Registry Fees Fact Guide
By: Derek W. Logue
Created: November 2, 2011, Updated June 20, 2020
“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. 
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 .
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 .” 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 ”; Washington State’s unemployment rate for registrants was 25% in 2005, with a 9% rate of homelessness .
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 .” The fees are seen as the registry itself, a “regulatory” measure which was upheld by the 2003 Smith v. Doe decision . 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 .”
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).” 
(You can refuse to pay the fees in Oregon, as they are a civil penalty. But as it is a civil penalty, thr state can garnish wages or take it out of income taxes.)
TYLER V. STATE
A blog post by Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney John P. Guidry II covers the recent case of Tyler v. State 
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 Registrant 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.” 
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.” 
Who says the registry is not an industry?
In 2012, Illinois introduced HB4670, which includes the following provisions:
- Those who cannot pay the $100 annual fee up front can pay in installments
- Those who cannot pay the fee can perform 100 hours of community service
- Failure to pay is a class C felony 
The bill stalled out but was reintroduced in the 2013 session.
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 Native American tribes are using the registry as 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. 
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 .
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 .
DOES v. SNYDER
In Snyder , the US District Court, citing Wright v. McLain , 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 .”
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. 
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.” 
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.” 
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.
- 9 Investigates uncovers proposed plan to make sex offenders pay yearly fee. WFTV9. Cox Media Group. July 6, 2015. Web.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- See OnceFallen’s “Civil vs Criminal” article for more on this old civil versus criminal argument
- 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
- 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
- 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
- DOE, SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD NO. 10800 v. SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BOARD, 459 Mass. 603 (2011)
- 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
- 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
- Illinois Legislature, HB 4670, http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4670&GAID=11&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=64461&SessionID=84&GA=97
- 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.
- Full document info available for download at http://dockets.justia.com/docket/wisconsin/wiedce/2:2010cv00911/54454/
- Mueller v. Raemisch, 740 F. 3d 1128 – Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2014
- Does et al v. SNYDER et al, No. 2:2012cv11194 – Document 103 (E.D. Mich. 2015)
- WRIGHT v. McCLAIN, 835 F.2d 143 (1987)
- 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>
- 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>
- 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
- AL: $10 quarterly
- AR: $250 one-time fee after conviction or after moving into the state.
- CO: Municipalities can charge up to $75 initial/ $25 renewal
- DE: $30 annual fee due by 1/31 annually
- GA: Those convicted of a “Dangerous Sex Offense” on/after July 1, 2006 must pay $250 annual fee
- IA: $25 annual fee; $250 civil fee for conviction
- ID: SVPs pay $50 annual fee plus $10 per registration period; all others pays $80 annual fee
- IL: $100 Initial; $100 annually; can be waived if declared indigent
- IN: Counties authorized to impose up to $50 annual fee and $5 per address change
- KS: $20 per registration period
- LA: $60 Annually; failing to pay within 30 days constitutes FTR; some local ordinances have created fees of up to $1200; courts can establish own rules to determine indigence. Fees can be added based on number of citizens who must be notified, so local fees may not be fixed.
- ME: $25 Annually
- MA: $75 Initial; $75 Annually; can be waived for indigence
- MI: $50 Annually
- MO: Sheriffs given option to charge up to $10 for initial registration and $5 per updates.
- MS: Grants Dept. of Public Safety to charge a fee (currently at $11)
- NH: $50 annual fee; can be waived for indigence
- OH: Sheriffs are granted authority to charge up to $100 annually
- OR: $70 Annually
- TN: $150 Annually; local agencies can charge up to $50 more; failure to pay is FTR unless declared indigent
- UT: $100 Annually; $25 more can be charged if the registering agency is other than the DOC
- WI: Annual fee of up to $100.
- WY: Initial Registration, Up to $125 state plus 25% county ($31.35 max); Registration update: Up to $25 state plus 25% county ($6.25 max)
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.
Arkansas: AR Code § 12-12-910 (2018)
(a) The sentencing court shall assess at the time of sentencing a mandatory fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) on any person who is required to register under this subchapter.
(1) A person who relocates to this state and was convicted of an offense in another state that requires registration in this state shall pay a fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) within ninety (90) days from the date of registration.
(A) A person who fails to pay the fee required under subdivision (b)(1) of this section upon conviction is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(B) The person required to register has an affirmative defense to failure to pay a fee if he or she shows that his or her failure to pay the fee was not attributable to a:
(i) Purposeful refusal to obey the sentence of the court; or
(ii) Failure on the defendant’s part to make a good faith effort to obtain the funds required for payment.
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.
Delaware: 11 Del. C. 4120(g) —
There shall be assessed an annual administrative fee in the amount of $30 collected from the offender by January 31 of each year payable at the time of verification.
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.
Iowa: Iowa Code 692A.110 —
1. A sex offender shall pay an annual fee in the amount of twenty-five dollars to the sheriff of the county of principal residence, beginning with the first required in-person appearance at the sheriff’s office after July 1, 2009. If the sex offender has more than one principal residence in this state, the offender shall pay the annual fee in the county where the offender is first required to appear in person after July 1, 2009. The sheriff shall accept the registration. If, at the time of registration, the sex offender is unable to pay the fee, the sheriff may allow the offender time to pay the fee, permit the payment of the fee in installments, or may waive payment of the fee. Fees paid to the sheriff shall be used to defray the costs of duties related to the registration of sex offenders under this chapter.
2. In addition to any other penalty, at the time of conviction for a public offense committed on or after July 1, 1995, which requires a sex offender to register under this chapter, the offender shall be assessed a civil penalty of two hundred dollars, to be payable to the clerk of the district court as provided in section 602.8105 and distributed as provided in section 602.8108. With respect to a conviction for a public offense committed on or after July 1, 2009, which requires a sex offender to register under this chapter, the offender shall be assessed a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars, payable to the clerk of the district court as provided in section 602.8105 and distributed as provided in section 602.8108.
3. The fee and penalty required by this section shall not be assessed against a person who has been acquitted by reason of insanity of the offense which requires registration under this chapter.
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. Note that Louisiana’s law allows LEAs charge on a sliding scale based on number of people notified, so it may not always be possible to accurately assess registration costs for some communities.
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.]
Missouri: Mo. Rev. Stat. 589.400 (6-7)
6. For processing an initial sex offender registration the chief law enforcement officer of the county or city not within a county may charge the offender registering a fee of up to ten dollars.
7. For processing any change in registration required pursuant to section 589.414 the chief law enforcement official of the county or city not within a county may charge the person changing their registration a fee of five dollars for each change made after the initial registration.
New Hampshire: 651-B:11 Registration Fee. –
I. An offender shall pay a fee of $50 to the department within 10 days of the registration that occurs within the month of the anniversary of his or her birth. Such payment shall be made in person or shall be mailed to the department. The department shall retain $40 of this amount to be used to defray the costs of maintaining the sex offender registry. Such funds shall be nonlapsing and shall be continually appropriated to the department for such use. The department shall forward the remaining $10 to the law enforcement agency which registered the offender within the month of the anniversary of the offender’s birth to defray any costs associated with implementing the provisions of this chapter. The department shall forward these fees to the registering law enforcement agencies in a manner determined by the department but no less frequently than once a year.
II. An offender who cannot afford to pay the fee shall, within 10 days of registration, request a waiver of the fee and a hearing on the matter before the commissioner. In order to be considered for a waiver, the offender shall submit a financial affidavit on a form provided by the department. The division may at its discretion request such a waiver on behalf of an offender. If such a request is made, the commissioner shall promptly schedule and conduct a hearing pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A, unless the commissioner or commissioner’s designee determines a hearing is not necessary and waives the fee based on the offender’s financial affidavit, or at the written request of the division. At the hearing, the burden shall be on the offender to prove that he or she is indigent. The offender may appeal the commissioner’s decision to the superior court. Under no circumstances shall the offender’s request for a hearing or indigency relieve the offender of the obligation to register as required pursuant to this chapter.
III. Notwithstanding RSA 651-B:9, an offender who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation for a first offense and a misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense.
Northern Mariana Islands: 6 CMC § 1380. Sex Offender Revolving Fund.
“There is hereby established a Sex Offender Revolving Fund. The Department of Finance shall maintain all funds generated under this article, specifically through the Sex Offender Fee Guidelines, in a segregated, restricted special account within the general fund, shall be non-lapsing, and without fiscal year limitation. All funds received pursuant to the Sex Offender Fee Guidelines shall be deposited into the Sex Offender Revolving Fund. Funds shall be expended without further appropriation and shall be used solely for the purposes of implementing the provisions of this article, including, but not limited to training and community notification purposes. At the close of each fiscal year, the SORAB shall provide the Presiding Officers of the Legislature with an accounting of the use of funds deposited into the Sex Offender Revolving Fund.” (Implies there is a fee but no info is posted online regarding fees)
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.
Wisconsin: Wisc. Stat. 301.45 (10) —
Annual fee. The department may require a person who must register as a sex offender to pay an annual fee to partially offset its costs in monitoring persons who must register as sex offenders. The department shall establish any such fee by rule, but the fee may not exceed $100.
Wyoming: WY Stat § 7-19-302 (2019)
(r) Except as provided in subsection (s) of this section, all offenders required to register or report updated information pursuant to this act shall pay fees established by rules of the division. The division shall establish fees in accordance with the following:
(i) At the time of initial registration, the offender shall pay a state registration fee in an amount not to exceed one hundred twenty dollars ($120.00) and a county registration fee in an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the state registration fee;
(ii) Each time the offender is required to report updated information pursuant to subsection (e), (f), (k) or (m) of this section, the offender shall pay a state reporting fee in an amount not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and a county reporting fee in an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the state reporting fee;
(iii) The state registration and reporting fees established by the division shall, to the extent practicable, generate a total revenue that approximates, but does not exceed, the direct and indirect costs of administering and enforcing the provisions of this act.