What Does a Sex Offender Passport Look Like?

A new law called International Megan’s Law requires that passports of people on the sex offender registry be marked with a unique identifier. This information allows the government to track where those on the registry travel.

It also puts them at risk of being viewed with suspicion or fear abroad. But the plaintiffs suing over the requirement say it violates their rights to free speech.

What is a sex offender passport?

A sex offender passport is a document issued by the United States Department of State to someone who has been registered as a child sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or International Megan’s Law. The law, which was passed in 2018 and named after a 7-year old girl who was murdered by a sex offender traveling to another country to engage in sexual acts with children, requires convicted offenders to register their names with the government before traveling internationally. The sex offender passport is printed with an identifier on the inside cover that lets immigration officers know the bearer is a covered sex offender.

The sex offender passport looks identical to other U.S. passport books and allows the traveler to enter the United States at land border crossings and seaports of entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. A person with a sex offender passport cannot obtain the smaller and less expensive passport card, because the identifier message will not fit on the front cover of the document.

Having a sex offender passport does not prevent people from traveling, but it does make it more difficult for them to do so. Since every state has different rules about sex offender registration, some people remain on the list for life and others only need to register for a certain amount of time before being allowed to travel again. In some cases, the sex offender passport may be revoked, requiring the person to apply for a new one with the proper identifier.

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What does it mean to have a sex offender passport?

Most convicted sex offenders are still able to get a passport in the United States, however, those who are convicted of child sex crimes are required to be listed on federal and state sex offender registries and must receive a special sex offender passport. The new requirement, called International Megan’s Law, takes effect in late 2017 and requires that all covered sex offenders have their passports printed with a unique identifier that states they are a child sex offender.

Covered sex offenders are also required to notify authorities before traveling abroad and may be subject to criminal penalties if they fail to do so. In addition, the law requires that sex offenders provide destination countries with information about their history of child sex offenses so that they can better monitor and prevent child exploitation by the offender.

While the goal of the new requirements is to prevent child sex abuse and exploitation, critics argue that the new laws are unconstitutional and violate First Amendment protections against compelled speech. Specifically, the critics argue that the requirement to have a mark on a passport, which is essentially a scarlet letter, violates constitutional protections against compelled speech by imposing a government-imposed stigma on a group of people. As a result, the plaintiffs in this case have filed a lawsuit challenging the law.

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Can a sex offender get a sex offender passport?

Under a new rule put into effect by the State Department in May 2018, people convicted of sex crimes against children who are registered on sex offender registries must have their passports marked with a unique identifier that clearly states they are a sex offender. This is part of a larger effort by the federal government to crack down on child exploitation across the globe.

This new mark on the passports of child sex offenders does not prevent them from traveling abroad. Instead, it simply lets authorities in other countries know that the person is a sex offender, which could cause them to be denied entry if a country has laws against this type of travel.

As a result, it is still important for sex offenders to have their passports revoked before they travel internationally. Those who are already registered sex offenders should expect to receive a letter from their registry office letting them know that their passports have been revoked. This means that they will need to reapply for a new passport that clearly identifies them as a sex offender.

One other thing to keep in mind is that sex offenders will not be allowed to get a passport card because there isn’t enough space on the small card for the unique identifier. However, sex offenders will be able to obtain a passport book, which does include the identifier label.

What are the requirements to get a sex offender passport?

Following the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges when he tried to get back into the United States from Paris, one of WUSA9’s viewers asked us whether registered sex offenders can have passports. The short answer is yes, but they must have a special passport with a unique identifier on it in order to do so. This label will appear on the inside of the passport booklet and will read: “The bearer is a covered sex offender under International Megan’s Law.” The law itself was passed last year as an attempt to crack down on child exploitation on a global scale, and it requires the State Department to include this information on all passports issued to those on the registry. Passport cards cannot be marked in this way, so sex offenders who want to travel abroad must get a passport book rather than a card.

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In addition to having this identifier on their passports, those who are on the registry must also provide the Department of Homeland Security with any and all details regarding their planned travel abroad. This includes flight information, address while outside of the United States, and purpose for travel. Failure to do so can result in fines, imprisonment, or both. The only exception to this is if the person on the registry has been cleared by the Angel Watch Center to stop being required to register as a sex offender.

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