How to ask to end sex offender registration requirement

If you're eligible, you can ask the court to end (terminate) your requirement to register as a sex offender.


You must continue to register unless a judge orders that you are no longer required to.

Get legal help if you have questions. 

A public defender may be able to help you at no cost. You can also find out more in Information on Filing a Petition to Terminate Sex Offender Registration.

How to apply for relief

The process may take many months. Keep your address updated with the court during the process so you don't miss any important notices.

  • Contact the court where you will apply to get instructions

    Contact the court in the county where you're required to register. If you register in more than one county, it's the court in the county where you live primarily. This is the court where you'll apply.

    Ask a court clerk or check the court's website if they have any local rules or forms you will need. There are statewide forms you will use, but some courts may have additional "local forms" or rules for you to follow. Also, check which courthouse you should file in.

  • Get a copy of your proof of current registration

    Contact the law enforcement agency where you register to get proof of your current registration. 

  • Fill out petition and make copies

    • Fill out Petition to Terminate Sex Offender Registration (Penal Code 290.5)(form CR-415)
    • Attach a copy of proof of current registration
    • Attach other local forms you need to fill out

    Make at least 3 copies. The court keeps the original. One copy is for your records. The others are for the District Attorney and Law Enforcement Agency where you register. If your conviction is from another county, you'll need another copy for law enforcement and the district attorney in that county.

  • File petition at the courthouse

    File the petition in the court in the county where you are required to register. There is no fee to file your petition.

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms by giving the original and copies to the clerk. The clerk will give you a case number and stamp the forms. The court will keep the original and return the copies to you.

    Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and copies to the clerk. You need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. Make sure to include enough postage. If you do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope you will have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copies. 

    Some courts allow online filing (called e-filing). You can find out if your court has online filing by visiting your court’s website. 
  • Serve copies and file proof of service

    You must formally give notice of your request to law enforcement and the district attorney. This is called serving court papers.

    Who can serve papers

    Someone 18 or older, not you, must deliver a copy of the papers and then file proof with the court that they delivered them. The person who delivers the copies is called your server. 

    Who gets a copy

    Your server must deliver copies to the District Attorney and law enforcement where you're required to register. If your conviction is in a different county, they'll need to deliver a copy to the District Attorney and law enforcement in that county as well. The server can contact the agencies to find out the address and if there's a specific person to deliver the papers to.

    How to deliver the copies

    Your server can deliver the papers by mail or in person. After mailing or hand delivering the copies, the server must fill out and sign a Proof of Service -Sex Offender Registration Termination (form CR-416). File the signed proof of service with the court.

    If the District Attorney or law enforcement agency agrees, the server can email the copies. Learn more
    If the District Attorney's office or law enforcement agency agrees (consents), the server can send the copies electronically (by email). The court may want proof they consented, and then the server will need to fill out and sign a proof of electronic service. File the signed proof of service with the court.
  • Wait for court to get information

    The judge can't make a decision until it hears back from law enforcement and the district attorney. This may take 4 months or longer.

    What happens while you're waiting

    • Law enforcement has 60 days from when it gets your petition to check if you're eligible and report back to the court and district attorney. They can ask for more time if they find out about any new convictions.
    • Once the district attorney gets the report from law enforcement, they have 60 days to ask for a hearing. You will get a notice in the mail of any court dates.

    You can find out if there's been anything filed by looking up your case online (if the court has online access) or by going to the court and asking. You'll need your case number.

    They can challenge your petition if they think you don't meet the requirements. For example, you have not registered for the minimum registration period.

    They could also challenge it if they believe "community safety would be significantly enhanced by" your continued registration.
  • Get the judge's decision

    You may have a court date

    If the district attorney asked for one, you will have a court date (hearing). The court must set a court date for a community safety hearing if you are a tier 2 status and asking for the 10-year exception or a tier 3 status based only on risk level. At the hearing, the judge must decide if you should continue to register for community safety.

    The judge will decide whether to grant or deny your petition.

    If the District Attorney did not ask for a court date and one is not required

    If there is not a hearing, the judge must grant your petition if:

    • You provided proof of current registration
    • The law enforcement agency reported you meet the requirements
    • You have no pending charges that could extend your registration period or change your tier status
    • You are not in custody, on probation, parole, or post release supervision

    If the judge denies your petition, they will give you a minimum amount of time you must wait before you can ask again. It will be at least 1 year.



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