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NC Sex Offender Registration Restrictions and Consequences

Under North Carolina law, a person who has been convicted of certain sex offenses are required to establish and maintain registration in compliance with the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs. 

Individuals who are on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry face serious consequences that will severely impact their life and may need an attorney to petition their removal from the Registry. Read on to learn about the State’s restrictions for an offender who is required to register.

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Regardless of their particular crime or date of offense, all registered sex offenders in North Carolina may not knowingly reside within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center. Exemptions include child care centers located on or within 1,000 feet of the property of an institution of higher education where the offender is a student or is employed. In addition, an offender’s residence may not be used to care for a child.

Employment and Volunteer Restrictions for Registered Sex Offenders

Registered offenders may not provide instruction, supervision, or care for minors. They also are prohibited from conducting babysitting services as a care provider or at their place of residence.

Sex Offender Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Restrictions

Anyone on the registry cannot have a commercial driver’s license with a P (passenger) or S (school bus) endorsement.

The person has to report any changes in his or her life to law enforcement, including changes in appearance or change of address. If the person leaves the state, they may have to register in that other state, even if only visiting.

Sex Offender Emergency Medical Services Restrictions

A registered offender will not be granted or be able to renew emergency medical services credentials.

Sex Offender Funeral License Restriction

A person convicted of a “sexual offense against a minor” is not eligible for any license by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services.

Prohibition from Commercial Social Networking Websites for Registered Sex Offenders

In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a North Carolina law prohibiting registered sex offenders from using Facebook or other social networking sites that minors can join. However, registrants still must disclose any online identifiers.

Prohibition on Name Changes by Sex Offenders

Registered sex offenders are unable to obtain a name change by going to the clerk of court and applying.

Prohibition from Protected Locations

Additional restrictions are placed on offenders registered because of certain offenses, including those:

  • Under Article 7B of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General (rape and other sex offenses) or substantially similar offenses;
  • Where the victim was under the age of 18 years at the time of the incident

These offenders are not allowed at the following locations:

  • Any place intended primarily for the use, care, or supervision of minors such as schools, children’s museums, child care centers, nurseries, and playgrounds
  • Within 300 feet of areas designated for children in places such as malls, shopping centers, or other property open to the public
  • Any place where minors frequently congregate (i.e. libraries, arcades, amusement parks, recreation parks, and swimming pools) when minors are present
  • On fairgrounds when an event is held, including the State Fairgrounds during the State Fair

Common Sex Offender Registration FAQs

Will my record be made available to the public?

Yes. If you are convicted of certain sex crimes, you must register with the county sheriff. Your identifying information will be entered in the Registry database, where it will be available to the public via the Sex Offender Registry website.

How long will I have to register as a sex offender in North Carolina?

The minimum period of registration is 30 years and can be as long as a lifetime depending on the sex offense. 

For persons convicted of an aggravated offense, a repeat offense, and/or determined by a court to be a sexually violent predator, they are subject to:

  • Lifetime registration
  • Verification of residence every 90 days
  • These persons are ineligible to petition for a shorter registration period unless their sentence is reversed or they are pardoned

For all other reportable convictions under the Sex Offender & Public Protection Registration Programs, these persons are subject to:

  • Registration of at least 30 years from initial date of county registration
  • After 10 years, these persons may petition the superior court to terminate their registration

What happens if an offender fails to register or fails to verify their address?

A person who is required to register is guilty of a Class F felony if they:

  • Fail to register
  • Fail to notify the last registering sheriff of a change of address
  • Fail to return a verification notice
  • Forge or submit under false pretenses the information or verification notices required

Interested in how to be removed from the NC Sex Offender Registry?

If you or a loved one is required to register as a sex offender, the impact can be devastating due to the many restrictions and limitations mandated. If you are interested in filing a petition for removal from the Sex Offender Registry, you need an experienced lawyer for sex offenders. At Manning Law, our expert attorneys can help you take your life back. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today!

Taylor Manning
The content on this page was reviewed by Manning Law Firm, PLLC partner Taylor Manning. You can learn more about Taylor's experience and expertise on his bio page.