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What are Virginia Sex Offender Registry Requirements?

Virginia sex offender registry requirements

What is the Virginia Sex Offender Registry?

The Virginia Sex Offender Registry is a database of individuals who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses that require registration with the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Registry (VSOCR). The purpose of the registry is to provide the public with information about sex offenders in the community and to help law enforcement agencies track and monitor sex offenders. In this article, we will discuss the requirements for sex offender registration, exceptions to the Virginia sex offender registry requirements, the importance of compliance with the registry, and when it may be necessary to seek legal advice for questions about sex offender registration.


Requirements for Sex Offender Registration in Virginia

In Virginia, anyone who is convicted of certain sexual offenses is required to register with the VSOCR. This includes individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses in other states and who then move to Virginia (when the out-of-state conviction is comparable to those in Virginia that require registration). The registry is administered by the Department of State Police and is available to the public on the Virginia State Police website.


To be registered on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, an individual must:

  • Register with the VSOCR within three days of their release from prison or arrival in Virginia (if establishing a residence here, or for certain other situations involving an extended stay), if they were convicted out of state
  • Register in person at their local law enforcement agency and provide their name, address, date of birth, and other personal information
  • Submit themselves for a photograph and submit to have his fingerprints and palm prints taken
  • Provide a sample of their blood, saliva, or tissue taken for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis and submission to the DNA data bank to determine identification characteristics specific to the person
  • Provide electronic mail address information, any instant message, chat or other Internet communication name or identity information that the person uses or intends to use
  • Provide their place of employment and (if applicable) any educational institutions they are attending
  • Provide information about their vehicle, including the make, model, and license plate number
  • Update their information on the registry within three days of any changes, including changes to their name, address, employment, or educational status

Exceptions to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry Requirements

There are some exceptions to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry requirements. For example:


  • Individuals who are required to register as sex offenders but are under the age of 18 are not included on the public registry
  • Individuals who have been granted relief from the duty to re-register as a sex offender several times each year— resulting in only annual updates being required. This is done by petition and the process depends on the type of offender classification and the basis for the petition (e.g. passage of time on the registry without problems, physical condition no longer poses a danger of re-offending, etc.)
  • People who have qualified to have their names removed from the registry due to the passage of time without certain disqualifying events. The specifics will depend on the type of underlying case and the person’s criminal history since that initial conviction requiring registration.

Importance of Compliance with the Virginia Sex Offender Registry

It is important for individuals who are required to register as a sex offender to do so in a timely manner and to keep their information on the registry up to date. Failure to register or to update information on the registry (re-register) can result in criminal charges. Whether such a failure is a misdemeanor or a felony offense will depend on the classification of the underlying offense requiring registration, and/or the number of prior convictions for failing to properly register.

Seeking Legal Advice for Questions About Virginia Sex Offender Registration Requirements

If you or a loved one have been convicted of a sexual offense in Virginia and are unsure of your registration requirements, or if you are facing a pending criminal charge that is considered a sex offense, it is important to seek the services of a qualified Virginia criminal defense attorney. An attorney can advise you of your legal rights and obligations and help you navigate the process of registering as a sex offender in Virginia, or possibly help in avoiding a conviction requiring such a registration in the fist place

David G. Parker Law is dedicated to helping you navigate the complex Virginia court system and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. David has the knowledge and expertise to help protect your rights and defend your freedom. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation.


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