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  • The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 was signed into law on July 27, 2006;
  • This federal law established a baseline for state-level sex offender registration programs;
  • It replaced legislation passed in the 1990s (Jacob Wetterling) that was the basis for which many state laws were created;
  • In response to a number of high-profile cases where egregious crimes were committed by individuals with prior sex offense convictions—but who were not required to register as sex offenders.


  • July 27, 2006: Signed into law by President Bush.
  • May 30, 2007: “SMART” guidelines published for comment.
  • August 1, 2007: Comment for SMART closed.
  • July 27, 2009: Deadline for states to implement AWA.
  • July 2009: After every state has failed to comply with AWA, the deadline was extended one year.
  • July 2010: Deadline was extended yet again after very few states were considered compliant.
  • July 27, 2011: Final deadline for SORNA implementation, further extensions would not be granted.
**Content Last Updated 5/14/2012**

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