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F.A.Q.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000
After Hours / Non-Emergency: 423-622-0022
Emergency: Dial 911

Sexual Offender Registry Frequently Asked Questions

Sexual Offender FAQ Answers

WHO IS REQUIRED TO REGISTER?

The Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification, and Tracking Act 0f 2004 was established in T.C.A. � 40-39-201 et.seq. and became effective August 1, 2004. All persons who are defined as a sexual offender and/or violent sexual offender and who live, work, or attend school in Tennessee must register with Tennessee’s Sexual Offender/ Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking System (SOR).
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
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WHAT DOES “SEXUAL OFFENDER” MEAN?
Sexual Offender- Means any person convicted in Tennessee (TN) of a sexual offense as defined in T.C.A. � 40-39-202, or convicted of an offense in another state that if committed in Tennessee would be a sexual offense, who meets any of the conditions below:

  • The conviction occurs on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person was convicted prior to January 1, 1995, but remains under supervision of parole, probation or alternative to incarceration on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person is discharged from probation, parole, or any other alternative to incarceration on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person is discharged from incarceration without supervision on or after January 1, 1995.
Violent Sexual Offender- Means any person convicted in TN of a violent sexual offense as defined in T.C.A. � 40-39-202, or convicted of an offense in another state that if committed in TN would be a violent sexual offense, who meets any of the conditions below:
  • The conviction occurs on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person was convicted prior to January 1, 1995, but remains under supervision of parole, probation or alternative to incarceration on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person is discharged from probation, parole, or any other alternative to incarceration on or after January 1, 1995; or
  • The person is discharged from incarceration without supervision on or after January 1, 1995.
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WHAT DOES “SEXUAL OFFENSE” MEAN?
“Sexual offense” means:

  • The commission of any act that, on or after November 1, 1989, constituted the criminal offense of:
    1. aggravated rape;
    2. rape;
    3. aggravated sexual battery;
    4. sexual battery;
    5. sexual battery by an authority figure;
    6. statutory rape;
    7. aggravated prostitution;
    8. especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor;
    9. aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor;
    10. sexual exploitation of a minor;
    11. incest;
    12. false imprisonment of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    13. especially aggravated kidnapping of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    14. aggravated kidnapping of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    15. kidnapping of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    16. rape of a minor;
    17. solicitation of a minor;
    18. attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit an offense listed in (a) through (q) above; or
      (s) criminal responsibility for facilitating the commission of or being an accessory after the fact to an offense listed in (a) through (r) above; or
  • The commission of any act that, prior to November 1, 1989, constituted the criminal offense of:
    1. aggravated rape;
    2. rape;
    3. aggravated sexual battery;
    4. sexual battery;
    5. statutory rape;
    6. assault with the intent to commit rape;
    7. attempt to commit rape or sexual battery;
    8. incest;
    9. use of a minor for obscene purposes;
    10. promotion of a performance including sexual conduct by a minor;
    11. criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degree;
    12. aggravated kidnapping of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    13. kidnapping of a minor, except when committed by a parent of the minor;
    14. attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit an offense listed in (a) through (m) above; or
    15. being an accessory before or after the fact or aider and abettor to an offense listed in (a) through (n) above.
      (Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-102(5))
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ARE JUVENILE OFFENDERS REQUIRED TO REGISTER?
Please contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Sex-Offender-Registration Office or local law enforcement for information on juvenile sexual offenders.
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WHEN AND WHERE DOES AN OFFENDER REGISTER?
Within 10 days following a sexual offender’s release on probation, parole, other alternative to incarceration, or discharge from prison without supervision, he or she must complete the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s sexual-offender registration form and must deliver such form to the bureau headquarters in Nashville.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
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WHAT INFORMATION MUST AN OFFENDER PROVIDE AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION?

Sexual-offender registration forms require disclosure of the following information about the sexual offender:

  • complete name as well as any alias(es);
  • date and place of birth;
  • social-security number(s);
  • state of issuance and identification number of any valid driver’s license(s);
  • for a sexual offender on supervised release, the name, address, and telephone number of his or her probation and parole officer or other person responsible for his or her supervision;
  • sexual offense(s) of which he or she has been convicted;
  • current place and length of employment;
  • current address and length of residence at such address;
  • name and address of each institution of higher education in Tennessee at which he or she is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student;
  • race;
  • gender; and
  • other registration information, including a current photograph, as may be required.
    (Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))

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WHAT HAPPENS IF AN OFFENDER CHANGES HIS OR HER ADDRESS OR OTHER REGISTRATION INFORMATION DURING THE REGISTRATION PERIOD?

A registered sexual offender must update his or her registration information within 10 days following any change in residence.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
A registered sexual offender must update his or her registration within 10 days following employment or after becoming a student or volunteer at an institution of higher learning in the county or municipality where he or she resides.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
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IS AN OFFENDER WHO MOVES FROM ANOTHER STATE TO TENNESSEE REQUIRED TO REGISTER?

A sexual offender who is placed on probation or parole in another state for an offense that would be classified as a sexual offense in Tennessee and who is residing in Tennessee is subject to the same registration requirements as an offender who is on probation or parole for a sexual offense committed in Tennessee.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a)) A sexual offender who moves to Tennessee from another state must register within 10 days after entering any municipality or county in which he or she temporarily resides or is domiciled.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
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WHAT IF AN OFFENDER LIVES IN ANOTHER STATE BUT WORKS OR GOES TO SCHOOL IN TENNESSEE?

A sexual offender who lives in another state but works or goes to school in Tennessee must register within 10 days after coming into a municipality or county in which he or she is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-103(a))
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IS REGISTRATION A LIFETIME REQUIREMENT?

No sooner than 10 years after termination of active supervision on probation, parole, or any other alternative to incarceration or no sooner than 10 years after discharge from incarceration without supervision, a registered sexual offender may file a petition in the circuit court of the county in which he or she resides for an order relieving him or her of the duty to register. If the court finds that the registered sexual offender has complied with the registration requirements, is rehabilitated, and does not pose a threat to the safety of the public, he or she will be relieved of his or her duty to register.
(Tenn. Code Ann. �� 40-39-107(a), (c))

Registration for life is required if the registered sexual offender:

  • has one or more prior convictions for a sexual offense; or
  • has been convicted of a sexually violent offense.
    (Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-107(g)(1))

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ARE THERE ANY PENALTIES FOR FAILING TO REGISTER OR FOR PROVIDING FALSE INFORMATION?

Knowing falsification of a sexual-offender registration or verification form constitutes a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable by confinement in the county jail for no less than 180 days. A subsequent violation is a Class E felony.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-108(a))

Falsification also constitutes sufficient grounds for, and may result in, revocation of probation, parole, or other alternative to incarceration.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-108(a))
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WHAT INFORMATION IS RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC ABOUT REGISTERED OFFENDERS?

For all offenses committed prior to July 1, 1997, information reported on sexual-offender registration forms, verification forms, and acknowledgement forms is confidential; however, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a local law-enforcement agency, or a local law-enforcement agency of any institution of higher education must release relevant information deemed necessary to protect the public concerning a specific registered sexual offender.
(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-106(c))
For all sexual offenses committed on or after October 27, 2002, the following information concerning a registered sexual offender is public information:

  • the offender’s:
    • complete name as well as any aliases;
    • date of birth;
    • sexual offense(s) for which he or she has been convicted;
    • street address, including house number, county, city, and zip code, or if the offender does not reside in a city, his or her county, rural route, and zip code;
    • race;
    • gender;
    • photograph;
    • driver’s license number and issuing state; and
    • parole or probation office; and
  • date of last verification of information by the sexual offender.
    (Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-106(f))
Registered sexual offenders who committed a sexual offense on or after October 27, 2002, must also provide the name and address of any institution of higher education in Tennessee at which he or she is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.

(Tenn. Code Ann. � 40-39-106(f))

Information is made public through:

  • written notice;
  • electronic transmission of registration information;
  • providing online access to registration information; and
  • a toll-free number established by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that permits members of the public to call and inquire as to whether a named individual is listed among those who have registered as sexual offenders.

    (Tenn. Code Ann. �� 40-39-106(d), (f))

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CAN I SEARCH THE INTERNET FOR OFFENDERS IN MY AREA?

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation maintains an online Sex-Offender Registry for registered sexual offenders who committed sexual offenses on or after July 1, 1997. The web site can be searched by last name, county of residence, and zip code.

The web site is available at http://www.ticic.state.tn.us/SEX_ofndr/search_short.asp.

Information available includes the sexual offender’s:

  • name and any aliases used;
  • photograph;
  • county of residence and address;
  • race;
  • sex;
  • date of birth;
  • driver’s license number and issuing state;
  • supervision site, if applicable;
  • offense(s) requiring registration and the date the offense was committed; and
  • last verification date.
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WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR MISUSE OF OFFENDER INFORMATION?

As provided on the sexual-offender registry web site, “Information should not be used in any manner to injure, harass, or commit a criminal act against any person named in the registry. Any such action could subject you to criminal prosecution.”

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General Instructions
Any sexual offender or violent sexual offender who meets any of the conditions above in the Definitions section must register with the TN SOR as follows:

  • An offender who is incarcerated in a state, federal, or private penal facility shall, within 48 hours prior to release, register in person with the warden or warden�s designee by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury; or
  • An offender who is incarcerated in a local jail shall, within 48 hours prior to release, register in person with the sheriff or sheriff’s designee by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury; or
  • An offender from another state, jurisdiction, or country who has established a primary or secondary residence in TN shall within 48 hours of establishing such residency, register in person with the Police Department (PD) if the primary residence is within city limits or with the Sheriff’s Department (SD) if the residence is outside city limits by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury; or
  • An offender from another state, jurisdiction, or country, who is not a resident of TN, shall, within 48 hours of employment or commencing practice of a vocation in TN, register in person with the PD if the place of employment is within city limits, or with the SD if the place of employment is outside city limits by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury; or
  • An offender from another state, jurisdiction, or country, who is not a resident of TN, shall, within 48 hours of becoming a student in TN, register in person with the law enforcement agency of the institution of higher education or the designated law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the campus by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury; or
  • An offender from another state, jurisdiction, or country who becomes a resident of TN pursuant to the Interstate Compact Act shall register within 48 hours of becoming a resident in person with the Board of Probation and Parole (Board) by completing and signing a TBI Registration Form under the penalty of perjury, in addition to the requirements of the Interstate Compact Act and the sex offender directives from the Board; or
  • Offenders, who were previously required to register with the TN Sex Offender Registry, shall register in person within 30 days of August 1, 2004 with:
    • Probation and Parole if offender is currently reporting to an officer with the Board; or
    • The PD if the primary residence is within city limits, or with the SD if the residence is outside city limits if the offender has been released from supervision; or
    • The PD if the primary residence is within city limits, or with the SD if the residence is outside city limits if the offender was released from incarceration without supervision.
    • Offenders, who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, are exempt from reporting in person, but not from other registration requirements.

    TBI Registration Form

     The registration form shall be printed by the registering agency after the offender is asked in person to provide the requested information. In some cases, the offender shall complete the registration form in person at the registering agency, and the registering agency shall enter the information into the SOR within twelve hours.

    Reporting requirements for offenders
    After the offender has registered with the SOR, the offender shall report in person to the designated law enforcement agency as follows:

    • Sexual offenders shall report once a year within 7 days of the offender’s birth date and pay a fee of $150; and
    • Violent sexual offenders shall report any time during the months of March, June, September, and December and shall pay their fee of $150 at their March reporting. Sexual offenders and violent sexual offenders shall also report in person to their designated law enforcement agency within 48 hours of changing their address, employment, or school information.
    *** Payment is only accepted in the form of a certified check, money order, or cashier's check. ***
    CASH WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED


    Reporting requirements for offender who attends, works at, or volunteers at an institution of higher education

    • The offender shall notify the registering agency (PD/SO for offender’s primary residence or probation/parole officer) of each institution of higher education in TN at which the offender is employed, volunteers, or is a student; and
    • The offender shall notify the registering agency of each change in enrollment or employment status at each institution of higher education.
    • If the offender does not have a primary residence in TN, the offender’s registering agency shall be the law enforcement agency for the institution of higher education or the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the campus.

    Sanctions of the Program
    If an offender knowingly does any of the following, the offender may be prosecuted by the District Attorney General of the appropriate jurisdiction on a Class E felony violation of the registration laws:
    • Failure of an offender to timely register; or
    • Falsification of a TBI registration form; or
    • Failure to timely disclose required information to a designated law enforcement agency; or
    • Failure to sign a TBI registration form; or
    • Failure to pay the annual administrative costs, if financially able; or
    • Failure to timely disclose status as a sexual offender or violent sexual offender to designated law enforcement agency upon re-incarceration; or
    • Failure to timely report to designated law enforcement agency upon release after re-incarceration and following re-entry in TN after deportation.
    • Additionally, if the offender is on probation, parole, or any other alternative to incarceration, failure to comply with the program requirements will constitute sufficient grounds for and may result in the revocation of offender�s probation, parole, or other alternative to incarceration.

    Removal from Sex Offender Registry
    Violent sexual offenders must remain on the TN SOR for life. These offenders include those who are registered for convictions for:
    • Aggravated rape, under � 39-13-502;
    • Rape, under � 39-13-503;
    • Aggravated sexual battery under � 39-13-504;
    • Rape of a child, under � 39-13-522;
    • Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor under � 39-17-1004;
    • Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor under � 39-17-1005;
    • Aggravated kidnapping where the victim is a minor under � 39-13-304
      • except when committed by a parent of such minor;
    • Especially aggravated kidnapping where the victim is a minor under � 39-13-305
      • except when committed by a parent of such minor
    • Sexual battery by an authority figure under � 39-13-527;
    • Solicitation of a minor under � 39-13-528;
    • Criminal attempt to commit any of the offenses listed above; or
    • Solicitation under � 39-12-102 to commit any of the offenses listed above; or
    • Conspiracy under � 39-12-103 to commit any of the offenses listed above.

    After a minimum of 10 years after discharge from active supervision from parole, probation or other alternative to incarceration or no sooner than 10 years from discharge from incarceration without supervision, sexual offenders who do not fall within of the above categories may file a request for termination of registration requirements with TBI Headquarters in Nashville. If it is determined that the sexual offender has not been convicted of any additional sexual offenses during the 10 year period and the sexual offender has substantially complied with the registration requirements, TBI shall remove the offender�s name from the SOR and shall notify the offender that the offender is no longer required to comply with the registration requirements.
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