry board and shall be transmitted to the treasurer for deposit into the General
Fund. The sex offender registry board shall account for all such fees received and report said fees annually to the secretary of
administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means. [ Second paragraph as amended by 2010, 112,
Sec. 3 effective May 22, 2010. For text effective until May 22, 2010, see above.]
The sex offender registry board may waive payment of said sex offender registry fee if it determines that such payment would
constitute an undue hardship on said person or his family due to limited income, employment status, or any other relevant factor. Any
such waiver so granted shall be in effect only during the period of time that said person is determined to be unable to pay the sex
offender registry fee. The sex offender registry board shall establish procedures relative to the collection and waiver of such fee by
regulation. Said sex offender registry fee shall be collected and retained by the sex offender registry board. The sex offender registry
board shall account for all such fees received and report said fees annually to the secretary of administration and finance and the
house and senate committees on ways and means.

Michigan: MCL 28.725(a) --
(6) Except as otherwise provided in section 5b, an individual who reports as prescribed under subsection (3) shall pay a $50.00
registration fee as follows:
    (a) Upon initial registration.
    (b) Annually following the year of initial registration. The payment of the registration fee under this subdivision shall be made
    at the time the individual reports in the first reporting month for that individual as set forth in subsection (3) of each year in
    which the fee applies, unless an individual elects to prepay an annual registration fee for any future year for which an annual
    registration fee is required. Prepaying any annual registration fee shall not change or alter the requirement of an individual to
    report as set forth in subsection (3). The payment of the registration fee under this subdivision is not required to be made for
    any registration year that has expired before January 1, 2014 or to be made by any individual initially required to register under
    this act after January 1, 2019. The registration fee required to be paid under this subdivision shall not be prorated on grounds
    that the individual will complete his or her registration period after the month in which the fee is due.
    (c) The sum of the amounts required to be paid under subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not exceed $550.00.

Mississippi: MS Code § 45-33-57 (2013) --
(2) The Department of Public Safety may adopt regulations to establish fees to be charged to registrants for registration,
reregistration, and verification or change of address.
[Note: As of May 2017, the
Miss. Dept. of Public Safety was charging an $11 "Compliant Sex Offender" fee.]

Ohio: ORC 311.171-172 --
311.171: Fees for sex offender registration and notification.
(B) The sheriff may charge a fee each time a person does any of the following:
    (1) Registers under section 2950.04 or 2950.041 of the Revised Code;
    (2) Registers a new residence address under section 2950.05 of the Revised Code;
    (3) Verifies a current residence address under section 2950.06 of the Revised Code.
(C) If the sheriff charges one or more fees provided for in division (B) of this section, all of the following apply:
    (1) The sheriff shall not require the payment of any fee from a delinquent child until the delinquent child reaches eighteen
    years of age. When a delinquent child reaches eighteen years of age and the sheriff charges a fee to the delinquent child, the
    provisions of this section applicable to "offenders" shall be construed to apply to the delinquent child.
    (2) For an offender who is a tier III sex offender/child-victim offender, the fees may not exceed a total of one hundred dollars
    for each registration year.
    (3) For an offender who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a sexually oriented offense or a child-victim offense and
    who is not described in division (C)(2) of this section, the fees may not exceed a total of twenty-five dollars for each
    registration year.
    (4) An offender who is required to pay a fee shall retain the receipts received under section 325.28 of the Revised Code for
    payments made during the offender's registration year to establish that the payment of any fee will exceed the maximum
    annual amount permissible under this division.
    (5) The sheriff shall not refuse to register a person, register a new residence address of a person, or verify the current
    residence address of a person, who does not pay a fee the sheriff requires under this section.
    (6) The sheriff shall report unpaid fees in accordance with division (C) of section 325.31 of the Revised Code, and the county
    may recover those fees in a civil action in the same manner as other money due the county.
(D) Each time a person appears before the sheriff to provide any registration or verification specified in division (B) of this section
for which the sheriff charges a fee, the sheriff shall determine whether the person is able to pay the fee. In making that
determination, the sheriff shall determine whether the person's income is less than one hundred twenty-five per cent of the federal
poverty level. A person whose income is equal to or greater than one hundred twenty-five per cent of the federal poverty level shall
be considered able to pay the fee.
(E) If a sheriff determines a person's income is less than one hundred twenty-five per cent of the federal poverty level, the sheriff
shall waive payment of the fee. If the sheriff determines a person's income is equal to or greater than one hundred twenty-five
percent of the federal poverty level, the sheriff may allow the person to pay the fee in accordance with a payment schedule the
sheriff establishes based on the person's ability to pay. The sheriff shall document any waiver or alternative fee arrangement in the
official registration records of the sheriff's office and shall provide the offender with a written copy of any waiver or alternative fee
arrangement.
311.172 Fees for sexual offender registration.
(A) The sheriff shall charge a one-time fee of one hundred dollars when a person who, on or after the effective date of this section,
is convicted of an offense for which registration is required under section 2950.04 or 2950.041 of the Revised Code registers for the
first time. The fee shall be in addition to any fee that may be charged under section 311.171 of the Revised Code.
(B) The sheriff shall not refuse to register a person who does not pay the fee required by this section. At the end of each calendar
year, the sheriff shall report to the attorney general all fees that have been due and unpaid for more than one year and that the sheriff
has not previously reported. The attorney general may recover those fees in a civil action.

Oregon: ORS 181.598--
Registration forms; state police to provide; fee. (1) Agencies required to register offenders under ORS 181.595, 181.596 and 181.597
shall use forms provided by the Department of State Police. The department shall include places on the form to list all the names used
by the offender and the address of the offender. No later than three working days after registration, the agency or official completing
the form shall: (a) Send the original copy of the registration form to the department; or (b) Forward the registration information to
the department by any means and, within 10 working days after registration, send the original copy of the registration form to the
department. (2) If the person is no longer under supervision, the department shall verify the residence address of a person determined
to be a sexually violent dangerous offender as defined in ORS 137.765 every 90 days by mailing a verification form to the person at
the person’s last reported residence address. No later than 10 days after receiving the form, the person shall sign and return the form
to the department (3) The department shall assess a person who is required to report under ORS 181.595, 181.596 or 181.597 and
who is not under supervision a fee of $70 each year. Moneys received by the department under this subsection are continuously
appropriated to the department for the purpose of carrying out the department’s duties under ORS 181.585 to 181.587, 181.588,
181.589, 181.594, 181.595, 181.596, 181.597, 181.598, 181.599, 181.601, 181.602, 181.603, 181.604, 181.605, 181.606 and
181.820. [1995 c.429 §3; 1999 c.626 §§6,7; amendments by 1999 c.626 §30 repealed by 2001 c.884 §1; 2009 c.204 §8; 2009 c.713
§15]

Tennessee: Tenn. Code Annotated, 40-39-201, 208, 217

  • 40-39-201 (7): The offender is subject to specified terms and conditions that are implemented at sentencing or, at the time of
    release from incarceration, that require that those who are financially able must pay specified administrative costs to the
    appropriate registering agency, which shall retain one hundred dollars ($100) of these costs for the administration of this part
    and shall be reserved for the purposes authorized by this part at the end of each fiscal year, with the remaining fifty dollars
    ($50.00) of fees to be remitted to the Tennessee bureau of investigation's sex offender registry; provided, that a juvenile
    offender required to register under this part shall not be required to pay the administrative fee until the offender reaches
    eighteen (18) years of age.
  • 40-39-208. Violations --Penalty --Venue --Providing records for prosecution.
  • (a) It is an offense for an offender to knowingly violate any provision of this part. Violations shall include, but not be
    limited to:
  • (5) Failure to pay the annual administrative costs, if financially able [FTR carries an increasing jail/ fine for each
    offense]
  • Tenn. Code Annotated 40-39-217 (2) -- The legislative body of any county, metropolitan form of government or municipality
    that enacts a community notification system pursuant to this subsection (a) may, at the same time as the system is
    established, enact a notification fee of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) per year from each offender in the county,
    metropolitan form of government or municipality for the purpose of defraying the costs of the community notification. The
    notification fee shall be collected at the same time as the one-hundred-fifty-dollar administrative fee collected pursuant to § 40-
    39-204(b).

Utah: Utah Code 77-27-21.5 --
(30) (a) Each offender required to register under Subsection (12) shall, in the month of the offender's birth: (i) pay to the department
an annual fee of $100 each year the offender is subject to the registration requirements of this section; and (ii) pay to the registering
agency, if it is an agency other than the Department of Corrections, an annual fee of not more than $25, which may be assessed by
that agency for providing registration (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (30)(a), an offender who is confined in a secure facility or in a
state mental hospital is not required to pay the annual fee.