Common Questions about the Sexual Offender Registry (SOIRA)
The Sexual Offender Information Registry Act (SOIRA) requires individuals found guilty of certain sex-related criminal offences to be registered in a sex offender database.
SOIRA imposes certain obligations for individuals placed on the National Sex Offender Registry to provide police throughout Canada with personal information and forces them to report yearly for the purpose of being monitored by authorities.
What criminal offences apply to SOIRA?
A person convicted of a designated offence must be placed on the Registry. Designated offences are listed in section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code. The most common offences are:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual interference
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Child Pornography (possession, making, distribution)
- Indecent exposure
What information do I have to give for SOIRA?
If you are placed on the Registry, you must provide the following:
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Height, weight, scars, tattoos
- Employment and address of employer
- Vehicle information including make, model, year, licence plate, body type
- Place of education
- Sex offences you have been convicted of
How often do I have to report to the Sexual Registry?
Once placed on the Registry, you have seven days to report and must re-register every year or anytime there is a change to your address or legal name. If you intend on travelling for longer than one week, you must provide the location and duration to the Registry.
How long will I have to report to the Sexual Registry?
Depending on the type of criminal conviction, you may be placed on the Registry for 10 or 20 years or life. You must report for the duration of the period imposed.
How long will my information remain in the Sexual Registry database?
Your information will remain with the Registry indefinitely, even after your term is over.
Can anybody access the Sexual Registry?
No. The Sexual Offender Registry can only be accessed by accredited Canadian police agencies for investigative purposes. The general public does not have access to the information nor is there on online “offender map” like in the United States.
Can a judge decide whether or not to apply SOIRA?
If you are convicted of a designated offence, a judge does not have discretion of whether or not to apply SOIRA.
Does SOIRA apply to a discharge?
No. If you receive an absolute or conditional discharge for a designated offence, SOIRA does not apply.
Does SOIRA apply to a young offender?
No. SOIRA does not apply to young offenders unless the young offender is sentenced as an adult.
Can I terminate a SOIRA order early?
Yes. You can apply to terminate a SOIRA order early:
- After 5 years if given a 10-year order;
- After 10 years if given a 20-year order; or
- After 20 years if given a lifetime order
If you receive a record suspension/pardon, you can apply for early termination immediately and do not have to wait for the above-noted periods of time
How do I apply for early termination of my SOIRA order?
In order to apply for early termination of your SOIRA order, you must satisfy a judge that the impact of you continuing on with the SOIRA order would be grossly disproportionate to the public interest in protecting society.