Sex Offender Transactions

 Registration of sex offenders allows the government authorities in the U.S. and abroad to keep track of the location and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. These registries are made available to law enforcement -- and sometimes the general public -- to help maintain any restrictions on housing or employment related to the offender's status.

The Nlets Transaction 

The Sex Offender Query (SOQ) transaction allows for queries to state databases via Nlets for the existence of a registered sex offender. The Nlets Arizona Representative and Board of Directors Member Georgene Ramming comments, "Knowing the whereabouts of a sex offender is paramount to the safety and confidence of the public we serve. Most sex offender registries serve the need of the specific state, but having the capability of querying registries in other states is extremely valuable and helpful in fulfilling our public safety mission."

The "SOQ" (query) enables users to obtain current registration information for sex offenders in a state registry. An "SOR" (response) will be returned with notification that a sex offender registry record does or does not exist.

The SOQ requires the following information:

  • Valid, nine-character, sending ORI (originating routing indicator);
  • Up to any combination of five, two-character destination ORI;
  • Purpose code and/or attention fields;
  • Image(s); and
  • One of the following data elements:
    • Name, date of birth, gender,
    • Social Security number,
    • State ID number,
    • Miscellaneous number, and
    • FBI number.

Although all of these elements may be included in the query, each search element may generate a separate query, depending on the capabilities of the state. Some states treat this type of information as criminal history and some do not; therefore, inclusion of the Purpose Code and Attention fields is optional.

If a state requires the Purpose Code and/or Attention fields,but that info has been omitted from the transaction, a reject message identifying what information is missing will be returned.

The SOR can include any or all of the following data elements:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Date of birth;
  • Description;
  • Social Security number;
  • County of registration;
  • Date of registration;
  • Release/sentence date;
  • Next of kin;
  • Employer;
  • Employer’s address;
  • Driver’s license number;
  • Driver’s license state;
  • Driver’s license expiration;
  • Image; and
  • No record.

Nlets supports both transactions in legacy text, as well as in XML. There are 19 participating states.


Requests from local agencies interested in using the sex offender message keys must be reviewed by the Nlets state representative. Please direct all requests and questions to

Chelsea S. Keefer is a document specialist with Nlets, based in Phoenix.


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