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Roadmap to Reentry - A California Legal Guide, Root & Rebound, 2015

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A CALIFORNIA LEGAL GUIDE

©2015 ROOT & REBOUND

ROADMAP
TO REENTRY:
A California Legal Guide

Copyright © 2015 by Root & Rebound
Published by Root & Rebound
ABOUT ROOT & REBOUND
Root & Rebound is a nonprofit reentry legal advocacy organization based in
Oakland, California. Our mission is to increase access to justice
and create pathways to success for people in reentry from prison and jail,
helping them fulfill their greatest potential as engaged members of families and
communities. Root & Rebound works to accomplish its mission through three
key programs: direct legal services with social services support, legal and
community education & high-impact policy advocacy.

DISCLAIMER
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE:
When putting together the Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we
did our best to give you useful and accurate information because we know that
people who are currently or formerly incarcerated often have difficulty getting
legal information, and we cannot provide specific advice to every person who
requests it.
The laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do
not always have the resources to make changes to this informational material
every time the law changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry
legal guide, it is your responsibility to make sure that the law has not changed
and applies to your particular situation. If you are incarcerated, most of the
materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library.
The Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather
legal information. No attorney-client relationship is created by using any
information in this guide. You should always consult your own attorney if you
need legal advice specific to your situation. If you would like to contact an
attorney, see the “NEED HELP” question below.

COPYRIGHT ©
Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide (First Edition) is copyrighted © in
2015 by Root & Rebound. We encourage your use of the information and
material in this guide, but ask that you credit Root & Rebound in doing so. You
can print this guide for free from our website www.rootandbound.org or order a
free hard-copy guide through our website or by writing us at Root & Rebound,
1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612. If you would like to create a
guide like this one in your own state, please email Root & Rebound at
roadmap@rootandrebound.org. Thank you!

SEND US FEEDBACK!
At the beginning and the end of this guide, on PG. 8 and PG. 1206, there is a
survey that we ask you to send back to provide feedback to Root & Rebound
about this legal guide. This will help us improve future versions of the guide as
well as legal trainings that we provide on this material in the community.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
There are many people whose work was instrumental in making this guide
come to life.
First, we want to thank Root & Rebound’s team, who over the past year, have
made the dream of a producing the first-ever legal guide for reentering
Californians a reality through dedication and compassion:
We would like to thank Root & Rebound’s dedicated and incredible staff:
Carmen Garcia, Rachel Hoerger, Buffy Hutchison, Katherine Katcher,
Aiasha Khalid, Elie Miller, and Sonja Tonnesen.
We would like to thank Root & Rebound’s team of brilliant Contract
Attorneys & Legal Fellows: Amanda Austin, Pedro Hernandez, Kony Kim,
Dominik Taylor, and Mila Veber.
We would like to thank Root & Rebound’s outstanding Law Clerks &
Interns: Olivia Cahue-Diaz, Rashida Harmon, Emily MacLeod, Chandra
Peterson, and Vanessa Lim.
We would like to thank Root & Rebound’s incredible team of dedicated
Volunteers: Missy Austin, Madeline Bailey, James Carlin, Jessica Dexter,
Sophie Hart, Elizabeth Hecht, Annemarie Heineman, Sophia Hill, Kalina
Kwong, Midori Li, Rebecca Maxwell, Mathilde Semmes, Melinda Valerio,
Troy Williams, Amanda Woog.
We would like to give a special thank you to our amazing team of expert
readers and content contributors, who lent their years of experience, expertise,
and resources to improve the content of this guide:
We would like to thank expert readers: Maria “Alex” Alexander, Jessica
Bartholow, Michael Bays, Jason Bell, Devin Bissman, Katherine Brady, Rose
Cahn, Maurice Emsellem, Dorian Esters, Sr., Liz Gomez, Eliza Hersh, Deep
Jodhka, Kathy Kahn, Hannah Labaree, Andrew Lah, Samuel Lewis, Tom
Hoffman, Ernest Melendrez, Airto Morales, Olinda Moyd, Stephanie Nishio,
Adam Poe, Kellen Russoniello, Brittany Stringfellow-Otey, Deborah Thrope,
David Wasserman, Mary Weaver, and Steve Weiss.
We would also like to thank those who helped us connect with experts
in their respective fields: Sarah Palmer, Shirley Sanematsu.

Further thanks to the organizations whose resources we built upon and
adapted to develop this content: ACLU of Northern California, Berkeley Initiative
for Mindfulness in Law Center for Community Alternatives, Center for Young
Women’s Development, East Bay Children’s Law Offices, East Bay Community Law
Center, Judicial Council of California, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San
Francisco Bay Area, Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center, Legal Services for
Prisoners with Children, Legal Services of Northern California, National Housing
Law Project, National Employment Law Center, Prison Law Office, The Public
Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Rubicon Programs, and Uncommon
Law.
Cover Art & Design by Anuradha Murthy; Layout Design by Mila Veber

!
!

NEED HELP?
Coming home from prison and jail, you will face many confusing and
complicated issues, both legal and non-legal. Throughout the guide, we have
tried to make it clear when and for what issues you should consult with a lawyer.
See PG. 1190 at the back of this guide for a list of legal aid organizations across
California that may be able to assist you directly. You can also contact a local
bar association or legal aid organization that provides free services for help with
your issue.
Root & Rebound is available for follow-up support and technical assistance with
the guide. Our online hub (www.rootandrebound.org/roadmap) has a list of
Frequently Asked Questions, a place for you to download the entire guide and
chapters, and a place for you to write into our legal team. You can also request
to set up a training, so we can walk you through the information in the guide.
If you have a legal question, we will do our best to help you with a referral,
provide you with additional information, or take on your case ourselves, where
we have the resources and ability to assist you.
In addition to visiting the online hub (www.rootandrebound.org/roadmap), you
can call us at 510-279-4662, or also write to us at:
Root & Rebound
1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94612

MASTER TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD BY CARMEN GARCIA | Resiliency Message – PG. 6
MINDFULNESS IN DAILY LIFE | 5 Practices to Develop Calm & Clarity – PG. 7
ROOT & REBOUND SURVEY – PG. 8 and PG. 1206
CHAPTER 1 | THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: Getting ID & Other
Key Documents, Voting & Civic Participation – PG. 13

CHAPTER 2 | PAROLE & PROBATION – PG. 130

CHAPTER 3 | HOUSING – PG. 369

CHAPTER 4 | PUBLIC BENEFITS – PG. 504

CHAPTER 5 | EMPLOYMENT – PG. 625

CHAPTER 6 | COURT-ORDERED DEBT – PG. 755

CHAPTER 7 | FAMILY & CHILDREN – PG. 823

CHAPTER 8 | EDUCATION – PG. 906

CHAPTER 9 | UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL
RECORD – PG. 1020
LIST OF LEGAL AID PROVIDERS IN CALIFORNIA (By Chapter) – PG. 1190
COMMUNITY RESOURCE GUIDES IN CALIFORNIA (By Region) | GUIDES TO
FOOD, HOUSING, HEALTH, FAMILY SUPPORT & SOCIAL SERVICES – PG.!1201

PLEASE NOTE: The symbols shown here will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the page for
each chapter to show you which chapter you are reading.

Foreword by Carmen Garcia

RESILIENCY
MESSAGE
Someone once said that how you climb a mountain is more important than
reaching the top. I was in the San Mateo County Jail waiting to be sentenced to
Federal Prison, when I first heard this quote. I remember saying time and time
again how I was going to be different the next time. So many promises were
made during those lonely moments that I never thought of how I was going to
keep those promises if I wasn’t doing anything different. Life, I thought, doesn’t
have to be the same for me. Blind faith, they told me, is what you need in order
to trust those who are trying to teach you a different way to live.
Unfortunately, in jails and in prisons, if you want rehabilitation, you have to seek
it out. The same is true when you get out. The difference when you are out is
that you have the power to choose when, how, and where, and although at
times you might get discouraged because it seems overwhelming, don't give
up. Remember, nobody said the climb was going to be easy.
Now that we are free to choose, let's take advantage of the opportunities that
are in front of us. Today, we no longer have to abide by any prison codes or
rules, and if you keep doing the right thing, then the climb won't seem so lonely
and treacherous, and the rewards will be enormous, as they have been for me.
Keep in mind that the climb to anything, whether it's a mountain, a hill or a
ladder, has to be taken carefully, cautiously and with an open mind. Each step
we take has to be carefully guided and directed towards the direction that will
cost us the least pain and regret. Even our old friends or acquaintances,
although well intended, can bring us more harm than good, so carefully choose
who you include in your circle. Cautiously approach any given situation, and
when in doubt... don't. Luckily, we don't exist alone in the world, and regardless
of who you are, you need someone. Collectively, rather than individually, we can
accomplish more. So, have an open mind and pay attention to the message
more than the messenger.
Jails and Prisons don't have to be what defines us, or what breaks us; we choose
who, what and where. Somehow, reaching the top is no longer that important,
because the journey getting there is what will be embraced.
Peace,
Carmen

MINDFULNESS IN DAILY LIFE
5 PRACTICES TO DEVELOP CALM & CLARITY
As we all know, the process of reentry is incredibly stressful. Taking time to
breathe deeply, to be aware of and to care for your body and your emotions, can
be a big help. Mindfulness can help you to stay focused, calm, and balanced.
‘Mindfulness’ is just a fancy work for being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and
physical sensations. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help reduce
stress and improve our health. The practices and resources below may help you
stay balanced and optimistic during what can be a challenging process of
reentry. We hope these tools are helpful to you on your journey through reentry
1
and throughout your life.
1.

MINDFUL WALKING
As you walk from your car or train to an office, on your way to a meeting
or job interview, try to be aware of your breath and body. Notice the rise
and fall of your chest with your inhale and exhale, the feeling of your
feet touching the ground, the sensation of the sun or air on your skin.
Try to leave early enough for your appointments so that your walk can
be slow and unhurried. This simple practice can introduce greater calm
into your day, and provide a few moments of relaxation before a
potentially stressful situation.

2.

SITTING MEDITATION
Simply sitting quietly, with eyes open or closed, following one’s breath,
can be a powerful way to calm the mind and relax the body. Many
people find this practice challenging at first, but that it becomes easier
over time and provides tremendous benefits for body and mind. Start
with just 5 minutes per day using one of the guided recordings listed
below, or visit an introductory class at a local meditation center.

3.

YOGA
Yoga is another powerful mindfulness practice that can help with
reducing stress and improving physical and mental health. Local yoga
studios often offer donation-based or community classes.

4.

MINDFUL EATING
Mindful eating invites us to fully experience and enjoy our food. Whether
eating alone or with others, taking time to see, smell, taste, and
appreciate our food, and taking a break from TV, phones and work—can
make meals a peaceful time to refocus and enjoy life.

5.

4-7-8 BREATHING
Dr. Andrew Weil’s technique of deep breathing is a great way to calm
the nervous system throughout the day. See www.drweil.com for details.
The basic instruction is to inhale for four counts (“1, 2, 3, 4…”), hold for
seven counts, and then slowly exhale for eight counts. Try doing five
rounds of this breathing before bed and see how you feel.

ADDITIONAL MEDITATION RESOURCES:
•
•
•
•

Guided meditation recordings at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research
Center: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
East Bay Meditation Center: a meditation center in Oakland provides
numerous free and low-cost mindfulness
programs. www.eastbaymeditation.org
Yoga to the People: athletic, donation-based yoga with locations in Berkeley
and San Francisco. www.yogatothepeople.com
International Vipassana Society: Donation-based meditation retreats offered
at centers in Northern and Southern California. http://www.dhamma.org

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to Charles Halpern and Dan Carlin of the University of California’s Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in
the Law (BMIL) for providing these mindfulness techniques.
1

!

ROOT & REBOUND SURVEY
Root & Rebound is a reentry advocacy center in Oakland, CA. We produce statewide reentry legal information to
educate, empower, and support people who are in reentry or preparing for release, and those who support them in
the community. By filling out this survey and providing us with feedback, you are helping us to improve this resource.
Thank you for your time!
PRIVACY OF INFORMATION: This is a voluntary and anonymous survey. Your feedback is very important to us, as
is confidentiality and privacy. Your information will be anonymously used to help us improve the manual and raise
awareness of needs of people in reentry.
INSTRUCTIONS: Please answer the following questions on the next page:

!
1.

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU:
Which of the best describes your level of education? Please circle the ONE answer that best describes you.

Elementary School

Middle School

High School / GED

Some College

Completed College

Graduate Degree

Vocational / Certificate Program

2. Is English your first language? Please circle the answer that best describes you
YES

NO

If not, what is your first or preferred language? ____________________________

3. Which of these best describes you? Please circle more than one answer that best describes you. Be as specific
as you can.
Currently Incarcerated Person, Preparing for Release
!

How long is your sentence? ___________________________________

!

When is your expected release date? ____________________________

Formerly Incarcerated Person
!

!

If formerly incarcerated, please specify:
o

On Probation/PRCS/Mandatory Supervision

o

On State Parole

o

On Federal Probation/Supervised Release

o

On Federal Parole

o

Off Supervision

o

Other: ______________________________________________

How long were you incarcerated for? _____________________________

Service Provider for Formerly Incarcerated Person
!

If service provider, please specify:
o

Attorney

o

Social Worker

o

Case Manager

o

Educator

o

Other: ______________________________________________

Family Member or Friend of Person in Reentry
!

If so, what is your relationship to the person in reentry? _______________

Supervising Officer (i.e., parole agent or probation officer)
Other (please explain) _______________________________

!
4. What is your racial/ethnic background? Please fill in the blank with how you identify.
___________________________________

5. What is your sex/ gender identity? Please fill in the blank with how you identify.
___________________________________

6. How old are you? Please fill in your age
___________________________________

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GUIDE:
7. Which Section(s) of the “Roadmap to Reentry” DID YOU READ? Please circle ALL that apply.
ID & VOTING

PAROLE & PROBATION

CLEANING UP YOUR RECORD

HOUSING

PUBLIC BENEFITS

EMPLOYMENT

COURT-ORDERED DEBT

FAMILY & CHILDREN

EDUCATION

8. Which Section(s) in the “Roadmap to Reentry” Guide WERE MOST HELPFUL TO YOU? Please circle
ALL that apply.
ID & VOTING

PAROLE & PROBATION

CLEANING UP YOUR RECORD

HOUSING

PUBLIC BENEFITS

EMPLOYMENT

COURT-ORDERED DEBT

FAMILY & CHILDREN

EDUCATION

Please Explain—Why did you find this/these section(s) the most helpful?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

9. How easy was it FOR YOU to understand the material in the “Roadmap to Reentry” Guide? Please
circle the ONE answer that best describes your experience.
VERY DIFFICULT (I did not understand almost anything)
DIFFICULT (I only understood a few things)
OK (I understood half)
EASY (I understood almost everything)
VERY EASY (I understood everything)
Please Explain: _______________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________

!

!
10. BEFORE reading the “Roadmap to Reentry” Guide, which of these statements best describes your
KNOWLEDGE about and CONFIDENCE in overcoming barriers in reentry*? Please circle the ONE
answer that best describes your experience BEFORE reading.
NONE

I did not know about any barriers in reentry, and I did not feel at all confident in overcoming them.

SOME

I knew about some of the barriers in reentry, and I felt a little bit confident in overcoming them.

MODERATE

I knew about half of the barriers in reentry, and felt somewhat confident in overcoming them.

HIGH

I knew about most of the barriers in reentry, and I felt quite confident in navigating them.

VERY HIGH

I knew a lot about the barriers in reentry, and I felt very confident in navigating them.

11. AFTER reading the “Roadmap to Reentry,” what answer best describes your KNOWLEDGE about
and CONFIDENCE in overcoming barriers in reentry*? Please circle the ONE answer that best
describes you NOW.
NONE

I still do not know about any barriers in reentry, and I do not feel at all confident in overcoming them.

SOME

I know about some of the barriers in reentry, and I feel a little bit confident in overcoming them.

MODERATE

I know about half of the barriers in reentry, and I feel somewhat confident in overcoming them.

HIGH

I know about most of the barriers in reentry, and I feel quite confident in overcoming them.

VERY HIGH

I know a lot about the barriers in reentry, and I feel very confident in overcoming them.

12. AFTER reading any part of the “Roadmap to Reentry” Guide, which of the following statements are
true? Please circle any and all that apply to you.
I better understand what a person’s rights are in reentry.
I have more information about what is true and what are myths about challenges in reentry.
I feel more confident about my ability to overcome (or help someone else overcome) challenges in reentry.
Because of the Legal Guide, I have access to information I never otherwise would have had in reentry.
This Legal Guide will make the process of reentry easier for me.
This Legal Guide will make it easier for me to help a person through reentry.
I better understand WHEN I need to get legal advice (or tell someone to get legal advice) to help with challenges
in reentry.
I better understand WHERE I can go (or the person I am supporting can go) for legal advice to help with
challenges in reentry.
I have issues right now that this Legal Guide has helped me to resolve. Please explain, if comfortable:
I feel comfortable contacting Root & Rebound for follow up support.
This Legal Guide is a resource I will turn to time and again in times of challenge or crisis.
I feel more hopeful about my future.
I feel more hopeful about my ability to support a person through reentry.

!
13. Would you recommend the “Roadmap to Reentry” Guide to others? Please circle the answer that
best describes you.
YES

NO

MAYBE

Please Explain Why or Why Not: _______________________________

14. Root & Rebound offers follow-up support through a phone hotline one day every week, an online
portal on its website, and through e-mail.
Are you likely to use this service for follow-up support? Please circle the answer that best describes you.
YES

NO

MAYBE

Please Explain Why or Why Not: _______________________________

15. Which of the services would be easiest for you to access? Please circle ALL that apply.
PHONE ONLINE/WEBSITE PORTAL

E-MAIL

16. Would an in-person training on the material be helpful to you? Please circle the ONE answer that
best describes you.
YES

NO

MAYBE

Please Explain Why or Why Not: ________________________________

17. What material or information would you like to better understand through an in–person training?
__________________________________________________________

ANY OTHER COMMENTS/FEEDBACK:
18. Please tell us about things you liked, did not like, and how we can make the “Roadmap to Reentry:
A California Legal Guide” better!
_________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________

!

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

THE
BUILDING
BLOCKS OF
REENTRY:

“When I got my
Driver’s License
after getting out of
prison, I cried. I felt
like a person again,
with my own
identity—not just a
number being
yelled out in prison.
It was one of the
best moments of
my reentry.”
– Formerly
Incarcerated
Woman, After
Spending 2 Years in
Federal Prison

Getting ID & Other
Key Documents,
Voting & Civic Participation

The BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING CHAPTER explains
how to access the building blocks of reentry including: how to get
identification (ID) & other key documents, voting rights, and Selective
Service registration. ID is proof of who you are—your identity.
Government agencies, workplaces, service providers, schools, and other
institutions issue ID cards for people who are members. You will want ID
and other key documents so that you can participate in all the services
that your community has to offer, so you can legally drive, and to prove
who you are. Voting is another building block of reentry—learn about
your voting rights in this Chapter. Finally, Selective Service registration
for the military is required of most men in the U.S.—learn why Selective
Service registration is important to reentry in this Chapter.

DISCLAIMER – YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE: When putting together the
Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we did our best to give you useful and accurate
information because we know that people who are currently or formerly incarcerated often have
difficulty getting legal information, and we cannot provide specific advice to every person who
requests it. The laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not
always have the resources to make changes to this informational material every time the law
changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry legal guide, it is your responsibility to
make sure that the law has not changed and applies to your particular situation. If you are
incarcerated, most of the materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library. The
Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather legal information. No
attorney-client relationship is created by using any information in this guide. You should always
consult your own attorney if you need legal advice specific to your situation.

PAGE 13 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.! INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 18!
What is identification (ID) and why is it important? .............................. 18!
Why do I need identification (ID)? ............................................................ 18!
I have a prison or jail ID. Isn’t that enough to identify myself? ......... 18!
What are the most important forms of ID for me to have? ................ 18!
I don’t have any ID right now. Where would be the best place to
start & when is the best time? ................................................................... 18!
I have used different names (“aliases”). What name is best to use
on my ID documents? ................................................................................. 19!
I am an undocumented person. Can I get an official form of ID if I
am undocumented? ..................................................................................... 19!
II.! BIRTH CERTIFICATE ........................................................................................... 22!
Why would I need my birth certificate? ................................................. 22!
What is the general process for getting a copy of my birth
certificate? ..................................................................................................... 22!
What is a “certified” copy of my birth certificate? What is an
“authorized” copy? What is an “informational” copy? Which would
be best to get? ............................................................................................. 24!
Why do I need an “authorized certified copy” instead of just an
“informational certified copy”? ................................................................. 24!
If You Were Born in the U.S.—Different Situations: ...................................... 24!
(1) If you were born in California: ............................................................. 24!
I was born in California. How do I get an authorized copy of my
birth certificate? ........................................................................................... 24!
I want to get my birth certificate from the California Department of
Public Health (CDPH). What is the process? ........................................ 25!
I was born in California and know my county of birth. How do I get
my birth certificate directly from the county I was born in? ............. 26!
How do I locate the county recorder’s office? ..................................... 26!
If I use the county recorder’s office, is it best to request my birth
certificate by mail or in person? .............................................................. 27!
(2) If you were born in the U.S. outside of California:........................... 28!
I was born in a state other than California. How do I get an
authorized copy of my birth certificate? ................................................ 28!
(3) If you were born in the U.S., but no record of your birth was found: . 29!
What if I was born in the U.S., but there is no record of my birth? . 29!
If You Were Adopted/ Don’t Know Where Born: ........................................... 29!
I am adopted and I don’t know where I was born. What can I do? 29!
If You Were Born Outside of the U.S.—Different Situations: ....................... 30!
(1) If you are a U.S. Citizen born to U.S. Citizen parent(s) in another
country: ....................................................................................................... 30!
I was born outside of the U.S., but I am a U.S. Citizen because one
or both of my parents was a U.S. Citizen. How do I get certification
of my birth and citizenship? ...................................................................... 30!

PAGE 14 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY

(2) If you were born in another country and you are not a U.S. Citizen ...31!
I am not a U.S. Citizen. How do I get my birth certificate from a
foreign country? ............................................................................................ 31!
(3) If you are a “Naturalized Citizen” .......................................................31!
I am a naturalized citizen. Do I need my birth certificate? ................. 31!
III.! SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER & CARD .............................................................. 32!
What is a social security number (SSN) and what is a social security
card? What is the difference and do I need both? .............................. 32!
Why do I need to know my SSN? ............................................................ 32!
I have a SSN, but I forgot it/never knew it. How do I find out what it
is? ..................................................................................................................... 33!
I don't think I ever got a SSN. Can I get one now? ............................. 33!
Pre-release Planning—Getting a Social Security Card While Incarcerated: ... 33!
Can I get a social security card while I am still incarcerated? .......... 33!
How do I get a replacement card while I am incarcerated? ............. 33!
How do I find out if my correctional facility has a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) agreement with the Social Security
Administration (ssa)? ................................................................................... 34!
How do I apply for my replacement card from inside? ...................... 34!
Post-release—Getting a Social Security Card After You’re Out: ................. 35!
I am formerly incarcerated, and I used to have a SSN. How do I get
a replacement social security card? ....................................................... 35!
Getting Social Security Card in person ................................................... 36!
I want to get a replacement Social Security card in person (which is
recommended). How do I do that?.......................................................... 36!
Getting Social Security Card by mail ...................................................... 37!
I want to get a replacement Social Security card by mail. How do i
do that?........................................................................................................... 37!
I am formerly incarcerated, and I’ve never had a SSN. How do I get
an original Social Security number & card? .......................................... 38!
IV.! CALIFORNIA’S FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION: STATE ID CARD, DRIVER
LICENSE & MUNICIPAL ID .................................................................................. 39!
Which one is right for me—a California State ID Card, or a California
Driver License? What’s the difference? ................................................. 40!
Pre-release Planning—Getting a CA State ID or CA Driver License While
Incarcerated .........................................................................................................41!
I am currently incarcerated. Can I apply for a CA state ID or a CA
Driver license? ............................................................................................... 41!
What is the Cal-ID program? ...................................................................... 41!
Who is eligible for the Cal-ID program? .................................................. 41!
I think I am eligible under the Cal-ID program. How do I apply? ..... 42!
Post-release—Getting a CA State ID or Driver License After You’re Out .. 43!
I am formerly incarcerated and want to get a California state ID.
How do I apply? ........................................................................................... 43!
I am formerly incarcerated and want to get a California Driver
License. How do I apply? ........................................................................... 45!
Driver License Suspensions & Revocations ........................................... 51!
My Driver License has been suspended or revoked. What does this
mean? How can I get it back? ................................................................... 51!
PAGE 15 OF 1210

!

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

What does it mean if my license was suspended? .............................. 51!
What does it mean if my license was revoked? ................................... 51!
If my license was suspended or revoked, could I get my driving
privileges back? ........................................................................................... 52!
My license was suspended in another state. Will I be able to get a
California driver license? ........................................................................... 54!
What laws could negatively affect me if I am trying to get (or keep)
a California driver license? ........................................................................ 55!
Does getting my criminal conviction expunged help me get my
suspended or revoked driver license back? ........................................ 57!
V.! U.S. PASSPORT ................................................................................................... 59!
Why would a U.S. Passport useful? Why might I need one?............ 59!
Who is eligible for a U.S. Passport? ........................................................ 59!
How do I apply for a U.S. Passport? ....................................................... 60!
How do I know if I need to apply for a passport in person or if I can
apply by mail?............................................................................................... 60!
How do I apply in person for a new U.S. Passport? ............................ 61!
How do I apply by mail for a renewal of my U.S. Passport? ............. 64!
VI.! LIBRARY CARD .................................................................................................... 66!
What are the benefits of having a library card?................................... 66!
Why would I get a library card? ............................................................... 66!
How do I get a library card? ..................................................................... 66!
VII.! VOTER REGISTRATION ...................................................................................... 68!
Why register to vote? ................................................................................. 68!
In general, who can register to vote in California? ............................. 68!
I have a criminal record. Can I register to vote in California? .......... 69!
I lost my voting rights while serving a felony sentence. What is the
process for regaining my ability to vote? .............................................. 69!
I don’t know my supervision status. How do I find out? .................... 70!
What if I voted in an election that I was not legally allowed to vote
in? ..................................................................................................................... 71!
Registering to Vote in CA: ................................................................................. 71!
I want to vote in the next election. When is the last day I can
register to vote in California? .................................................................... 71!
I don’t have official photo ID. Can I still register to vote? .................. 71!
I’m homeless. Can I still register to vote in California? ...................... 72!
Since the last time I registered to vote, my address, name, political
party or supervision status has changed. Do I have to re-register? .... 72!
I have other questions about registering to vote in California. Who
can I ask for help? ....................................................................................... 72!
How do I register to vote in California? What is the application
process? ........................................................................................................ 73!
Voting on Election Day ...................................................................................... 75!
I registered to vote. Where, when, and how do I vote in the next
election? ........................................................................................................ 75!
When is election day? ................................................................................ 75!
Can I get time off from work to vote in California? ............................. 75!
I have a physical disability. Can I get help getting access to my
voting location? ............................................................................................ 75!
English isn’t my first language. Can I get a ballot in my native
language? ...................................................................................................... 76!
I can’t read, and/or I physically can’t vote by myself. Can I get help
in the voting booth? .................................................................................... 76!

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What if I voted in an election that I was not legally allowed to vote
in?..................................................................................................................... 76!
VIII.!SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION .............................................................. 77!
What is the Selective Service system & why do I need to know
about it? .......................................................................................................... 77!
Who is required to register with the Selective Service? .................... 77!
Who is not required to register with Selective Service?.................... 77!
When do I register with the Selective Service? ................................... 78!
How do I register with the Selective Service? ..................................... 78!
Issues with Selective Service Registration ..................................................... 79!
I registered with the Selective Service, but I lost my registration
number and my proof of registration. How can I get my registration
number and proof of registration? .......................................................... 79!
It’s been more than 30 days since I turned 18, and I haven’t
registered with the Selective Service. Can I still register? ................80!
I am 26 or older and never registered with the Selective Service—
and don’t fall into any of the legal exceptions. What are some
possibile consequences? ..........................................................................80!
I am 26 or older and never registered with the Selective Service.
Now i’m disqualified from certain government benefits and
programs. What are my options? .............................................................80!
How do I get a “status information letter?” ............................................ 81!
How Selective Service registration affects going back to school ....... 82!
I’ve heard that if I didn't apply for the Selective Service when I was
younger, it can affect my ability to go back to school now that I am
released and in the community? Is that true? What can I do? ......... 82!
IX.! CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 83!
ID & VOTING APPENDIX ........................................................................................... 84!

WHAT WILL I LEARN IN THE BUILDING
BLOCKS OF REENTRY:
IDENTIFICATION, KEY DOCUMENTS &
VOTING CHAPTER?
•

•
•
•
•
•
!

The difference between various forms of ID and other key legal
documents—including Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards
& Numbers, CA State IDs and Drivers Licenses, Passports,
Library Cards, Voter Registration, and Selective Service
Registration
Which forms of ID are most important
When and how to get ID (and which ones to get first!)
How to get certain ID documents while you’re still incarcerated,
and then after you are released
What to do if you are undocumented and need ID
Your voting rights, and how to register to vote
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I.

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS IDENTIFICATION (ID) AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Identification (“ID”) is proof of who you are—your identity. Government agencies,
workplaces, service providers, schools, and other institutions issue ID cards for
people who are members. Many forms of ID include a photo and important
information about you, such as your address or physical characteristics. Having
an ID is important because, when you sign up for various programs, licenses,
and services, you’ll have to show an ID to prove that you are who you say you
are, and to show that you qualify for whatever you’re signing up for.

WHY DO I NEED IDENTIFICATION (ID)?
You need specific forms of ID to apply for many important resources and
services, including housing, employment, education, medical care, public
benefits, transportation, driving privileges, voting, banking, and licenses that
allow you to work in certain types of jobs.

I HAVE A PRISON OR JAIL ID. ISN’T THAT ENOUGH TO IDENTIFY
MYSELF?
You may already have a prison or jail ID card, but these generally are not
enough to help you prove who you are in all the areas you will need an official
ID. At the start of your reentry, though, a prison or jail ID card may help you get
other forms of ID.!

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FORMS OF ID FOR ME
TO HAVE?
As you rebuild your life in the community, there are 3 KEY DOCUMENTS
for you to have: (1) your birth certificate; (2) your Social Security Card (or
Number); and (3) a State ID or Driver License (don't need both, just one).
The most important forms of ID for you to have first are your birth
certificate and Social Security Number (SSN). Once you have these, you
will be able to get a State ID card or a Driver License, the most
commonly used forms of ID for everyday purposes. Once in a while, you
will need to show a copy of your Social Security Card for certain
services, but most of the time if you just know your Social Security
Number (SSN), that’s enough.

NATURALIZED
U.S. CITIZEN?
If you were born
outside of the
U.S. and then
became a citizen,
instead of a
getting a birth
certificate, you
need your
naturalization
certificate, for
more details, go
to PG. 31.

I DON’T HAVE ANY ID RIGHT NOW. WHERE WOULD BE THE BEST
PLACE TO START & WHEN IS THE BEST TIME?
Where would be the best place to start?
If you don’t have any of the 3 KEY ID DOCUMENTS—your Birth
Certificate, a Social Security Card (or Number), a State ID or Driver
License—you will have trouble proving your identity.
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If you do not have ANY of the 3 documents, it’s likely best to get your
birth certificate first, then your Social Security Card, and lastly your CA
State ID or Driver License. To learn details about each of these key
documents:
•
•
•

See PG. 22 for Birth Certificate
See PG. 32 for Social Security Card/ SSN
See PG. 39 for Driver License and State ID

When could I start, and can I start if I am currently incarcerated?
It’s never too early to start trying to get a form of official ID. It helps to
begin while you are still incarcerated as part of your preparation for
release. If you are in a California state prison, a new state law requires
CDCR and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure that all
2
eligible individuals have a California State ID upon release. This new
law expands the “Cal ID Program,” which is already available at
California prison facilities called “reentry hubs,” to ALL California state
prisons, requiring that the prison give you a California
State ID FOR FREE at the time of release, if you are
WHAT IF WANT TO
eligible. See PG. 41 for more information on this new
CHANGE MY
program and what makes you eligible.
LEGAL NAME?
If you’re already out, you have probably realized very
• If you are still
quickly how important ID documents are in everyday life
incarcerated, you
and it’s best to begin the process right away.
need to ask for

I HAVE USED DIFFERENT NAMES (“ALIASES”). WHAT
NAME IS BEST TO USE ON MY ID DOCUMENTS?
Your ID documents must be in your “legal” name. This will be the
name that appears on your birth certificate, unless you have
legally changed it. Changes in your legal name are done through
3
marriage or by court order.

!

IMPORTANT: Using a false name or presenting false
documents to obtain identification is a FEDERAL offense.
Don’t do it.

I AM AN UNDOCUMENTED PERSON. CAN I GET AN
OFFICIAL FORM OF ID IF I AM UNDOCUMENTED?

permission from the
Director of
Corrections.
• If you are released
on parole or
probation, you will
need a written
approval from your
parole agent or
probation officer.
• If you are a
registered sexoffender, the judge
needs to approve
your name change.
In every case, you will
need to prove that
your name change will
not pose a security
risk to the community.
CAL. CIV. PROC. CODE
§ 1279.5.

No, but you may be able to get a special type of Driver License
(AB 60 License) approved for people in your situation. It will not serve as official
identification (meaning it does not establish eligibility for employment, voter
registration, or public benefits), but it will allow you to drive a car legally in the
4
state of California. It’s against state law to discriminate against anyone driving
with an AB 60 License in California, but federal agents and law enforcement
agencies outside of California are NOT required to honor your AB 60 Driver
License. Depending on local laws and policies, you could face criminal or

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3007.05.
See CAL. CIV. PROC. CODE §§ 1275-1279.5; see also Change an Adult’s Name, CAL. SUPERIOR COURTS,
http://www.courts.ca.gov/1051.htm.
4
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12800-12801, 12801.9.
2
3

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immigration consequences if you present this type of California Driver License to
a police officer in another state—so use it only in California, and do not try to use
it in federal facilities, such as passing airport screenings or crossing through
5
Customs and Border Patrols!
For more information on what it means to be an undocumented person in the
U.S., you can contact a referral and information hotline such as 1-888-6-CHIRLA
(1-888-624-4752), provided in English and Spanish by the Coalition for Humane
Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. The hotline is open Monday—Friday, 9:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. and can provide direct services or refer you to other organizations
that can help you. It is safe for non-citizens and undocumented people to call
this hotline. You can also check out these free resources online:
•

•

•

•

Immigration Advocates Network (IAN): IAN works to provide communication
and cooperation between organizations working with immigrant
communities. On IAN’s website you can access a database with contact
information for nearly 150 organizations helping immigrants in California.
Website listed below.
o http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/search?st
ate=CA
National Immigration Law Center: The National Immigration Law Center is a
national organization that defends and advances the rights of low-income
immigrants and their families. You can find a list of additional California
organizations that support immigrant families on their website listed below.
o http://www.nilc.org/calres.html
Immigration Legal Research Center (ILRC): ILRC educates immigrants,
community organizations, and the legal community on many different topics
that affect immigrants, such as how to protect against becoming a victim of
immigration fraud and changes in immigration laws. Website listed below.
o http://www.ilrc.org/about-ilrc/what-we-do
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR): NNIRR defends
and works to grow the rights for both documented and undocumented
immigrants. Website listed below.
o http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/about-us

GENERAL TIPS
•
•

•
•

•

Start as early as you can. You can start gathering some documents while you’re
incarcerated.
Start by getting your birth certificate (or naturalization certificate if you were born
outside the U.S. and later became a citizen). A certified copy of your birth certificate
or naturalization certificate is necessary to get all other forms of ID. See PG. 22 (birth
certificate) or PG. 31 (naturalization certificate).
Stick to using your legal name as it appears on your birth certificate. Even if you have
used other names in the past, stick with your legal name. It is your only legal identity.
Keep photocopies of all your important forms as you go.
Before you pay a fee for anything, find out if you can get a “reduced fee” or a “fee
waiver” based on your income. Many forms of ID require that you pay a fee before
they are issued. Some fees must be paid by everyone, while other fees can be
reduced or excused (“waived”) for people with limited income. We have included
some information about reduced fees on PG. 44, but you should always check for
6
yourself.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801.9.
Adapted from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Back to School: A Guide to Continuing Your Education after
Prison, 20 (July 2010), available at http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/backtoschoolsummer2010revision.pdf.
5
6

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THIS CHART SUMMARIZES HOW & WHY EACH KEY ID DOCUMENT IS IMPORTANT, AS WELL AS
APPROXIMATE COSTS FOR EACH TYPE.

SUMMARY OF KEY DOCUMENTS
KEY ID DOCUMENT

COST

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

AUTHORIZED U.S. BIRTH
CERTIFICATE

ABOUT $25, BUT VARIES BY
COUNTY.

This proves your age and legal presence in the United
States. It is necessary in order to get most other forms of
identification, including your California State ID or Driver
License.

NATURALIZATION
CERTIFICATE (IF YOU WERE
BORN OUTSIDE OF U.S. AND
BECAME A CITIZEN LATER)

$345 (MAY BE FREE IF YOU
SHOW FINANCIAL HARDSHIP)

If you are a naturalized citizen, meaning you were born
outside of the U.S. and became a citizen later, you will not
have a U.S. Birth Certificate. Instead, you should use your
naturalization certificate.

SOCIAL SECURITY
NUMBER/CARD

FREE

Your Social Security Number is required to apply for jobs,
education programs, financial aid, and government services.
You will need it to obtain other forms of ID, such as a State
ID or Driver License.

CALIFORNIA STATE ID
and/or
DRIVER LICENSE

$28 FOR A NEW STATE ID ($8
IF YOU RECEIVE PUBLIC
ASSISTANCE)
$33 FOR A NEW CALIFORNIA
DRIVER’S LICENSE
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY
INCARCERATED—FREE STATE
ID IS AVAILABLE THROUGH
THE CAL-ID PROGRAM, FOR
ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS WHO
APPLY (SEE PG. 41)

These prove your age, identity, and may prove your legal
presence in the United States. Either one can be used as an
official photo ID. You will likely need one of these in order to
open a bank account, register to vote, and apply for jobs,
housing, or public benefits. State IDs and Driver Licenses are
generally considered the most accepted form of
identification.

U.S. PASSPORT

$135 FOR A NEW PASSPORT;
$110 FOR A RENEWAL

This is necessary for traveling abroad and coming back to
the United States. It is also considered an official photo ID.

RAP SHEET

APPROX. $50 ($25 WITH A FEE
WAIVER)

Your RAP sheet is a chronological listing of your entire
criminal history. You want to know what shows up on your
RAP sheet because employers, Public Housing Authorities,
schools, government agencies, and others may use your
criminal history to decide if you are eligible for their services.
(Go to the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR
CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER, PG. 1020)

VOTER REGISTRATION

FREE

When you register to vote, you will be sent a voter
registration card in the mail to let you know that you have
registered successfully. You do not need it to actually vote,
however, as long as you are registered.

SELECTIVE SERVICE
REGISTRATION

FREE

All male U.S. citizens and males (except those who are in the
U.S. on student or visitor visas) living in the U.S. aged 18-25
must register for the Selective Service. Failure to do so can
result in disqualification from, or loss of, certain federal and
state benefits. In California, if you do not register, you will not
be eligible for state student financial aid. The Selective
Service used to be known as “the Draft.”

LIBRARY CARD
(OPTIONAL)

FREE

A public library card gives you access to free resources
available from your local public library, such as books,
movies, and advice from librarians. A library card also allows
you to use the library’s computers and access the Internet.

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II.
!

BIRTH CERTIFICATE

IMPORTANT: Your birth certificate is the most critical identification

document you will need AND the easiest one to get while you are still
incarcerated. YOU SHOULD START THE PROCESS AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?
•

•
•
•

How to get a copy of your birth certificate in the following
situations: You were born in California; You were born in
another state; You were born in another country; You’re not
sure where you were born; You’re not a U.S. citizen; You’re a
naturalized U.S. citizen
How to request your birth certificate
How to get a document notarized, whether you are currently or
formerly incarcerated
Your options if there is no record of your birth

WHY WOULD I NEED MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
Your birth certificate is important because it proves your legal
name, age, birthdate, and birthplace. If you were born in the
United States, it also proves your U.S. citizenship. Having a copy
of your birth certificate is necessary to get other key forms of ID.

WHAT IS THE GENERAL PROCESS FOR GETTING A
COPY OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
It depends on what STATE you were born in. Each U.S. state
7
maintains its own birth records. The federal government does not
8
keep records or issue copies of birth certificates. Thus, the
requirements and procedures for getting official copies of birth
9
certificates vary from state to state.
10

If you were born in the U.S., here is the general process:
1. Find out which government agency in the state where you
were born manages birth records;
2. Get a request form from that government agency, fill it out,
and send it in, OR write a request letter to the agency;
11
3. Have the form or letter notarized (if requesting by mail) (learn
how to notarize a document on the next page);
4. Present a photo ID or swear an oath (if requesting in person);
5. Pay the fee.
See PG. 24 for more information on each step.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 102230.
See CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 102230.
9
See CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE §§ 102200, 102205.
10
See CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE §§ 103525, 103526.
11
See the complete state rules for notarization procedures in CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 1185 et seq.
7
8

PAGE 22 OF 1210

WHAT IF I WAS
BORN IN
ANOTHER
COUNTRY?
Whether or not you
are a U.S. Citizen, if
you were born
outside the United
States, you must
check with the
country in which you
were born for the
procedures to get
your birth certificate
(see PG. 30 for more
information).
If you were born out
of the United States,
but you are a U.S.
citizen because one
or both of your
parents was a U.S.
citizen, see PG. 30
on how to obtain
your birth certificate.

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What does it mean to get a document “notarized”?
WHAT IS NOTARIZATION?
Notarization is when a government-approved person (called a “notary public” or
just a “notary”) validates an important document. The notary must witness
signatures to that document.
WHAT DO I BRING?
1.

The document you need notarized. IMPORTANT: Don’t sign it before you
go—the notary needs to witness your signature.
2. Proof of who you are (usually Photo ID). IMPORTANT: The notary can verify
who you are by one of 3 ways:
a. Photo ID issued within the last 5 years. This can be: a state ID or a
Driver License from any U.S. state, a passport from any country, a
U.S. Military ID, a Canadian or Mexican driver’s license, or a
California government employee ID card. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY
INCARCERATED: You can use your Prison ID card while you are still
incarcerated, but not after you get out. This is why it is so important
to get your birth certificate before you are released, if possible.
b. One witness whom the notary knows and who knows you. This
witness will need to show one of the forms of acceptable IDs listed
above, and verify under oath who you are. —OR—
!
c. Two witnesses who know you (but the notary does not need to
know them). Both of these witnesses will also be required to show
one of the forms of acceptable IDs listed above, and verify under
oath who you are.
WHERE DO I FIND A NOTARY?
Try your bank, credit union, public library, City Hall, local courthouse, Post
Office, FedEx or UPS store, or a senior centers or local school. Always call the
location and check its website to make sure a notary exists, what times it is
available, and the cost. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY INCARCERATED: State prisons
12
must provide notary services. Contact your corrections counselor to make an
appointment, as it may only be available on certain days and times.
HOW MUCH WILL IS COST?
A small fee or free. The most a notary can charge in CA is $10.00 per signature.
13
However, mobile notary services that come to you are allowed to charge more.
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY INCARCERATED: There is an administrative fee, which
varies by facility, and is taken out of your inmate trust account. If you would
rather use a mobile notary, you’ll need to find one in your area that does
jail/prison visits. You may need to ask a family member or friend to help arrange
the visit.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12
13

See CDCR DOM § 14010.22
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 8211.

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WHAT IS A “CERTIFIED” COPY OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
WHAT IS AN “AUTHORIZED” COPY? WHAT IS AN
“INFORMATIONAL” COPY? WHICH WOULD BE BEST TO GET?
It is best to get an authorized certified copy of your birth certificate.

CERTIFIED COPY—A “certified” copy of your birth certificate is any official

copy of your birth certificate issued by the Office of the County Recorder in the
14
county where you were born, or from your state’s Office of Vital Records. These
offices issue two types of certified copies—“authorized” and “informational”
certified copies.
•

•

Authorized Certified Copy—An “authorized” certified birth certificate bears
15
the stamp or seal of the office that issued it. It is called authorized because
only certain individuals, such as you and your immediate family members,
16
are allowed to get it. Access to authorized birth certificates is restricted
because they are considered a valid form of government-issued ID, and can
be used to get other forms of ID. This is the type of copy you need to get to
prove your identification.
VS.
Informational Certified Copy—An “informational” certified birth certificate
contains the same information as an authorized copy, but it is not
considered an official record of your identity. It does not bear the stamp or
seal of the office that issued it, and it must contain the disclaimer statement:
17
“INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”
Anyone can order an informational copy of your birth certificate. This is not
the type of copy you want to get to prove your identification.

WHY DO I NEED AN “AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY” INSTEAD
OF JUST AN “INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY”?
Only an authorized certified copy of your birth certificate can be used as proof of
your identity. An informational copy is not accepted as a government-issued ID
18
and, therefore, cannot be used to obtain other forms of official ID.

IF YOU WERE BORN IN THE U.S.—
DIFFERENT SITUATIONS:
(1) IF YOU WERE BORN IN CALIFORNIA:
I WAS BORN IN CALIFORNIA. HOW DO I GET AN
AUTHORIZED COPY OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
You must go through one of two sources to get your California birth
certificate: (1) the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), or (2)
the County Recorder’s Office of the county where you were born.
Generally, it is easier to go through the County Recorder’s Office, but
there are pros and cons to using either source. See the chart on PG. 25
to understand the pros & cons.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE §§ 103525,103526.
CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE §§ 103525, 103526.
16
CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 103526 (full list of everyone authorized to get a birth certificate).
17
CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 103526(b).
18
CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 103526.
14
15

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NOT BORN IN
CALIFORNIA?
• If you were
born in a state
outside of
California, go to
PG. 28.
• If you were
born outside of
the U.S., go to
PG. 30.
• If you were
adopted/don’t
know where
you were born,
go to PG. 29.

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THIS CHART EXPLAINS THE PROS & CONS OF REQUESTING YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE FROM THE
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (CDPH) VS. THE COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE.

WHERE TO GET YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE:
CDPH or County Recorder’s Office?
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (CDPH)

COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE

TIME: Takes longer to process (4-6 weeks).

TIME: Takes less time to process (same day, in person).

REQUEST METHOD: Must be done by mail.

REQUEST METHOD: May be done by mail OR in person.

FEE: Standard Fee (currently $25, but subject to change).

FEE: Fees vary by county. It may be more or less than what
the CDPH charges.

STATEWIDE REACH:
CDPH is a good option if you don’t know what county you
were born in. It covers all counties in California, and the
CDPH can help you locate your birth county.

COUNTY REACH ONLY:
The County Recorder’s Officer can only issue birth
certificates for births that were within that county, not
statewide. So it’s good if you know exactly which county
you were born in.

APPLICATION FORMS: Accepts standard state form only
(see the next question which explains how to get a copy)

APPLICATION FORMS: Accepts state and county forms (see
the question on PG. 26 which explains how to get a copy)

! CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (CDPH):
I WANT TO GET MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE FROM THE CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (CDPH). WHAT IS THE
PROCESS?
The CDPH only accepts requests by mail. The process is as follows:
STEP 1:

Obtain and fill out an “Application for Certified Copy of Birth Record”
(Form VS 111).

You can request this form by mail from the CDPH by writing to: California
Department of Public Health, Vital Records—MS 5103, P.O. Box 997410,
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410.
This form is also available to download from the CDPH website at:
19
http://www.cdph.ca.gov. A sample application is provided in Appendix A,
PG. 85, but check the website for the most up-to-date form. To fill out the form,
you will generally need to know your birth name, your birth date, the city where
you were born, and your parents’ names, including your mother’s maiden name.
If you do not know all of this information, fill in as much as you can.
STEP 2: Sign your application & get your Sworn Statement notarized.
The Sworn Statement is on page 3 of the application form (Form VS 111), and is
20
required to verify the information on your application. By signing the Sworn

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The direct online link to the application Form VS 111 is
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/forms/CtrldForms/VS111.pdf
20
Sworn Statement, CAL. DEP’T OF PUBLIC HEALTH,
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/SwornStatement.aspx.
19

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Statement, you are declaring “under penalty of perjury” that you are entitled by
law to receive an authorized copy of the birth certificate.
You must then get the statement notarized. See the box on PG. 23 for an
explanation of how to get a document notarized.
STEP 3: Prepare the fee payment.
21

This must be a check or money order made payable to “CDPH Vital Records.”
Do not send cash. At the time of writing this manual, the CDPH fee is $25, but it
could change. The current fee amount will be on the CDPH application form.
STEP 4: Mail your request.
Your final packet should include: (1) your application form, including the
notarized Sworn Statement, and (2) your fee payment (check or money order). At
22
the time of writing this manual, you should address the packet to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records—MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

! COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE:
I WAS BORN IN CALIFORNIA AND KNOW MY COUNTY OF BIRTH.
HOW DO I GET MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE DIRECTLY FROM THE
COUNTY I WAS BORN IN?
If you know what county you were born in, we recommend going directly
through your County Recorder’s Office. Because the CDPH handles requests for
the entire state, it often takes longer than if you go directly to the County
Recorder’s Office, where it will be a much faster process (sometimes even the
23
same day). The County Recorder’s Office is also more convenient because you
can make your request in person as well as by mail.

HOW DO I LOCATE THE COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE?
Whether you plan to make your request in person or by mail, you will first need
to locate the Recorder’s Office in the county in which you were born. The CDPH
provides a statewide directory of County Recorder’s Offices (address, phone
number, website). To get the address and phone number for the County
Recorder’s Office, call CDPH Customer Service at (916) 445-2684 or visit the
24
website at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/ and search for “birth certificates.” You can
also use Directory Assistance to locate the address by dialing 411 from any
25
phone, but this service charges a fee (as much as $1.99 per 411 call).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fees, CAL. DEP’T OF PUBLIC HEALTH, http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/Fees.aspx.
Fees, CAL. DEP’T OF PUBLIC HEALTH, http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/Fees.aspx.
Obtaining Certified Copies of Birth & Death Records, CAL. DEP’T OF PUBLIC HEALTH,
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CertifiedCopiesofBirthDeathRecords.aspx.
24
As of last revision, the direct link to the CDPH listing of county recorder’s offices is
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CountyRecorderOffice.aspx.
25
See VERIZON WIRELESS,
http://www.verizonwireless.com/support/faqs/FeaturesandOptionalServices/faq_411_connect.html; AT&T,
http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=53418&cv=820#fbid=dwcrbDNNoOg.
21
22
23

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IF I USE THE COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE, IS IT BEST TO
REQUEST MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE BY MAIL OR IN PERSON?
Once you have located the Recorder’s Office in the county where you were
born, you will need to decide if you want to request your birth certificate in
person or by mail. In most counties, if you request the document in person at the
Recorder’s Office, this is the best option because the clerk can tell you almost
immediately whether or not there is a record of your birth on file, and you can
ask the clerk questions if there is trouble locating the correct record. Also, you
might even be able to get the certified copy that same day. However, this may
not be the right option for you if you are unable to travel to your birth county
because of parole or other travel restrictions.
REQUESTS TO RECORDER’S OFFICE BY MAIL:
After you have located the Recorder’s Office in the county where you were born,
you will need to get a copy of that county’s specific application form. You can
request the form by phone or by mail, or you can download it from the County
Recorder Office’s website. Once you have the form, the process for requesting
your birth certificate by mail is the same as the process for requesting it by mail
from the CDPH (see those instructions on PG. 25). Remember to:
•
•
•
•

Complete the form to the best of your ability;
Sign and have your Sworn Statement notarized (notarization explained in
the box on PG. 23);
Prepare the fee payment (varies by county);
Mail your request packet (including your application form, Sworn
Statement, and fee payment) to the County Recorder’s Office.

REQUESTS TO RECORDER’S OFFICE IN PERSON:
If you plan on making your request in person, you can either get an application
ahead of time by mail, online, or you can pick one up in person. The process for
getting a birth certificate in person is slightly different than by mail. However, the
information you will need to show is the same.
STEP 1:

Go to the County Recorder’s Office and identify yourself.

The biggest difference between requesting your birth certificate by mail and
requesting it in person is that the office may ask you for a photo ID if you make
your request in person. Don’t worry if you do not have a valid form of ID—there
is usually a way around this! Every office will have different policies and
requirements, so make sure you call ahead and ask so that you can be prepared
for how they will allow you to identify yourself. Below are some alternatives to
presenting a photo ID:
•

•
•
•
•

•

In some counties, such as Alameda County, you simply have to sign the
application under penalty of perjury in front of the clerk-recorder. You do not
26
need to have the form notarized and you do not need to show a photo ID;
Show your CDCR Prisoner ID Card;
Bring witnesses with valid photo ID who can identify you;
Bring a notarized declaration of your identity;
Ask a person with his/her own valid photo ID to get a copy of your birth
certificate for you—so long as that person is authorized. This includes your
spouse or domestic partner, parents or legal guardians, children,
grandparents, grandchildren, or siblings;
Ask your attorney to request your birth certificate for you;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
26

Telephone call with Elsie, clerk-recorder, Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s Office (July 11, 2014).

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Ask your probation/parole officer to provide a certification of your name, age,
birth date, address, and parents’ legal names. Present that statement at the
County Recorder’s Office and explain your situation.

•

STEP 2: Fill out and submit the application.
You will need to know your birth name, birth date, the city you were born in, and
your parents’ names, including your mother’s maiden name.
STEP 3: Pay the fee.
You can usually pay with cash, credit card, debit card, check, or money order.

(2) IF YOU WERE BORN IN THE U.S. OUTSIDE OF
CALIFORNIA:
I WAS BORN IN A STATE OTHER THAN CALIFORNIA. HOW DO I
GET AN AUTHORIZED COPY OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
Again, the federal government does not keep a centralized database of birth
records. These records are maintained by the individual states. Each state has its
own procedures for requesting an authorized certified copy of your birth
certificate for identification purposes, and the fees vary. You will need to find out
the procedures for your birth state:
STEP 1:

Find the Vital Statistics Office in Your Birth State.

Each state has an Office of Vital Statistics that is in charge of birth records for
that state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a list of the
address and phone number for each Vital Records Office in every state, as well
as basic information about the state’s procedures. You can find this information
on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm. You can also contact
the CDC directly by phone at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), or write to the
CDC at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
27
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
We have included a listing of Vital Statistics Office phone numbers and
addresses for each state in Appendix B, PG. 89. However, because these
numbers are subject to change, you should check with the CDC for the most upto-date information.
STEP 2:

Call or write the Vital Statistics Office in the state where you were
born and ask what they need from you to send you an authorized
certified copy of your birth certificate.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
27

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, http://www.cdc.gov/.

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(3) IF YOU WERE BORN IN THE U.S., BUT NO RECORD
OF YOUR BIRTH WAS FOUND:
WHAT IF I WAS BORN IN THE U.S., BUT THERE IS NO RECORD OF
MY BIRTH?
If you request a copy of your birth certificate from the state or county where you
were born, but you receive a notice that there is no record available, you will
have to locate a secondary record of your birth to serve the same identifying
purpose as a birth certificate does. Secondary records are not considered as
reliable as authorized certified birth certificates, but they can still help you prove
28
your identity to obtain other forms of ID. Secondary records include:
•
•
•
•
•
•

Hospital records;
Census record;
Religious records confirming your birth date (such as a baptism certificate or
family bible record);
Statement from the midwife who delivered you;
Early school records; and
29
Records of immunization.

IF YOU WERE ADOPTED/ DON’T KNOW WHERE
BORN:
I AM ADOPTED AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE I WAS BORN. WHAT
CAN I DO?
If you are adopted, you must request an application for a certified copy of your
birth certificate in the state where you were adopted, using your adoptive
30
name. If you were born outside the United States and adopted in California,
there is a place to indicate it on the birth certificate form (and this might be the
31
case in other states).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/secondary-evidence.html.
30
When you were adopted in the Unites States, your birth certificate was changed to reflect your adoptive
information—whether you were born in the U.S. or not—and your original birth information was sealed. Therefore,
the existing birth record will have your adoptive information.
31
CAL. DEP’T OF PUBLIC HEALTH, APPLICATION FOR CERTIFIED COPY OF BIRTH RECORD (FORM VS 111) (Jan. 2014),
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/forms/CtrldForms/VS111.pdf.
29

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IF YOU WERE BORN OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.—
DIFFERENT SITUATIONS:
(1) IF YOU ARE A U.S. CITIZEN BORN TO U.S. CITIZEN
PARENT(S) IN ANOTHER COUNTRY:
I WAS BORN OUTSIDE OF THE U.S., BUT I AM A U.S. CITIZEN
BECAUSE ONE OR BOTH OF MY PARENTS WAS A U.S. CITIZEN.
HOW DO I GET CERTIFICATION OF MY BIRTH AND CITIZENSHIP?
If you are a U.S. citizen who was born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s), your
parents should have reported your birth to the nearest U.S. Consulate or
32
Embassy as soon as possible after you were born. Under federal law, they
should have applied in your name for a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a
33
Citizen of the United States of America” (also called “CRBA,” or Form FS-240).
If your parents did register your birth with a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, the U.S.
Department of State should have given them a CRBA in your name. Like a U.S.
birth certificate, your CRBA is proof of your U.S. citizenship, and you can use it
34
as official ID to get other key forms of ID, including a U.S. passport.
The only people who can legally request a copy of your CRBA are: (1) you, (2) an
authorized government agent, and (3) a person with written authorization. To
request a copy of your CRBA, follow the steps listed below:
STEP 1:

Prepare a written (or typed) request. Include all of the following:

1.
2.
3.
4.

Your full name at birth, and any adoptive names you had.
Your birth date and birthplace.
Your parents’ full names.
The serial number of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad (also called Form
FS-240), if you know it.
5. Any available passport information.
6. Your mailing address and phone number.
7. Your signature. (Leave space for this, but don’t actually sign until
WHO CAN I
Step 3, when you’re with a Notary Public.)
STEP 2: Get your request notarized by a Notary Public.
See the box on PG. 23 to learn how to get a document notarized.
STEP 3: Prepare a check or money order for $50 (no cash). Make it
payable to “Department of State.”
STEP 4: Mail your request and fee. Address the envelope to:
Department of State, Passport Vital Records Sections, 1150
th
35
Passport Services Pl, 6 Floor, Dulles, VA 20189-1150.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who can I call for
help? For more
information, call the
Bureau of Consular
Affairs at 1-877-4872778 (TDD/TTY: 1888-874-7793).

Where to Write for Vital Records, CDC, NAT’L CTR. FOR HEALTH STATISTICS, DIVISION OF VITAL STATISTICS, OFFICE OF
INFORMATION SERVICES (July 2014), http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/22310.
33
Where to Write for Vital Records, CDC, NAT’L CTR. FOR HEALTH STATISTICS, DIVISION OF VITAL STATISTICS, OFFICE OF
INFORMATION SERVICES (July 2014), http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/22310.
34
Note: Until January 3, 2011, the document issued for this purpose was “Certificate of Report of Birth Abroad,” or
“Form DS-1350,”also called “CRBA.” The Department of State no longer issues Form DS-1350 for new births.
However, if this was the document issued when your parents registered your birth, it is still valid for the same
purposes as a Form FS-240, and you can still request a copy by taking the same steps you would to request a Form
FS-240. See Foreign Birth and Death Certificates, CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/foreign.htm; Birth of U.S.
Citizens Abroad, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/events-and-records/birth.html.
35
See Foreign Birth and Death Certificates, CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/foreign.htm; Replace or Amend a
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS,
32

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(2) IF YOU WERE BORN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY AND
YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN
I AM NOT A U.S. CITIZEN. HOW DO I GET MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE
FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY?
Most, but not all, foreign countries record births and will provide certifications of
births occurring within their boundaries. You should contact your birth country’s
nearest Embassy or Consulate in the United States. Addresses and telephone
numbers for these offices are listed in the U.S. Department of State Publication
7846, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States, which is available in many
local libraries. Copies of this publication may also be purchased from the U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
If the Embassy or Consulate is unable to provide assistance, U.S. citizens may
obtain assistance by writing to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, U.S.
Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818. Aliens residing in the United
States may be able to obtain assistance through the Embassy or Consulate of
their country of nationality.

(3) IF YOU ARE A “NATURALIZED CITIZEN”
I AM A NATURALIZED CITIZEN. DO I NEED MY BIRTH
CERTIFICATE?
If you were not born in the United States, but immigrated here and became a
U.S. Citizen at some point in your life, you are a “Naturalized Citizen.” You
should have been issued a Certificate of Naturalization at the time you became
a citizen. This is essentially the same as a birth certificate for purposes of
36
obtaining other ID documents. If your Certificate of Naturalization was lost or
destroyed, you can apply for a new one. You will need to fill out an “Application
for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document” (form N-565). You can
call the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services,
National Customer Services Center hotline at 1-800-375-5283 to have the form
37
mailed to you. The form is also available online at http://www.uscis.gov/n-565.
A copy of the most up-to-date form as of the time of this manual’s printing (2015)
is at Appendix C, PG. 97.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/events-and-records/birth/replace-or-amend-consularreport-of-birth-abroad.html.
36
8 C.F.R. § 301.
37
APPLICATION FOR REPLACEMENT NATURALIZATION/CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENT, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES,
http://www.U.S.C.is.gov/n-565.

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III.

SOCIAL SECURITY
NUMBER & CARD
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•
•
•
•

The difference between a Social Security Number (SSN) and
Social Security Card, and when you’ll need them
How to find out your SSN if you don’t know it
How to apply for an original Social Security Card if you’ve
never received a Social Security Number
How to apply for a replacement Social Security Card if you
don’t have the original
How to get a Social Security Card even if you don’t have a
U.S. Passport, State ID, or Driver License

WHAT IS A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) AND WHAT IS A
SOCIAL SECURITY CARD? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE AND DO I
NEED BOTH?
If you were born in the U.S., and your birth was reported, the government
assigned you a Social Security Number (SSN). Your SSN is a 9-digit number that
is unique to you. The government uses it primarily to identify you, but also to
track your income for tax purposes and to calculate any Social Security benefits
you accrue as you work. Also, other institutions—like banks, hospitals, schools,
38
and businesses—will use your SSN as a way to identify you.
A Social Security Card is a paper card that provides a record of your name and
SSN. Social Security Cards are issued only by the Social Security Administration
39
of the federal government. Social Security Cards are always free.
While there are many circumstances in which you will need to provide your SSN,
you will only need to show the actual Social Security Card in a few limited
situations—most commonly, when filling out employment paperwork. For this
reason, it is a good idea to memorize your SSN, but store your Social Security
Card in a safe place and only carry it with you when you know you’ll need it.

WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW MY SSN?
Like your birth certificate, your SSN proves who you are. You’ll need to provide
your 9-digit SSN to access government services and to apply for jobs, public
benefits, housing, a Driver License, healthcare, education programs, and
40
financial aid.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New or Replacement Social Security Number Card, SOC. SEC. ADMIN., http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
New or Replacement Social Security Number Card, SOC. SEC. ADMIN., http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
40
New or Replacement Social Security Number Card, SOC. SEC. ADMIN., http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
38
39

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I HAVE A SSN, BUT I FORGOT IT/NEVER KNEW IT. HOW DO I FIND
OUT WHAT IT IS?41
If you were assigned a SSN at some point in your life, but you don’t know it, you
need to request a replacement card. This is the only way to get your number
because the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not give out Social
Security Numbers any other way. You can apply for a replacement card by mail
or in person at a local SSA Field Office. For more information on getting a
replacement card, see PG. 33 if you’re incarcerated, or PG. 35 if you’re out.

I DON'T THINK I EVER GOT A SSN. CAN I GET ONE NOW?
Yes. If you were never assigned a SSN, you will need to apply for an original
42
card. See PG. 38 for more information on getting an original card.

PRE-RELEASE PLANNING—GETTING A SOCIAL
SECURITY CARD WHILE INCARCERATED:
CAN I GET A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD WHILE I AM STILL
INCARCERATED?
Maybe. If you never had a SSN, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not
assign you one (“an original”) and issue your card while you are incarcerated.
You will have to wait until you get out.
However, if you were given a SSN at some point in the past, the SSA may issue
you a replacement card with your original number on it while you are still
43
incarcerated—under limited circumstances. See the next question (PG. 33) for
the procedures of getting a replacement card while incarcerated.

HOW DO I GET A REPLACEMENT CARD WHILE I AM
INCARCERATED?
The process for requesting a replacement card while you are still incarcerated is
fairly straightforward. However, due to conflicting rules and practices within the
Social Security Administration (SSA), it’s hard to say whether you will be
successful or not. You should try anyway. Here is what may affect your request:
•

The facility you are in. Where you are incarcerated may affect your ability to
get an SSC while you are still incarcerated.
o MOUs: Official policy states that before the SSA will accept
“certification” (proof) of your identity from a correctional facility in order
to get your SSN, that correctional facility must enter into a special formal
agreement with the SSA called a Memorandum of Understanding
1
(MOU). The purpose of the MOU is to ensure that the corrections
officials follow the same strict procedures and requirements as the SSA
officials do when they verify people’s identities. If your facility has an

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security card?, SOC. SEC. ADMIN.,
https://faq.ssa.gov/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?QuestionID=3755.
42
New or replacement Social Security Number Card, SOC. SEC. ADMIN., http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
43
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10225.125 Replacement SSN Cards for Prison Inmates
Covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (February 27, 2014).
41

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MOU with the SSA, the SSA will accept the facility’s certification that you
are who you say you are as proof of your identity. However, not all state
corrections agencies or facilities have MOU agreements with the SSA. If
your facility does not have a current, valid, signed MOU with the SSA,
the SSA field office reviewer that evaluates your application cannot
accept a certification from the facility as a 100% proof of your identity. If
your facility does not have an MOU with the SSA, then its certification
carries less weight, and your application for a replacement Social
Security Card is more likely to get denied.
•

Your local Field Office/Reviewer. The practices of your local Field Office in
reviewing applications from incarcerated people will affect your ability to get
a Social Security Card while you are incarcerated.
o If your facility does not have an MOU with the SSA, the local Field Office
44
should still evaluate your application as it would any other application.
This means that your reviewer can consider the certification, but can’t
rely on it 100%. How much weight your reviewer gives to the certification
will depend on that field office’s practices. Some field offices accept
certifications without hassle; others do not. It’s always worth a try!

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF MY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY HAS A
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) AGREEMENT WITH
THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (SSA)?
Unfortunately, this information is not readily available. It may be best to just
apply for a replacement card and see if it works!

HOW DO I APPLY FOR MY REPLACEMENT CARD FROM INSIDE?
The process for requesting a replacement card while you are incarcerated is the
same whether your facility has an MOU with the SSA or not. Follow these steps:
STEP 1:

Get and fill out the application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).

The recommended way to get this form is by calling the Social Security
Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 and asking to have it mailed to you. You
may also be able to get the form by writing to your local Field Office or the
closest Social Security Administration Regional Office. The Regional Office that
serves California is:
SSA
Regional Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 4201
Richmond, CA 94804
Keep in mind that this office also serves Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam,
American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, so your
request may take some time. The form might also be available from your
Correctional Counselor or other prison services staff. (We have included a
sample Form SS-5 in Appendix D, PG. 100 for reference).
STEP 2: Gather the documents you will need.
You will need to submit two documents with your application:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10225.145 Processing SS-5 (Social Security Card
Application for Prisoners Under Terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (March 3, 2011).
44

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•

•

!

Certification of Inmate Identity—If your facility has an MOU agreement with
the SSA, there will be a designated prison official who will verify your identity
through prison records and issue a “certification” to the SSA (explanation of
45
MOUs on PG. 33 above). If your facility does not have an MOU agreement
with the SSA, you should still ask for a certification. Talk to your correctional
counselor; he or she should know who is the best person at the prison to give
you a certification.
Information Release—You will need to sign a release of information giving
the SSA permission to send your Social Security Card/Number to your facility.
Ask your correctional counselor for this form.

HELPFUL HINT
Whether or not your institution has an MOU agreement with the SSA, you
should include the prison staff’s “certification” of your identity, as well as a
copy of your Prison ID card, if possible. In fact, you should include any & all
documents related to your identification, because the SSA must consider
everything. Start gathering documents while you’re incarcerated. If you don’t
have primary forms of ID, you can use these types of proof after you get
released, as well. Along with your birth certificate, these documents will
probably be enough. See more info on “other proof of identity” on PG. 37.

POST-RELEASE—GETTING A SOCIAL SECURITY
CARD AFTER YOU’RE OUT:
I AM FORMERLY INCARCERATED, AND I USED TO HAVE A SSN.
HOW DO I GET A REPLACEMENT SOCIAL SECURITY CARD?
You can apply to your local SSA office in person or make the
request by mail. We strongly recommend applying IN PERSON for
3 reasons:
1.

NEVER HAD A
SSN?

REASON 1: First, if you go in person, the SSA agent gets to
NEED AN
actually see that you are a real person, and this helps verify
ORIGINAL
your identify, especially if you are someone coming out of
CARD?
prison or jail without any other official ID documents.
You can only get an
2. REASON 2: Second, it will be less of a hassle for you to go in
original SSN & Card
person. If you request a replacement card by mail, you are
after you’re
required to submit your original ID documents with your
released. Go to
application. This means that while your application is being
PG. 38 to learn
processed, you won’t have these ID documents for other
how.
purposes. Applications can take days or weeks to process. Just
in case you still decide to request the replacement card by mail, we
explain both processes—in person (PG. 36) and by mail (PG. 37).
3. REASON 3: Lastly, the in-person process is much faster than the by-mail
process. If the SSA accepts your application, you will be able to leave with
your new Social Security Number the same day (and they will mail you the
card)!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10225.125 Replacement SSN Cards for Prison Inmates
Covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (February 27, 2014), RM 10225.130 Negotiating a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) to Process Replacement SSN Cards for Prison Inmates (Oct. 27, 2009), RM 10225.135
Elements of Prisoner Replacement Card Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (Oct. 27, 2009).
45

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!

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!

GETTING SOCIAL SECURITY CARD IN PERSON
I WANT TO GET A REPLACEMENT SOCIAL SECURITY CARD IN
PERSON (WHICH IS RECOMMENDED). HOW DO I DO THAT?
STEP 1:

Gather the documents you will need to show proof of
your identity.

Proof of identity requires 3 things (which you may be able to show
46
all in one document):
•
•
•

Proof of your age;
Proof of your citizenship or legal presence in the U.S.;
Proof that you are still alive.

As mentioned, you may only need to show one “primary” ID document
47
in order to get a replacement Social Security Card because a
“primary” ID document can prove all 3 of these things by itself. Primary
ID documents that are accepted to prove your identity for a
replacement Social Security Card are:
•
•
•

U.S. state-issued Driver License;
U.S. state-issued ID Card;
48
U.S. Passport.

NOT SURE IF
YOU EVER HAD
A SSN?
If you’re not sure if
you’ve ever had a
SSN, there is
unfortunately no
easy way to check.
There are services
that you can pay to
check, but it’s
unclear if they are
trustworthy. For this
situation, we
suggest trying to
get a replacement
card, and seeing if
the SSA tells you
that there was no
original card to
replace.

Any documents you submit to establish your identity must show your
legal name AND provide biographical information (your date of birth,
age, or parents’ names) and/or physical information (a photograph or physical
description—height, eye and hair color, etc.). Generally, ID documents without an
49
expiration date should have been issued within the past 2 years. If you don’t
have any of these documents, see
STEP 2: Find your local Social Security Administration Field Office or Card
Center.
Search online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov or call the Social Security
Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213.
STEP 3: Go to your local SSA Field Office or Card Center and fill out the
application.
STEP 4: Meet with an SSA employee to verify your identity.
Remember, the SSA agent is going to evaluate the evidence you bring in and
make a judgment call as to who you are. While none of the documents you may
have might be enough alone to prove your identity, if you are there in person
with as much identifying documentation as possible, everything combined will
hopefully be enough to prove your identity.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March
20, 2013).
47
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.020 Policy for Number of Documents Required
for an SSN Card (March 20, 2014).
48
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March
20, 2013); RM 10210.420 Priority List of Acceptable Evidence of Identity Documents (Nov. 17, 2014).
49
See APPLICATION FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD (FORM SS-5), SOC. SEC. ADMIN. (Aug. 2011).
46

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!

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SHOW THESE IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS TO GET MY SOCIAL SECURITY
CARD WHEN I NEED MY SOCIAL SECURITY CARD TO GET THESE IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS? THIS
DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! HOW DO I NAVIGATE THIS ISSUE?
If you have been incarcerated for a long time, or were incarcerated when you were young, chances are you never had one
of these primary ID documents, or the government confiscated and destroyed it long ago. Unfortunately, the SSA writes
these rules for the general public and the most common situations—for people who still have valid and current primary ID
documents and can easily replace their Social Security Card.
Even if you do not have a form of primary identity documentation, you may still be able to get a replacement SSC. You
will need to gather as much identifying information and documentation as you can to include with your application. Then it
is up to the SSA to decide whether or not you have sufficiently proven who you are. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PRIMARY ID DOCUMENT, USE AS MANY OF THE FOLLOWING AS YOU HAVE:
1.
Authorized Birth Certificate—Without a primary ID document, your birth certificate will be the most important
document you submit. But the birth certificate alone is not enough to show proof of your identity. This is because the SSA
still needs proof that the person named on the birth certificate is alive and that you are that person!
2.
Other proof of identity—The more evidence of your identity that you can provide, the better. Any ID with your
picture and name on it, even if it is not government-issued, will make it easier to prove who you are to the SSA. Other
proof you can consider are: an employee ID; a school ID; a library card; a Prison ID card, a U.S. Military ID; a health
insurance or Medicaid/Medi-Cal card (not Medicare); or a certified copy of your medical record from a health clinic, doctor,
50
or hospital that treated you. The SSA employees are instructed to consider each applicant’s situation on a case-by-case
basis, and all of the evidence presented.

GETTING SOCIAL SECURITY CARD BY MAIL
I WANT TO GET A REPLACEMENT SOCIAL SECURITY CARD BY MAIL.
HOW DO I DO THAT?
STEP 1:

Obtain and fill out the application for a replacement card, Form SS-5.

You can get this form from your local SSA Field Office, download it from the
SSA’s website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf, or
call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and ask to have the form mailed to
REMEMBER TO
you. If you decide to call the SSA, be patient. You will likely not
MAKE COPIES OF
speak to a live person, but will have to navigate through several
DOCUMENTS
voice prompts before getting to the right function. (We have also
BEFORE
MAILING:
included a sample Form SS-5 in Appendix D, PG. 100 for
If you are sending your
reference).
STEP 2: Gather the documents you will need to show proof of
your identity
See STEP 1 on PG. 36 above—the same types of proof apply if you
51
send in your application by mail).
STEP 3: Mail your application and supporting documentation to
any Social Security Administration field office.
To get the address of your local field office, call 1-800-772-1213, or
visit the SSA’s website at: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp and
52
enter your ZIP code.

application by mail,
you must send the
originals of all your ID
documents, so you
won’t have those
original documents
that you send in until
your claim has been
processed and the IDs
have been mailed back
to you. Make copies of
every document before
you send it in!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March
20, 2013); RM 10210.420 Priority List of Acceptable Evidence of Identity Documents (Nov. 17, 2014); RM 10210.430
What Documents Are Not Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March 20, 2013).
51
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March
20, 2013).
52
Learn What Documents You Need to Get a Social Security Card, SOC. SEC. ADMIN.,
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm.
50

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I AM FORMERLY INCARCERATED, AND I’VE NEVER HAD A SSN.
HOW DO I GET AN ORIGINAL SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER &
CARD?
If you have never had a Social Security Number (SSN)—meaning you were never
assigned one at any point in your life—you will need to apply for an original
number. The process is fairly similar to the process for getting a replacement
card, but it must be done in person, and the ID requirement is even stricter.
STEP 1:

Gather the identifying documents you will need.

To get your SSN, you must verify your identify (a process called “enumeration”)
by showing proof of:
1) Your age;
2) U.S. Citizenship or Legal Presence; and
53
3) Your identity.
For an original SSN, you must bring more than one document to prove this
information (you can’t just use one “primary” ID document). However, the types
of ID documents you can use to prove your identity are the same as for getting a
54
replacement card (see PG. 36). Some documents will carry more weight than
others: an authorized certified birth certificate (or proof of naturalization, hospital
record, or religious record) will be the most important. Remember, the SSA Field
Office reviewer has to decide that you are who you claim to be. Give him or her
every reason to believe so and bring as much proof as possible.
STEP 2: Find your local Social Security Administration Field Office or Card
Center.
Go to the website https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp to locate a local SSA
field office.
STEP 3: Go to your local SSA Field Office or Card Center and fill out the
application (Form SS-5).
STEP 4: Meet with an SSA employee to verify your identity.
Bring with you everything that could help prove who you are—even family
members who can vouch for you (they must bring valid ID for themselves)! An
SSA Field Office reviewer will interview you and review all the documents you
bring. Depending on what you provide, the reviewer may ask for additional
55
evidence of your age, citizenship/legal presence, or identity. The reviewer will
56
enter all of your documentation into the SSA’s electronic application system.
Generally, if the reviewer believes your documents are authentic and you are
who you say you are, your completed electronic application will be sent to a
central office, and you’ll be issued a Social Security Card within about 2 weeks.
If your information needs to be verified, the process could take several weeks or
57
even months.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.020 Policy for Number of Documents Required
for an SSN Card (Sept. 30 2013).
54
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March
20, 2013); RM 10210.420 Priority List of Acceptable Evidence of Identity Documents (Nov. 17, 2014); RM 10210.430
What Documents Are Not Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card (March 20, 2013).
55
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10210.210 Reviewing Age, Identity, Citizenship and
Lawful Alien Status Evidence for an SSN Card; RM 10210.410 How Do you Examine, Evaluate, and Assess
Documents Submitted as Evidence of Identity (March 20, 2013).
56
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 102201.025 Enumeration Process: SSA Component
Responsibilities (Feb. 27, 2014).
57
SOC. SEC. ADMIN., PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM, RM 10205.100 How Long Does it Take to Get an SSN
Card? (March 3, 2013).
53

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IV. CALIFORNIA’S FORMS OF
IDENTIFICATION: STATE
ID CARD, DRIVER LICENSE
& MUNICIPAL ID
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
•
•

•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

The difference between a state ID and driver license, and how
to decide which will be most useful to you
How to apply for a state ID if you:
o Have never been issued a California ID
o Have an expired California ID
o Are currently incarcerated
How to apply for a duplicate card if you know you have a nonexpired California ID but misplaced the original card
How to get the DMV to reduce your application fee for a
California ID, if you are eligible
How to get a valid ID or driver license if you are
undocumented
How to get a new California driver license
What to do if you have an expired California driver license
What to do if you have a driver license from another state
How to find out if your license has been suspended or
revoked and, if so, what you can do about it
What happens when you have an outstanding traffic ticket in
another state

A State ID Card and a Driver License are the most commonly used forms of
identification for most people in their daily lives. In California, the Department of
Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues both of these documents. The major difference
between the two forms of ID is that a California State ID Card can only be used
for identification purposes, but does not permit you to drive a car. A California
58
Driver License can be used for identification AND permits you to drive a car.
Once you have an authorized copy of your birth certificate (PG. 22) and know
your Social Security Number (SSN) (PG. 32), you have what you need to apply for
a California state ID card and/or a California Driver’s License.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
58

Driver License and Identification Card Information, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idcard.

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WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME—A CALIFORNIA STATE ID CARD,
OR A CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Both a California State ID and a California Driver License serve as an official
government-issued, photo identification that can be used to prove your identity,
age, and legal presence* in the United States. Either one will allow you to prove
your identity, for example, when you open a bank account, register to
ARE YOU
vote, or apply for jobs, housing, or public benefits.

UNDOCUMENTED?

If you eventually want to drive, you will need to get a Driver License,
See notes on PG. 40,
but because that process requires testing, we recommend that you
and PG. 58 for more
get a California State ID first, so that you can get an official ID faster.
information!
Once you get a CA State ID, you can always go back and take a
driving test to get your Driver License. But this allows you to have official ID
easily and quickly.

THIS CHART COMPARES 2 TYPES OF IDENTIFICATION: CALIFORNIA STATE ID VS. DRIVER LICENSE.

CALIFORNIA STATE ID vs. DRIVER LICENSE
CALIFORNIA STATE ID

CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE

Government-issued ID; can be used to prove age, identity,
and legal presence.

Government-issued ID; can be used to prove age, identity,
and legal presence.*

May be obtained while incarcerated through Cal-ID
program.

Cannot apply while incarcerated; you must apply in person
upon release.

Requires only birth certificate and SSN.

Requires birth certificate and SSN, plus you must take and
pass a written and a road test

Does not authorize you to drive a car.

Authorizes you to drive a car.

No restrictions based on criminal history—you can get one
no matter what your record looks like.

There could be some restrictions, depending on your
criminal history.

* A NOTE IF YOU ARE UNDOCUMENTED:
As of January 1, 2015, if you cannot provide proof of legal presence in the United States, but otherwise qualify
for a California Driver License, will can apply for a “non-ID License.” Holder of this license can legally drive a
motor vehicle in CA, but it won’t count as a government-issued proof of identity, and it will not prove legal
59
presence in the United States for any purpose. Also read the note on PG. 58 to learn about other forms of ID
in California for undocumented people.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
59

CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12800-12801, 12801.9.

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PRE-RELEASE PLANNING—GETTING A CA
STATE ID OR CA DRIVER LICENSE WHILE
INCARCERATED
I AM CURRENTLY INCARCERATED. CAN I APPLY FOR A CA
STATE ID OR A CA DRIVER LICENSE?
You cannot apply for a Driver License from prison or jail. This must be done in
person.
But you might be able to apply for a California State ID if your prison has a
California Identification Card program (“Cal-ID program”) and you have a
release date. Find more information on the Cal-ID program on PG. 41.

WHAT IS THE CAL-ID PROGRAM?
The Cal ID program provides eligible state prisoners with a valid CA State ID—
60
FOR FREE—at the time they are released from state prison.
In the past, the Cal-ID program was available only at CDCR prisons designated
as “Reentry Hubs.” But starting January 1, 2015, under a new state law, the Cal61
ID program must be expanded to ALL adult state prisons in California. This
means all eligible prisoners preparing for release SHOULD receive a California
State ID when they leave prison—but the prisons have been slow to put this
program in place.
As of the writing of this manual, the “Reentry Hub” facilities that already have
the Cal-ID Program set up are:
• Avenal State Prison (ASP)
• Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF)
• California Institution for Men (CIM)
• California Institution for Women (CIW)
• California Men’s Colony (CMC)
• Correctional Training Facility (CTF)
• Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP)
• Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF)
• High Desert State Prison (HDSP)
• Ironwood State Prison (ISP)
• California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC)
• Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF)
• Valley State Prison (VSP)

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAL-ID PROGRAM?
Under the expanded Cal-ID program, you are eligible for a CA State ID if:
• You have a release date AND you are 4-7 months (120-210 days) from that
release date;
• You previously had a CA State ID or Driver License;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3007.05 (2015); California Identification (CAL-ID) Card Program, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB.,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/cal-id.html.
61
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3007.05 (2015).
60

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•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Your previous CA State ID or Driver License was issued in the past 10 years;
You don’t owe any DMV fees for your previous CA State ID or Driver
License;
You have a photo on file with the DMV that is no more than 10 years old;
You don’t have any active felony holds, warrants, or detainers that could
cause you to go back to prison or jail after your release;
You don’t have an active Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold
that would cause you to be deported after your release;
You can provide an address where you will live after your release; and
You provide the following information, and the DMV can make sure it’s true:
o True full name;
o Date of birth;
o Valid Social Security Number (SSN);
o Legal presence (legal immigration status) in the U.S..

REMEMBER: Even if you are not eligible under the Cal-ID program, you can still
apply for a California State ID through the normal process after you are
released. Learn how to apply for a CA State ID once you’re out below.
Note: CDCR should have your information on file, in case you don’t know some
62
of these details.

I THINK I AM ELIGIBLE UNDER THE CAL-ID PROGRAM. HOW DO I
APPLY?63
If you want to apply for a California State ID through the Cal-ID program, talk to
your correctional counselor at the prison. As your release date approaches, you
should be meeting with your counselor to develop a reentry plan. If you’re
eligible for the Cal-ID program, your counselor should help you fill out the
application for a CA State ID. The prison staff will check that all of your
information is accurate, and then send your application to the DMV.
If the DMV finds that you are eligible, it will send your new CA State ID to the
prison. The prison will hold the ID in your file, and give it to you at the time you
are released. Note: It’s possible you CA State ID card won’t arrive in time before
your release—for example, if your release date is recalculated so that you get
out earlier than expected. In this case, once your State ID card is ready, the
prison will send it to your address on the outside, or (if you’re on parole) send it
to your parole officer to give it to you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3007.05; California Identification (CAL-ID) Card Program, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB.,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/cal-id.html; Telephone call with Kris Applegate, CDCR Div. of Rehabilitative
Programs (Jan. 7, 2015) (confirming that expanded Cal-ID program does not change eligibility or operational criteria,
but simply expands programs to additional facilities and codifies current DMV eligibility (approval) practices).
63
Telephone call with Kris Applegate, CDCR Div. of Rehabilitative Programs (Jan. 7, 2015).
62

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POST-RELEASE—GETTING A CA STATE ID OR
DRIVER LICENSE AFTER YOU’RE OUT
I AM FORMERLY INCARCERATED AND WANT TO GET A
CALIFORNIA STATE ID. HOW DO I APPLY?
There are 2 types of California State ID cards: (1) regular State ID
cards, which are good for 6 years, and (2) senior State ID cards, for
people who are 62 years and older, which are good for 10 years.
•
•
•

If you have never had a California State ID card, you will need to
apply for a new card.
If you had a California ID State ID card in the past, but it expired,
you will need to apply for a new card.
If you had a California State ID card in the past and it has not
expired (it’s still good), you will need to apply for a duplicate card.

The process and the application form are the same for all 3 situations.
Follow the steps below:
STEP 1:

Find a DMV office near you. You must apply for a California
state ID in person at the DMV.
64

There are 179 local DMV field offices throughout the state. You can
find the office closest to you by calling the DMV directly at: 1-800-7770133, or by looking up field offices on the DMV’s website at:
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/fotoc.htm. The DMV website offers both a
65
66
city-by-city directory and a “regional map” where you can search
for a field office by your home address.
STEP 2: Prepare the required information and documents you need
to bring to the DMV office. You will need:
•

67

Your Social Security Number (SSN)
You must provide a 9-digit SSN to the DMV (with one small
exception explained below). You will not be required to show your
68
actual Social Security card, just to know your number. (If you don't
have or don’t know your SSN, go to PG. 32 to learn how to get one
and start that process first.)

OPTIONAL
STEPS TO SAVE
YOU TIME!
(1) Schedule an
Appointment. You
can call (1-800-7770133) or go online
(http://www.dmv.ca.
gov) ahead of time
and request a
specific
appointment time to
avoid having to wait
in line with
everyone else.
Some offices have a
back-log of
appointments and
you might not be
able to get one for
several weeks. In
that case, going in
person might be
better!
(2) Request an
Application by Mail
to fill out before you
go. You can call the
DMV at 1-800-7770133 to request to
have the California
Driver License or ID
Card Application
(Form DL 44) mailed
to you if you prefer
to fill it out at home.
Remember, you will
still have to go to
the DMV office in
person to submit
this application (you
cant do it by mail).

ONE SMALL EXCEPTION: You don’t need to bring a SSN to the
69
DMV if you are a non-U.S. citizen who is legally present in the
United States, but you don’t have a SSN because you aren’t
70
authorized to work. If this is your situation, you can still apply
for a CA State ID. To do so, you must prove #2 (birth date and
71
72
legal presence in the U.S.) as described below. !

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DOES
“LEGALLY
PRESENT”
MEAN?
Legal presence
means that you are
lawfully residing in
the U.S.

DMV Public Offices by Location, CAL. DMV, http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/toc_fo.htm.
See DMV Public Offices by Location, CAL. DMV, http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/toc_fo.htm.
See DMV Regional Maps, CAL. DMV, http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/web/fomap.html.
67
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.04; CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 1653.5(a)(b), 12800(a), 12801.
68
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
69
For the California DMV’s full definition of “legal presence,” see Limited Term for Legal Presence Driver License
and Identification Card Applications, CAL. DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/
dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl32.
70
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.04(c); see also Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-10096), SOC.
SEC. ADMIN. (Aug. 2013).
71
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.04(c).
72
The DMV will take your information and double-check your status, then complete your application. See
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffd108.htm.
64
65
66

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•

73

Proof of your birth date & legal presence
Whether you have a SSN or not, you must prove your birth date and legal
presence in the United States. The DMV accepts many kinds of
documents for this purpose, depending on your situation. Examples
include:
o If you are a U.S. citizen: An authorized U.S. birth certificate, U.S.
74
military ID, certificate of U.S. naturalization or citizenship, or
certification from the California Department of Corrections &
75
Rehabilitation (CDCR).
o If you are NOT a U.S. citizen: A valid foreign passport with valid I76
94; permanent resident alien card (“green card”); U.S. border
77
crossing card with valid I-94; refugee travel document; or judge’s
78
order granting you asylum.
o For a complete list of documents that the DMV accepts to prove
79
legal presence, see Appendix E, PG. 102.

TO GET A REDUCED-FEE ID, YOU SHOULD ALSO BRING TO THE DMV:
• Proof that you receive public benefits—(Form DL 937 filled out).
o If you receive public benefits from a government program such as
CalWORKs, CalFresh (“food stamps”), or General Assistance/General
80
Relief (GA or GR), you may be eligible for a fee reduction.
o Go to the county office that manages your public benefits, and ask
for someone there to fill out and sign the DMV form called
“Verification for Reduced Fee Identification Card” (Form DL 937—last
updated 8/2004, see copy in Appendix F, PG. 103). Bring the
81
completed and signed form with you to the DMV. Alternatively, if
you receive services from a nonprofit organization—like a health
clinic, legal services provider, etc.—you can ask if a staff person at
the nonprofit is able to fill out and sign the DMV Form 937 for you to
verify your public benefits. IF YOU QUALIFY, you will pay $8 instead
82
of the standard fee of $28 for your CA State ID!
STEP 3: Go to your local DMV office to submit your application and pay the
fee.
Have your information and documents ready, and complete the Application
Form (Form DL 44) if you have not already. Make sure you provide a reliable and
accurate mailing address that will be good for at least 60 days where you will be
83
able to receive your CA State ID. At the DMV, you will be asked to give your
84
thumbprint and have your photo taken.
FEE PAYMENT: Pay $28 by cash, check, money order, or debit card (not credit
card). Exceptions: (1) If you bring proof that you receive public assistance, you

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Driver License and Identification Card Information, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#BDLP.
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00(a).
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00(e); see also CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov. The information about requesting
certification from CDCR is based on a telephone call with Rhonda Johnson, Supervisor at the CDCR Archives Unit
(Jan. 21, 2015).
76
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00(d).
77
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00(b).
78
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00(e).
79
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.00.
80
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.07.
81
13 CAL. CODE REGS. § 15.07.
82
Reduced fee ID card, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idcard_reducedfee.
83
How to apply for or renew an identification (ID) card, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idrenew. If
you are homeless or in transition, provide the address of a shelter, transitional housing, P.O. box, family, or trusted
friend where you can securely receive mail.
84
How to apply for or renew an identification (ID) card, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idrenew.
73
74
75

PAGE 44 OF 1210

HOW DO I GET
CDCR
CERTIFICATION?
To get certification
from CDCR, send a
letter requesting a
Legal Status
Summary from:
CDCR Archives Unit,
2015 Aerojet Rd.,
Suite D, Rancho
Cordova, 95742
In your letter, state
that you are
requesting a Legal
Status Summary to
prove your birth date
and legal presence to
the DMV. You must
include your name,
CDCR number, phone
number, signature, &
a reliable address
where the Archives
Unit can mail you
back the certification.
No requests by phone
or fax—you must
write a letter.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY

85

can get a Reduced Fee ID for $8 (see PG. 44);
86
can get a Senior ID for FREE.

!

(2) If you are over age 62, you

STEP 4: Receive your Temporary ID, and wait for your official CA State ID card
in to come by mail.
After you have submitted your application and paid the fee, DMV staff will print a
temporary paper ID for you. You can use this temporary paper ID until your
official CA State ID card arrives in the mail. HOWEVER, your temporary ID will
not have your photo on it, so it usually won’t be accepted as proof of your
87
identity. Your CA State ID will be valid for 6 years.

I AM FORMERLY INCARCERATED AND WANT TO GET A
CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE. HOW DO I APPLY?
Below are three charts that explain the process of getting your CA Driver License after you are
released. Go to one of the following three charts—whichever is appropriate for your situation—
for detailed steps on how to get a California Driver License:
(A) “I’ve never had a Driver License, but I want one.”
(B) “I used to have a Driver License, but it expired.”
(C) “I used to have a Driver License, but it’s from another state.”
PLEASE NOTE: AFTER January 1, 2015, under new state law, if you cannot prove
legal presence in the U.S., you can get a Driver License ONLY as proof of
88
authorization to drive , not as ID. You will need: (1) Proof of Identity, and
(2) Proof of California Residency. See Appendix H, PG. 107 a full list of
89
acceptable identity and residency verification documents under the new law.

!

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reduced fee ID card, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idcard_reducedfee, Driver
License/Identification Card Application Fees, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.
86
Identification (ID) cards, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idcard, Driver License/Identification
Card Application Fees, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.
87
It expires on the sixth birthday you have after it is issued. CAL. VEH. CODE § 13002.
88
The Safe and Responsible Driver Act (AB 60), which will amend CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 1653.5, 12800, 12801, and 13002,
and which will repeal CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12801.5, 12801.6, and 12801.8, as they relate to driver licenses.
89
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 1653.5, 12800, 12801, 12801.5, 12801.9.
85

PAGE 45 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

I NEED A DRIVER LICENSE.
(A) I’VE NEVER HAD A DRIVER LICENSE . . .
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO DRIVE LEGALLY?

…BUT
I
WANT
ONE

New
driver

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

6)

7)

8)

Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one.)
a) Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in
the U.S. this information is: (1) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the
instructions on PG. 32 first), and (2) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
least 60 days.
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. You can’t reduce
this fee.
Prepare for the written (or audio) traffic test.
a) Review the California Driver Handbook, which is available for free at any DMV office, or online at
https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf. The Handbook is available in print and audio forms, and has been translated
90
into several different languages.
b) Take a free optional driving knowledge tutorial at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/flash/flash_intro.htm.
c) Take a sample test. You can ask for a free sample test at your DMV office, or can find one online at
91
www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
Make an appointment to take the written (or audio) traffic test
a) By phone at 1-800-777-0133, or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov).
b) The DMV doesn’t give test after 4:30 p.m., so be sure to schedule an appointment early enough to give you time to
92
wait in line, fill out papers, and take the test.
c) If you want to take an audio version of the test or have an examiner read the questions to you, the DMV should
accommodate this request. The written version is offered in 32 languages. The audio version is offered in 12
93
languages.
Pass written/audio traffic test.
a) If you don’t pass: you must wait until the next day to retake it. Over the next 12 months, you can take it again for free
94
up to 2 more times. After that, you must pay to take it again.
b) If you pass: the DMV will issue you a permit that you must have on when you practice driving with a licensed driver.
Prepare for the behind-the-wheel road test.
a) Have a licensed adult driver in the car with you while you practice driving. You’ll want to practice starting the vehicle,
moving forward, stopping, turning, backing up, changing lanes, driving on the freeway, parking, and using defensive
95
driving techniques.
b) NOTE: Until you pass your road test, it’s illegal for you to drive without a licensed driver in the vehicle with you.
Book an appointment to take the behind-the-wheel road test.
a) By phone (1-800-777-0133), or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en).
b) The DMV does not have cars for you to drive—you must bring one that is safe to drive and has a valid registration card.
If you plan on driving to your appointment, remember to go with an adult licensed driver.
96
c) Bring proof of insurance to the DMV for the car you plan on driving. You must have proof the car is properly
97
insured.
Take the behind-the-wheel road test
a) IF YOU PASS: you’ll get a temporary California Driver License to use until your official photo license arrives by mail.
The temporary license is valid for 60 days. If your photo license doesn’t arrive in the mail within 60 days, call 1-800777-0133 to check the status of your license. When you call, have your temporary license available to provide
information.
b) IF YOU DON’T PASS: keep practicing and make an appointment to take another driving test. Within 12 months after
getting your permit, you can take the test up to 2 more times for $6 each time. After that, you must restart all the
98
steps, including submitting a new application form, taking the written (or audio) test, then taking the road test.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Publications, DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
These are available in English and American Sign Language, for both online and paper versions. Samples of Driver
License Written Tests, DMV, www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
92
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500.
93
The DMV offers the audio traffic test in Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean,
Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available
in?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages.
94
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.htm.
95
To learn more about what the test involves and how to prepare for it, visit
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec13.htm or http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl22.htm.
96
If you’re borrowing this car from a friend or family member, make sure that either (1) the car’s insurance policy has
you listed as a regular driver, or (2) the insurance policy allows for “permissive users.” (Most car insurance policies
allow for permissive users, which means that if the car owner gives you permission to drive the car, the insurance
company will cover any damage to the car.)
97
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500.
90
91

PAGE 46 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

I NEED A DRIVER LICENSE.
(B) I USED TO HAVE A DRIVER LICENSE, BUT IT EXPIRED.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO DRIVE LEGALLY?

LENGTH
OF TIME
SINCE
D.L.
EXPIRED

I used to 1)
2)
have a
Driver
License,
but it
3)
expired
less than
6
months
ago.

Find a DMV office near you (go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in the
U.S. this information is:
99
a) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32)
b) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
least 60 days.
100
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
101
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no
option to reduce this fee.

I used to
have a
Driver
License,
but it
expired
more
than 6
months
ago, but
less than
4 years
ago.

Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in the
U.S. this information is:
102
a) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32)
b) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
least 60 days.
103
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
104
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no
option to reduce this fee.
Prepare for the written (or audio) traffic test.
a) Review the California Driver Handbook, which is available for free at any DMV office, or online at
https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf. The
Handbook is available in print and audio forms, and has been
105
translated into several different languages.
b) Take a free optional driving knowledge tutorial at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/flash/flash_intro.htm.
c) Take a sample test. You can ask for a free sample test
at your DMV office, or can find one online at
106
www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
Make an appointment to take the written (or audio) traffic test
a) By phone at 1-800-777-0133, or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov).
b) The DMV doesn’t give test after 4:30 PM, so107
be sure to schedule an appointment early enough to give you time to
wait in line, fill out papers, and take the test.
c) If you want to take an audio version of the test or have an examiner read the
questions to you, the DMV should
108
accommodate
this request. The written version is offered in 32 languages. The audio version is offered in 12
109
languages.
Pass written/audio traffic test.
a) If you don’t pass: you must wait until the next day to retake it. Over
the next 12 months, you can take it again for
110
free up to 2 more times. After that, you must pay to take it again.

1)
2)

3)

4)

5)

6)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12506, How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500.
99
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
100
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear. Vision exam requirement, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - VISION
101
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, CAL. DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.
102
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
103
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear. Vision exam requirement, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - VISION
104
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, CAL. DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm
105
Publications, DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
106
These are available in English and American Sign Language, for both online and paper versions. Samples of
Driver License Written Tests, DMV, www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
107
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500
108
The DMV offers the written traffic test in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French,
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi,
Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and
Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available in?, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
109
The DMV offers the audio traffic test in Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean,
Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available
in?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
110
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.htm
98

PAGE 47 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

I used to
have a
Driver
License,
but it
expired
more
than 4
years
ago.

1)
2)

Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in the
U.S. this information is:
111
a) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32)
b) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
3) Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents
and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
112
least 60 days.
113
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
114
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no
option to reduce this fee.
4) Prepare for the written (or audio) traffic test.
a) Review the California Driver Handbook, which is available for free at any DMV office, or online at
https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf. The
Handbook is available in print and audio forms, and has been
115
translated into several different languages.
b) Take a free optional driving knowledge tutorial at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/flash/flash_intro.htm.
c) Take a sample test. You can ask for a free sample test
at your DMV office, or can find one online at
116
www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
5) Make an appointment to take the written (or audio) traffic test
a) By phone at 1-800-777-0133, or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov).
b) The DMV doesn’t give test after 4:30 PM, so be sure to schedule an appointment early enough to give you time to
117
wait in line, fill out papers, and take the test.
c) If you want to take an audio version of the test or have an examiner read the
questions to you, the DMV should
118
accommodate this request. The written version is offered in 32 languages. The audio version is offered in 12
119
languages.
6) Pass written/audio traffic test.
a) If you don’t pass: you must wait until the next day to retake it. Over the next 12 months, you can take it again for
120
free up to 2 more times. After that, you must pay to take it again.
b) If you pass: the DMV will issue you a permit that you must have on when you practice driving with a licensed driver.
7) Prepare for the behind-the-wheel road test.
8) Have a licensed adult driver in the car with you while you practice driving. You’ll want to practice starting the vehicle,
moving forward, stopping,
turning, backing up, changing lanes, driving on the freeway, parking, and using defensive
121
driving techniques.
9) NOTE: Until you pass your road test, it’s illegal for you to drive without a licensed driver in the vehicle with you.
10) Book an appointment to take the behind-the-wheel road test.
a) By phone (1-800-777-0133), or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en).
b) The DMV does not have cars for you to drive—you must bring one that is safe to drive and has a valid registration
card. If you plan on driving to your appointment, remember to go with an adult 122
licensed driver.
c) Arrange to bring proof of insurance to the DMV for the car you plan on driving. You must have proof the car is
123
properly insured.
11) Take the behind-the-wheel road test
a) IF YOU PASS: you’ll get a temporary California Driver License to use until your official photo license arrives by mail.
The temporary license is valid for 60 days. If your photo license doesn’t arrive in the mail within 60 days, call 1-800777-0133 to check the status of your license. When you call, have your temporary license available to provide
information.
b) IF YOU DON’T PASS: keep practicing and make an appointment to take another driving test. Within 12 months after
getting your permit, you can take the test up to 2 more times for $6 each time. After that, you must restart all the
124
steps, including submitting a new application form, taking the written (or audio) test, then taking the road test.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#VISION
114
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm
115
Publications, DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
116
These are available in English and American Sign Language, for both online and paper versions. Samples of
Driver License Written Tests, DMV, www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
117
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500
118
The DMV offers the written traffic test in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French,
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi,
Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and
Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available in?, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
119
The DMV offers the audio traffic test in Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean,
Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available
in?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
120
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.htm
121
To learn more about what the test involves and how to prepare for it, visit
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec13.htm or http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl22.htm
122
If you’re borrowing this car from a friend or family member, make sure that either (1) the car’s insurance policy has
you listed as a regular driver, or (2) the insurance policy allows for “permissive users.” (Most car insurance policies
allow for permissive users, which means that if the car owner gives you permission to drive the car, the insurance
company will cover any damage to the car.) [CITE]
123
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500
124
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12506; How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500.
111
112
113

PAGE 48 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

I NEED A DRIVER LICENSE.
(C) I USED TO HAVE A DRIVER LICENSE, BUT IT’S FROM ANOTHER STATE
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO DRIVE LEGALLY?

…BUT
IT’S
FROM
ANOTHE
R STATE

Hasn’t
expired
—still
valid

1)

2)
3)
4)

1)
Expired
2)
more
than 6
months
ago, but
less than 3)
4 years
ago

4)

5)

6)

Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
a) Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in
the U.S. this information is:
125
b) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32)
c) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
d) Submit Driver License application to DMV.
Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at least
60 days.
126
Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
127
PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no option
to reduce this fee.
Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in the
U.S. this information is:
128
a) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32
first)
b) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
least 60 days.
129
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
130
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no
option to reduce this fee.
Prepare for the written (or audio) traffic test.
a) Review the California Driver Handbook, which is available for free at any DMV office, or online at
https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf. The
Handbook is available in print and audio forms, and has been
131
translated into several different languages.
b) Take a free optional driving knowledge tutorial at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/flash/flash_intro.htm.
c) Take a sample test. You can ask for a free sample test
at your DMV office, or can find one online at
132
www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
Make an appointment to take the written (or audio) traffic test:
a) By phone at 1-800-777-0133, or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov).
b) The DMV doesn’t give test after 4:30 PM, so be sure to schedule an appointment early enough to give you time to
133
wait in line, fill out papers, and take the test.
c) If you want to take an audio version of the test or have an examiner read the
questions to you, the DMV should
134
accommodate this request. The written version is offered in 32 languages. The audio version is offered in 12
135
languages.
Pass written/audio traffic test.
a) If you don’t pass: you must wait until the next day to retake it. Over the next 12 months, you can take it again for free
136
up to 2 more times. After that, you must pay to take it again.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - VISION.
127
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.
128
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
129
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#VISION
130
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm.
131
Publications, DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
132
These are available in English and American Sign Language, for both online and paper versions. Samples of
Driver License Written Tests, DMV, www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
133
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500.
134
The DMV offers the written traffic test in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French,
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi,
Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and
Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available in?, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
135
The DMV offers the audio traffic test in Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean,
Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available
in?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
136
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.htm
125
126

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Expired
more
than 4
years
ago

1)
2)

Find a DMV office near you. (Go to http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one)
Prepare the information and documents you need to bring to the DMV. For U.S. Citizens and those legally present in the
U.S. this information is:
137
a) Your 9-digit Social Security Number. (If you don’t have/don’t know your SSN, follow the instructions on PG. 32
first)
b) Proof of Birth Date and Legal Presence. (See PG. 43 to find out how)
3) Submit Driver License application to DMV.
a) Present the documents and information listed above, along with an accurate mailing address that will be good for at
least 60 days.
138
b) Give a thumbprint; get your photo taken; pass a vision test.
139
c) PAY THE FEE OF $33. You may pay by cash, check, money order, or debit card—but not credit card. There is no
option to reduce this fee.
4) Prepare for the written (or audio) traffic test.
a) Review the California Driver Handbook, which is available for free at any DMV office, or online at
https://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf. The Handbook is available in print and audio forms, and has been
140
translated into several different languages.
b) Take a free optional driving knowledge tutorial at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/flash/flash_intro.htm.
c) Take a sample test. You can ask for a free sample test at your DMV office, or can find one online at
141
www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
5) Make an appointment to take the written (or audio) traffic test
a) By phone at 1-800-777-0133, or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov).
b) The DMV doesn’t give test after 4:30 PM, so142
be sure to schedule an appointment early enough to give you time to
wait in line, fill out papers, and take the test.
c) If you want to take an audio version of the test or have an examiner read the questions to you, the DMV should
143
accommodate
this request. The written version is offered in 32 languages. The audio version is offered in 12
144
languages.
6) Pass written/audio traffic test.
a) If you don’t pass: you must wait until the next day to retake it.
Over the next 12 months, you can take it again for free
145
up to 2 more times. After that, you must pay to take it again.
b) If you pass: the DMV will issue you a permit that you must have on when you practice driving with a licensed driver.
7) Prepare for the behind-the-wheel road test.
a) Have a licensed adult driver in the car with you while you practice driving. You’ll want to practice starting the
vehicle, moving forward, stopping, turning, backing up, changing lanes, driving on the freeway, parking, and using
146
defensive driving techniques.
147
b) NOTE: Until you pass your road test, it’s illegal for you to drive without a licensed driver in the vehicle with you.
8) Book an appointment to take the behind-the-wheel road test.
9) By phone (1-800-777-0133), or online (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en).
10) The DMV does not have cars for you to drive—you must bring one that is safe to drive and has a valid registration card. If
you plan on driving to your appointment, remember to go with an adult licensed driver.
148
11) Arrange to bring proof of insurance to the DMV for the car you plan on driving. You must have proof the car is properly
insured.
12) Take the behind-the-wheel road test
a) IF YOU PASS: you’ll get a temporary California
Driver License to use until your official photo license arrives by mail.
149
The temporary license is valid for 60 days. If your photo license doesn’t arrive in the mail within 60 days, call 1800-777-0133 to check the status of your license. When you call, have your temporary license available to provide
information.
b) IF YOU DON’T PASS: keep practicing and make an appointment to take another driving test. Within 12 months after
getting your permit, you can take the test up to 2 more times for $6 each time. After that, you must restart all the
150
steps, including submitting a new application form, taking the written (or audio) test, then taking the road test.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. VEH. CODE § 12801(2).
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500. If
you don’t pass, you may be referred to a vision specialist, who may then prescribe eyeglasses, or a stronger
eyeglass prescription than you currently wear http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - VISION.
139
Driver License/Identification Card Application Fees, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/fees/driverlicense_fees.htm
140
Publications, DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
141
These are available in English and American Sign Language, for both online and paper versions. Samples of
Driver License Written Tests, DMV, www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/interactive/tdrive/exam.htm.
142
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm - two500.
143
The DMV offers the written traffic test in Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French,
German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi,
Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and
Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available in?, DMV,
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages.
144
The DMV offers the audio traffic test in Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean,
Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. What other languages is the written or audio test available
in?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#languages
145
How to apply for a permit if you are under 18, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/permit_btn1/apply.htm
146
To learn more about what the test involves and how to prepare for it, visit
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec13.htm or http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl22.htm
147
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/adults.htm#adult_permit
148
If you’re borrowing this car from a friend or family member, make sure that either (1) the car’s insurance policy has
you listed as a regular driver, or (2) the insurance policy allows for “permissive users.” (Most car insurance policies
allow for permissive users, which means that if the car owner gives you permission to drive the car, the insurance
company will cover any damage to the car.) [CITE]
149
CAL. VEH. CODE § 12506.
150
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500.
137
138

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DRIVER LICENSE SUSPENSIONS & REVOCATIONS
MY DRIVER LICENSE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED OR REVOKED.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? HOW CAN I GET IT BACK?
If your Driver License was suspended or revoked, this means you lost your
driving privileges as a penalty for some violation, conviction, or unpaid debt,
such as:
•

•
•

Driving violations—Driving under the influence, hit-and-run, fleeing a law
enforcement officer, driving without proof of car insurance, having too many
accidents in a short time, having too many negative points on your driver
151
record, or driving recklessly (road rage, speeding, racing, etc.).
Other violations—Truancy, vandalism (including graffiti), fleeing a police
officer, failing to appear in court, or failing to report an accident.
152
Unpaid debts—Failing to pay traffic ticket fines; failing to pay other courtordered fines, fees and restitution; failing to pay child support; or failing to
pay other debts (such as loans, credit card payments, medical bills, car
payments, payday loans, landlord dues, utility bills, etc.) if the person to
153
whom you owe money gets a judgment against you in court.

Read more about a suspended driver license due to unpaid child support* in the
text box on PG. 53.
Read more about traffic fines and other types of court-ordered debt in the
COURT-ORDERED DEBT CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 755.
Read more about child support generally in the FAMILY & CHILDREN CHAPTER,
beginning on PG. 823, with specific information on child support starting on
154
PG. 868 of that Chapter.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF MY LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED?
If your Driver License was suspended, that means you temporarily lost your
driving privileges, but not forever. If your license was suspended, you will not be
155
able to drive for a period of time, anywhere from 30 days to a few years. After
your period of suspension has passed, your license is automatically reinstated.
However, if your license was suspended because of a physical or mental
condition or disorder that affects your ability to drive, that suspension will be
156
permanent if that condition becomes permanent.
A restricted license allows you to drive during a period of suspension, but only
for specific purposes that a judge has granted you permission to do, such as to
157
drive to work, school, or a court-ordered program (for example, a DUI class).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF MY LICENSE WAS REVOKED?
If your Driver License was revoked, that means your driving privileges are
“terminated” (ended). You may be able to get a Driver License again, but you

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
151
152
153
154
155
156
157

CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13200-13201.5.
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13200-13202.7.
CAL. VEH. CODE § 16370.
CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 11350.6.
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13100 et seq.
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13102, 13556.
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13200 et seq.

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158

likely will have to wait several years. In extreme cases, you may be legally
159
forbidden from ever driving again. If you become eligible for a Driver License
again after it was revoked, you will have to apply for a new license.

IF MY LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED OR REVOKED, COULD I GET MY
DRIVING PRIVILEGES BACK?
Maybe. Unless your license was permanently revoked, you should be able to
regain your driving privileges if (1) the specified time period of your suspension
or revocation has passed, AND (2) you’ve fulfilled any conditions of your
160
suspension or revocation. Depending on the reason why your license was
suspended, the length of suspension will vary, and the steps you will need to
161
take to get your license back will also vary.
If your Driver License was suspended or revoked and you want to regain your
162
driving privileges, here are some steps you can take:
STEP 1:
•

•

Know the details of your situation.

The requirements to reinstate your license will depend on exactly why it was
suspended or revoked. Call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133, ask them to look up
your case, and find out what you need to do. When you call, be prepared with
your old Driver License number and any information the DMV has sent to
163
you.
Unless your Driver License was permanently revoked, you’ll probably find out
that you need to fulfill specific conditions (see STEP 2 below) and submit
“proof of completion” of those conditions to the DMV in order to reinstate
164
your license.

STEP 2: Make sure that you fulfill the conditions of your suspension or
revocation.
•

•
•

You may be required to complete traffic school, DUI treatment, or jail time,
and to provide documents proving that you did so. You may also be required
to pay fees and fines, including court-related fees and additional penalties
imposed by the DMV. See the chart on PG. 52 for examples of requirements
and steps to get your license back.
Keep all documents proving that you’ve fulfilled these conditions, such as
certificates and pay stubs, and be prepared to submit them as required.
You will also need to submit proof of “financial responsibility.” Most of the
165
time, this means proof of car insurance.

STEP 3: Prepare all required documents and payments.
Make copies of all your important documents, and keep careful records of all
payments.
STEP 4: Submit all required documents and payments to the DMV.
Confirm that you’re eligible to reinstate your license, and get proof from the
DMV.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For example, if you were convicted of a felony where you used a vehicle as a deadly weapon. CAL. VEH. CODE
§ 13351.5.
159
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13101, 13351.5.
160
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13100 et seq.
161
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13100 et seq.
162
For more information, see Reinstate Your CA Suspended Driver’s License, DMV.ORG, http://www.dmv.org/cacalifornia/suspended-license.php#Reinstate-Your-CA-Suspended-Drivers-License.
163
What is a suspended driver license?, DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#sdl
164
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13352.
165
CAL. VEH. CODE § 34630.
158

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Once you’ve completed these 4 steps, you may be able to reinstate your Driver
License (if it was suspended) or apply for a renewal Driver License (if it was
revoked). In some cases, after you’ve completed some or most of the
requirements, you may be able to get a restricted license if your suspension or
166
revocation period hasn’t ended yet.
NOTE: If your license was suspended due to court-ordered debt, and these
debts have been referred to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for
collection, there is a special payment process to speed up the return of your
Driver License. For instructions, go online to
https://www.ftb.ca.gov/online/Court_Ordered_Debt/payment.shtml, and see
Appendix G, PG. 106 of this chapter.

* What are my options if my Driver License was suspended because of
unpaid child support?

If your Driver License was suspended due to unpaid child support and you
cannot pay the amount required, you can ask a judge to reinstate your license
temporarily. To do so, you can file a Notice of Motion for Judicial Review of
License Denial (Form FL-670) with the court that issued your child support
167
order. This form asks the judge of that court to consider giving you back your
Driver License so that you can continue to go to work and earn money to pay the
child support. The judge will make the final decision, not the local child support
168
agency (LCSA). For more information about child support, see the FAMILY &
CHILDREN CHAPTER, which begins on PG. 823, with specific information about
child support beginning on PG. 868 of that Chapter.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. VEH. CODE § 13352.5.
The forms to request your license back in a child support case are available at
http://www.courts.ca.gov/1199.htm#id11393.
168
CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 11350.6; see also Child Support FAQs, JUDICIAL COUNSEL OF CALIFORNIA,
http://www.courts.ca.gov/1200.htm.
166
167

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THIS CHART EXPLAINS DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS TO REGAIN DRIVING PRIVILEGES AFTER THE
169
SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVER LICENSE.

EXAMPLES OF CA REQUIREMENTS TO REGAIN DRIVER LICENSE
AFTER SUSPENSION
REASON FOR
SUSPENSION
Negligent operator

STEPS TO GET YOUR LICENSE BACK
•
•
•
•

Pay a reissue fee to DMV.
Pay fines to the court.
File Proof of Financial Responsibility (California Insurance Proof Certificate: SR 22). This
is a certificate proving that you have valid car insurance.
Complete Negligent Operator probation, while staying free of traffic violations and
avoidable accidents.

Driving under the
•
influence of alcohol and/or
drugs (DUI)
•
•

Complete a mandatory (required) suspension period. (This means no matter how quickly
you meet all the other requirements below, you must wait a certain period before you
can get your Driver License back.)
Pay a reissue fee to DMV.
File Proof of Financial Responsibility (California Insurance Proof Certificate: Form SR 22).
This is a certificate proving that you have valid car insurance.
•
Complete a DUI Treatment Program, file Notice of Completion Certificate (Form DL 101).
•
Pay fines to the court.
•
In some cases: Complete a term of imprisonment.
NOTE: If you meet some or all of these requirements before your mandatory suspension
period ends, you might be able to get a restricted license.

Having a physical/mental
condition or disorder

Show that the condition no longer prevents you from driving safely by providing medical
information and/or a satisfactory Driver Medical Evaluation (Form DS 326).

Being involved in a car
accident and not having
proof of car insurance
(“financial responsibility”)

•
•
•

Complete a mandatory (required) 1-year suspension period.
Pay a reissue fee to DMV.
File proof of financial responsibility (California Insurance Proof Certificate: Form SR 22)
proving that you have valid car insurance.

Failing to pay a traffic
citation (FTP), or failing to
appear in court on a traffic
citation (FTA)

•

Pay your citations or appear in court. The court will give you an FTP/FPA paper saying
you fulfilled this requirement.
Pay a reissue fee to DMV.

•

MY LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED IN ANOTHER STATE. WILL I BE
ABLE TO GET A CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE?
Unfortunately, if your Driver License was suspended or revoked in another state,
you cannot get a California Driver License until:
•
•

You fix the violation and complete all the requirements to get your license
reinstated in the state where the suspension or revocation happened; and/or
The period of suspension or revocation is over, or more than 1 year has
170
passed since the revocation.

To figure out your situation and what steps you need to take, it’s best to contact
the DMV agency in the state where your license was suspended or revoked. If
you do not know in which state the suspension/revocation happened, you can

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is a suspended driver license?, CAL. DMV, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#sdl.
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12805(g)-(h), 15024. In limited situations (i.e., if your suspension or revocation occurred in
certain states), you may be eligible for a license before the suspension or revocation period has expired if the DMV
finds you to be a safe driver.
169
170

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call the National Driver Register to find out where the problem occurred (see
more information immediately below).

WHAT LAWS COULD NEGATIVELY AFFECT ME IF I AM TRYING TO
GET (OR KEEP) A CALIFORNIA DRIVER LICENSE?
A few different laws can affect your ability to get or keep a CA Driver License.
They are outlined here to give you a sense of what they are and how they could
affect your ability to get or keep a Driver License in California.
NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR)

171

When you apply for a California Driver License, the California DMV will check to
172
see whether your name is listed in the NDR’s Problem Driver Pointer System.
The NDR database contains information about all drivers who have had their
licenses denied, revoked or suspended, or who have been convicted of serious
173
traffic violations such as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The NDR
has information on drivers from all 50 states.
If your name appears in the database, the DMV will investigate the reason and
decide whether or not to issue you a Driver License. If your license was
suspended or revoked in another state, the DMV will not issue you a California
Driver License until you have fulfilled the conditions of suspension or revocation
174
in the other state (including paying all fines and reinstatement fees).

How do I find out if my name is in the NDR database?
You can find out whether your name is in the NDR database and check
175
your driver status for free by sending a request letter to the NDR.
Although the database does not contain your detailed driving record
(i.e., it will not tell you why your license was suspended), it will tell you
the status of your driver license and the state where any problem
176
occurred (called the State-of-Record, or SOR). If you already know the
state in which your offense occurred, it may be faster and easier to
contact that state’s DMV agency directly for information.
To check your NDR status, write and send a notarized letter (also called
a “privacy act request”) to the NDR, stating that you would like an NDR
file check. Make sure to include your full legal name, date of birth,
gender, height, weight, eye color, and your previous driver license
number and state (if you know them); your social security number is
177
optional. If your name is in the NDR database, it may mean that your

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

49 U.S.C. § 30301 et seq.; 23 C.F.R. § 1327.1 et seq.
49 U.S.C. § 30305(a).
49 U.S.C. §§ 30302(a), 30304; NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR),
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR). All state DMV agencies are required to provide NDR
with the names of individuals who have lost their privileges or who have been convicted of a serious traffic violation.
174
NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR), http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR).
175
49 U.S.C. § 30305(b)(11); NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR),
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR).
176
NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR), http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR).
177
Under the Privacy Act, you are entitled to request a file search to see if your name is listed (i.e., if have a record) in
the NDR database. To do so, you must send a notarized letter (also called a “privacy act request”) to the NDR
stating that you would like an NDR file check. Mail your request to the National Driver Register, 1200 New Jersey
Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20590. In your request, make sure to include your full legal name, DOB, State and
Driver License Number, Sex, Height, Weight, and Eye Color (your social security number is optional). There is no
charge for this service. 23 C.F.R. § 1327.7; NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER (NDR),
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR). You can also request your status online, by visiting
the NDR website at http://www.nationaldriverregister-forms.org/national_driver_register_file_check_forms.html
(note: the link for Individual File Check Forms was broken as of Dec. 1, 2014). It may take the NDR 45 days or more
to respond to your request.
171
172
173

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driver license has been suspended, cancelled, revoked, or denied
178
because of a serious traffic violation.

What can I do if my name is in the NDR database?
Once you know your driver license status and which state the problem
occurred in, you must contact that state’s DMV agency directly to find
179
out how to resolve the issue and reinstate your license. You may need
to request a copy of your driving record from that state, in order to learn
180
why your license was suspended or revoked.
If you think the NDR database is incorrect, you will still need to contact
the state DMV agency where the problem supposedly occurred. You will
need to resolve the error directly with agency before the NDR can
181
correct or delete your record.
DRIVER LICENSE COMPACT (DLC)
The DLC is an agreement between California and most other states in the U.S. to
182
share driver records and information about traffic violations. When you apply
for a California Driver License, the California DMV will check to see if you ever
183
had a Driver License in another state. If your license from another state was
suspended, the DMV will not issue a new license until the suspension period is
184
over. If your license from another state was revoked, the DMV will not issue a
new license until the revocation period is over or 1 year has passed since the
185
revocation (whichever comes first).
In addition, the DLC requires each state to enforce traffic convictions that
occurred in another state—including by suspending or revoking your license for
serious violations. For example, if you have a California Driver License, but you
were convicted of a DUI in another state, the state where your DUI occurred will
report the conviction to the California DMV. The California DMV will then
penalize you for the violation—including suspending or revoking your California
186
Driver License—just as if the violation had occurred locally. The conviction will
187
also appear on your California driving record.
If you want to appeal your license suspension for an out-of-state traffic
188
conviction, you will have to follow California appeal procedures. In general,

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your NDR driver license status may be any of the following:
1.
No Match: The individual does not have record a on the NDR.
2.
Licensed (LIC): Licensed means the individual holds a license in that State and the privilege to drive is valid.
3.
Eligible (ELG): The individual privilege to drive or apply for a license in a State(s) is valid.
4.
Not: The individual privilege to drive in a State(s) is invalid.
5.
NEN: The individual privilege to drive in a State(s) is invalid due to a non-moving violation.
NDR, http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR).
179
NDR, http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR). You should also contact the state DMV
agency if you think that the NDR database is incorrect.
180
The NDR provides online driver record request forms for each state on its website for a fee of $15. NDR,
http://www.nationaldriverregister-forms.org/ndr/state_forms/national_driver_register__state_driver_record_request_forms.html.
181
NDR, http://www.nationaldriverregister-forms.org/ndr/state_forms/national_driver_register__state_driver_record_request_forms.html.
182
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 15000, 15020 et seq.
183
CAL. VEH. CODE § 15024. There are a few states that have not agreed to the Driver License Compact (e.g., Georgia,
Wisconsin, Michigan). If your license was suspended or revoked in one of these states, the California DMV may issue
you a license if it finds that you are a safe driver. CAL. VEH. CODE § 12805(g)-(h).
184
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12805(g); 15024(1).
185
CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 12805(h); 15024(2).
186
CAL. VEH. CODE § 15023; see also CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13353.5; 13363. Note: There must be a “substantially similar”
offense in California laws in order for California to penalize you for an out-of-state violation. If California does not
have an equivalent offense, then California cannot penalize you for an out-of-state violation.
187
Out-of-State Convictions, CAL. DMV, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/dl/driversafety/neg_operator
188
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13558.
178

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you will have to show that the other state’s DUI conviction is not equivalent to
189
California’s DUI laws, or that the conviction was invalid for some other reason.
190

NONRESIDENT VIOLATOR COMPACT (NRVC)

(NOT YET IN CA)

The NRVC is another agreement among most U.S. states to enforce out-of-state
traffic violations. If you get an out-of-state ticket and then fail to pay the fine or
appear in court, the state where you got the ticket will notify your home state
(where your Driver License is from) that you didn’t comply with the ticket. Your
home state can then suspend your license for failing to comply with the out-ofstate ticket.
Currently, California is not part of the NRVC, so failing to comply with an out-of191
state ticket may not affect your California Driver License. (However, the
California DMV can still penalize you for the traffic violation itself, just not for
your failure to comply with it.) On the other hand, if your Driver License is from
another state, but you receive a ticket in California, you may have to pay the
traffic fine or post bail immediately (or be subject to arrest if you cannot pay right
192
away), and/or you may lose the right to drive in California.
If your right to drive in California has been suspended or revoked, but your
Driver License is from another state, you can use Form DL 300, “California Proof
Requirements for Non-Residents,” to prove your ability to pay and/or car
insurance (called “financial responsibility”) and request that your California
driving privileges be restored. The form is available online at
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/forms/dl/dl300.pdf.
DRIVER LICENSE AGREEMENT

193

(NOT YET IN CA)

The Driver License Agreement combines the DLC and NRVC into a single
agreement, and increases the enforcement of out-of-state traffic violations,
194
making the rules stricter and more severe. However, this agreement is still
195
very new and doesn’t apply in most states yet (including California).

DOES GETTING MY CRIMINAL CONVICTION EXPUNGED HELP ME
GET MY SUSPENDED OR REVOKED DRIVER LICENSE BACK?
No. Unfortunately, an “expungement” (a California dismissal) will not reinstate
196
your driving privilege if it has been suspended or revoked by the DMV. The
only way to get your Driver License back is to satisfy the requirements of the
DMV.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See, e.g., Moles v. Gourley, 112 Cal. App. 4th 1049 (2003) (upholding suspension of appellant’s California driver
license for Virginia DUI conviction, based on court’s finding that California’s and Virginia’s DUI laws are substantially
similar, as required for California DMV to enforce Virginia conviction).
190
Nonresident Violator Compact, COUNCIL OF STATE GOV’TS (2011),
http://apps.csg.org/ncic/PDF/Nonresident%20Violator%20Compact.pdf; The Nonresident Violator Compact—
Administrative Procedures Manual, NHSTA (rev’d Apr. 1994),
http://www.aamva.org/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/DriverLicensingIdentification/DL_ID_Compacts/NRVC%20
Procedures%20Manual.pdf.
191
Nonresident Violator Compact, Nat’l Ctr. for Interstate Compacts,
http://apps.csg.org/ncic/Compact.aspx?id=142.
192
See, e.g., CAL. VEH. CODE §§ 13205, 13552-53, 40305-05.5, 16376; cf. Chicago Police Dept., Special Order S06-1301, Bond Procedures—Nonresident Violator Compact § II.B (effective March 7, 2008).
193
Driver License Agreement (July 2004).
194
For example, the Driver License Agreement expands enforcement of out-of-state violations to include equipment,
registration, and parking violations (which are not currently covered by the NRVC); requires drivers who receive outof-state tickets to comply with all court orders (e.g., fixing equipment, completing community service, etc.), in
addition to paying fines; and requires enforcement of out-of-state violations even if the law is different in the driver’s
home state (i.e., if you receive a ticket for doing something that is legal in your home state, but illegal in the state
where you received a ticket, your home state must still enforce the violation) or if the violation occurred in a nonmember state.
195
To date, only Connecticut, Arkansas, and Massachusetts have adopted the Driver License Agreement.
196
CAL. VEH. CODE § 13555.
189

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I AM UNDOCUMENTED & NEED ID!
You may be able to get one of these limited forms of ID that can be used for
some purposes, but not others.
Consular Identification Cards (CIDs): Some governments issue CID cards to
identify their citizens who are living in foreign countries. CID cards can be issued
to people who are undocumented or documented in the foreign county. See
Appendix I, PG. 113, for a list of countries that issue CIDs. If you are a citizen of
one of these countries, visit the nearest consulate to obtain your CID card. In the
U.S., CID cards can be a helpful ID document as you try to get a Driver License,
open a bank account, show proof of identity to police, and access other services.
197
However, CIDs do not grant you legal presence in the U.S. or other privileges.
Municipal IDs: A handful of California cities have begun issuing municipal (“city”)
ID cards for their residents. You can use these to get access to city services and
benefits. More importantly, they are considered a form of identification by local
officials and may provide evidence to get other forms of ID. Additionally, these
forms of ID do not require proof of citizenship or legal presence of any kind.
•

•

•

San Francisco City ID Card—Photo ID card for San Francisco residents to get
access to city programs and connect to local businesses. Serves as proof of
identity and city residency; can also be used as a public library card, and to
access other city services. For more information on this program, visit the SF
County Clerk’s website at: http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=110, or
call 3-1-1 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oakland City ID Prepaid Mastercard—Photo ID with an optional Prepaid
Debit Card banking feature for residents of Oakland. This card allows
Oakland residents who don’t have bank accounts to have an affordable
alternative. For more information about this program, visit
http://www.oaklandcityid.com/, or call 1-888-997-3522.
Richmond City ID Card—Photo ID and prepaid debit card for residents of
Richmond CA. See http://www.richmondcityid.com/ or call 888-997-3522 for
more information about this program.

To learn about a special CA Driver License that allows undocumented
individuals to drive in the state of CA, but does not otherwise count as
government-issued ID to prove your identity or legal presence, please see the
information on PG. 40 and PG. 41.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BORDER SECURITY: Consular Identification Cards Accepted within United States, but Consistent Federal
Guidance Needed, U.S. GOV’T ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, GAO-040881. (Aug. 24, 2004).
197

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V.

!

U.S. PASSPORT
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

What a U.S. passport is and why it’s useful
Whether you are eligible to apply for a U.S. passport
How to apply for a U.S. passport if you are on probation, parole,
or other supervision
Whether you must apply for a passport in person or can apply
by mail
How to find your local Passport Office or Acceptance Facility
and apply for a U.S. passport in person
How to apply for a U.S. passport by mail
What documents and information you will need to apply for a
U.S. passport
How long it takes to get your passport after you have applied
How to get your passport quickly when you have an emergency

WHY WOULD A U.S. PASSPORT USEFUL? WHY MIGHT I NEED
ONE?
If you have a U.S. passport, you can lawfully travel outside the United States and
return home by air, sea, or land. A passport can be useful if you need to visit
198
family abroad, especially in case of an emergency like illness or death. A
passport also qualifies as a government-issued photo ID document for all
purposes. For these reasons, if you are eligible OR when you become eligible for
a U.S. passport, it is a good idea to get one!

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A U.S. PASSPORT?
199

To be eligible for a U.S. Passport, you must:
•
•
•

•
•

Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. National;
Provide a Social Security Number, proof of citizenship, and proof of identity;
NOT be currently “under sentence” (incarcerated, on probation, or on parole)
for any federal or state drug felony committed while using a passport or
200
crossing international borders (drug trafficking);
201
NOT have a conviction for sex trafficking;
NOT be under a court order or sentence condition forbidding you from
leaving the country—for example, if your conditions of parole, probation, or
202
some other type of supervision forbid you from leaving the U.S., you will

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/FAQs.html.
199
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html.
200
22 U.S.C. § 2714; see also 22 C.F.R. § 51.61. There are also a few misdemeanor offenses, such as federal and state
drug offenses, that would make someone ineligible for a U.S. passport. See 22 U.S.C. § 2714.
201
22 U.S.C. § 212a.
202
22 C.F.R. § 51.70(a)(2).
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•

•
•

!

need to ask your supervising officer or the court for permission to get a U.S.
Passport or to change the conditions;
Get permission from your supervising officer if you are under any form of
supervision but are allowed to leave the country (See the IMPORTANT NOTE
about getting permission from a supervising officer below);
203
NOT have any state or federal warrants out for your arrest;
204
NOT owe $2,500 or more in child support. For more information about
paying off your child support debt, go to the COURT-ORDERED DEBT
CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 755.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT GETTING PERMISSION FROM A
SUPERVISING OFFICER/ P.O.: Even if you aren’t prohibited from leaving the

country, if you’re under ANY type of supervision (including state or federal
parole, probation, supervised release, PRCS, or mandatory supervision), you
MUST check in with your supervising officer if you want to apply for a
205
passport. The officer can write a letter on your behalf giving the passport
agency permission to issue you a U.S. Passport. You must submit this letter with
your passport application. This is required even if you only want to use the
passport as photo ID, and don’t intend to travel outside of the country. If you
submit an application for a U.S. Passport without first getting written approval
from your supervising officer, you could face legal consequences, including your
206
probation being revoked or a warrant being issued.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A U.S. PASSPORT?
It depends on your situation. Some people can apply by mail. Others are
required to apply in person.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO APPLY FOR A PASSPORT IN
PERSON OR IF I CAN APPLY BY MAIL?
You can apply for a U.S. passport BY MAIL if you:
• Currently have a U.S. passport;
• Your U.S. passport is undamaged;
• Your U.S. passport can be sent in with your application;
• Your U.S. passport was issued when you were age 16 or older;
• Your U.S. passport was issued less than 15 years ago; AND
207
• Your U.S. passport was issued in your current name.
• If you answered that ALL of the above requirements are true for you, then
you can simply apply by mail to renew your U.S. Passport. Go to PG. 64
below to learn how.
You must apply IN PERSON if:
• You have never had a passport before; OR
• Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged; OR

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22 C.F.R. § 51.60.
42 U.S.C. § 652(k).
E-mail from National Passport Information Center Agent 2019 (Jan. 21, 2015, 0:15 p.m.) (on file with author).
206
Telephone call with agent at the U.S. Department of State Office of Legal Affairs (Jan. 21, 2015).
207
Exception to this last condition: If you legally changed your name since your most recent passport, you can still
apply by mail if you provide official documents proving your name change. Acceptable documents include: an
original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, or government-issued papers showing your legal name
change. U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html.
203
204
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•
•
•

•

•
•
•

Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were age 15 or younger;
OR
Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago; OR
Your name has legally changed since your U.S. passport was issued, and you
don’t have official documents proving your legal name change (like
government-issued papers showing your legal name change or an original or
208
certified copy of your marriage certificate, if you changed it for marriage.)
If you are required to apply in person, you will need to find a local Passport
Office. You can also apply at any Passport Acceptance Facility, which is a
broad category of places that includes post offices, court clerk’s offices,
public libraries, and any other government office that accepts passport
209
applications. To find passport offices or Passport Acceptance Facilities
near you, you can check your local yellow pages, call “Information” at 4-1-1, or
check the Internet for these online guides:
For a directory of Passport Offices in California, listed by county, visit:
www.uspassporthelPGuide.com/passport/california/
For a directory of Passport Acceptance Facilities in California, listed by city,
visit: www.us-passport-service-guide.com/california-passport-office.html
To search for any Passport Acceptance Facility near you, based on your ZIP
code and city, visit: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/

HOW DO I APPLY IN PERSON FOR A NEW U.S. PASSPORT?
STEP 1:

Put together the required information and documents.

To apply for a U.S. Passport, you will need ALL of the following types of
documents: (1) Social Security Number, (2) Proof of Citizenship or Naturalization,
(3) Photo ID, and (4) Proof that you are off probation or parole. Here are more
210
details about each of these 4 documents:
(1) Social Security Number (SSN)—You must provide your 9-digit SSN, if you
211
have one (but you don’t need to show your actual Social Security card). (See
PG. 32 for information on how to request an original SSN or a replacement
212
Social Security Card). If you don’t have a SSN, you might still be able to get a
U.S. Passport. You have the option of entering zeros on the application instead,
but this will delay the processing of your application and may be used as a
reason to deny it.
(2) Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization—You can use any ONE of the
following documents as primary evidence of citizenship:
• An authorized birth certificate (see PG. 22 for how to get one);
• A previous U.S. passport (can be expired, but must be undamaged);
• A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (see PG. 30 for how to get one); OR
• A Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship (see PG. 31 for how to get
213
one).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/new.html
209
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS, http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.
210
NOTE: If your name or gender is different on your evidence of citizenship and/or ID, you may need to submit
additional documentation. For more details, see U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/gender.html.
211
If you don’t, your application may be significantly delayed and/or denied. 26 U.S.C. 6039E; see also U.S.
PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/new.html.
212
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/FAQs.html.
213
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html.
208

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If you don’t have any of the above, you must provide secondary evidence of
214
citizenship such as:
• A delayed birth certificate (one that was filed more than 1 year after birth);
• A combination of early public records (any records showing your name,
birthdate, and birthplace, preferably created in the first 5 years of your life,
for example, hospital/doctor records, early school records, religious records,
215
or census records).
For this category (“Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization”), you will have to
submit the ORIGINAL documents with your application. They will all be mailed
back to you.
(3) Photo ID—
You can use any ONE of these documents as a primary ID:
•
•
•
•
•

Valid, current Driver License from the state where you now live;
U.S. passport (must be undamaged & issued less than 15 years ago);
Certificate of Naturalization;
Valid city, state, or federal government ID (like a California State ID, see
PG. 39 for how to get one); OR
216
Valid military ID.

If you don’t have any of the above, you must provide a COMBINATION of
secondary ID documents that have your name, photo, and signature. Bring all of
the documents you have. Examples of secondary ID documents include:
•
•
•
•
•

Expired Driver License;
Driver License from a state where you no longer live;
Expired State ID card;
Student ID card; and
217
Employee ID card from your workplace.

The original ID documents in this category don't need to be sent in with your
application, but copies do. Bring the original ID document(s) to show in person
when you apply, plus a copy of each ID document to submit with your form.
(4) Proof that you’re no longer on probation, parole, or any other type of
218
community supervision (for people with certain drug trafficking or sex
219
trafficking convictions ), OR a letter from your supervising officer to the
passport agency allowing you to apply for a U.S. Passport.
•

•

IF YOU’RE NO LONGER UNDER COMMUNITY SUPERVISION SUCH AS
PROBATION OR PAROLE, you may apply for a U.S. passport so long as you
meet all other eligibility requirements (see the full list of eligibility
requirements on PG. 59 above)
IF YOU’RE STILL UNDER COMMUNITY SUPERVISION SUCH AS PROBATION
OR PAROLE—and you are allowed to leave the country—the passport agency
may allow you to get a U.S. Passport if you provide a letter from your

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html.
215
Other forms of “secondary evidence” of citizenship: (3) a state-issued Letter of No Record; (4) a notarized Birth
Affidavit: Form DS-10. For more details on these forms of evidence, see U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF
STATE, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/secondary-evidence.html.
216
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html.
217
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html.
218
22 U.S.C. § 2714.
219
22 U.S.C. § 212a.
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supervising officer supporting your application (for more information about
getting permission from your supervising officer, see the pop-out box on
PG. 60 above).
STEP 2: Obtain and Complete the Application (Form DS-11).
This form is available at any Passport Office, and also may be available from
some Passport Acceptance Facilities. You can go on the Internet from any
computer and download the form on one of these websites:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf or
https://pptform.state.gov. You may also contact the Department of
State directly and have the form mailed to you (although this will take
the longest). You can call the Department of State at (212) 647-4000,
or write to: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington,
DC 20520.

!

IMPORTANT: Do not sign the form at home. If you fill out the form at
home, wait to sign it. You must sign! the application in front of a
passport agent, so wait until you get to the office and the agent tells
you to sign!
STEP 3: Get a passport photo taken and pay for 2 copies.

220

You must provide 2 passport photos with your application. Passport
photos have strict specifications, so make sure you have the photo
taken by a professional who is familiar with the requirements (you can
go to most pharmacy’s photo centers to have these passport photos
taken). Do not attach your photos to the application form, but bring
them with you.
STEP 4: Go to your local Passport Office or Passport Acceptance
Facility with all of your documents (see PG. 61 to learn how
to find a location near you), submit your application, and
pay the fees.
You must pay $110 for your new passport, and $25 for processing
221
(“execution fee”)—that’s $135 total. You can pay using cash, check,
222
credit card, or money order. If paying by check, make it payable to
“U.S. Department of State,” and make sure that your full name and
birthdate are typed or printed on the front (use the “Memo” or “For”
line). Ask the passport agent if you have any questions!
STEP 5: Receive your passport in 4-6 weeks, and make a reminder
223
about when it needs to be renewed.
After you submit your passport application, it usually takes about 4-6
weeks to receive your U.S. Passport in the mail. If you were age 16 or
older when your U.S. Passport was issued, it will be valid for 10 years. If
you were age 15 or younger when your U.S. Passport was issued, it will
224
be valid for 5 years. (Note: If possible, it’s best to renew your passport
approximately 9 months before it expires. Some countries require that your

A NOTE ABOUT
EMERGENCIES:
There are cases
where you can
request to get your
U.S. Passport much
faster—but there are
special
requirements you
need to meet and
you’ll have to pay
extra. If you have an
emergency that
requires you to get
a passport quickly,
visit the website:
http://travel.state.go
v/content/passports
/english/passports/s
ervices/expedited.ht
ml to learn what to
do. From the U.S.,
you can also call 1877-487-2778
(TDD/TTY: 1-888874-7793), and
speak with a
representative
during normal
business hours,
which are MondayFriday, 8 a.m. to 10
p.m. (excluding
federal holidays). If
it’s a life or death
emergency and you
need to call outside
of normal business
hours, please call:
1-202-647-4000.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can use a photo you take yourself. However, to ensure your photo is acceptable, it may be a good idea to
have a professional passport photo service take your photo for about $12. You can find these services at many post
offices, print shops, grocery stores, and drug stores.
221
But you can pay an extra $60 fee for “Expedited Service”—quicker processing and delivery of your new passport.
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/new.html, U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF
STATE, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/costs.html.
222
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/costs.html.
223
If you’re paying an extra $60 fee for Expedited Service, it should take 3 weeks. U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S.
DEP’T OF STATE, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/processing-times.html.
224
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/processing-times.html.
220

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passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines
will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.)!!
If you have Internet access, you can track the status of your passport application
online: go to http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html, and click
“Check Your Application Status.”!

HOW DO I APPLY BY MAIL FOR A RENEWAL OF MY U.S.
PASSPORT?
STEP 1:

Make sure you’re eligible and prepared to renew your passport. This
means:

You have a previously issued U.S. Passport, and ALL of the following is true
about it:
•
•
•
•
•

It is undamaged, and it can be sent in with your renewal application;
It was issued when you were age 16 or older;
It was issued less than 15 years ago;
225
It was issued in your current name; AND
Lastly, depending on what convictions are on your record, and any
restrictions of your supervision, you may need to be off parole, probation,
and any other type of community supervision, or have permission from your
226
supervising officer. See PG. 59 above for details.

STEP 2: Put together the required documents.
If your legal name hasn’t changed, you will just need to provide your previously
issued passport—nothing more.
If your legal name has changed, you will need to provide two additional items: (1)
your previously issued U.S. Passport, and (2) official documents showing your
legal name change, such as a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a
court order.
NOTE: You will need to submit the original documents. They will all be mailed
back to you.
227

STEP 3: Complete and sign the application form (DS-82).

This form is available at any Passport Office, and may be available from some
Passport Acceptance Facilities as well (see above on PG. 61 for how to locate
these offices). The form is available online at:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212241.pdf OR
https://pptform.state.gov/?Submit2=Complete+Online+%26+Print. A copy of this
form is also available in Appendix J, PG. 115.
228

STEP 4: Get 2 passport photos taken.

You must provide 2 passport photos with your application. Passport photos have
strict specifications, so make sure you have the photo taken by a professional

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exception to this last condition: If you legally changed your name since your most recent passport, you can still
apply by mail if you provide official documents proving your name change. Acceptable documents include: an
original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, or government-issued papers showing your legal name
change. U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html.
226
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html.
227
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html.
228
You can use a photo you take yourself. However, to ensure your photo is acceptable, it may be a good idea to
have a professional passport photo service take your photo for about $12. You can find these services at many post
offices, print shops, grocery stores, and drug stores.
225

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who is familiar with the requirements (you can go to most pharmacy’s photo
centers to have these photos taken). Do not attach your photo to the application
form.
STEP 5: Pay the fee.
The fee for a renewal passport is $110. There is no additional processing fee
229
required. You must pay using a personal check or money order—not cash. If
paying by check, make it payable to “U.S. Department of State,” and make sure
your full name and birthdate are typed or printed on the front (memo or “for”
230
line). Ask the passport agent if you have any questions.
STEP 6: Mail your renewal application materials.
Make sure you include ALL of the following:
•
•
•
•

Your completed DS-82 with photo attached
Your previous passport,
Your fee payment for $110, AND
Official docuents showing your legal name change (if necessary).

Address the envelope to:

231

National Passport Processing Center
P.O. Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155
STEP 7: Receive your passport in 4-6 weeks, and make a reminder about
232
when it needs to be renewed.
After you submit your passport application, it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to
receive your U.S. Passport in the mail. If you were age 16 or older when your U.S.
Passport was issued, it will be valid for 10 years. If you were age 15 or younger
233
when your U.S. Passport was issued, it will be valid for 5 years. (Note: If
possible, it’s best renew your passport approximately 9 months before it expires.
Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond
the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this
requirement is not met.)
If you have Internet access, you can track the status of your passport application
online: go to http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html, and click
“Check Your Application Status.”!
!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But you can pay an extra $60 fee for “Expedited Service”—quicker processing and delivery of your new passport.
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html;
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/costs.html.
230
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html.
231
If you’re paying an extra $60 fee for Expedited Service, use this address instead: National Passport Processing
Center; P.O. Box 90955; Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955.
232
If you’re paying an extra $60 fee for Expedited Service, it should take 3 weeks. U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S.
DEP’T OF STATE, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/processing-times.html.
233
U.S. PASSPORTS & INT’L TRAVEL, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/processing-times.html.
229

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VI. LIBRARY CARD
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
•
•
•
•
•

Why a library card is useful, and how to make the most of
resources at the library
How to find your local public library
What documents and information to bring to the library when
you go to apply for a library card
What to do if you want a library card but don’t have photo ID
How to submit your application for a library card

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A LIBRARY CARD?
A library card is FREE and gives access to your local public library. At the library,
you will have access to the Internet, a world of information, and entertainment.
Some useful benefits are:
• Free access to books and media materials. Public libraries contain all kinds
of books, movies, music, newspapers, magazines, and more. Anyone can
visit a public library and use these materials on-site.
• Free access to helpful librarians. Public libraries have librarians on staff who
are trained to help with all kinds of research questions. Anyone can walk in
and get free research help from a librarian.
• Free access to computers and the Internet. Most public libraries have
computer labs where anyone can go online for FREE. You can use email,
search for information, and visit websites. This can make it much easier to
contact people, find jobs and services, do research for school, and look up
news and information.
• Free access to classes, programs, and events. Many public libraries provide
free trainings, computer services, and educational programs and events for
community members of all ages.

WHY WOULD I GET A LIBRARY CARD?234
Although anyone can visit a public library and use certain resources there, you
need a library card to borrow books and other materials (to use them outside of
the building). Also, in some libraries, you may need to get a library card before
you can use the Internet or computers.

HOW DO I GET A LIBRARY CARD?
Below are some basic steps. You might do them in a slightly different order,
depending on your situation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE-ENTRY L.A.: A SELF-HELP RESOURCE GUIDE FOR PEOPLE RETURNING TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY FROM PRISON OR JAIL, 5
(2009 Ed.).
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STEP 1:

!

Find a public library near you.

Your local public library will be listed in the yellow pages, or you can call 411
(“Information”) to get the address. You might also try asking at a local
community center. A list of public libraries in California, listed by city with
addresses and phone numbers, is available online at:
http://www.publiclibraries.com/california.htm. A list of public libraries in
California, listed in alphabetical order by library name, with web links, is
available at: http://www.lib-web.org/united-states/public-libraries/california/.
STEP 2: Bring a photo ID & proof of your current address.
•
•

•

If you have a California State ID or Driver License, you can use it as both your
photo ID and proof of address.
If you don’t have a California State ID or Driver License, use any 2 of the
following (1 must be a photo ID, and 1 must have your current address): U.S.
Passport, school ID, any government-issued ID, employee ID, a personal
check, credit card statement, rental or property tax receipt, utility bill, or
postmarked business mail sent to you at your home address.
If you don’t have a photo ID: California law says that everyone in the state
235
should have access to public libraries. For this reason, many libraries will
make an exception to the photo ID rule. Depending on where you live, your
local library may accept a prison ID card, or some other official document
236
with your name and address on it. To find out if the public library in your
area accepts other types of identification, call or visit the library and explain
your situation.

STEP 3: Fill out a library card application form.
Ask a librarian for the form, fill it out, and turn it in. The librarian will check your
ID and proof of address, process your application, and immediately give you
your new library card. The card and processing should be FREE.

HELPFUL HINTS
FOR USING YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
•
•

•

•
•

Keep an open mind and enjoy yourself!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from librarians—they are there to help with
things like finding books, accessing the Internet, and helping you find other
resources.
Take care of any materials you borrow, and keep track of due dates—to be
respectful, and to avoid being fined (libraries charge late fees if you return
materials past their due date).
If you’re using library computers, plan ahead and give yourself extra time in
case you have to wait for your turn.
Many libraries offer free classes and programs like literacy programs,
computer skills classes, etc. Ask a librarian for a list of what is available at
your local branch.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
235
236

CAL. VEH. CODE § 18701.
E-mail from David Cismowski, Chief, State Library Services (Jan. 15, 2015, 04:48 PST) (on file with author).

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VII. VOTER REGISTRATION
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Why voting is important
Whether the type of supervision you are under—like
probation or parole—will prevent you from voting
Whether it’s possible to get your voting rights back
How to register to vote, either online or by mail
When you should register to vote
How to vote if you don’t have a photo ID
How to vote if you are homeless
How to get time off work to vote
How to vote by mail
How to vote in person at a polling place
How to vote in person if you have a disability that makes it
challenging to get to, or get around, the polling place
What to do if you want to vote in a language other than
English
What to do if you want to vote in person but need help
reading or filling out the ballot
Who to call if you have any questions about voting

WHY REGISTER TO VOTE?
Voting is a way to participate in choosing the laws and the decision makers in
your community. Voting can also be a meaningful way to exercise your rights as
a citizen, and an opportunity to express your political identity as a member of
your city, county, state, and/or country.
As a person with a criminal record, you may or may not have lost your right to
vote. If you’re still able to vote, you may be deciding whether to exercise your
right. If you’ve lost your right to vote and need to restore it, you may be deciding
whether it’s worth the effort. Either way, voting rights are extremely important in
each citizen having a voice—and yet states have absolute power to restrict or
237
restore the voting rights of people with criminal records.

IN GENERAL, WHO CAN REGISTER TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA?
To register to vote in the next election, you must be a U.S. citizen, a California
resident, and at least age 18 by Election Day. But even if you meet those
requirements, you might not be able to register if you have certain criminal
convictions or if you’re under certain kinds of custody or supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In this country, 48 of the 50 states restrict the voting rights of people with felony convictions. A Report on State
Legal Barriers Facing People with Criminal Records, LEGAL ACTION CENTER, http://www.lac.org/roadblocks-toreentry/main.php?view=law&subaction=8.
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I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD. CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE IN
CALIFORNIA?
238

It depends.

A MISDEMEANOR conviction never affects your voting rights in California. If you
have only misdemeanor(s) on your record, you still have your voting rights!
A FELONY conviction could cause you to lose your voting rights in California.
However, you may be able to restore your right to vote. You will have to wait
until you finish your sentence, which includes completing your parole term and
239
any other requirements in the community. Note, if you were found mentally ill,
you only lose your right to vote during the time you were involuntarily
240
committed.
See the chart on the next page (PG. 70) to understand how your criminal record
and supervision status will affect your voting rights.

I LOST MY VOTING RIGHTS WHILE SERVING A FELONY
SENTENCE. WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR REGAINING MY ABILITY
TO VOTE?
In California, your voting rights are automatically restored once you’ve
completed your prison sentence for the felony, AND after your parole or other
supervision term. All you have to do is register (or re-register) to vote before the
241
next election (see instruction on how to register on PG. 71 below).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

REENTRY COUNCIL OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, GETTING OUT & STAYING OUT: A GUIDE TO SAN
FRANCISCO RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE LEAVING JAILS AND PRISONS 54 (2012/13 Ed.).
239
See Voting Rights for Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison, SECRETARY OF STATE,
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sharing-ideas/a-voting-guide-for-inmates.pdf;
https://www.aclunc.org/vote.
240
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 2211(a)(3).
241
Know Your Voting Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/know-your-votingrights-california-text-only.
238

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THE CHART BELOW EXPLAINS WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA BASED ON
YOUR CURRENT SUPERVISION AND CUSTODY STATUS. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TOP-HALF OF THE CHART
EXPLAINS VOTING RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE WITH STATE CONVICTIONS, WHILE THE BOTTOM-HALF OF THE
CHART EXPLAINS VOTING RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE WITH FEDERAL CONVICTIONS. IF YOU ARE ON MORE THAN
ONE TYPE OF SUPERVISION, AND EITHER SAYS “NO,” THEN YOU CANNOT VOTE.

VOTING RIGHTS WITH A RECORD
State Convictions
SUPERVISION STATUS

CAN I VOTE?

(Note: You must also be age 18 or older by the next Election
Day, a U.S. Citizen, and a California resident)

Currently incarcerated in State Prison

NO

State Parole

NO

Misdemeanor Probation

YES

Felony Probation

YES

Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS)

NO

242

Mandatory Supervision

NO

243

•
•

Currently incarcerated in jail

•

(but see footnote)
(but see footnote)

IT DEPENDS –
Because of PRCS or Mandatory Supervision: NO
Because it is a condition of your probation: YES
Because you have been convicted and sentenced and
are awaiting to be transferred to prison: NO

Pending Felony Charge
(meaning you’re charged of a felony, but not yet convicted)

YES

Felony Conviction with a “Split Sentence”
that combines jail & probation time

NO

Federal Convictions
SUPERVISION STATUS

CAN I VOTE?

(Note: You must also be age 18 or older by the next Election
Day, a U.S. Citizen, and a California resident)

Currently incarcerated in Federal Prison

NO

Federal Parole (applies to very few people)

NO

Federal Probation

YES

Federal Supervised Release

NO

I DON’T KNOW MY SUPERVISION STATUS. HOW DO I FIND OUT?
It is very common to not know what kind of supervision you are on! If you are
unaware or unsure of what your supervision status is, you should talk to your
supervising officer or your public defender to find out what category you fall

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Scott et al. v. Bowen, No. RG14-712570 (Cal. Sup. Ct. of Alameda Cnty., June 05, 2014) (appeal granted).
There is an ongoing lawsuit to allow people on Mandatory Supervision and PRCS to vote. See Scott et al. v.
Bowen, No. RG14-712570 (Cal. Sup. Ct. of Alameda Cnty., June 05, 2014) (appeal granted). That means if you are on
Mandatory Supervision or PRCS, you will be able to vote if the lawsuit is ultimately successful, so be on the lookout
for any future changes to this rule. To check for the latest updates on this lawsuit, go to https://www.aclunc.org/ourwork/legal-docket/michael-scott-et-al-v-debra-bowen.
242
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into. Tell them you are trying to determine if you are eligible to vote. You can
even show them this chart to help figure out what classification you are in!
It’s also possible that you are on multiple forms of supervision. If you are on
more than one type of supervision and either one prevents you from voting, then
you cannot vote. In other words, if you look at the chart—both of your
supervision status categories must say “yes;” if one says “no,” you cannot vote.

WHAT IF I VOTED IN AN ELECTION THAT I WAS NOT LEGALLY
ALLOWED TO VOTE IN?
It depends. If you ACCIDENTALLY voted in an election that you were not
allowed to vote in, you will probably not be in trouble with the law. Voter fraud
244
requires “specific intent.” This means that you had to have meant to vote in an
election, knowing that you were not allowed to vote and with the purpose of
voting even though you knew you were not supposed to vote.
If you PURPOSEFULLY voted in an election, knowing you were not supposed to
245
vote, you could be found guilty of voter fraud. While majority of the voter
fraud crimes are prosecuted when committed on the large scale to impact
246
elections, the punishment can be up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

REGISTERING TO VOTE IN CA:
I WANT TO VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION. WHEN IS
THE LAST DAY I CAN REGISTER TO VOTE IN
CALIFORNIA?

WHEN IS ELECTION
DAY?
The General Election is
held on the first
Tuesday of November.
See more information
about voting on
Election Day on
PG. 75!

The deadline to register is 15 days before the next local, state, or
federal election. You must submit the voter registration application
form before Midnight on the deadline.
• If you register using the online form, the timestamp must be before midnight
on the deadline date (by 11:59 p.m.).
• If you register using a paper form, it must be postmarked or hand-delivered
to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election. (See
247
PG. 72 to learn how to find your county elections office).

I DON’T HAVE OFFICIAL PHOTO ID. CAN I STILL REGISTER TO
VOTE?
Yes. However, if you register to vote without a Driver License number, State ID
number, or SSN, then when you later go in person to vote you might have to
show documents with your name and address. Examples of documents you
could show at the voting poll are: a military ID, a student ID, a prison ID, a utility
248
bill, and/or a check from the government.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

81 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 321 (1998).
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 18560.
22 U.S.C. § 1973gg-10.
247
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm.
248
2 CAL. CODE REGS. 20107. For a full list of documents that are acceptable for this purpose, contact your county
elections office, or visit the website at
http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/regulations/hava_id_regs_from_barclays_3_3_06.pdf.
244
245
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You’ll only have to show these kinds of documents before voting if
ALL of the following is true:
1) You registered online or by mail;
2) You registered without including any Driver License, State ID,
or SSN information on your form; AND
249
3) You’ve NEVER voted before.

I’M HOMELESS. CAN I STILL REGISTER TO VOTE IN
CALIFORNIA?
Yes. You don’t need a home address to register. Using the map on
the bottom of the voter registration form, just identify 2 cross streets
where you usually stay. If you fill out your application online, you
can check the box that says, “I do not have a street address” in the
250
home and mailing address section.

SINCE THE LAST TIME I REGISTERED TO VOTE, MY
ADDRESS, NAME, POLITICAL PARTY OR SUPERVISION
STATUS HAS CHANGED. DO I HAVE TO RE-REGISTER?
Probably. You need to re-register if any one of the following
situations is true:
• You’ve changed your permanent address, legal name, or political
party; OR
• You’ve completed a felony prison sentence AND you’re no longer
on parole; OR
• You’ve completed parole or another type of supervision that
251
prevented you from voting.

PRISON IDs:

CAN I USE MY
PRISON ID AS
IDENTIFICATION
WHEN I GO TO VOTE?
Although a prison ID isn’t
explicitly listed as
acceptable ID, the law
does allow a “document
issued by a government
agency” to prove who
you are. (CAL. CODE REGS.
tit. 2, § 20107(d)(2)(E).)
Because your prison ID
was issued by the
California Department of
Corrections &
Rehabilitation (CDCR),
which is a government
agency, it should be an
acceptable form of ID.
Keep in mind though that
the people who work at
the polling stations are
volunteers and not
experts in California law,
so you may need to speak
with a few different
people if you are having
difficulties. Remember:
you won’t need your
prison ID card at all if you
were able to provide a
SSN, Driver License
number, or State ID
number when you
registered.

I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT REGISTERING TO VOTE IN
CALIFORNIA. WHO CAN I ASK FOR HELP?
•

•

Call the CA Secretary of State’s toll-free voter hotline at 1-800-345-VOTE
(English), 1-800-232-VOTA (Spanish), 1-800-339-2857 (Chinese), or 1-800252
833-8683 (TTY/TDD); OR
Contact your county elections office—This office maintains your
LEARN HOW TO FIND
253
voter registration record (if you have one). There is an
YOUR COUNTY
ELECTIONS OFFICE
alphabetical list of all county elections offices on the CA
HERE!
Secretary of State’s website at:
o http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/find-yourpolling-place/. This website lists each county elections office’s address
and phone number.
o (If you don’t know your county, you can look it up by typing in your ZIP
code online at http://quickfacts.census.gov/cgi-bin/qfd/lookup or call the
voter hotline numbers above.)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Voting Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/know-your-votingrights-california-text-only.
250
Voter Registration Application, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, https://covr.sos.ca.gov/Home/MainForm; Know Your Voting
Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/know-your-voting-rights-california-text-only.
251
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm;
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm.
252
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm;
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm.
253
For a directory of California County Elections Offices, including location, office hours, and contact information,
visit Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm.
249

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HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA? WHAT IS THE
APPLICATION PROCESS?
To register to vote, you need to fill out a voter registration form and submit it to
your county elections office (learn how to find your county elections office
directly above). You can do this (1) by filling out an online form (if you have
access to a computer that’s connected to Internet and a printer) or (2) by filling
254
out a paper form. Both are completely acceptable, so do what is best and
easiest for you! Read on for details.!

!

IMPORTANT: If you want to vote in the next election, you must register
!
at least 15 days before that election. Once
you’re registered, you can
255
vote in all state and local elections.

! REGISTERING THROUGH THE INTERNET ONLINE FORM:
Choose this option only if you have access to a computer that’s connected to
the Internet and a printer.
STEP 1:

Go to the online form.

Visit http://registertovote.ca.gov/.
website will open the form.

256

Click “Register to Vote Now,” and the

STEP 2: Complete the online form.
Click through the pages and enter your information in the boxes. Make sure you
answer all questions that are marked by a star (*).
NOTE: The form asks for your California Driver License or California State ID
number, birthdate, and the last 4 digits of your SSN. Enter this if you can, but
know that you may still be able to vote even if some information is missing. Your
257
county elections official may assign you a special number to vote.
STEP 3: Submit the online form.
What happens next depends on whether you have a valid California Driver
License or State ID and have a signature on file with the DMV.
•

•

If you do have a valid California Driver License or State ID: You probably
have a signature on file with the DMV. Click “Submit” when you finish the
form, and the website will most likely find your signature in the DMV
database. It will then send your information to your county elections office.
If you don’t have a valid California Driver License or State ID: You probably
don’t have a signature on file with DMV. Click “Print” when you finish the
form, sign the printed form, and submit the printed form to your county
elections office—either by mail or in person.

STEP 4: Wait to hear from for your county elections office.
It will contact you if it approves your voter registration, or if it needs more
258
information to confirm that you can vote.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/new-voter/registeringvote.htm.
255
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/new-voter/registeringvote.htm.
256
The form is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and
Vietnamese. Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm.
257
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/new-voter/registeringvote.htm.
258
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm.
254

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!

REGISTERING WITH THE PAPER FORM:

STEP 1:
•

•
•
•

Get the paper form. There are a few different ways to get it:

Pick up a paper form at any county elections office (see PG. 72 for how to
259
find one), public library (see PG. 67 for how to find one), DMV office (Go to
http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/locator/locator.htm to locate one), or post
office;
Call 1-800-345-VOTE (toll-free voter hotline) and ask to get a paper form
mailed to you;
260
Download the form at www.sos.ca.gov/nvrc/fedform/ and print it; OR
Contact the CA Secretary of State’s Office, and ask that a paper form be
mailed to you. You can ask by sending a letter, calling, or emailing the office:
California Secretary of State's Office, Elections Division
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor; Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 657-2166
Email: elections@sos.ca.gov

STEP 2: Complete the paper form.
Fill in as much information as possible. Note: The form asks for your California
driver license or ID number, birthdate, and last 4 digits of your SSN. Enter this if
you have this information, but know that you may still be able to vote even if
some is missing. Your county elections official may assign you a number that will
261
identify you as a voter. When you go to vote on election day, you may have to
show documents with your name and address. Examples: a military or student
ID, a utility bill, or a check from the government.
STEP 3: Submit the paper form. Mail it to your county elections office, or drop it
off in person.
STEP 4: Wait to hear from for your county elections office.
It will contact you if it approves your voter registration, or if it needs more
262
information to confirm that you can vote.

IMPORTANT TIP
One of the questions on a Voter Registration form is: “Have you ever been
convicted of a Felony?” Under law, it is important that you answer this question
263
truthfully.
Even if you have your voting rights restored, you must answer this question
honestly and check the box. If you lie, you could be found guilty of perjury

.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For a directory of California County Elections Offices, including location, office hours, and contact information,
visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm.
260
The form is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and
Vietnamese. Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm.
261
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/new-voter/registeringvote.htm.
262
Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm.
263
Cal. Pen. Code § 118; People v. Darcy, 59 Cal. App. 2d 342, 348 (1943) (The court held that “to sustain a perjury
charge it is not necessary that the false statement be made for the purpose of injuring another . . .. Whether a false
statement has been made willfully or as the result of an honest mistake is a question of fact solely for the jury to
decide.”).
259

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VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
I REGISTERED TO VOTE. WHERE, WHEN, AND HOW DO I VOTE IN
THE NEXT ELECTION?
In California, you can vote in two ways: (1) by mail ballot, or (2) at your local
county polling place.
Voting by Mail—If you’re already registered to vote at your current home
address, contact your county elections office to request a vote-by-mail ballot
application form (see PG. 72 to learn how to find the nearest county elections
264
office). Once you get this form in the mail, complete and return it to the county
elections office at least 7 days before the election.
Voting in Person—Once you’re registered, you’ll get a sample ballot in the mail
(which you don't need to fill out—its just supposed to help to prepare you for
election day). Your voting location (called a “polling place”) is listed on this
265
ballot. You can also call your county elections office to ask about your voting
location. On the day of the election, go to this location to vote. All polls should
be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHEN IS ELECTION DAY?
266

The General Election is on the first Tuesday of November.

CAN I GET TIME OFF FROM WORK TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA?
Yes. If you don’t have enough time outside of work to vote, you have to right to
take time off from work to vote—up to 2 hours, which must be paid time off. You
need to tell your employer at least 2 working days in advance, and you can only
take the time off at the start or end of your workday unless you have made a
267
different agreement with your boss. This applies to part-time and temporary
employees as well if they are hired to work for more than 52 hours over the
268
course of 90 calendar days. But note that independent contractors are not
considered employees under law, and thus don’t have the right to paid time off
269
to vote. However, even when you don’t have the right to get paid time off to
vote, you can take a reasonable time off work to vote, because federal law
270
prohibits anyone from interfering with citizens’ right to vote.

I HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY. CAN I GET HELP GETTING
ACCESS TO MY VOTING LOCATION?
Yes. Follow these 2 steps:
STEP 1: First, contact your county elections office to find out if your voting
location (“polling place”) is accessible to you, given your disability.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For a directory of California County Elections Offices, including location, office hours, and contact information,
visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm or see PG. 53.
265
For a directory of California County Elections Offices, including location, office hours, and contact information,
visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm or see PG. 53.
266
See Election and Voter Information, CAL. SEC’Y OF STATE, http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_cand.htm;
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/statewide-elections/2014-general/2014-key-dates-deadlines.htm.
267
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 14000, Know Your Voting Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU,
https://www.aclu.org/print/voting-rights/know-your-voting-rights-california-text-only.
268
CAL. LAB. CODE § 3352.
269
CAL. LAB. CODE § 3353.
270
Voting Rights Act of 1965, Pub. L. 89-110 (1965).
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STEP 2: Second, if your voting location isn’t accessible to you, “curbside voting”
should be available to you. With “curbside voting,” you will be asked to get as
close as possible to the voting area as you can, given your disability and
elections officials should bring you a sign-in sheet, a ballot, and any other voting
271
materials you may need.

ENGLISH ISN’T MY FIRST LANGUAGE. CAN I GET A BALLOT IN MY
NATIVE LANGUAGE?
272

Maybe. This depends. Call your county elections office to find out what
languages the ballot is available in in your county. If your county doesn’t have
ballots in your native language, you can bring an interpreter with you to vote (as
273
long as this person isn’t your employer or labor union officer).

I CAN’T READ, AND/OR I PHYSICALLY CAN’T VOTE BY MYSELF.
CAN I GET HELP IN THE VOTING BOOTH?
Yes. If you can’t mark a ballot because you can’t read, and/or because you have
a disability, tell a poll worker when you get to your voting location (“polling
place”).
•

•

You have the right to use a voting machine that is accessible to you. Poll
workers should explain how to use the voting equipment before you go into
the booth, and should also provide further help if you need it after you go
274
into the booth. They are legally required to do so.
You also have the right to select up to 2 people (including a poll worker) to
help you in the booth, as long as these people aren’t your employer, agents
275
of your employer, or officers/agents of your labor union.

WHAT IF I VOTED IN AN ELECTION THAT I WAS NOT LEGALLY
ALLOWED TO VOTE IN?
It depends. If you ACCIDENTALLY voted in an election that you were not
allowed to vote in, you will probably not be in trouble with the law. Voter fraud
276
requires “specific intent.” This means that you had to have meant to vote in an
election, knowing that you were not allowed to vote and with the purpose of
voting even though you knew you were not supposed to vote. Conversely, if you
PURPOSEFULLY voted in an election, knowing you were not supposed to vote,
277
you could be found guilty of voter fraud.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Know Your Voting Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/print/voting-rights/know-yourvoting-rights-california-text-only.
272
For a directory of California County Elections Offices, including location, office hours, and contact information,
visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_d.htm.
273
Know Your Voting Rights: California—Text Only, ACLU, https://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/know-your-votingrights-california-text-only.
274
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 14272.
275
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 14282.
276
81 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 321 (1998).
277
CAL. ELEC. CODE § 18560.
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VIII. SELECTIVE SERVICE
REGISTRATION
WHAT IS THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM & WHY DO I NEED TO
KNOW ABOUT IT?
The Selective Service System is a federal agency that keeps a list of all adult
278
males in the United States. In case of a military emergency, the federal
government uses the Selective Service registration list to draft men for military
279
service —and to provide public service work assignments for men who are
280
morally opposed to military service. If you’re a male between ages 18 and 25
and you live in the United States, and you don’t fall under one of the legal
281
exceptions, you must register with the Selective Service before you turn 26.
For the legal exceptions to registration, see the list below under the question:
282
“WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE?”
You need to know about the Selective Service because almost ALL males who
are between ages 18 and 25, and who live in the United States, are legally
required to register with Selective Service, with only a few exceptions. IT’S THE
LAW, and if you do not follow it, there could be negative consequences. If you
did not apply but legally should have, you might now be disqualified from certain
federal or state programs and benefits—such as student financial aid, obtaining
citizenship, federal job training, or federal jobs. Read on for more information.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE?
Selective Service registration is required for nearly ALL men ages 18 to 25
th
(before your 26 birthday), who live in the United States. There are very few
283
exceptions, which are listed in the next question.

WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH SELECTIVE
SERVICE?
You are NOT required to register with the Selective Service if you fit in one of
the categories below:
(1) Certain people who are confined:
284
• People who are incarcerated in jail or prison —You DO NOT have to
register for the Selective Service while you are incarcerated, even if you are
a male age 18 to 25. But if you are age 25 or younger at the time of your
285
release, you must register within 30 days of getting out.
• People who are being kept in a hospital or institution for medical reasons.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq. (“Military Selective Service Act”); see also What Does Selective Service Provide for
America, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/what.htm.
279
See 50 U.S.C. App. 451; Agency Mission, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/mission.htm; What Does
Selective Service Provide for America, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/what.htm.
280
See 32 C.F.R. § 1656.1.
281
50 U.S.C. App. 453; see also When to Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/when.htm.
282
50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq., http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/MSSA-2003.pdf.
283
50 U.S.C. App. 456; see also Back to School: A Guide to Continuing Your Education after Prison, PRISONER REENTRY
INSTITUTE, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE (July 2010), 24.
284
50 U.S.C. App. 456; see also Selective Service—Who Must Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS.,
http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/WhoMustRegisterChart.pdf; http://www.sss.gov/FSwho.htm.
285
Who Must Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSwho.htm.
278

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(2) Certain people who have disabilities:
• People with a mental or physical disability that prevents them from
functioning in public, with or without assistance.
• People who have been confined continuously to a residence, hospital, or
286
institution from ages 18 to 25.
(3) Certain non-citizens:
• Lawful non-immigrants holding visas in the U.S.
287
• Seasonal agricultural workers holding visas (H-2A)
(4) Certain military members:
• Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty.
• Cadets or midshipmen in a U.S. Service Academy or Coast Guard Academy
• Students in Officer Procurement Programs at certain U.S. military colleges
(5) Certain people who have had a sex change:
• People who are born female (assigned female at birth) and have had a sex
change do not need to register with the Selective Service. However, people
born male (assigned male at birth) and have had a sex change are still
288
required to register.

WHEN DO I REGISTER WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE?
You must register within 30 days after you reach age 18, but the Selective
Service will accept your late registration through age 25 (before your 26th
289
birthday, but not after).

HOW DO I REGISTER WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE?
You can register in 3 ways, and all are acceptable. You can register:
(1) online, (2) by filling out a paper registration form and mailing it to
the Selective Service System, OR (3) by checking the “Register Me”
option on the Federal Student Financial Aid Application (called the
“FAFSA”).!
(1) Registering online:
If you have access to a computer (most public libraries have free
computer access, see PG. 66 for more information on public library
access), this is the fastest and easiest way to register.
• Go to https://www.sss.gov/RegVer/wfRegistration.aspx.
• Fill out the online form and click “Submit Registration.”

DO I NEED A
SOCIAL
SECURITY
NUMBER (SSN)
TO REGISTER
WITH THE
SELECTIVE
SERVICE?
No. If you have a
SSB, you must
provide it when
registering. But you
don’t need to have a
SSN to register.

(2) Registering by mail:
You can find the registration form for the Selective Service at any U.S.
post office and at many high schools. If you want to find it online and
print it out to send in via mail, you can go to
https://www.sss.gov/PDFs/Regform_copyINT.pdf.
• Fill out the form and mail it to: Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94638,
290
Palatine, IL 60094-4638.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., https://www.sss.gov/sssyou/sssyou.htm.
NOTE: Most other categories of non-citizens are required to register. These include permanent resident
immigrants (“green card” holders), undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum grantees. Selective Service—
Who Must Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/WhoMustRegisterChart.pdf.
288
Selective Service—Who Must Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/WhoMustRegisterChart.pdf;
http://www.sss.gov/QA.HTM.
289
Men Cannot Register after Reaching Age 26, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSmen.htm.
286
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(3) Registering through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid):
If you are a student applying for federal student financial aid using the FAFSA
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you can register simply by checking
“Register Me” on Box #22 of that application form. The U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. will
send your information to the Selective Service, and you are done!

ISSUES WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE
REGISTRATION
I REGISTERED WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE, BUT I LOST MY
REGISTRATION NUMBER AND MY PROOF OF REGISTRATION.
HOW CAN I GET MY REGISTRATION NUMBER AND PROOF OF
REGISTRATION?
Contact the Selective Service to request your number and get new proof of
registration. Be ready to provide your name, birthdate, SSN, AND current
mailing address. You can contact the Selective Service 3 ways:
• By phone: Call 1-847-688-6888.
• By mail: Mail a request to Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94638,
Palatine, Illinois, 60094-4638.
• Online: Visit http://www.sss.gov and click “Check Registration.” You’ll need
to enter your SSN.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
290

How to Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSregist.htm.

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IT’S BEEN MORE THAN 30 DAYS SINCE I TURNED 18, AND I
HAVEN’T REGISTERED WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE. CAN I
STILL REGISTER?
•
•

IF YOU ARE AGE 25 OR YOUNGER, then YES, you can still register. You
291
should do so immediately! Follow same steps above on PG. 78 to register.
IF YOU ARE AGE 26 OR OLDER, it’s probably too late to register. HOWEVER,
if you have good reasons for failing to register between ages 18 to 25—such
as being incarcerated the entire time you were 18-25, then you might be able
to get an official Selective Service response saying that you were or were not
292
required to register called a “Status Information Letter.” See PG. 81 to
learn how to request a “Status Information Letter.”

I AM 26 OR OLDER AND NEVER REGISTERED WITH THE
SELECTIVE SERVICE—AND DON’T FALL INTO ANY OF THE LEGAL
EXCEPTIONS. WHAT ARE SOME POSSIBILE CONSEQUENCES?
If you are age 26 or older, failed to register with the Selective Service, and don’t
fall into any of the legal exceptions to the registration requirement—then under
law you could face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to 5
293
years. Even if you don’t face charges, you may be disqualified from certain
government programs and benefits—including federal student financial aid,
294
obtaining citizenship, federal job training, and federal jobs. In California,
failure to register with the Selective Service also means you can’t get STATE
295
student financial aid.
In certain situations, you may be able to prove that your failure to register was
unintentional. If you have enough proof, you might be eligible for government
benefits and programs even though you didn’t register at the required time. (See
PG. 80 below.)

I AM 26 OR OLDER AND NEVER REGISTERED WITH THE
SELECTIVE SERVICE. NOW I’M DISQUALIFIED FROM CERTAIN
GOVERNMENT BENEFITS AND PROGRAMS. WHAT ARE MY
OPTIONS?
It depends on 2 factors—(1) whether you had good reason for not registering and
(2) what program or benefit you are applying for.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who Must Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSwho.htm.
Benefits and Programs Linked to Registration, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSbenefits.htm;
http://www.sss.gov/QA.HTM.
293
Benefits and Programs Linked to Registration, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., https://www.sss.gov/FSbenefits.htm.
294
See Benefits and Programs Linked to Registration, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSbenefits.htm;
http://www.sss.gov/QA.HTM.
295
34 C.F.R. § 668.37(d)(2)(i), (e).
291
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IF YOU DIDN’T REGISTER FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE BECAUSE . . .
. . .You were incarcerated
between the ages of 18
and 26

. . . You didn’t know
about the registration
requirement, OR
mistakenly believed it
didn’t apply to you
OR
. . . You thought you were
already registered, but
the Selective Service has
no record of your
registration

You may be able to prove that you should qualify for the benefits or programs you are
trying to get. To do this, you will have to fill out a form requesting a “Status Information
Letter” from the Selective Service System. (See Appendix K, PG. 122.) You will have to
list the dates during which you were incarcerated, and attach any documents that show
when and where you were incarcerated. If you can prove that you were incarcerated
during the relevant time, the Selective Service System will send you an official letter
stating that you were not required to register. If you show this letter to the financial aid,
federal job training, or federal job office to which you are applying, it can’t legally deny
you benefits because of your Selective Service status.
You may still be eligible for government benefits if you can prove to the benefit-issuing
296
agency that you did not “knowingly or willfully” fail to register.
The agency handling
your case—NOT the Selective Service System—is in charge of deciding whether you
297
have provided enough proof.
You must send the benefit-issuing agency certain documents as proof.
1. First, you must request a “Status Information Letter” (see PG. 81) from the Selective
298
Service System, which summarizes your status with the Selective Service.
2. Then you should send this letter along with a detailed “explanation letter” explaining
299
in your own words why you didn’t register.
Your explanation letter should include
any information you think might be relevant to the agency’s decision. This may
include information about where you were living from the ages of 18 to 25, whether
you thought you were already registered, and/or why you weren’t aware of the
300
registration requirement.
3. To present the most persuasive case, you should also include any documentation
you have that supports your story.

HOW DO I GET A “STATUS INFORMATION LETTER?”
You can request a “Status Information Letter” by (1) calling, OR (2) sending a
written request. If you are requesting a “Status Information Letter” because you
want to establish that you were incarcerated, institutionalized, hospitalized, or
confined from ages 18 through 25, before you contact the Selective Service, be
prepared to describe ALL of the circumstances that prevented you from
registering at the proper time, and have copies of documents showing all the
301
dates you were hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated.
If you are requesting a “Status Information Letter” because you failed to register
for other reasons, you must summarize these reasons on the request form. Note:
You do not have to send a separate “letter of explanation” to the Selective
Service System—that’s only for the agency that denied you the benefits.
TO REQUEST:
• By phone: Call 1-847-688-6888 and connect to an operator. Ask for a “Status
Information Letter.”
• By mail: Get a copy of the “Request for Status Information Letter” form. Use
the form in Appendix K, PG. 122, or visit http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/status.pdf,

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Men Cannot Register after Reaching Age 26, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSmen.htm. For
information about student financial aid, see 34 C.F.R. § 668.37(d)(2)(i); 34 C.F.R. § 668.37(e); U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. & FED.
STUDENT AID, 2014-2015 FEDERAL STUDENT AID HANDBOOK.
297
See Men Cannot Register after Reaching Age 26, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/FSmen.htm; see also
Men 26 and Older, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., http://www.sss.gov/Status.html.
298
The Status Information Letter will include a code that summarizes the Selective Serving’s findings in your case.
Different codes correspond to different categories. For example, the Selective Service might include a code
indicating that you were sent a letter to inform you of the registration requirement, but that it was returned by the
post office as undeliverable. See U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. & FED. STUDENT AID, 2014-2015 FEDERAL STUDENT AID HANDBOOK.
299
See Request for Status Information Letter, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS.,
http://www.sss.gov/PDFs/PrinterFriendly/status.pdf.
300
See U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. & FED. STUDENT AID, 2014-2015 FEDERAL STUDENT AID HANDBOOK.
301
See Men 26 and Older, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., https://www.sss.gov/Status.html.
296

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and print it from a computer. Fill out the form, sign it, and attach copies of
documents to prove the information you write in the form. Mail the form,
along with your documents, to: Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94638,
Palatine, Illinois, 60094-4638.

HOW SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION AFFECTS
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
I’VE HEARD THAT IF I DIDN'T APPLY FOR THE SELECTIVE
SERVICE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, IT CAN AFFECT MY ABILITY TO
GO BACK TO SCHOOL NOW THAT I AM RELEASED AND IN THE
COMMUNITY? IS THAT TRUE? WHAT CAN I DO?
It’s true—if you failed to register for the Selective Service between the ages of 18
to 25 (before your 26th birthday), you are not eligible for state or federal
financial aid unless you fall into an exception for registering or had a really good
reason for not registering, like being incarcerated the entire time ages 18-25.
However, even if you weren’t incarcerated during that entire time period, you
still may be able to get financial aid despite not registering if you can prove that
your failure to register was unintentional. In other words, you have to prove that
you didn’t fail to register on purpose, even though you knew you were supposed
302
to.
For financial aid purposes, the person in charge of deciding whether you have
303
provided enough proof will often be an employee of your school. You will
have to request a “Status Information Letter” from the Selective Service System
(See Appendix K, on PG. 122), then send that letter to the relevant department at
your school, along with a letter explaining why you didn’t register. Learn more
about this topic in the EDUCATION CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 906.

HELPFUL HINT
The school employee in charge of your case is required to consider ALL
information related to your situation—not just what the Selective Serve System
says happened—so provide as much detail as possible to make your case
stronger. This may include information about where you were living from the
ages of 18 to 25, whether you thought you were already registered, and/or why
304
you weren’t aware of the registration requirement.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to Register, SELECTIVE SERV. SYS., https://www.sss.gov/sssyou/sssyou.htm.
See U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. & FED. STUDENT AID, 2014-2015 FEDERAL STUDENT AID HANDBOOK 1-71.
304
See U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC. & FED. STUDENT AID, 2014-2015 FEDERAL STUDENT AID HANDBOOK.
302
303

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IX. CONCLUSION
If you are formerly incarcerated, you have quickly realized how important these
various forms of identification (“ID”) and other key documents are to rebuilding
your life, your identity, and your sense of self.
To review, the BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING CHAPTER has
covered the following topics:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Birth Certificate
Social Security Number (SSN) & Card
California State ID, Drivers License, and Municipal ID
U.S. Passport
Library Card
Voter Registration
Selective Service Registration

We hope this Chapter has empowered you to gather the important documents
and ID you need to start over strong—and to better understand the different
processes and issues that might come up along the way, so you can plan ahead.
Another important set of documents—not covered in this Chapter—are copies of
your criminal records. It is important to know what could show up from your
criminal record as you apply for public benefits, programs, housing, and jobs;
how to spot and fix errors; and how to get help making your record less visible
and less powerful by “cleaning” it up. Criminal records are so important in
reentry that we have written an entire chapter of this legal guide dedicated just
to them. Go to the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL
RECORD CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 1020, to learn more.
Congratulations on all you have accomplished! Feel free to call Root & Rebound
at 510-279-3662, email us at roadmap@rootandrebound.org, or write to us at:
Root & Rebound, 1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612, for further
assistance or a referral.

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ID & VOTING APPENDIX
APPENDIX A.

CDPH Application for Certified Copy of Birth Record –
PG. 85

APPENDIX B.

A Listing of Vital Statistics Office Phone Numbers for Each
State – PG. 89

APPENDIX C.

Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship
Document, Form N-565 – PG. 97

APPENDIX D.

Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5 – PG. 100

APPENDIX E.

A complete list of documents that the DMV accepts to prove
legal presence – PG. 102

APPENDIX F.

Verification for Reduced Fee Identification Card, Form
DL 937 – PG. 103

APPENDIX G.

Court-Ordered Debt Payment Instructions – PG. 106

APPENDIX H.

A full list of acceptable identity and residency verification
documents – PG. 107

APPENDIX I.

A full list of countries that issue CIDs – PG. 113

APPENDIX J.

U.S. Passport Renewal Application, Form DS-82 – PG. 115

APPENDIX K.

Status Information Letter for Selective Service System –
PG. 122

APPENDIX L.

American Civil Liberties Union of California Voting Rights
Resources – PG. 127

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APPENDIX A
CDPH Application for Certified Copy of
Birth Record
See next page.

PAGE 85 OF 1210

State of California – Health! and Human Services Agency

California Department of Public Health

APPLICATION FOR CERTIFIED COPY OF BIRTH RECORD
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON PAGE 2 BEFORE COMPLETING THIS APPLICATION
As part of statewide efforts to prevent identity theft, California law (Health and Safety Code Section 103526) permits only authorized individuals as listed on the
application to receive certified copies of birth records. All others will be issued Certified Informational Copies marked with the legend, “Informational, Not A
Valid Document to Establish Identity.”
Please indicate the type of certified copy you are requesting:
I would like a Certified Informational Copy. This document will be
printed with a legend on the face of the document that states,
“INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

I would like a Certified Copy. This copy will establish the identity of
the registrant. (To receive a Certified Copy you MUST INDICATE
YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE REGISTRANT by selecting from the list
below AND COMPLETE THE ATTACHED SWORN STATEMENT
declaring that you are eligible to receive the Certified Copy. The
Sworn Statement MUST BE NOTARIZED if the application is
submitted by mail unless you are a law enforcement or local or
state governmental agency.)

(A Sworn Statement does not need to be provided.)

NOTE: Both documents are certified copies of the original document on file with our office. With the exception of the legend and redaction of
signatures and Social Security Number, the documents contain the same information.

$25 per copy (payable to CDPH Vital Records).

PLEASE SUBMIT CHECK OR MONEY ORDER – DO NOT SEND CASH
(CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid in cash that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered).

To receive a Certified Copy I am:
The registrant (person listed on the certificate) or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant. (Legal guardian must provide documentation.)
A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the birth
record in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code. (Please include a copy of the court order.)
A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official
business. (Companies representing a government agency must provide authorization from the government agency.)
A child, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
An attorney representing the registrant or the registrant’s estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court
to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant’s estate.

PLEASE ATTACH CHECK HERE

Fee:

Appointed rights in a power of attorney, or an executor of the registrant’s estate. (Please include a copy of the power of attorney, or
supporting documentation identifying you as executor.)

APPLICANT INFORMATION (PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE)

Today’s Date:

Agency Name (If Applicable)

Agency Case Number

Inmate ID Number

Print Name of Applicant

Signature of Applicant

Purpose of Request

Mailing Address – Number, Street

Amount Enclosed – DO NOT SEND CASH

Number of Copies

$ _______ Check $ ______ Money Order
City

Name of Person Receiving Copies, if Different from Applicant

State/Province

ZIP Code

Mailing Address for Copies, if Different from Applicant

Daytime Telephone (include area code)
(
)

Country

City

BIRTH RECORD INFORMATION (PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE)

Adopted:

State

No

Yes

ZIP Code

(If Yes, see #4 on Page 2)

Complete the information below as shown on the birth record, to the best of your knowledge.
FIRST Name

MIDDLE Name

LAST Name

City of Birth (must be in California)

County of Birth

Date of Birth – MM/DD/CCYY (If unknown, enter approximate date of birth)

Sex
___Female

___Male

Father/Parent FIRST Name

MIDDLE Name

LAST Name (Before Marriage/Domestic Partnership)

Mother/Parent FIRST Name

MIDDLE Name

LAST Name (Before Marriage/Domestic Partnership)

BIRTH
VS 111 (01/15)

Page 1 of 3

INFORMATION:
Birth records have been maintained in the California Department of Public Health Vital Records since July 1, 1905.
The name required on Vital Records (see Items 1C, 6C, 7C, 9C, and 12C) is the name given at birth, or a name received through
adoption, court ordered name change, or naturalization. AKAs (Also Known As) and assumed names cannot be entered as the legal
name on the birth record.
INSTRUCTIONS:
1.

ONLY individuals who are authorized by Health and Safety Code Section 103526 can obtain a Certified Copy of a birth record
to establish identity of the registrant (person listed on the certificate). (Page 1 identifies the individuals who are authorized
to make the request.) All others may receive a Certified Informational Copy which will be marked, “Informational, Not a
Valid Document to Establish Identity.”
Confidential Information on Birth Record: some individuals have special needs for a birth certificate that contains the
confidential information provided at the time the birth record was prepared. This confidential information may be used to
establish ethnicity, to provide health background, or for other personal reasons. For information on how to obtain a birth
certificate containing the confidential information, please refer to the Birth Record section of our website at:
www.cdph.ca.gov. Only specific individuals may obtain confidential copies.

2.

Complete a separate application for each birth record requested.

3.

Complete the Applicant Information section on Page 1 and provide your signature where indicated. In the Birth Record
Information section, provide all the information you have available to identify the birth record. If the information you
furnish is incomplete or inaccurate, we may not be able to locate the record.

4.

If the registrant has been adopted, make the request in the adopted name. If the registrant was born outside the United
States and re adopted in California, mark the “Yes” box and complete the application with the adopted information. (If you
are requesting a copy of the original birth certificate, you must provide a court order releasing the original sealed record.)

5.

SWORN STATEMENT:
The authorized individual requesting the certified copy must sign the attached Sworn Statement, declaring under
penalty of perjury that they are eligible to receive the certified copy of the birth record and identify their relationship
to the registrant – the relationship must be one of those identified on Page 1.
If the application is being submitted by mail, the Sworn Statement must be notarized by a Notary Public. (To find a
Notary Public, see your local yellow pages or call your banking institution.) Law enforcement and local and state
governmental agencies are exempt from the notary requirement.
You do not have to provide a Sworn Statement if you are requesting a Certified Informational Copy of the birth
record.

6.

Submit $25 for each copy requested. If no birth record is found, the fee will be retained for searching for the record (as
required by law) and a “Certificate of No Public Record” will be issued to the applicant. Indicate the number of copies you
want and include the correct fee(s) in the form of a personal check or postal or bank money order (International Money
Order for out of country requests) made payable to CDPH Vital Records. PLEASE SUBMIT CHECK OR MONEY ORDER – DO
NOT SEND CASH (CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid in cash that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered).

7.

Mail completed applications with the fee(s) to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899 7410
(916) 445 2684

BIRTH
Page 2 of 3
VS 111 (01/15)

!

State of California – Health and Human Services Agency

California Department of Public Health

SWORN STATEMENT
I, ___________________________________, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California,
(Applicant’s Printed Name)
that I am an authorized person, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 (c), and am eligible to receive a
certified copy of the birth, death, or marriage certificate of the following individual(s):

Applicant’s Relationship to Person Listed on Certificate
Name of Person Listed on Certificate

(Must Be a Relationship Listed on Page 1 of Application)

(The remaining information must be completed in the presence of a Notary Public or CDPH Vital Records staff.)

Subscribed to this ______ day of ______________, 20___, at ________________________________, _____________.
(Day)
(Month)
(City)
(State)

______________________________________________________
(Applicant’s Signature)

Note: If submitting your order by mail, you must have your Sworn Statement notarized using the Certificate of Acknowledgment
below. The Certificate of Acknowledgment must be completed by a Notary Public. (Law enforcement and local and state
governmental agencies are exempt from the notary requirement.)

CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT
A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the
identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is
attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.
State of _______________________)
County of ______________________)
On ____________before me, _________________________________, personally appeared _______________________________________,
(insert name and title of the officer)
who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and
acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on
the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument. I certify under PENALTY OF
PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
(SEAL)

_________________________________________________________
SIGNATURE OF NOTARY PUBLIC
Page 3 of 3
VS 111 (01/15)

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APPENDIX B
A Listing of Vital Statistics Office Phone
Numbers for Each State
For people born outside of California in the U.S., this Appendix provides a chart
that lists all the Vital Statistics Office phone numbers and addresses for each
state in the U.S. However, because these numbers are subject to change, you
should check with the CDC for the most up-to-date information. You can:
•
•
•

Visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
Call the CDC directly by phone at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
OR
Write to the CDC at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027

Let the Vital Statistics office in the state where you were born know that you are
trying to get an authorized certified copy of your birth certificate. Ask (1) what
their procedures are; (2) what you need to send the Vital Statistics Office; and
(3) the cost.
IMPORTANT NOTE IF YOU ONLY HAVE A PRISON/JAIL ID CARD:
If the only form of identification (ID) that you currently have is a valid Prison
Identification Card, that may be sufficient enough for some States. First, call the
State that you were born in and follow the instructions to be connected to an
operator and confirm what you need to provide in order to obtain your certified
Birth Certificate. Here are a few examples of what states accept if you only have
a Prison ID Card:
•

•
•

Idaho and Delaware accept a current Prison Identification Card (not older
than the current year), with a photo on it, to be copied and sent along with
your application and payment for a birth certificate.
Arizona, on the other hand, needs only a notarized signature along with full
payment, and does not require a copy of your Prison/Jail ID card.
Oregon requires a combination of documents, including the following:
(1) official court papers, (2) parole or probation paperwork, (3) your full name,
(4) your date of birth, and (5) a photo identification (your Prison/Jail ID Card is
acceptable). If you have them, Oregon will also accept a Utility Bill, Vehicle
Registration Paperwork, and/or Hospital Card to help prove who you are.

The point is, it’s best to call ahead of time and ask!

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CONTACT INFORMATION OF
VITAL STATISTICS OFFICES FOR EVERY STATE IN THE U.S.
STATE

MAILING
ADDRESS

Alabama

Alabama Vital Records
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625

PHONE

COST FOR A COPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE,
AND WHO TO ADDRESS THE CHECK TO
$15.00 (Additional copies $6.00 each, and to expedite a
request is an additional $15.00)

(334) 206-5418

Make your check or money order payable to “State Board of
Health”
$30.00 (Additional copies are $25.00 each)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Bureau of Vital Statistics”

Dept. of Health and Social
Services
Bureau of Vital Statistics
5441 Commercial Blvd.
Juneau, AK 99801

Alaska

American
Samoa

American Samoa Government
Dept. of Homeland
Security Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 6894
Pago Pago, AS 96799

(907) 465- 3391

(684) 6331405/1406. For
Health
Information
Office, Health
and Vital
Statistics call
(684) 6334606/2262

SPECIAL NOTES:
1.
All requests must include a copy of governmentissued picture ID of the applicant (i.e. Identification
Card, Drivers License, a Prison/Jail ID Card, or any
government-issued identification with photo ID.)
2. While copying/ scanning picture ID, enlarge the copy
and lighten the picture on the computer or printer as
much as possible to be sure that it is clear and
readable when sent to Alaska’s Bureau of Vital
Statistics.
3. REQUIRED! Once you have copied your picture ID,
you must sign the paper that you submit along with
the application itself.

$5.00
Money order should be made payable to “The Office of Vital
Statistics/ASG” Personal checks are not accepted.

$20.00

Arizona

Office of Vital Records Arizona
Dept. of
Health Services
P.O. Box 3887
Phoenix, AZ 85030-3887

(602) 364-1300

Arkansas

Arkansas Dept. of Health
4815 West Markham St.
Little Rock, AR 72205

(501) 661-2336

California

CA Dept. of Public Health—Vital
Records
MS: 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

Canal Zone

Vital Records Section Passport
Services U.S. Dept. of State
1111 19th St. NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20522-1705

PAGE 90 OF 1210

Cashier’s checks and money orders must be for the exact
amount and made payable to “Office of Vital Records”
SPECIAL NOTES: Acceptable payment methods are cashier’s
check, money order, Visa or MasterCard. If you pay by
credit/debit card, you must include the full number and
expiration date on your application.
$12.00 ($10.00 for each additional copy)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Arkansas Dept. of Health”
$25.00

(916) 445-2684

(202) 955-0307

A personal check or money order should be made payable to
“CDPH Vital Records”
$30.00 (Additional copies of the same record requested at the
same time are $20.00 each.)
Personal check or money order must be signed, dated and
made payable to “U.S. Dept. of State”

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Colorado

Vital Records Section CO Dept. of
Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
HSVRD-VS-A1
Denver, CO 80246-1530

(303) 692- 2200

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vital Records Section”
$30.00

Connecticut

CT Dept. of Public Health
410 Capitol Ave., MS #11 VRS
Hartford, CT 06134

(860) 509-7897

Delaware

Office of Vital Statistics Division
of Public Health 417 Federal St.
Dover, DE 19901

(302) 744-4549

District of
Colombia

Vital Records Division
899 North Capitol St. NE, First
Floor
Washington, DC 20002

Florida

Dept. of Health Bureau of Vital
Statistics
P.O. Box 210 1217 Pearl St. (Zip
32202)
Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
MAIL-IN REQUEST:
State Vital Records Office
2600 Skyland Dr., NE
Atlanta, GA 30319

Georgia

IN-PERSON REQUEST:
There are 159 counties in
Georgia. You can go to the
office in the county where
you were born. If you aren’t
sure, call the phone number
listed to the right.

Guam

Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 2816
Hagatna, Guam 96932

Hawaii

State Dept. of Health Office of
Health Status
Monitoring Issuance/Vital
Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, HI 96801

Idaho

Vital Records Unit Bureau of Vital
Records and
Health Statistics
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0036

Illinois

Division of Vital Records Illinois
Dept. of Public
Health 925 E Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702

Indiana

Vital Records Indiana State Dept.
of Health
P.O. Box 7125
Indianapolis, IN 46206-7125

$17.75 (Additional copies of the same birth record ordered at
the same time are $10.00 each. )

Requests sent to the State Vital Records Office require a
postal money order made payable to the “Treasurer, State of
Connecticut”
$25.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Office of Vital Statistics”

(202) 671- 5000

$23.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“DC Treasurer”

(904) 359-6900

$9.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Bureau of Vital Statistics”

(404) 679-4702
Call this phone
number if you
need the mailing
address or
telephone of a
specific county’s
Vital Records
office in Georgia.

(671)735-7292

$25.00 (Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $5.00.)
A certified check or money order should be made payable to
“ Vital Records Services”
SPECIAL NOTES: All requests for vital records include the
signature and photocopy picture ID of the requestor and the
proper fee.

$5.00
Money order should be made payable to “Treasurer of Guam”

(808) 586-4533

$10.00 (Additional copies ordered at the same time are $4.00
each.)
Cashiers check, certified check, or money order should be
made payable to “State Dept. of Health”

(208) 334- 5988

$13.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Idaho Vital Records”

(217) 782-6553

$15.00 (Additional certifications of the same record ordered at
the same time are $2.00 each. The fee for all full certified copy
is $15.00. )
Money orders, certified checks, or personal checks should be
made payable to “Illinois Dept. of Public Health”

(317) 233-2700

$10.00(Additional copies of the same birth record ordered at
the same time are $4.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Indiana State Dept. of Health”

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Iowa

Iowa Dept. of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Records Lucas
Office Building 1st Floor 321 East
12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Kansas

Office of Vital Statistics, Curtis
State Office Building 1000 SW
Jackson St., Suite 120
Topeka, Kansas 66612-2221

Kentucky

Office of Vital Statistics
Dept. for Public Health, Cabinet
for Health and Family Services
275 East Main St. 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621-0001

(515) 281-4944

$15.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Iowa Dept. of Public Health”

(785) 296-1400

$15.00(Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $15.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vital Statistics”

(502) 564- 4212

$10.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Kentucky State Treasurer”
Long form- $15.50 (suggested)
Available Louisiana (LA) Birth Certificate Types
Birth Long
A certified birth certificate that can typically be used for travel,
passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver's license,
school registration, personal identification and other legal
purposes. Birth Certificates are available for events that
occurred in the State of Louisiana within the last 100 years.

Office of Public Health Vital
Records Registry
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160

Louisiana

(504) 593-5100
Fax: (504)5688716

First Copy: $15.00 Additional Copies: $15.00
Birth Short—Card
CANNOT BE USED TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT, DRIVER'S
LICENSE OR TRAVEL. The Birth Short—Card is a wallet size
version of the Birth Certificate that can be used for
INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
First Copy: $9.00 Additional Copies: $9.00
Checks should be made payable to “ Louisiana Vital Records”
SPECIAL NOTES: Walk-in services only accept cash, check, or
money order as forms of payment (no credit or debit cards).

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Maine Center for Disease Control
and Prevention
11 State House Station 220
Capitol St.
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011
Division of Vital Records Dept. of
Health and
Mental Hygiene 6550
Reisterstown Road P.O. Box
68760 Baltimore, MD 21215-0036

Registry of Vital Records and
Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

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(207) 287-3181,
or toll-free at 1888-664-949

Certified $15.00
Non-Certified $10.00
(Additional copies of same record ordered at same time are
$6.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Treasurer, State of Maine”

(410) 260-6400

$24.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Division of Vital Records”

If your birth
certificate is from
the year 1920 or
earlier, CALL
(617) 727-2816
If your birth
certificate is from
the year 1921 or
later, CALL
(617) 740-2600

$20.00 (In-person Request)
$32.00 (Mail-In request)
Additional $3.00 for Birth Certificated from year 1920 or
earlier
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Commonwealth of Massachusetts”
SPECIAL NOTES: State office has no records previous to 1921.
For earlier records, write to The Massachusetts Archives at
Columbia Point, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125 (617)
727-2816.!

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Michigan

Minnesota

Vital Records Request
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909

Minnesota Dept. of Health
Central Cashiering – Vital
Records
P.O. Box 64499
St. Paul, MN 55164

Mississippi

Mississippi Vital Records State
Dept. of Health P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700

Missouri

Missouri Dept. of Health and
Senior Services
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Montana

Office of Vital Statistics,
MT Dept. of Public Health and
Human Services
111 N Sanders, Rm. 6
P.O. Box 4210 Helena, MT 59604

Nebraska

Nebraska Vital Records
P.O. Box 95065
Lincoln, NE 68509-5065

Nevada

Office of Vital Records
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, NV 89706

New
Hampshire

Division of Vital Records
Administration—
Archives Building
71 South Fruit St.
Concord, NH 03301-2410

To request an
application call
the recorded
message at (517)
335-8656 to
leave your name
and mailing
address with
type of
application
needed. To
speak to a
customer service
representative
call (517)- 3358666 and press
option #4

(651) 201-5970

$34.00 (Rush fee additional $12.00. Exception is Senior Citizen
age 65+ ($14.00) requesting their own birth record. Additional
copies of any record ordered at the same time are $16.00
each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“State of Michigan”

$26.00 (Additional copies of the birth record when ordered at
the same time are $19.00.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
Minnesota Dept. of Health.

To verify current
fees, the
telephone
number is (601)
576-7981. A
recorded
message may be
reached on (601)
576-7450

$15.00 (Additional copies of same record ordered at the same
time are $5.00 each.)
Personal check , bank or postal money order or bank cashier’s
check are accepted and should be made payable to
“Mississippi State Dept. of Health”

$15.00(Copies of these records are $15.00 each)
(573) 751-6387

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services”
SPECIAL NOTES: Please include a legal size self- addressed
stamped envelope.!

(406) 444- 2685

$12.00
(Additional copies of the same record requested at the same
time are $5.00.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Montana Vital Records”

(402) 471- 2871

$17.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Nebraska Vital Records”

(775) 684- 4242

$20.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Office of Vital Records”

(603) 271-4651

$15.00
Personal check or money should be made payable to
“Treasurer, State of New Hampshire”

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TOLL FREE
(866)649-8726

New Jersey

New Jersey Dept. of Health Office
of Vital Statistics and Registry
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370

(OR visit online
at
http://www.state.
nj.us/health/vital
for up-to-date
information on
ordering)

New Mexico

NM Vital Records
P.O. Box 25767
Albuquerque, NM 87125

TOLL FREE
(866) 534-0051

New York

Certification Unit Vital Records
Section, 2nd Floor
800 North Pearl St.
Menands, NY 12204

1-855-322-1022

$25.00 (Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $2.00 each.)
SPECIAL NOTES: For information on Express Mail or In
persons order visit
http://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/contact.shtml

$10.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“NM Vital Records”
$30.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“New York State Dept. of Health”
$15.00 ( Additional Copies $15.00)
SPECIAL NOTES:

New York City

NYC Health Department Office of
Vital Records
125 Worth St., CN4, Rm. 133
New York, NY 10013

(212) 639-9675

North Carolina

NC Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1903

North Dakota

ND Dept. of Health Division of
Vital Records
600 East Blvd. Ave., Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200

(701) 328- 2360

North Mariana
Islands

Commonwealth Healthcare
Corporation
Vital Statistics Office
P.O. Box 500409
Saipan, MP 96950

(670) 236-8717
or (670) 2368702

Ohio

Vital Statistics Ohio Dept. of
Health
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, OH 43215-0098

(614) 466- 2531

Oklahoma

Vital Records Service Oklahoma
State Dept. of Health
P.O. Box 53551
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Oregon

Oregon Vital Records
P.O. Box 14050
Portland, OR 97293-0050

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(919) 733- 3000

•

The office has birth records for people who were
born and/or died in the five boroughs of New York
City: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or
Staten Island.

•

Birth records issued before 1910 and death records
issued before 1949 must be ordered through the
Municipal Archives.

•

For more information please visit:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/vr-orderother.shtmlor write to Dept. of Records and
Information Services, 31 Chambers St., New York,
NY 10007.

$24.00
Business or certified check or money order should be made
payable to “NC Vital Records”
$7.00(Additional copies of birth records are $4.00)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“ND Dept. of Health”
$20.00
Money order or bank cashiers check should be made payable
to “Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation”
$21.50
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Treasury, State of Ohio”
$15.00(Additional Copies $ 15.00 each)

(405) 271-4040

(971) 673-1190

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“OSDH”
$20.00(Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $15.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“OHA/Vital Records”

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Birth Unit
101 South Mercer St., Room 401
P.O. Box 1528 New Castle, PA
16103

Dept. of Health Demographic
Registry
P.O. Box 11854
Fernández Juncos Station
San Juan, PR 00910

Rhode Island

RI Dept. of Health Office of Vital
Records, Room 101
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

South Carolina

Office of Vital Records, SCDHEC
2600 Bull St.
Columbia, SC 29201

South Dakota

Vital Records, State Dept. of
Health
207 E Missouri Ave, Suite 1-A
Pierre, SD 57501

Tennessee

Texas

Tennessee Vital Records Central
Services Building 4215th Ave.
North Nashville, TN 37243

Texas Vital Records Dept. of
State Health
Services
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040

$20.00
(724) 656-3100

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vital Records”
$5.00($4.00 each additional copy requested on the same
application. Registrants over 60 years of age and Veterans of
the United States Armed Forces can obtain copies of their
birth records free of charge.)

(787) 765-2929
Ext. 6131

Payment method via money orders, which should be made
payable to the “Secretary of Treasury”
SPECIAL NOTES: Maximum three (3) copies per registrant per
year. Beneficiaries of a Veteran of the United States Armed
Forces can obtain copies of their death records free of charge
(widow or children under 21 years of age).

To verify current
fees after office
hours, the
telephone
number is (401)
222-2811.
To verify current
fees and general
information
during office
hours, please call
the Health Hot
Line at (401) 2225960

(803) 898-3630

$20.00(Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $15.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Rhode Island General Treasurer”

$12.00(Additional copies of the same birth records ordered at
the same time of certification are $3.00 each.)
Acceptable method of payment is a money order or cashiers
check made payable to “SCDHEC- Vital Records.”

(605) 773-4961

$15.00
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“South Dakota Dept. of Health.”

(615) 741- 1763

Long term- $15.00
Short term- $ 8.00
(Additional copies of the same birth, marriage, or divorce
record requested at the same time are $5.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Tennessee Vital Records”

(512) 776- 7111

$22.00 (Additional copies of the birth record ordered at same
time are $22.00 each.)
Mail-in requests must be made by personal check or money
order made payable to DSHS.
$20.00 (Additional copies, when requested at the same time,
are $8.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vital Records”

Utah

Certification Unit
Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012

(801) 538-6105

SPECIAL NOTES:
•
Identification is now required for the purchase of a Utah
Birth Certificate.
•
Mailed request must include an enlarged and easily
identifiable photocopy of the front and back of your ID.
•
If no proofs are enclosed, your application will be
returned.

PAGE 95 OF 1210

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

Vermont

VT Dept. of Health Vital Records
Section
P.O. Box 70 108 Cherry St.
Burlington, VT 05402-0070

$10.00
(802) 863-7275

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vermont Dept. of Health”
$12.00

Virginia

Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000

(804) 662-6200

Personal check or money order should be made payable to “
State Health Department”
SPECIAL NOTES: Must submit a photocopy of their ID.

Virgin Islands

Dept. of Health Vital Statistics,
Charles Harwood Memorial
Hospital
St. Croix, VI 00820

$15.00 (mail requests)
$12.00 (in person)
(340) 774-9000
ext. 4685 or
4686

Money order for birth records should be made payable to
“Department of Health”
SPECIAL NOTES: Personal checks are not accepted

Washington

Center for Health Statistics
Department of Health
P.O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98504-7814

West Virginia

Vital Registration Office, Room
165
350 Capitol St.
Charleston, WV 25301-3701

$20.00(For Expedited Delivery must add Express Mail, an
additional $18.30)
(360) 236- 4300

(304) 558-2931
VitalChek Phone:
(877) 448-3953
Fax: (866) 8708723
For automated
assistance 24
hours a day, 7
days a week, you
can call (608)
266-1371

Wisconsin

WI Vital Records Office
1 West Wilson St. P.O. Box 309
Madison, WI 53701-0309

If you want to
talk to an actual
person, you can
call the service
counter during
the hours of 8:00
A.M. to 4:15 P.M.
(Central
Standard Time),
Monday through
Friday at (608)
266-1373

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Department of Health”
$12.00(By Mail or In Person)
$30.50 + shipping (By Phone, Internet, or Fax)(Non-Rush Fee
Charged by VitalChek)
$35.50 + shipping (Rush Fee Charged by Vital Chek)
SPECIAL NOTES: Can order in person, by mail, by phone,
Internet or fax (Credit Card/ Debit Card Only). Personal check
or money order should be made payable to “Vital Registration”

$20.00 (Additional copies of the same record ordered at the
same time are $3.00 each.)
Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“State of Wisconsin Vital Records”
SPECIAL NOTES: A stamped, self addressed business size
(#10) envelope should be include with the request. A copy of
valid photo ID and a signature is required of the applicant.

$13.00

Wyoming

PAGE 96 OF 1210

Vital Statistics Services
Hathaway Building
2300 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Personal check or money order should be made payable to
“Vital Statistics Services"
(307) 777-7591

SPECIAL NOTES: Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped
envelope with the request. All personal checks are only
accepted when: (1) the requestor is entitled to the record and
the check in personalized and on the account of the person
making the request; (2) third party or non-bank checks will not
be processed.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

APPENDIX C
Application for Replacement
Naturalization/Citizenship Document,
Form N-565
See next page.

PAGE 97 OF 1210

!

OMB No. 1615-0091; Expires 02/28/2015

Form N-565, Application for Replacement
Naturalization/Citizenship Document

Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

START HERE - Please type or print in black ink
Part 1.
Information about you.
Family Name

Given Name

For USCIS Use Only
Receipt

Returned
Middle Name

Address - In care of:
Street Number and Name

Apt. Number

City or Town

Resubmitted

State or Province
Zip or Postal Code

Country
Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)

Country of Birth

Certificate Number

A-Number

Telephone Number (with area/country codes)

E-Mail Address (if any)

Reloc Sent

Reloc Rec'd

Part 2. Type of application
1. I hereby apply for: (check one)
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

New Certificate of Citizenship
New Certificate of Naturalization
New Certificate of Repatriation
New Declaration of Intention
Special Certificate of Naturalization to obtain recognition of my U.S. citizenship by a
foreign country. (Skip Number 2 and go to Part 3)

2. Basis for application: (Refer to the instructions for additional information.)
a.

Applicant
Interviewed

Declaration of Intention verified by
Citizenship verified by

My certificate is/was lost, stolen or destroyed (attach a copy of the certificate if you
have one). Explain when, where and how.
Remarks

b.
c.
d.

My certificate is mutilated (attach the certificate).
My name has been changed (attach the certificate).
My certificate or declaration is incorrect (attach the document(s)).

Part 3. Processing information
Marital
Male
Height
Single
Status
Female
Married
My last certificate or Declaration of Intention was issued to me by:
USCIS Office or Name of Court:
Date (mm/dd/yyyy):

Gender

Widowed
Divorced
Action Block

Name in which the document was issued:
Other names I have used (if none, so indicate):
Since becoming a citizen, have you lost your citizenship in any manner?
No

Yes (attach an explanation)

Part 4. Complete if applying for a new document because of a name
change
Name changed to present name by: (check one)
Marriage or divorce on (mm/dd/yyyy)
(Attach a copy of marriage or divorce certificate)
Court Decree (mm/dd/yyyy)
(Attach a copy of the court decree)

To Be Completed by
Attorney or Representative, if any.
Fill in box if Form G-28 is attached
to represent the applicant.
VOLAG No.
ATTY State License Number
Form N-565 (Rev. 02/28/13) Y

!

Part 5. Complete if applying to correct your document
If you are applying for a new certificate or Declaration of Intention because your current one is incorrect, explain why it is incorrect and attach copies
of the documents supporting your request.

Part 6. Complete if applying for a special certificate of recognition as a citizen of the U.S. by the
government of a foreign country
Name of Foreign Country
Information about official of the country who has requested this certificate (if known)
Name

Official Title

Government Agency:
Suite Number

Address: Street Number and Name
City

State/Province

Country

Zip or Postal Code

Part 7. Signature

Read the information on penalties in the instructions before completing this part. If you are going to file this
application at a USCIS office in the United States sign below. If you are going to file this application at a USCIS
office abroad, sign it in front of a USCIS or Consular Official.

I certify, or if outside the United States, I swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that this application
and the evidence submitted with it is all true and correct. I authorize the release of any information from my records which U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services needs to determine eligibility for the benefit I am seeking.
Signature

Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Signature of USCIS
or Consular Official
NOTE:

Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Print Your Name

If you do not completely fill out this form or fail to submit required documents listed in the instructions, you may not be found eligible
for a certificate and this application may be denied.

Part 8. Signature of person preparing form, if other than the applicant
I declare that I prepared this application at the request of the applicant and it is based on all information of which I have knowledge.
Signature
Firm Name and Address

Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Print Your Name

Telephone Number (with area code)

E-Mail Address (if any)

Form N-565 (Rev. 02/28/13) Y Page 2

ROADMAP TO REENTRY

APPENDIX D
Application for a Social Security Card,
Form SS-5
See next page.

PAGE 100 OF 1210

!

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Application for a Social Security Card
NAME

!
Form Approved
OMB No. 0960-0066

First

Full Middle Name

Last

First

Full Middle Name

Last

TO BE SHOWN ON CARD

1

FULL NAME AT BIRTH
IF OTHER THAN ABOVE
OTHER NAMES USED

2

Social Security number previously assigned to the person
listed in item 1

3

PLACE
OF BIRTH

5

(Do Not Abbreviate)

Office
Use
Only

City

State or Foreign Country

CITIZENSHIP
( Check One )

9
10
11
12

7

Are You Hispanic or Latino?
(Your Response is Voluntary)

Yes

8

RACE
Select One or More
(Your Response is Voluntary)

-

FCI

Male

SEX

MM/DD/YYYY
Other (See
Instructions On
Page 3)

Legal Alien Not Allowed
To Work(See
Instructions On Page 3)

Native Hawaiian

American Indian

Other Pacific
Islander

Alaska Native

Black/African
American

White

Asian

No

DATE
OF
BIRTH

4

Legal Alien
Allowed To
Work

U.S. Citizen

ETHNICITY

6

-

Female

First
A. PARENT/ MOTHER'S
NAME AT HER BIRTH
B. PARENT/ MOTHER'S SOCIAL
SECURITY NUMBER (See instructions for 9 B on Page 3)
First
A. PARENT/ FATHER'S
NAME
B. PARENT/ FATHER'S SOCIAL SECURITY
NUMBER (See instructions for 10B on Page 3)

Full Middle Name

-

Last

-

Full Middle Name

-

Unknown
Last

-

Unknown

Has the person listed in item 1 or anyone acting on his/her behalf ever filed for or received a Social Security number
card before?
Yes (If "yes" answer questions 12-13)

No

Don't Know (If "don't know," skip to question 14.)

Name shown on the most recent Social
Security card issued for the person
listed in item 1

First

Full Middle Name

any different date of birth if used on an
13 Enter
earlier application for a card

TODAY'S

14 DATE

Last

MM/DD/YYYY

DAYTIME PHONE

15 NUMBER

MM/DD/YYYY

Area Code

Number

Street Address, Apt. No., PO Box, Rural Route No.

16 MAILING ADDRESS

City

State/Foreign Country

ZIP Code

(Do Not Abbreviate)
I declare under penalty of perjury that I have examined all the information on this form, and on any accompanying statements or forms,
and it is true and correct to the best to my knowledge.

17 YOUR SIGNATURE

18

YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE PERSON IN ITEM 1 IS:
Natural Or
Adoptive Parent

Self

Legal Guardian

Other

Specify

DO NOT WRITE BELOW THIS LINE (FOR SSA USE ONLY )
NPN
PBC

DOC
EVI

EVA

EVC

NTI

CAN

PRA

NWR

ITV
DNR

UNIT

SIGNATURE AND TITLE OF EMPLOYEE(S) REVIEWING
EVIDENCE AND/OR CONDUCTING INTERVIEW

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED

DATE
DCL

Form SS-5 (08-2011) ef (08-2011)

Destroy Prior Editions

Page 5

DATE

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

APPENDIX E
A complete list of documents that the
DMV accepts to prove legal presence
•
•
•
•
•
•

PAGE 102 OF 1210

U.S. Birth Certificate
U.S. Passport
U.S. Armed Forces ID Card
Certificate of Naturalization
Permanent Resident Card
Foreign passport with a valid I-94 (The I-94 expiration date must be more
than 2 months from the Driver License/ID card application date)

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

APPENDIX F
Verification for Reduced Fee Identification
Card, Form DL 937
See next page.

PAGE 103 OF 1210

!

Request for Status Information Letter
I am requesting a Status Information Letter. I am a male who is not registered with Selective
Service. I am now 26 years old or older, and was born after December 31, 1959.

Section 1:
Name

First

Middle

List any other names used

Last
Include any multiple last names

Current Mailing Address

Street Address
City

State

Zip Code

Social Security Number
Date of Birth

Month / Day / Year

Daytime Telephone Number
E-mail Address

Section 2:
MILITARY:
List dates of active duty service:
to
List dates of reserve duty service:
to
List dates of military school service:
to
Military school attended:
Attach copy of DD214 (or DD Form 4 if still on active duty)
INCARCERATED, INSTITUTIONALIZED, HOSPITALIZED, OR CONFINED TO HOME:
List dates during which you were (circle appropriate situation) incarcerated,
to
,
Attach proof of each instance

to

,

to

!

NON CITIZEN / UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT

Month / Day / Year

USCIS (Formerly INS) status at time of entry:
List all alien status(es) held since entering the country, and give dates:
(Attach separate sheet if necessary)
to
to
to
to

USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:

Attach copies of supporting documentation (see following information sheet for
detailed instructions regarding this)
TRANSSEXUAL:
At birth my gender was:
REASON WHY YOU FAILED TO REGISTER WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE UPON
REACHING AGE 18 AND BEFORE REACHING AGE 26:

Section 3:
Print, sign and date, then send this letter, together with ALL copies of required documents and
any other supporting information you may wish to include to:
Selective Service System
ATTN: SIL
PO Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638

Signature

Date

No action can be taken until we receive ALL of the information/documentation needed. You
should retain a copy of all documents and correspondence submitted to us.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY

APPENDIX G
Court-Ordered Debt Payment Instructions
Western Union is the only payment option COD offers to expedite the release.
If you have any other referring court-ordered liabilities, they must also be paid. To
expedite the release:
• Call the referring office that placed the hold on your driver license and ask: “Does
your office accept Western Union payment in full through COD to expedite the
release of my license?”
• If the answer is yes, then pay your COD account in full through Western
Union and provide COD with the Western Union Money Transfer Control Number
(MTCN).
• If the answer is no, ask the referring office if they accept other payment options
to expedite the release.
WESTERN UNION
This service charges a fee.
• Go to Western Union—Send Money to pay online, in person, or by phone.
o Check Pay A Bill box
o Provide one of the following:
" Company name: CA Franchise Tax Board
" City code (no spaces): FranchiseTaxBoard
o Account number: Enter account number
o Attention: Court-Ordered Debt
o Amount: Enter payment amount
o Speed: Check Urgent box
• Once payment is complete, Western Union will give you a Money Transfer
Control Number (MTCN).
• Call COD at 916.845.4064 and provide your MTCN to verify payment.
WEB PAY
Login to My COD Account online
(https://www.ftb.ca.gov/online/Court_Ordered_Debt/index.asp) and go to
“Pay Now.” Have the following information ready:
• Your COD account number
• Billing number on your COD notice
• Bank account holder last name
• Checking or savings account number and routing number
CREDIT CARD
This service charges a fee. Have the following information ready:
• Jurisdiction Code: 1584
• Payment type: Court-Ordered Debt Payment
• Your COD account number
• Billing number on your COD notice
• Pay online: Go to Official Payments—Make a Payment and select State Payments.
• Pay by phone: Call 800.272.9829 and select option 2 State Payments.
CHECK, MONEY ORDER, OR CASHIER’S CHECK
•
•
•

Pay to Court-Ordered Debt Collections.
Write your full name, account number, and billing number on your payment.
Mail your payment and the top portion of your notice to: Court-Ordered Debt
Collections, Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 1328, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-1328

PAGE 106 OF 1210

!

!

APPENDIX H
A full list of acceptable identity and
residency verification documents
See next page.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

AB 60 – Document Options for a California Driver License
Customers applying for a driver license must provide Proof of Identity and California Residency if they do not have
satisfactory proof of legal presence. Use the following guideline to help you determine the documents that are
needed when applying for a driver license.

PROOF OF IDENTITY:
ONE (1) OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS
California Driver License or California Identification Card:
California Driver License (issued 10/2000 or later)
California Identification Card (issued 10/2000 or later)
Foreign Document that is valid, approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and electronically verified
by DMV with the country of origin:
Mexican Federal Electoral Card (Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) Credencial para Votar – 2013 version)
Mexican Passport (issued in 2008 or later)
Mexican Consular Card (Matricula Consular - 2006 and 2014 versions)
Foreign Passport that is valid and approved by DMV (see page 4 & 5 for list of DMV approved passports). The
customer must also provide his/her social security number that is electronically verifiable with the Social Security
Administration.
-----OR-----TWO (2) DOCUMENTS FROM TABLE A
--OR-ONE (1) DOCUMENT FROM TABLE A AND ONE (1) DOCUMENT FROM TABLE B
Table A
Table B
Foreign Document that is valid and approved by DMV:
Foreign Birth Certificate
that is a certified copy
Argentinian Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) – 2012
issued by a national civil
version)
registry within six (6)
Chilean Identification Card (Cedula de Identidad – 2013 version)
months of the
application date (for a
El Salvadorian Identification Card (Documento Unico de Identidad (DUI) – 2010
CA driver license) that
version)
contains an embedded
Peruvian Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) – 2010
photo of the applicant;
version)
Guatemalan National Identification Card (Documento Personal de Identificacion
(DPI) – 2012 version)
Guatemalan Consular Card (Tarjeta de Identificacion Consular– 2002 version)
Brazilian Consular Card (Carteira de Matricula Consular – 2010 version)
Foreign Passports (see pages 4 & 5 for list of DMV approved passports)
1
Revised December 11, 2014

PAGE 108 OF 1210

OR
Foreign Birth Certificate
that is accompanied by
an Apostille
authentication and
translated.

!

AB 60 – Document Options for a California Driver License
Customers applying for a driver license must provide Proof of Identity and California Residency if they do not have
satisfactory proof of legal presence. Use the following guideline to help you determine the documents that are
needed when applying for a driver license.
-----OR-----SECONDARY REVIEW
AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS
The applicant shall submit as many as possible of the following documents that will be reviewed by DMV to verify
the  applicant’s  identity.
School documents, including any document issued by a public or private primary, secondary, or post-secondary
institution,  college,  or  university  that  either  includes  the  applicant’s  date  of  birth,  or  if  a  foreign  school  
document, is sealed by the school and includes a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued.
Documents issued by or filed with a government within the United States (U.S.) or the U.S. government,
including:
1. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-589, (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of
Removal).
2. U.S. DHS Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and
Language Students or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status – For Vocational
Students).
3. U.S. DHS Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status).
4. Court documents where the applicant is named as a party to the court proceeding.
5. Income tax returns.
6. Driver’s  license.
Documents pertaining to civil marital status or civil unity, including marriage licenses or domestic partner
registrations. If the language on the marriage license is in a language other than English, the marriage license
shall be accompanied by a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English.
Divorce decrees. If the language on the decree is in a language other than English, the decree shall be
accompanied by a certified translation or an affidavit of translation into English.
Foreign  passport,  consular  identification  card,  foreign  national  identification  card,  or  a  foreign  driver’s  license.    
If  the  foreign  driver’s  license  is  in  a  language  other  than  English,  it  shall  be  accompanied  by  a  certified  
translation or an affidavit of translation into English.
Identification cards that contain a photograph of the applicant issued by a government within the U.S. or the
U.S. government.
Birth documents including a birth certificate or adoption records.
Any of the above  documents  that  list  the  applicant’s  spouse,  domestic  partner,  child,  parent,  or  legal  guardian  
provided the applicant also provides a birth certificate, adoption records, marriage license, or domestic partner
registration to trace the relationship.

2
Revised December 11, 2014

!

AB 60 – Document Options for a California Driver License
Customers applying for a driver license must provide Proof of Identity and California Residency if they do not have
satisfactory proof of legal presence. Use the following guideline to help you determine the documents that are
needed when applying for a driver license.

----AND----

PROOF OF CALIFORNIA RESIDENCY
ONE (1) OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS
All residency documents must  list  the  applicant’s  first  and  last  name,  and  California  residence  address  with  the  
exception of the last three (3) items below.
Rental or lease agreements with the signatures of the owner/landlord and the tenant/resident.
Deeds or titles to residential real property.
Mortgage bills.
Home utility bills including cellular phone bills.
School documents.
Medical documents.
Employment documents.
Faith based documents.
Insurance documents, including medical, dental, vision, life, home, rental, and vehicle.
Internal Revenue Service or California Franchise Tax Board tax returns.
California Certificates of Vehicle or Vessel Titles or registrations.
California  driver’s  licenses  or  identification  cards.
Change of Address Confirmations by the U.S. Postal Service (Form CNL 107).
Federal government-issued documents.
A property tax bill or statement.
Records of a financial institution.
The  following  documents  do  not  need  to  have  the  customer’s California residence address:
Court documents that list the applicant as a resident of California.
A letter, on letterhead from a homeless shelter, a shelter for abused women, a nonprofit entity, a faith based
organization, an employer, or a government within the U.S. attesting that the applicant resides in California.
A parent, legal guardian, or child may use a birth certificate and a spouse or domestic partner may use a
marriage license or domestic partner registration certificate to trace his or her relationship to the individual to
whom one of the above residency documents has been addressed.
3
Revised December 11, 2014

!

Approved Foreign Passports
Country Name
Afghanistan
Albania
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Cabo Verde
Cambodia
Canada
Cayman Islands
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Costa Rica
Cote  D’Ivoire
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea

Issued In/After

Country Name

2011
2009
2009
2001
2005
2006
2013
2010
2011
2010
2006
2006
2005
2010
2009
2010
2006
2008
2010
2008
2005
2005
2010
2008
2013
2007
10/2009
2008
2008
2009
2006
2008
2009
2010
2005
2012
2006
2013
2008
2009
2011
2010

Estonia
Fiji Islands
Finland
France
Gabon
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Indonesia
Interpol
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kosovo
Latvia
Libya
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao
Macedonia, FYR
Madagascar
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico
Mongolia
Montenegro
4

Revised December 11, 2014

Issued In/After
2005
2012
2006
2006
2009
2005
2007
2010
2006
2011
2008
2005
2006
2006
2006
2008
2006
2008
2009
2011
2009
2006
2011
2006
2009
2006
2009
2008
2008
2007
2009
2006
2006
2009
2008
2007
2010
2013
2008
2008
2011
2008

!

Approved Foreign Passports
Country Name
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Norway
Palau
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saint Helena
Saint Kitts and Nevis
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe

Issued In/After

Country Name
Senegal
Serbia
Sierra Leone
Slovakia
Slovenia
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
South Sudan
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Virgin Islands (British)
Zambia

2009
2010
2010
2010
2006
2009
2010
2007
2005
2008
2008
2010
2012
2010
2010
2006
2006
2008
2008
2010
2012
2010
2009
2008

**Please note this document is subject to change

5
Revised December 11, 2014

Issued In/After
2008
2008
2010
2005
2006
2007
2009
2008
2012
2006
2005
2006
12/28/2009
2010
2009
2010
2008
2007
2011
2006
2009
2010
2008
2007
2008

APPENDIX I
A full list of countries that issue CIDs
ARGENTINA
Matrícula Consular Argentina
www.embassyofargentina.us/espanol/consuladosargentinoseneeuu/consulados
argentinoseneeuu.htm
Embassy: (202) 238-6401

BRAZIL
Matrícula de Cidadão Brasileiro
www.brasilemb.org/consulado/consular_jurisdictions.shtml
Embassy: (202) 238-2828

COLOMBIA
Tarjeta de Registro Consular
http://www.colombiaemb.org/opencms/opencms/consulates/consulates.html
Embassy: (202) 387-8338

GUATEMALA
Tarjeta de Identificación Consular
http://www.guatemala-embassy.org/main.php?parent_id=7&id_area=109
Embassy: (202) 745-4952

GUINEA
http://www.guineaembassy.com
Embassy: (202) 986-4300

MALI
Carte d’Identité Consulaire
http://www.maliembassy.us
Embassy: (202) 332-2249
Consulate General of Mali in NY: (212) 737-4150

MEXICO
Mexican Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad
To find your consulate, visit http://www.embassyofmexico.org or
http://directorio.gob.mx and click on Relaciones Exteriores, Embajadas y
Consulados, Consulados de México en el extranjero.
Embassy: (202) 728-1600

!

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

SENEGAL
Carte Consulaire
http://www.senegalembassy-us.org/enOurReps.htm
Embassy: (202) 234-0540 or (202) 234-0541

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Contact your local consulate for more information http://www.domrep.org
Embassy: (202) 332-6280

ECUADOR
http://www.ecuador.us/info/consulate.htm
Embassy: (202) 234-7200 ext. 224

EL SALVADOR
http://www.elsalvador.org/home.nsf/infoconsular
Embassy: (202) 265-9671

HONDURAS
http://www.hondurasemb.org
Embassy: (202) 737-2972/78

NIGERIA
Atlanta
http://www.nigeria-consulate-atl.org
(770) 394-6261
New York
http://www.nigeria-consulate-ny.org
(212) 850-2200
Embassy: (202) 986-8400

PAKISTAN
Consulate General of Pakistan
http://www.pakistanconsulateny.org
(212) 879-5800

PERU
Documento Nacional de Identificación
Peruvian consulates do not offer consular ID cards. However, their national ID
may be accepted as form of ID by some institutions or companies.
http://www.consuladoperu.com/archivos/ jurisdicciones.com
Information Hotline: (800) 535-3953
Embassy: (202) 833–9860/69

PAGE 114 OF 1210

APPENDIX J
U.S. Passport Renewal Application,
Form DS-82
See next page.

!

!

U.S. PASSPORT RENEWAL APPLICATION FOR ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS
PLEASE DETACH AND RETAIN THIS INSTRUCTION SHEET FOR YOUR RECORDS

Date of Application:_____________________

CAN I USE THIS FORM?
Complete the checklist to determine your eligibility to use this form
I can submit my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport
card with this application.

Yes

No

I was at least 16 years old when my most recent U.S. passport book
and/or passport card was issued.

Yes

No

I was issued my most recent U.S. passport book and/or passport
card less than 15 years ago.

Yes

No

My most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card that
I am renewing has not been lost, stolen, mutilated, or damaged.

Yes

No

My U.S. passport has not been limited from the normal ten year
validity period due to passport damage/mutilation, multiple passport
thefts/losses, or non-compliance with 22 C.F.R. 51.41. (Please
refer to the back pages of your U.S. passport book for endorsement
information.)

Yes

No

Yes

No

I use the same name as on my recent U.S. passport book and/or
U.S. passport card.
--OR-I have had my name changed by marriage or court order and can
submit proper documentation to reflect my name change.

If you answered NO to any of the statements above,
STOP - You cannot use this form!
You must apply on application form DS-11 by making a personal appearance before an acceptance agent
authorized to accept passport applications. Visit travel.state.gov to find your nearest acceptance facility.
U.S. PASSPORTS, EITHER IN BOOK OR CARD FORMAT, ARE ISSUED ONLY TO U.S. CITIZENS OR NON-CITIZEN NATIONALS. EACH PERSON
MUST OBTAIN HIS OR HER OWN U.S. PASSPORT BOOK OR PASSPORT CARD. THE PASSPORT CARD IS A U.S. PASSPORT ISSUED IN CARD
FORMAT. LIKE THE TRADITIONAL PASSPORT BOOK, IT REFLECTS THE BEARER'S ORIGIN, IDENTITY, AND NATIONALITY AND IS SUBJECT TO
EXISTING PASSPORT LAWS AND REGULATIONS. UNLIKE THE PASSPORT BOOK, THE PASSPORT CARD IS VALID ONLY FOR ENTRY TO THE
UNITED STATES AT LAND BORDER CROSSINGS AND SEA PORTS OF ENTRY WHEN TRAVELING FROM CANADA, MEXICO, THE CARIBBEAN,
AND BERMUDA. THE U.S. PASSPORT CARD IS NOT VALID FOR INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL.
PLEASE NOTE: YOUR NEW PASSPORT WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT PASSPORT NUMBER THAN YOUR PREVIOUS PASSPORT.

INFORMATION, QUESTIONS, AND INQUIRIES
Please visit our website at travel.state.gov. In addition, you may contact the National Passport Information
Center (NPIC) toll-free at 1-877-487-2778 (TDD: 1-888-874-7793) or by email at NPIC@state.gov. Customer
Service Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8:00a.m.-10:00p.m. Eastern Time (excluding federal
holidays.) Automated information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
FAILURE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION REQUESTED ON THIS FORM, INCLUDING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER,
MAY RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT PROCESSING DELAYS AND/OR THE DENIAL OF YOUR APPLICATION.
NOTICE TO APPLICANTS RESIDING ABROAD
United States citizens residing abroad CANNOT submit this form to the domestic address listed on the Instruction Page 2. Such applicants should contact the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for procedures to be followed when applying overseas.
WARNING: False statements made knowingly and willfully in passport applications, including affidavits or other documents submitted to support
this application, are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment under U.S. law, including the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1001, 18 U.S.C. 1542, and/or 18
U.S.C. 1621. Alteration or mutilation of a passport issued pursuant to this application is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment under the
provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1543. The use of a passport in violation of the restrictions contained therein or of the passport regulations is punishable
by fine and/or imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. 1544. All statements and documents are subject to verification.

See page 2 of the instructions for detailed information on the completion and submission of this form.
DS-82 08-2013

!

Instruction Page 1 of 4

!

WHAT DO I SEND WITH THIS APPLICATION FORM?
Your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card;
A certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order if your name has changed;
Fees; and
A recent color photograph.

See below for more detailed information.
1. YOUR MOST RECENTLY ISSUED U.S. PASSPORT (BOOK AND/OR CARD FORMAT).
Submit your most recently issued U.S. passport book and/or card. When submitting a U.S. passport book and/or card with this form, please verify that the
document was issued at age 16 or older in your current name (or see item #2 below) and issued within the past 15 years. You are also eligible to use this form if
you currently have a U.S. passport book and/or card that complies with the previously listed criteria, and would like to obtain a alternative product (U.S. passport
book and/or card) for the first time. However, you must submit the product you currently have (U.S. passport book and/or card) with this application. If your U.S.
passport book and/or card has been lost, stolen, damaged, or mutilated, you must apply on the DS-11 application form as specified below.
2. A CERTIFIED MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE OR COURT ORDER. (PHOTOCOPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED)
If the name you are currently using differs from the name on your most recent U.S. passport, you must submit a certified copy of your marriage certificate or
court order showing the change of name. All documents will be returned to you by mail. If you are unable to document your name change in this manner, you
must apply on the DS-11 application form by making a personal appearance at (1) a passport agency; (2) U.S. Embassy or Consulate, if abroad; (3) any federal
or state court of record or any probate court accepting passport applications; (4) a designated municipal or county official; or (5) a post office, which has been
selected to accept passport applications.
3. THE CURRENT PASSPORT FEE.
Enclose the fee in the form of a personal check or money order. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO "U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE." THE FULL NAME
AND DATE OF BIRTH OF THE APPLICANT MUST BE TYPED OR PRINTED ON THE FRONT OF THE CHECK. DO NOT SEND CASH. Passport Services
cannot be responsible for cash sent through the mail. By law, the fees are non-refundable. Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for detailed information
regarding current fees.
OVERNIGHT DELIVERY SERVICE: If you desire overnight delivery service for the return of your U.S. passport, please include the appropriate fee with your
payment.
FASTER PROCESSING: For an additional fee, you may request expedited service. Please include this fee in your payment and submit the application to the
appropriate address. Please write "Expedite" on the outer envelope when mailing. Also, TO ENSURE MINIMAL PROCESSING TIME for expedited
passport book applications, Passport Services recommends using overnight delivery when submitting the application AND including the appropriate
postage fee for return overnight delivery for the newly issued passport book. Expedited service is available only in the United States. Overnight return
delivery is only available for passport books. Please visit travel.state.gov for updated information regarding fees, processing times, or to check the status of
your passport application online.
4. A RECENT COLOR PHOTOGRAPH.
Submit a color photograph of you alone, sufficiently recent to be a good likeness of you (taken within the last six months), and 2x2 inches in size. The
image size measured from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head (including hair) should not be less than 1 inch, and not more than 1 3/8 inches. The
photograph must be color, clear, with a full front view of your face, and printed on thin paper with plain light (white or off-white) background. The photograph
must be taken in normal street attire, without a hat, head covering, or dark glasses unless a signed statement is submitted by the applicant verifying the item is
worn daily for religious purposes or a signed doctor's statement is submitted verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes. Headphones, "bluetooth", or
similar devices must not be worn in the passport photograph. Any photograph retouched so that your appearance is changed is unacceptable. A snapshot,
most vending machine prints, and magazine or full-length photographs are unacceptable. A digital photo must meet the previously stated qualifications, and will
be accepted for use at the discretion of Passport Services. Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for details and information.

WHERE DO I MAIL THIS APPLICATION?
FOR ROUTINE SERVICE:
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90155
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

FOR EXPEDITED SERVICE (Additional Fee):
National Passport Processing Center
Post Office Box 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

Due to the sensitivity of the enclosed documents, Passport Services recommends using trackable mailing service when submitting your application.
NOTE REGARDING MAILING ADDRESSES: Passport Services will not mail a passport to a private address outside the United States. If you do not live at the
address listed in the "mailing address", then you must put the name of the person and mark it as "In Care Of." If your mailing address changes prior to receipt of
your new passport, please contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at 1-877-487-2778 or visit travel.state.gov.
NOTE: You may receive your newly issued document and your returned citizenship evidence in separate mailings. If you are applying for both a passport book
and/or card, you may receive three separate mailings; one with your returned citizenship evidence; one with your newly issued passport book, and one with
your newly printed passport card.
If you choose to provide your email address in Item #6 on this application, Passport Services may use that address to contact you in the event there is a problem
with your application or if additional information is required.
DS-82 08-2013
Instruction Page 2 of 4

!

!

FEDERAL TAX LAW

Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26 USC 6039E) requires you to provide your Social Security number (SSN), if you have one, when
you apply for a U.S. passport or renewal of a U.S. passport. If you have not been issued a SSN, enter zeros in box #5 of this form. If you are
residing abroad, you must also provide the name of the foreign country in which you are residing. The U.S. Department of State must provide your
SSN and foreign residence information to the U.S. Department of Treasury. If you fail to provide the information, you are subject to a $500 penalty
enforced by the IRS. All questions on this matter should be directed to the nearest IRS office.

NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS APPLYING OUTSIDE A STATE DEPARTMENT FACILITY
If you send us a check, it will be converted into an electronic funds transfer (EFT). This means we will copy your check and use the account
information on it to electronically debit your account for the amount of the check. The debit from your account will usually occur within 24 hours and
will be shown on your regular account statement.
You will not receive your original check back. We will destroy your original check, but we will keep the copy of it. If the EFT cannot be processed
for technical reasons, you authorize us to process the copy in place of your original check. If the EFT cannot be completed because of insufficient
funds, we may try to make the transfer up to two times, and we will charge you a one-time fee of $25, which we will also collect by EFT.

REMITTANCE OF FEES
Passport service fees are established by law and regulation (see 22 U.S.C. 214, 22 C.F.R. 22.1, and 22 C.F.R. 51.50-56), and are collected at the
time you apply for the passport service. If the Department fails to receive full payment of the applicable fees because, for example, your check is
returned for any reason or you dispute a passport fee charge to your credit card, the U.S. Department of State will take action to collect the
delinquent fees from you under 22 C.F.R. Part 34, and the Federal Claims Collection Standards (see 31 C.F.R. Parts 900-904). In accordance with
the Debt Collection Improvement Act (Pub.L. 104-134), if the fees remain unpaid after 180 days and no repayment arrangements have been made,
the Department will refer the debt to the U.S. Department of Treasury for collection. Debt collection procedures used by the U.S. Department of
Treasury may include referral of the debt to private collection agencies, reporting of the debt to credit bureaus, garnishment of private wages and
administrative offset of the debt by reducing, or withholding eligible federal payments (e.g., tax refunds, social security payments, federal retirement,
etc.) by the amount of your debt, including any interest penalties or other costs incurred. In addition, non-payment of passport fees may result in
the invalidation of your U.S. passport book and/or card. An invalidated passport card cannot be used for travel.

OTHER USES OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Your Social Security number will be provided to the U.S. Department of Treasury, used in connection with debt collection and checked against lists
of persons ineligible or potentially ineligible to receive a U.S. passport book and/or card, among other authorized uses.

NOTICE TO APPLICANTS FOR OFFICIAL, DIPLOMATIC, OR NO-FEE PASSPORTS
You may use this application if you meet all of the provisions listed on Instruction Page 2, however, you must CONSULT YOUR SPONSORING
AGENCY FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON PROPER ROUTING PROCEDURES BEFORE FORWARDING THIS APPLICATION. Your completed
passport will be released to your sponsoring agency for forwarding to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO APPLICANTS WHO HAVE LOST OR HAD A PREVIOUS U.S. PASSPORT BOOK
AND/OR PASSPORT CARD STOLEN
A United States citizen may not normally bear more than one valid or potentially valid U.S. passport book or more than one valid or potentially valid
U.S. passport card at a time. Therefore, when a valid or potentially valid U.S. passport book or U.S passport card cannot be presented with a new
application, it is necessary to submit a Form DS-64, Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen U.S. Passport. Your statement must detail why the
previous U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card cannot be presented.
The information you provide regarding your lost or stolen U.S. passport book or passport card will be placed into our Consular Lost or Stolen
Passport System. This system is designed to prevent the misuse of your lost or stolen U.S. passport book or passport card. Anyone using the
passport book or passport card reported as lost or stolen may be detained upon entry into the United States. Should you locate the U.S. passport
book or passport card reported lost or stolen at a later time, report it as found, and submit it for cancellation. It has been invalidated. You may not
use that passport book or passport card for travel.

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT!
REPORT YOUR LOST OR STOLEN U.S. PASSPORT BOOK OR PASSPORT CARD!
For more information or to report your lost or stolen U.S. passport book or passport card by phone, call NPIC at:
1-877-487-2778 or visit our website at travel.state.gov.

SPECIAL NOTICE TO U.S. PASSPORT CARD APPLICANTS ONLY
The maximum number of letters provided for your given name (first and middle) on the U.S. passport card is 24 characters. The 24 characters may be
shortened due to printing restrictions. If both your given names are more than 24 characters, you must shorten one of your given names you list on item 1 of
this form.
DS-82 08-2013

!

Instruction Page 3 of 4

ACTS OR CONDITIONS

!

If any of the below-mentioned acts or conditions have been performed by or apply to the applicant, the portion which applies should be lined out,
and a supplementary explanatory statement under oath (or affirmation) by the applicant should be attached and made a part of this application.
I have not, since acquiring United States citizenship/nationality, been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign state; taken an oath or made an
affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state; entered or served in the armed forces of a foreign state; accepted or
performed the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof; made a formal
renunciation of nationality either in the United States, or before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state; or been
convicted by a court or court martial of competent jurisdiction of committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or
bearing arms against the United States, or conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force, the government of the United States.
Furthermore, I have not been convicted of a federal or state drug offense or convicted for "sex tourism" crimes statute, and I am not the subject of
an outstanding federal, state, or local warrant of arrest for a felony; a criminal court order forbidding my departure from the United States; a
subpoena received from the United States in a matter involving federal prosecution for, or grand jury investigation of, a felony.

PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT
AUTHORITIES: Collection of this information is authorized by 22 U.S.C. 211a et seq.; 8 U.S.C. 1104; 26 U.S.C. 6039E; Executive Order 11295
(August 5, 1966); and 22 C.F.R. parts 50 and 51.
PURPOSE: We are requesting this information in order to determine your eligibility to be issued a U.S. passport.
Your Social Security number is requested in order to verify your identity. Failure to provide your Social Security number on this form may delay
processing of your application.
ROUTINE USES: This information may be disclosed to another domestic government agency, a private contractor, a foreign government agency,
or to a private person or private employer in accordance with certain approved routine uses. These routine uses include, but are not limited to, law
enforcement activities, employment verification, fraud prevention, border security, counterterrorism, litigation activities, and activities that meet the
Secretary of State's responsibility to protect U.S. citizens and non-citizen nationals abroad.
More information on the Routine Uses for the system can be found in System of Records Notices State-05, Overseas Citizen Services Records and
State-26, Passport Records.
DISCLOSURE: Providing your Social Security number and the other information on this form is voluntary, but failure to provide the information on
this form may, given the form's purpose of verification of identity and entitlement to a U.S. passport, result in processing delays or denial of the
passport application.
Failure to provide your Social Security number may also subject you to a penalty enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, as described in the
Federal Tax Law section of the instructions to this form. Your Social Security number will be provided to the Department of the Treasury and may
be used in connection with debt collection, among other purposes as authorized and generally described in this section. Providing your Social
Security number and other information requested on this form is otherwise voluntary.

ELECTRONIC PASSPORT STATEMENT
The U.S. Department of State now issues an "Electronic Passport" book, which contains an embedded electronic chip. The electronic passport
book continues to be proof of the bearer's United States citizenship/nationality and identity, and looks and functions in the same way as a passport
without a chip. The addition of an electronic chip in the back cover enables the passport book to carry a duplicate electronic copy of all information
from the data page. The electronic passport book is usable at all ports-of-entry, including those that do not yet have electronic chip readers.
Use of the electronic format provides the traveler the additional security protections inherent in chip technology. Moreover, when used at
ports-of-entry equipped with electronic chip readers, the electronic passport book provides for faster clearance through some of the port-of-entry
processes.
The electronic passport book does not require special handling or treatment, but like previous versions should be protected from extreme heat,
bending, and from immersion in water. The electronic chip must be read using specially formatted readers, which protects the data on the chip from
unauthorized reading.
The cover of the electronic passport book is printed with a special symbol representing the embedded chip. The symbol
port-of-entry areas where the electronic passport book can be read.

will appear in

PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENT
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 40 minutes per response, including the time required for searching
existing data sources, gathering the necessary data, providing the information and/or documentation required, and reviewing the final collection.
You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have comments on the
accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular
Affairs, Passport Services, Office of Program Management and Operational Support, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520.
DS-82 08-2013

Instruction Page 4 of 4

!

!

CONTROL NO. 1405-0020
U.S. PASSPORT RENEWAL APPLICATION FOR ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS OMB
OMB EXPIRATION DATE: 12-31-2016

Please Print Legibly Using Black Ink Only
Attention: Read WARNING on page 1 of instructions
Please select the document(s) for which you are applying:

U.S. Passport Book

U.S. Passport Card

ESTIMATED BURDEN: 40 MIN

Both

The U.S. passport card is not valid for international air travel. For more information see page 1 of instructions.

28 Page Book (Standard)

52 Page Book (Non-Standard)

Note: The 52 page option is for those who frequently travel abroad during the passport validity period, and is recommended
for applicants who have previously required the addition of visa pages.

1. Name Last
D

DP DOTS Code

O

End. #

Exp.

Middle

First

2. Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
-

M

F

6. Email Address (e.g., my_email@domain.com)

5. Social Security Number
-

4. Place of Birth (City & State if in the U.S., or City & Country as it is presently known.)

3. Sex

-

-

7. Primary Contact Phone Number
-

@

-

8. Mailing Address: Line 1: Street/RFD#, P.O. Box, or URB.

Address Line 2: Clearly label Apartment, Company, Suite, Unit, Building, Floor, In Care Of or Attention if applicable. (e.g., In Care Of - Jane Doe, Apt # 100)

City

State

Zip Code

Country, if outside the United States

9. List all other names you have used. (Examples: Birth Name, Maiden, Previous Marriage, Legal Name Change. Attach additional pages if needed)
B.

Attach a color photograph taken
within the last six months

STAPLE

STAPLE

2" x 2"

2" x 2"

STAPLE

STAPLE

A.

10. Passport Book and/or Passport Card Information
Your name as printed on your most recent U.S. passport book and/or passport card

Most recent passport book number

Issue date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Most recent passport card number

Issue date (mm/dd/yyyy)

11. Name Change Information Complete if name is different than last U.S. passport book or passport card
Date (mm/dd/yyyy)
Place of Name Change (City/State)
Changed by Marriage
Changed by Court Order
Please submit a certified copy. (Photocopies are not accepted!)

CONTINUE TO PAGE 2
YOU MUST SIGN AND DATE THE APPLICATION IN THE DESIGNATED AREA BELOW

I declare under penalty of perjury all of the following: 1) I am a citizen or non-citizen national of the United States and have not, since acquiring U.S. citizenship or nationality,
performed any of the acts listed under "Acts or Conditions" on page four of the instructions of this application (unless explanatory statement is attached); 2) the statements made
on the application are true and correct; 3) I have not knowingly and willfully made false statements or included false documents in support of this application; 4) the photograph
submitted with this application is a genuine, current photograph of me; and 5) I have read and understood the warning on page one of the instructions to the application form.

x

Applicant's Legal Signature

FOR ISSUING OFFICE ONLY

PPT BK C/R

Marriage Certificate

Date of Marriage/Place Issued:

Court Order

Date Filed/Court:

Date

PPT BK S/R

PPT CD C/R

PPT CD S/R

From
To:
Other:
Attached:
Bk Fee

For Issuing Office Only

DS-82 08-2013

!

Cd Fee

EF

Postage

Other

* DS 82 C 08 2013 1 *
Page 1 of 2

Name of Applicant (Last, First & Middle)

12. Height

Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)

14. Eye Color

13. Hair Color

15. Occupation

!

16. Employer or School (if applicable)

17. Additional Contact Phone Numbers
Home

Home

Cell

Work

Cell

Work

18. Permanent Address: If P.O. Box is listed under Mailing Address or if residence is different from Mailing Address.
Apartment/Unit

Street/RFD # or URB (No P.O. Box)

City

State

Zip Code

19. Emergency Contact - Provide the information of a person not traveling with you to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
Name

City

Apartment/Unit

Address: Street/RFD # or P.O. Box

State

Zip Code

Phone Number

Relationship

20. Travel Plans
Departure Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Return Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Countries to be visited

STOP! YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR APPLICATION
BE SURE TO SIGN AND DATE PAGE ONE

* DS 82 C 08 2013 2 *
DS-82 08-2013

Page 2 of 2

!

APPENDIX K
Status Information Letter for Selective
Service System
See next page.

!

Request for Status Information Letter
I am requesting a Status Information Letter. I am a male who is not registered with Selective
Service. I am now 26 years old or older, and was born after December 31, 1959.

Section 1:
Name

First

Middle

List any other names used

Last
Include any multiple last names

Current Mailing Address

Street Address
City

State

Zip Code

Social Security Number
Date of Birth

Month / Day / Year

Daytime Telephone Number
E-mail Address

Section 2:
MILITARY:
List dates of active duty service:
to
List dates of reserve duty service:
to
List dates of military school service:
to
Military school attended:
Attach copy of DD214 (or DD Form 4 if still on active duty)
INCARCERATED, INSTITUTIONALIZED, HOSPITALIZED, OR CONFINED TO HOME:
List dates during which you were (circle appropriate situation) incarcerated,
to
,
Attach proof of each instance

to

,

to

!

NON CITIZEN / UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT

Month / Day / Year

USCIS (Formerly INS) status at time of entry:
List all alien status(es) held since entering the country, and give dates:
(Attach separate sheet if necessary)
to
to
to
to

USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:
USCIS Status:

Attach copies of supporting documentation (see following information sheet for
detailed instructions regarding this)
TRANSSEXUAL:
At birth my gender was:
REASON WHY YOU FAILED TO REGISTER WITH SELECTIVE SERVICE UPON
REACHING AGE 18 AND BEFORE REACHING AGE 26:

Section 3:
Print, sign and date, then send this letter, together with ALL copies of required documents and
any other supporting information you may wish to include to:
Selective Service System
ATTN: SIL
PO Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638

Signature

Date

No action can be taken until we receive ALL of the information/documentation needed. You
should retain a copy of all documents and correspondence submitted to us.

!

INSTRUCTIONS

SECTION 1:
Name

SECTION 2:

:

:

:

:

:

!

SECTION 3:

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

APPENDIX L
American Civil Liberties Union of
California Voting Rights Resources
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are my voting rights if I have a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor conviction does not affect your right to vote at all. You can vote
in all elections.
What are my voting rights if I have a felony?
If you have a felony conviction, you can vote IF:
• you are on probation, even if you are in county jail as a condition of your
probation, or
• you have completed your probation, or
• you are awaiting a judge’s decision on a probation violation, or
• you have completed mandatory supervision, or
• you have completed post-release community supervision, or
• you have completed your parole.
The only time you are not allowed to vote is IF:
• you have a felony conviction and you are still in state prison, or
• you are serving an 1170(h) felony sentence in county jail, or
• you are awaiting transfer to a state prison, or
• you are on parole, on post-release community supervision, or on mandatory
supervision.
Once you have completed your prison sentence and parole or other community
supervision, you can register to vote. If you are unsure what type of sentence
you are serving check with your parole or probation officer.
Can I vote when I am on probation?
Yes! You can vote at all times when you are on probation, whether your
conviction is a felony or a misdemeanor.
Can I vote when I am on parole?
No. You can only vote once you have completed your parole.
Can I vote on mandatory supervision?
No. You can only vote once you have completed your mandatory supervision.
Can I vote while I am on post-release community supervision?
No. You can only vote once you have completed your post-release community
supervision.
Can I vote while I am in county jail? Maybe. You can vote IF you are in county
jail:
• awaiting trial for any crime, or
• for a misdemeanor conviction, or
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•
•

on a probation violation, or
on felony probation.

The only time you lose the right to vote while in county jail is when you are:
•
•
•
•

in state prison for a felony conviction, or
in jail awaiting transfer to a state prison for a felony conviction, or
serving an 1170(h) felony sentence in the county jail, or
in jail for a parole violation.

How do I get back my right to vote?
In California, you do not need to do anything to “restore” your right to vote. It is
automatically restored once you have completed your parole and no longer in
state prison. However, you must register or re-register to vote in an upcoming
election.
How do I register to vote?
There are two ways to register to vote:
•
•

You can register online at our website, www.letmevoteca.org
You can pick up a paper registration form at the DMV, post office, public
libraries, or your county elections office. Complete the form, sign it, and drop
it in the mail!

Do I need to re-register if I move or change my name?
Yes. You need to re-register (using either of the methods above) if you move or
change your name.
How and where do I vote?
In California, you can vote two ways:
Vote-by-Mail: This means that every election your ballot will be mailed to you
and you can take your time to fill it out and mail back your vote. It’s easy to
become a vote-by-mail voter. Either: (1) put your initials on line 15 on your voter
registration application, or (2) if you are already registered to vote, you will get a
vote-by-mail application attached to the sample ballot you receive about a
month before the election. Complete this application and mail back to your
county election official.
Reminder! A vote-by-mail ballot will be mailed to the address you provide on
your voter registration. If you move a lot , this may not be the best option for
you.
At your local polling place: Once you are registered to vote, you can vote at
your local polling place on Election Day. Your local polling place is listed on the
Sample Ballot you receive in the mail. If for any reason you are unsure of your
polling place, you can look it up at http://www.votersedge.org or contact your
local county elections office to find out.
When is the last day to register to vote?
You must register (or re-register, if you’ve moved or changed your name, or if
your right to vote has been restored) at least 15 days before the next local, state,
or federal election.

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If you have a misdemeanor conviction, you can always vote.
In fact, you can always keep your right to vote unless you are currently serving a
sentence for certain felonies
If you have a felony conviction, you can vote if:
•
•
•
•

You are on probation OR
you have completed your post-release community supervision OR
you have completed your mandatory supervision OR
you have completed parole

Your voting rights are automatically returned when you complete your sentence.
You just have to fill out a voter registration card.
Questions?
votingrights@acluca.org
Para más información acerca de su derecho al voto si tiene antecedentes
penales, visite
http://www.letmevoteca.org

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!

Correctional Supervision in the Community:

PAROLE &
PROBATION
Being under some type of supervision is usually
required for you to be released from prison or jail into
community. In the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER,
you will learn that in California, there are many types
of supervision—state parole, county probation,
Mandatory Supervision, PRCS, federal probation &
federal parole. This chapter will help you understand
what it means to be under supervision, what special
rules you have to follow, and all of the rights you
have as a person in reentry.

DISCLAIMER – YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE: When putting together the
Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we did our best to give you useful and accurate
information because we know that people who are currently or formerly incarcerated often have
difficulty getting legal information, and we cannot provide specific advice to every person who
requests it. The laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not
always have the resources to make changes to this informational material every time the law
changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry legal guide, it is your responsibility to
make sure that the law has not changed and applies to your particular situation. If you are
incarcerated, most of the materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library. The
Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather legal information. No
attorney-client relationship is created by using any information in this guide. You should always
consult your own attorney if you need legal advice specific to your situation.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.! INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 142!
What is community supervision? ........................................................... 142!
Why is it important to know what type of supervision I am on, and
the rules of that supervision department? .......................................... 142!
What are the main types of supervision in California? ..................... 142!
What is the difference between the state & federal systems? ...... 144!
I’m not sure what type of supervision I am on or going to be on.
How do I find out? ..................................................................................... 145!
Key Terms in the Parole & Probation Chapter ............................................. 145!
II.! STATE PAROLE .................................................................................................. 147!
Basics of State Parole ..................................................................................... 147!
What is California state parole? ..............................................................147!
I am currently incarcerated in California state prison, and preparing
for release. Will I be required to serve a parole term after I get
released from prison? ............................................................................... 148!
When is the Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS) vs. Parole
assessment done? ..................................................................................... 148!
After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on State Parole ... 148!
What are some my responsibilities when I first get out of state
prison under state parole supervision? ............................................... 148!
What county will I be paroled to, and who decides? ........................ 150!
Is there any form of financial assistance from parole when I first get
out? ................................................................................................................. 151!
Length of State Parole .................................................................................... 154!
Where will I see the length of my parole? And who calculates it? 154!
If I am on state parole, what law sets the length of my parole? .... 154!
What can I do if I think that the length of my parole is
miscalculated? ............................................................................................ 156!
I filed a form 602 administrative appeal about my parole length,
and was denied at all three levels of review, or it is way past when
a formal response was due to me but I never got one. Now that I
have “exhausted” (completed) the administrative appeals process,
how do I file a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus? .............. 160!
Getting Off State Parole.................................................................................. 160!
Can I get off state parole early? ............................................................. 160!
What should happen when I reach my presumptive discharge date
(PDD)? ............................................................................................................ 161!
What are my rights at the presumptive discharge (PDD) review
process? ....................................................................................................... 162!
Do I have a right to appear at the PDD review before the Board of
Parole Hearings (BPH)? ............................................................................ 162!
On what basis can the BPH decide to keep me on parole past my
PDD instead of letting me off early? ..................................................... 162!
What happens if the BPH decides to continue my parole? ............ 162!
Can I appeal the BPH’s decision to keep me on parole past my
PDD? Where can I look for arguments to support my appeal? ..... 163!
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What happens if I don’t get notice of a BPH decision within 30 days
after my PDD? ............................................................................................. 163!
General Conditions for Every Person on State Parole: ....................... 164!
General Condition of State Parole: Little Protection Against Invasion
of Privacy, Searches & Seizures............................................................. 165!
What are my rights to privacy of my person, residence, or property
while on parole? .........................................................................................165!
Are there any additional limitations on searches while I’m on
parole? ..........................................................................................................166!
What action can/should I take if a parole or law enforcement officer
conducts a search that I believe is unlawful? .....................................166!
Additional Laws That Apply to All People on State Parole ........................ 168!
What are other laws & restrictions that apply to me and all people
on state parole? ..........................................................................................168!
Special (Extra) Conditions of State Parole: Conditions that only apply to
certain individuals on parole .......................................................................... 169!
Who sets the special conditions of parole, and how do they
decide?..........................................................................................................169!
What are examples of common special conditions of state parole?.. 170!
When will I find out the conditions of my parole, and if any extra
(special) conditions have been added? ................................................. 171!
Am I legally protected from having certain unfair extra (special)
conditions imposed on me? ..................................................................... 171!
Special Conditions for Sex Offenders ........................................................... 172!
If I must register as a sex offender, what are the additional
mandatory conditions of my parole? ..................................................... 172!
Are there any exceptions to these mandatory special parole
conditions for registered sex offenders? ............................................. 174!
Special Conditions for Mentally Disordered Offenders (MDOs) ............... 175!
What does it mean to be classified as a mentally disordered
offender (MDO)—and what are the mandatory special conditions
placed on MDOs on state parole? ......................................................... 175!
Who determines whether a person on parole is classified as an
MDO, and what is the process for making this decision? ................ 175!
Can I challenge an MDO determination? If so, what is the process? . 175!
If I am found to be an MDO, and I want to be seen as an outpatient,
is that possible? .......................................................................................... 176!
If I am found to be an MDO, when and how often is my MDO status
reviewed? ..................................................................................................... 176!
Can the Department of STate Hospitals (DSH) hold me beyond my
Maximum Discharge Date (MDD)? ......................................................... 177!
How to Challenge State Parole Conditions ................................................. 178!
How could I challenge a condition of parole that I believe is
unlawful and invalid? ................................................................................. 178!
How could I challenge a parole condition that is a problem for me
because of a disability that I have?........................................................ 179!
Transfer Locations on State Parole ................................................................ 181!
I want to transfer my parole to another county. How can I do that?.... 181!
I want to transfer parole to another state. How can I do that? .......182!

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Your Rights as a Parolee with a Disability ................................................... 184!
I have a disability. What rights do I have on state parole to get
accommodations for my disability? ....................................................... 184!
How will my parole officer know about my disability & any
accommodations that I need? ................................................................ 184!
What kinds of accommodations must Parole make for me if I have a
disability? ..................................................................................................... 184!
If parole is not accommodating my disability and I feel I am not
getting fair treatment or equal access to parole services or
programs, what can I do? ........................................................................ 185!
What rights do I have during a parole revocation hearing to
accommodate my disability? .................................................................. 186!
State Parole Violations & Revocations ......................................................... 187!
What were the major changes to the way that parole revocation
hearings work under realignment (as of july 1, 2013)? ..................... 187!
If I am suspected of a parole violation, who has the authority to
arrest me? Do they need a warrant to arrest me? ............................ 188!
What happens if I am arrested for an alleged parole violation? .... 188!
What law governs (sets out the rules for) the hearing? ................... 189!
Who represents the interest of parole/the state of California in the
hearing?........................................................................................................ 189!
Who represents me if I cannot afford an attorney? .......................... 190!
What is the legal standard for finding a person guilty of a parole
violation? ...................................................................................................... 190!
If I go to jail on a parole violation, am I entitled to bail? .................. 190!
What rights do I have during a parole revocation hearing? ........... 190!
What happens if a “material” (very important) state witness doesn’t
show up to the parole revocation hearing, even though he/she was
required to attend? ..................................................................................... 191!
Can the district attorney introduce evidence at my parole hearing
that was found in an unlawful search & seizure? .............................. 192!
If the judge revokes my parole and orders me back into custody,
where will I serve and for how long? .................................................... 192!
What rights do I have if I am a person with a disability going
through parole revocation proceedings? ............................................ 193!
How do I challenge (appeal) a parole revocation decision or action
made by the county superior court? ..................................................... 194!
What types of issues could I bring up in a challenge to parole
revocation proceedings, decisions, or actions? ................................ 194!
What is the process for appealing a decison made by CDCR? ..... 194!
III.! COUNTY PROBATION AND NEW FORMS OF COUNTY-LEVEL
SUPERVISION .................................................................................................... 196!
What is county probation? ....................................................................... 196!
How did California’s “Realignment law” change California’s state
probation? .................................................................................................... 197!
What are types of supervision fall under the control of county
probation now after realignment? ......................................................... 197!
Misdemeanor Probation (a.k.a. Informal Probation or Summary Probation) . 198!
Basics of Misdemeanor Probation (MSD) ............................................. 198!
What is misdemeanor probation (a.k.a. informal or summary
probation)?................................................................................................... 198!
Who will monitor me under Misdemeanor Probation (MSD)? ........ 198!

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After Release: What to Expect in your first days out on Misdemeanor
Probation (MSD) ....................................................................................... 198!
What are some good first steps to take after I first get released
from jail or placed onto misdemeanor probation (MSD)? ................198!
Length of Misdemeanor Probation (MSD) ............................................ 198!
How long is misdemeanor probation (MSD)? .....................................198!
Can I get off misdemeanor probation (MSD) early? ..........................199!
Conditions of Misdemeanor Probation (MSD) ..................................... 199!
On misdemeanor probation (MSD), What kinds of conditions will the
court impose on me? .................................................................................199!
If I am on misdemeanor probation, will I have to report to a
probation officer? ..................................................................................... 200!
What will the judge look for when I am monitored in court during
“progress reports?” .................................................................................. 200!
How do I change a condition of my Misdemeanor Probation (MSD)?
...................................................................................................................... 200!
What’s the process for requesting a change to my Misdemeanor
Probation (MSD) conditions? .................................................................. 201!
Transfer Locations on Misdemeanor Probation (MSD)? ..................... 201!
How do I transfer counties on misdemeanor probation? ............... 201!
How do I transfer states on misdemeanor probation (MSD)? ....... 202!
Violations & Revocations on Misdemeanor Probation (MSD) .......... 202!
What are the rules for violations & revocations of misdemeanor
probation (MSD)? ...................................................................................... 202!
Felony probation (a.k.a. Formal probation) ................................................ 203!
Basics of felony probation (FP) ............................................................. 203!
What is felony probation (FP)? .............................................................. 203!
Who will monitor me on felony probation (FP)?................................ 203!
After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on Felony
Probation (FP) ......................................................................................... 203!
What are some of my responsibilities when I first get released onto
felony probation (FP)? ............................................................................. 203!
Length of Felony Probation (FP) ........................................................... 204!
How long will I be on felony probation (FP)?..................................... 204!
Can I get off felony probation early? ................................................... 204!
Conditions of Felony Probation (FP) .................................................... 205!
What are common conditions of Felony Probation (FP)? ................... 205!
How do I change a condition of my felony probation (FP)
conditions? ................................................................................................. 205!
Transfer locations on Felony Probation (FP) ...................................... 206!
I want to transfer my felony probation to another county. can I do
that? ............................................................................................................. 206!
What is the process for transferring my felony probation (FP) to a
new county?............................................................................................... 206!
How do I transfer to a new state? ......................................................... 207!
Violations & Revocations of Felony Probation ....................................207!
What are the rules for violations & revocations of felony probation? .. 207!

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Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS) ............................................ 208!
Basics of PRCS ........................................................................................ 208!
What is Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS)? ................. 208!
Who will be released from state prison to county supervision on
PRCS? .......................................................................................................... 208!
Who will not be released from state prison to county supervision on
PRCS? .......................................................................................................... 208!
When is the PRCS vs. Parole assessment done? ............................. 209!
After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on PRCS ...... 209!
What must I do when I first get out on PRCS?................................... 209!
Where will I be released to on PRCS? ................................................. 209!
Can I request that CDCR send me to PRCS in a different county
than where they want to send me? ....................................................... 210!
Length of PRCS ........................................................................................ 210!
Who sets the length of PRCS? ............................................................... 210!
How long does PRCS supervision last? ............................................... 210!
Can I get off PRCS early? ......................................................................... 210!
Conditions of PRCS ................................................................................. 210!
What conditions must I follow if I am on PRCS? ................................ 210!
Is there a document where I can find all my PRCS conditions? ..... 211!
Can I challenge a PRCS condition? ........................................................ 211!
How do I challenge a PRCS condition? ................................................ 211!
What could happen if I do not follow the conditions of my PRCS? .... 212!
Transfer Locations on PRCS................................................................... 213!
How do I transfer counties (within California) once out on PRCS?..... 213!
If the probation department pursues the case in court, do I have the
right to a hearing for a PRCS violation petition? ................................ 213!
Do I have the right to a free attorney if I can’t afford one at a PRCS
violation hearing? ...................................................................................... 214!
If the judge finds that I have violated the terms or conditions of my
PRCS, what are possible punishments?.................................................. 214!
How can I challenge a court decision revoking my PRCS, or a
decision by the hearing officer after a PRCS violation hearing? ... 214!
Mandatory supervision ................................................................................... 215!
What is mandatory supervision? ............................................................ 215!
Who can be released onto mandatory supervision? ........................ 215!
What must I do after I get released onto Mandatory Supervision?
........................................................................................................................ 216!
Length of Mandatory Supervision ......................................................... 216!
How long will I be on mandatory supervision? .................................. 216!
Can I get off mandatory supervision early? ........................................ 216!
Conditions of Mandatory Supervision .................................................. 217!
What are the conditions of mandatory supervision? ............................ 217!
Can I earn good time credits on mandatory supervision? .............. 217!
Transfer Locations on Mandatory Supervision .................................... 217!
How do I transfer counties on mandatory supervision? .................. 217!
I am on probation (misdemeanor or felony probation), PRCS, or
mandatory supervision, and I want to transfer to another state. How
can I do that? .............................................................................................. 217!

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Violations & Revocations of Mandatory Supervision .......................... 218!
What is the probation violation and revocation process on
mandatory supervision, and what are my rights in that process? .218!
What happens if I am unable to abide by the conditions of my
mandatory supervision? ...........................................................................218!
Your Rights as a Person with a Disability on Mandatory Supervision... 218!
I have a disability. What rights do I have regarding accommodations
for my disability? .........................................................................................218!
How can I request an accommodation or file a complaint if I feel
that probation is not accommodating my disability, or if I am not
getting access to probation services or programs? ..........................219!
Violations & revocations under county probation supervision of felony
probation, misdemeanor probation, & mandatory supervision ............... 220!
Pre-hearing .............................................................................................. 220!
What is the probation revocation process in California? ............... 220!
What could happen if I don’t follow the conditions of my probation?. 220!
Can I be revoked for not paying restitution?..................................... 220!
Can flash incarceration be used as an intermediate sanction? .....221!
Am I entitled to bail? ..................................................................................221!
What does the court have the power to do to my probation status?.221!
The Hearing .............................................................................................. 221!
What court will hear my case? ................................................................221!
Who hears the cases? ............................................................................. 222!
Who represents the interest of probation in the hearing? ............ 222!
What does the prosecutor (D.A.) need to prove? ............................ 222!
Do I have a right to notice of the probation revocation hearing? 222!
Do I have the right to an attorney at the hearing? ........................... 222!
What rights do I have during a probation revocation hearing? .....223!
Can the prosecutor (d.a.) introduce evidence that was obtained in
violation of my fourth amendment right against unlawful search &
seizure at my probation revocation proceeding? .............................224!
Can a witness be excused from testifying in front of me at a
probation revocation hearing?...............................................................224!
What happens if a very important witness doesn’t show up to the
probation revocation hearing, even though he/she was required to
attend? ........................................................................................................ 225!
Sentencing ............................................................................................... 225!
How long can I be sentenced to jail time for a probation
revocation? ................................................................................................ 225!
Could I be sentenced to prison instead of jail for a probation
revocation? ................................................................................................ 225!
If my probation is revoked and terminated, how long will I be sent
to prison or jail? ........................................................................................ 225!
Challenging a Revocation decision ...................................................... 226!
What rights do I have if I am a person with a disability going
through probation revocation proceedings? .................................... 226!
Can I challenge a decision/action by the county superior court? 227!
IV.! FEDERAL COMMUNITY SUPERVISION: FEDERAL PROBATION ............... 229!
Basics of Federal Probation .......................................................................... 229!
What is federal probation? ..................................................................... 229!
Who is supervised by federal probation? .......................................... 230!

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After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on Federal
Probation ......................................................................................................... 230!
When must I report to my probation officer? ..................................... 230!
Length of Federal Probation .......................................................................... 231!
How long is my supervision under federal probation? .................... 231!
Can I get off of federal probation early? .............................................. 231!
Could my time on federal probation be extended beyond the
original sentence? .................................................................................... 232!
Conditions of Federal Probation ....................................................................233!
What are conditions of federal probation, and why are they
important? ................................................................................................... 233!
Where can I find a written statement of my conditions of federal
probation? ................................................................................................... 233!
How often do I have to see my probation officer if I am on federal
probation? ................................................................................................... 233!
What is the difference between mandatory & discretionary
conditions? ................................................................................................. 234!
What are the mandatory conditions on federal probation? ........... 234!
What are additional mandatory conditions that only certain people
on Federal Probation have to follow? ................................................. 235!
What discretionary conditions will I have to follow on federal
probation? ................................................................................................... 235!
What rules must the judge follow when ordering discretionary
conditions on my federal probation? ................................................... 236!
Can I ask that my conditions of federal probation be changed? ..237!
Can I challenge unlawful discretionary conditions that were added
on to my federal probation? ....................................................................237!
How can I challenge unlawful discretionary conditions that were
added on to my federal probation? ......................................................237!
Transfer Locations on Federal Probation .................................................... 238!
I am on federal probation or supervised release, and I want to
move. How can I do that? ....................................................................... 238!
I am on federal probation and want to move/transfer to a new state.
How can I do that? .................................................................................... 239!
What are some positive factors that could help my request to
move/ transfer be approved? ................................................................ 240!
What are some negative factors that could hurt the chances of my
request to move/ transfer from being approved? ............................ 240!
I am on federal probation or supervised release. Is it possible to
move while a transfer investigation is still pending? ........................ 241!
Can I challenge a denial of my transfer request? .............................. 241!
I am on federal probation, and I’m trying to move in with someone
who lives in government-assisted housing (like public housing,
section 8, or a voucher program), can I still move in? ...................... 241!
Violations & Revocations—For BOTH Federal Probation and Supervised
Release ............................................................................................................. 242!
Disabilities & Federal Probation ................................................................... 242!
V.! FEDERAL COMMUNITY SUPERVISION: SUPERVISED RELEASE .............. 243!
Basics of Supervised Release ....................................................................... 243!
What is supervised release? .................................................................. 243!
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!

After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on Supervised
Release ............................................................................................................. 244!
Length of Supervised Release....................................................................... 244!
How long is my supervision under supervised release? ................ 244!
Can I get off supervised release early? ............................................... 244!
What factors can the judge consider? .................................................245!
Conditions of Supervised Release ................................................................ 245!
What are conditions of supervised release, and why are they
important? ...................................................................................................245!
What is the difference between mandatory & discretionary
conditions of supervised release? ........................................................246!
Where can I find a written statement of my conditions of supervised
release? .......................................................................................................246!
How often do I have to see my probation officer if I am on
supervised release?..................................................................................246!
What are the mandatory conditions that apply to me and everyone
else on superVISed release? ................................................................. 247!
What are additional mandatory conditions that only certain people
on Supervised Release have to follow? .............................................. 247!
Are there other additional conditions I will have to follow on
supervised release?.................................................................................. 248!
What rules must the judge follow when ordering discretionary
conditions on my supervised release? ................................................ 248!
What discretionary conditions will I have to follow on supervised
release? .......................................................................................................249!
What additional discretionary conditions may I have to follow on
supervised release?................................................................................. 250!
Can my conditions of supervised release be changed? ......................251!
How do I challenge unlawful discretionary conditions that were
added on to my supervised release? ....................................................251!
Transfer Locations on Supervised Release ................................................. 252!
I am on federal probation or supervised release, and I want to
move. How can I do that?....................................................................... 252!
I am on supervised release and want to move/transfer to a new
state. How can I do that? .........................................................................254!
What are some positive factors that could help my request to
move/ transfer be approved? .................................................................254!
What are some negative factors that could hurt the chances of my
request to move/ transfer from being approved? .............................254!
I am on federal probation or supervised release. Is it possible to
move while a transfer investigation is still pending? ...................... 255!
Can I challenge a denial of my transfer request? ............................ 255!
I am on supervised release, and I’m trying to move in with someone
I know. If my family member or the person who I want to move in
with lives in government-assisted housing (like public housing,
section 8, or a voucher program), can I still move in? .................... 256!
Violations & Revocations—For Both Federal Probation and Supervised
Release ..............................................................................................................257!
What is a violation of my federal probation or supervised release? . 257!
Can my U.S. probation officer send me back to prison? ................ 257!
What could the court do if it finds that I violated my federal
probation or supervised release? ........................................................ 258!

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When is revocation of federal probation or supervised release
mandatory? ................................................................................................. 258!
What will happen if my violation was also a new criminal offense?
....................................................................................................................... 258!
What are possible sanctions for an alleged violation of federal
probation or supervised release?......................................................... 259!
What laws guide the court in sentencing me for my revocation of
federal probation or supervised release? ........................................... 261!
Can I appeal the court’s revocation decision/action? What court has
jurisdiction? ................................................................................................ 262!
What will the judge look for when reviewing my appeal? ............. 262!
Disabilities & Supervised Release ................................................................ 263!
VI.! FEDERAL COMMUNITY SUPERVISION: FEDERAL PAROLE ...................... 264!
Basics of Federal Parole ................................................................................ 264!
Who is released onto federal parole? ................................................. 264!
If I am on federal parole, why do I report to a U.S. probation officer?
....................................................................................................................... 264!
Before Release: What to Know about Getting Released onto Federal
Parole................................................................................................................ 265!
I am still incarcerated. What is the legal process for getting
released from federal prison onto federal parole? .......................... 265!
What could happen if I refuse to sign the certificate of release? . 266!
Do I have to return to the same community that I came from for my
federal parole? .......................................................................................... 266!
What is the difference between federal parole and “mandatory
release”? ..................................................................................................... 266!
Is it possible that I be released from federal prison and not be on
any type of community supervision? ................................................... 267!
After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on Federal Parole .... 267!
After I am released to federal parole, when and to whom must I
report? ......................................................................................................... 267!
I am not a U.S. citizen, and I am told I have an outstanding detainer
against me. What is a detainer? What could happen to me? ........ 267!
Length of Federal Parole ............................................................................... 268!
How long will I be on federal parole? .................................................. 268!
Can I get off federal parole early? ........................................................ 268!
How does the U.S. Parole Commission decide whether to let me off
federal parole early? ................................................................................ 269!
If I am denied early termination of my federal parole, can I
challenge the U.S. parole commission’s decision? .......................... 269!
Conditions of Federal Parole.......................................................................... 271!
What conditions must I follow on federal parole? ............................. 271!
General conditions of federal parole .................................................... 271!
I am on federal parole. Can I travel outside my federal parole
district? .........................................................................................................273!
Special conditions of federal parole...................................................... 273!
What special conditions could apply to me on federal parole? ....273!
Can federal parole require me to go to a half-way house or require
me to undergo drug or alcohol treatment while I’m under
supervision? ............................................................................................... 274!
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If I’m on parole, may I own, use or possess firearms after they are
released? ..................................................................................................... 274!
Can the parole commission change any of my conditions of
release? ....................................................................................................... 274!
After a parolee is released, may any of the conditions be changed?
Can additional ones be imposed? ........................................................ 275!
Transferring Federal Parole ...........................................................................275!
I’m on federal parole and I want to transfer to a new district. How
can I do that? .............................................................................................. 275!
I am on federal parole and want to transfer to another state. How
can I do that? .............................................................................................. 275!
I am classified as a sex offender, and I want to transfer to another
state. How can I do that? ......................................................................... 277!
Violations & Revocation of Federal Parole ..................................................278!
What could happen if I violate the conditions of my federal parole
(or mandatory release)? ........................................................................... 278!
Who issues an arrest warrant or summons to appear at a hearing if I
violate federal parole or mandatory release? .................................... 278!
After a warrant or summons is issued, what happens? ................... 279!
May a parolee have an attorney at a preliminary interview and
revocation hearing? ................................................................................. 280!
Will I be in prison pending hearing? ......................................................281!
Where are the revocation hearings held? ...........................................281!
What is the timeline of the hearing? ......................................................281!
If my hearing is held in a federal institution rather than locally, am I
entitled to an attorney and may i present witnesses on my behalf? 282!
What is the hearing procedure? ........................................................... 282!
When is revocation mandatory? ........................................................... 282!
How could I be sentenced for a revocation of federal parole?.... 282!
If the commission revokes parole or mandatory release, does a
parolee get any credit on the sentence for the time spent under
supervision? ................................................................................................ 283!
If I get my federal parole revoked, how long must I serve before the
parole commission reviews my case again? ...................................... 283!
Can I appeal the revocation decision by the U.S. Parole
Commission? .............................................................................................. 283!
Disability Rights for People on All Types of Federal Supervision ............ 284!
I have a disability. What rights do I have on felony probation or
parole to have accommodations for my disability? .......................... 284!
How can I file a complaint if I feel that my federal probation officer
is not accommodating my disability, or feel that I am not getting
access to parole services or programs? ............................................. 284!
VII.! CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 286!
COMMUNITY SUPERVISION: PAROLE & PROBATION APPENDIX ...................287!

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WHAT WILL I LEARN IN THE
PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER?
•
•
!

The different types of supervision in California, and the basics
about each type
For each type of supervision, you will learn:
o What to do when you first get out – a step-by-step guide
o General and Special Rules: What general rules
(conditions) you have to follow, What special rules (extra
conditions) might be added on, and How to appeal
(challenge) the special conditions
o Length of supervision: How the length of supervision is
calculated, and how to get off early, if possible
o Transferring Supervision to a Different Location: What
the procedures are for transferring your supervision to a
different county or state
o Disability Rights: How to navigate parole and probation if
you have a disability and need help or accommodations
o Violations & Revocations: What your rights are if you’re
accused of violating the conditions of your supervision,
and how the “revocation” (violations) process works

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I.

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS COMMUNITY SUPERVISION?
After your release from prison or jail OR instead of incarceration, you will often
be required to be under some sort of correctional supervision in the community,
with special rules that apply to you—like where you can live and work, who you
can contact, and people or places that you have to regularly report to.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT TYPE OF SUPERVISION I
AM ON, AND THE RULES OF THAT SUPERVISION DEPARTMENT?
It is important to know what kind of supervision you are on and the rules of that
supervision department because it impacts every other part of your life—where
you can travel, where and how often you have to report to a supervising officer,
the steps you should take if you are having a problem with the rules
(“conditions”) of your supervision, the amount of time you’ll be under
supervision in the community, the types of record-cleaning and record-improving
remedies that will be available to you, the type of contact you may be able to
have with certain people or family members, your ability to vote and serve on a
jury, and MORE. We hope that this Chapter helps to explain to you the rights and
responsibilities you have under your specific type of supervision—state parole;
county probation, mandatory supervision, or PRCS; OR federal probation,
supervised release, or federal parole.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF SUPERVISION IN CALIFORNIA?
There are 4 main categories of supervision in California. They are:
1)

STATE PAROLE: In California, parole is a condition of release for most
305
people coming out of prison. It only applies in felony cases when a person
is sentenced to state prison. It also only takes effect after release from
prison.
a) People sentenced to serve determinate sentences—such as an exact
term of “seven years”—serve the specified amount of time in prison
ordered by the judge. Once their sentence is over, they are released.
b) People sentenced to serve indeterminate terms, such as “25 to life with
the possibility of parole,” are released only after a Board of Parole
306
Hearing (BPH) determines that they are ready to re-enter society.
i) Most people released from California state prison are required to
serve a period of parole after they are released. People on parole—
called parolees—remain under the control of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of
Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), are supervised by CDCR parole
agents, and must meet certain requirements or “conditions” of
307
parole.

2) COUNTY PROBATION & NEW FORMS OF COUNTY-LEVEL SUPERVISION:
Probation is a type of supervision that a judge orders at trial as part of the
original sentence, either as an alternative to incarceration OR in addition to

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2355.
Lifer Parole Process, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB., http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/lifer_parole_process.html.
307
Lifer Parole Process, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB., http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/lifer_parole_process.html.
305
306

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308

incarceration. California probation reduces or eliminates the time that a
309
person must spend in custody in jail or prison. People on probation must
report to their county probation office (for felony probation, more
information on PG. 203) or to local superior court (for misdemeanor
probation, more information on PG. 198), and must meet certain
requirements or “conditions” of probation. Depending on the circumstances,
either the court or a probation officer monitors the person’s compliance with
his/her probation terms. Misdemeanor Probation, Felony Probation,
Mandatory Supervision, and Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS)
are all types of community supervision that fall under the responsibility of
California’s county probation departments. Unlike state parole offices, which
are all operated by CDCR and DAPO, county probation departments have a
lot more independence and differences between them. Here is a quick
overview of the different types of county probation:
a) MISDEMEANOR PROBATION: If you get probation imposed for a
conviction that is a California misdemeanor, it is known as misdemeanor
310
probation—also called “informal” probation or “summary” probation.
b) FELONY PROBATION: If you get convicted of a felony crime and get
placed on probation, it will be Felony Probation (sometimes called
311
“formal probation” or FP).
c) POST-RELEASE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION (PRCS): People released
from a state prison after incarceration for a non-violent, non-serious,
non-sexual crimes are placed under supervision by local, county
312
probation officers instead of being supervised under state parole. This
form of supervision is called Post-Release Community Supervision
(PRCS). PRCS can last for up to 3 years, but can end earlier if the person
313
under supervision does not violate any conditions of his/her PRCS.
d) MANDATORY SUPERVISION: Mandatory Supervision: In California,
through a process called “split sentencing, a judge can split the time of a
sentence between a jail term and a period of supervision by a county
probation officer. This type of supervision is known as Mandatory
Supervision.
3) FEDERAL PROBATION: People convicted of certain federal offenses may
be sentenced to Federal Probation or Supervised Release. The U.S.
314
Probation and Pretrial Services System oversees federal probation.
a) FEDERAL PROBATION: After you are convicted of a federal crime,
315
federal probation is used as an alternative sentence to prison time.
That means that federal “probation” is still considered a sentence in and
of itself. For the most part, if you are placed on federal probation, you
must report to your assigned probation office and comply with all the
316
rules (“conditions”) of your federal probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(d).
311
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(b).
312
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3450; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3079-79.1.
313
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451 (a) ("[A]ll persons . . . shall, upon release from prison and for a period not exceeding
three years immediately following release, be subject to community supervision provided by a county agency.").
314
18 U.S.C. § 3153. See also Probation Pretrial Services, US Courts,
http://www.U.S.C.ourts.gov/FederalCourts/ProbationPretrialServices.aspx.
315
A defendant may receive a sentence of probation unless he or she is convicted of a Class A or B felony; probation
is prohibited by statute of conviction; or the defendant is sentenced at the same time to imprisonment. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3561(a). A court’s authority to impose probation is based solely on statute. See Affronti v. U.S., 350 U.S. 79, 83
(1955). The authorized length of probation is between one and five years for a felony; not more than five years for a
misdemeanor; and not more than one year for an infraction. 18 U.S.C. § 3561(c).
316
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(15). Ever since 1984 (the time when the “Sentencing Reform Act” went into effect), federal
criminal courts have recognized federal probation as a sentence in itself. 18 U.S.C. § 3561;
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2012/manual-pdf/Chapter_7.pdf p. 477. Although it
is statutorily permissible to receive a sentence of unsupervised or “summary” probation in federal court, it is not the
norm – even in misdemeanor cases.
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309
310

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b) SUPERVISED RELEASE: Supervised Release is overseen by federal
317
district courts with the help of federal probation officers. The judge
can sentence you to a term of Supervised Release after your release
318
from federal prison. In other words, a term of Supervised Release
does not replace any time you are sentenced to prison; rather, a judge
orders Supervised Release in addition to any term in prison you may
319
serve. In some cases, the judge that sentences you is actually required
by law to impose a term of Supervised Release in addition to a prison
320
term. It’s common for a federal sentence to include a period of time in
prison, followed by a period of time in the community on Supervised
Release.
4) FEDERAL PAROLE: Federal Parole was eliminated in 1984. However, a small
group of people—(1) those sentenced in federal court before November 1,
1987; (2) those who violate criminal laws in Washington, D.C. (the nation’s
capital); (3) those convicted of crimes within the U.S. military’s criminal
justice system; and (4) people convicted in certain foreign transfer treaty
cases—may still be on federal parole, but are still supervised by federal
321
probation officers.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE STATE & FEDERAL
SYSTEMS?
Depending on whether you were convicted of a federal or state crime, it will
affect not only where you are incarcerated (federal prison, state prison, or
county jail), but also what type of supervision you will be on after your release.
BELOW IS A CHART THAT BRIEFLY SHOWS THESE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE STATE & FEDERAL SYSTEMS.

FEDERAL vs. STATE SYSTEMS
TYPES OF OFFENSES

INSTITUTIONS SENTENCED TO
(PRISONS/JAILS)

(For example only.
This list is not complete.)

FEDERAL •
SYSTEM •
•
•
•
•
•

STATE
SYSTEM

Drug trafficking
Human trafficking
Immigration crimes
National security crimes
Computer fraud
Corporate “white-collar” crimes
Certain drug crimes

•
•

The vast majority of crimes are going •
to be part of the state criminal
•
justice system.
•

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TYPES OF
SUPERVISION

People often held in county jails
Sentenced to Federal Prison

•
•
•

Federal Probation
Supervised Release
Federal Parole

People often held in county jails
Sentenced to County Jail OR
Sentenced to a California State Prison
OR sentenced directly to supervision (see
column to right)

•
•

State parole
Probation (run by
counties)
Mandatory Supervision
PRCS

•
•

United States Sentencing Commission, Federal Offenders Sentenced to Supervised Release, July 2010 10, p. 1.
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/annual-national-trainingseminar/2012/2_Federal_Offenders_Sentenced_to_Supervised_Release.pdf.
318
18 U.S.C. § 3583.
319
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2012/manual-pdf/Chapter_7.pdf p. 477
320
See, e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (mandating a lifetime term of supervised release for those convicted of certain
drug offenses).
321
Parole in the Federal Probation System, US Courts, http://www.U.S.C.ourts.gov/News/TheThirdBranch/11-0501/Parole_in_the_Federal_Probation_System.aspx.
317

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I’M NOT SURE WHAT TYPE OF SUPERVISION I AM ON OR GOING
TO BE ON. HOW DO I FIND OUT?
You may not know what type of supervision you are currently on, and in certain
situations you could be on more than one type, or on different types back-toback. If you don’t know, and you are still incarcerated, you should ask a
correctional counselor in your institution. If you don’t know, and you are out, you
should ask the case manager or supervising officer you report to.
Once you know what type of supervision you are on, you can skip to the section
in this chapter that addresses questions and issues related to your specific type
of supervision.
•
•

•
•
•

If you are currently or soon to be under the supervision of state parole, go to
PG. 147.
If you are currently or soon to be under the supervision of county probation
or some other type of county-level supervision (like “mandatory supervision”
or “PRCS”), go to PG. 208.
If you are currently or soon to be under the supervision of federal probation,
go to PG. 229.
If you are currently or soon to be under federal community supervision of
supervised release, go to PG. 243.
If you are currently or soon to be under the supervision of federal parole, go
to PG. 264.

A Note About the Terms Used in the Parole & Probation Chapter:
We want to mention that this Chapter uses a lot of the terminology and language
that the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) and other correctional
agencies and departments use to describe people returning to the community
from prison and jail. We don’t agree with many of the ways that people with
criminal records are described, but at times we use this language to make this
material understandable to our readers. To learn about the movement to use
humanizing language when talking about currently or formerly incarcerated
people: please visit the following Root & Rebound blog post that summarized a
letter from formerly incarcerated leaders discussing the power of language:
https://rootrebound.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/discourse-can-de-humanizeopen-letter-on-language-from-cnus/.

KEY TERMS IN THE PAROLE & PROBATION
CHAPTER
Before you start reading this chapter, it would be good for you to get a sense of
some of the key terms we use. Although they are explained in the chapter, we
want to include them here for you to get familiar with:
• Conditions—Written rules that you have to follow while on parole or
probation
• Special Conditions—Extra rules that apply to you in addition to the basic
rules that apply to all people under supervision
• Commitment Offense—The offense for which you went to prison or jail
• Discharge—The date you are released from supervision
• Parole Period—The period of time you have to spend on parole
• Residence—The address where you live
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•

•

•

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Board of Parole Hearings (BPH)—A group of 12 commissioners, chosen by
the California governor, who sit on a board and conduct hearings where they
decide if a person is suitable to get released from prison on to parole.
CDCR—CDCR is the abbreviation for the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is a state government agency runs the
criminal justice system in California
California Penal Code—The legal basis for all criminal laws in California.

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Brief Introduction to Parts II & III of this Chapter: State Community
Supervision
Each state in the U.S. runs its own criminal justice system. In the next two sections of the
PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER, you will learn about the types of correctional
!supervision in the community that are run by the state of California:
•
Section II cover STATE PAROLE, which is overseen by the California Department of
Corrections (CDCR) and the Division for Adult Parole Operations (DAPO).
•
Section III covers COUNTY PROBATION & NEW FORMS OF COUNTY-LEVEL
SUPERVISION, which are overseen locally by county probation offices and officers
that report back to the state of California.

II.

STATE PAROLE
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•
•

•
•
•
•
•

The Basics of State Parole
After Release—What to Expect in Your First Days Out on State
Parole
The length of State Parole—including (a) what to do if you
believe your parole term length is miscalculated and (b) how to
get off parole early
The general conditions of state parole
The extra (“special”) conditions of state parole, and the legal
requirements for imposing these
The process for challenging conditions of state parole
Your rights as a parolee with a disability
Procedures for state parole violations and revocations

BASICS OF STATE PAROLE
WHAT IS CALIFORNIA STATE PAROLE?
In California, parole is a condition of release for a person coming out of
322
prison. It will only apply to people convicted of a state felony and sentenced
to state prison. State parole only takes effect after you are released from prison.
People on parole—sometimes called parolees—remain under the control of
CDCR. Within CDCR, parolees are more specifically under the control of the
Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), a division of CDCR. As a parolee,
you are supervised by CDCR parole agents, and must satisfy certain rules or
323
“conditions” of parole.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2355.
People who are sentenced to state prison for potential life sentences (for example, “25 years to life”) are only
eligible for parole after they serve the determinate part of their sentence, and only after the Bd. of Parole Hearings
(BPH, commonly called the “parole board”) determines that you are ready to re-enter society. That determination
takes place during a California Bd. of Parole Hearings suitability hearing (also known as a “Lifer hearing”). Some
people released from California state prison are required to serve a period of parole after they are released. Lifer
Parole Process, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB., http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/lifer_parole_process.html.
322
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I AM CURRENTLY INCARCERATED IN CALIFORNIA STATE
PRISON, AND PREPARING FOR RELEASE. WILL I BE REQUIRED TO
SERVE A PAROLE TERM AFTER I GET RELEASED FROM PRISON?
Yes, if you committed a certain type of offense, or are in a specific situation. If
you are currently incarcerated in California state prison, you must serve a parole
term after release from prison if any of the following apply:
• Your current prison term is for a serious felony as defined in CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 1192.7(c);
• Your current prison term is for a violent felony as defined in CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 667.5(c);
• You were sentenced as a “three-striker” under CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 667(b)-(i) or
1170.12(c)(2);
• You are classified by CDCR as a “High-Risk Sex Offender,” regardless of your
commitment offense; OR
• You are found to be a “Mentally Disordered Offender” (MDO) under CAL.
PENAL CODE § 2962.2.

!

IMPORTANT: If you don't fall into any of these categories, then you are
likely on a new form of supervision called Post-Release Community
Supervision (PRCS). Go to PG. 208 to! learn more about PRCS. If you think
you will be on state parole, not PRCS, see the earlier section on state
parole, on PG. 147.

WHEN IS THE POST-RELEASE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION (PRCS)
VS. PAROLE ASSESSMENT DONE?
Before you are released from prison, a correctional counselor will screen your
324
case and decide whether to refer you to state parole or PRCS. The
correctional officer should start this screening process at least 180 days prior to
325
your calculated release date. The CDCR Form 611, “Release Program Study,”
(see Appendix S, PG. 332) is used to determine if you will be eligible for PRCS
326
after release.

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR
FIRST DAYS OUT ON STATE PAROLE
WHAT ARE SOME MY RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN I FIRST GET OUT
OF STATE PRISON UNDER STATE PAROLE SUPERVISION?
There are several responsibilities to be aware when you first get out of state
prison and are living in the community under the supervision of parole:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(a).
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/PRCS-County.pdf.
326
http://www.cpoc.org/assets/Realignment/whatcountiesneedtoknow.pptx.
324
325

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1.

FIRST, YOU SHOULD MAKE CONTACT WITH YOUR PAROLE OFFICER &
VISIT THAT PAROLE OFFICE.

CDCR makes it clear that “it is up to you to get yourself to your parole office” upon
release, so do your best to make contact with your parole officer right away, and
327
visit the office as soon as you can, if you don’t have a set appointment time.
You should call your parole officer when you first get out. The agent’s name,
address, and telephone number should be on CDCR Form 611, “Release Program
Study,” which you should have received a copy of at least 45 days before your
release date (or if less than 45 days remain because your legal status changed in
328
prison, then as soon as possible before your release to parole). If you cannot get
a hold of your parole agent, or do not know who that person is, try going to the
closest parole office you can find and ask them for help. The parole office can call
your parole agent and let him or her know you are coming and when you will be
there. For a list of California state parole office’s main phone numbers, visit:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Public_Officers_and_Regional_Offices/.
If you were given a date, time, and place to report to your parole officer (see
your Form 611, Release Program Study), you should report to him or her at that
329
time in that location. Generally, it is recommended that if you get out on a
weekday and have the time or ability to go to the office that day, you should. If
you get out on a weekend or national holiday when the parole office is closed, it
is recommended that you go to your parole office the very next day it is open. If
you get stuck out of town, get lost, or cannot get to where you have to go, call
your parole agent or the Officer of the Day collect. Call the Parole Headquarters
for your Region (or if you don’t know which region, call the California Region I
Headquarters) and ask for the Officer of the Day: Northern Region Headquarters
(Tel. 916-255-2758); Southern Region Parole Headquarters (Tel. 909-468330
2300).
2. TELL YOUR PAROLE AGENT OF CRIMES AGAINST YOU AFTER RELEASE, IF
ANYTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS.
If anyone commits a crime against you before you make contact with your parole
331
officer, tell your parole agent what happened.
3. TELL YOUR PAROLE AGENT IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE.
332

If you get stopped by the police for any reason, tell your parole agent about it.
4. REGISTER WITH THE LOCAL POLICE OR SHERIFF, IF NECESSARY.

Before you get out of prison, you should be told if you have to register with the
local police or sheriff. Not all people on parole will have to do this, but if you
333
went to prison for a sex, drug, gang, or arson case, it may be required. If you
are told it is a necessary part of your parole conditions, register with the Police
or Sherriff as soon as possible. The correctional counselor at the prison must

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CDCR Parolee Information Handbook, 4.
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(b)(2); See CDCR, Notice and Conditions of Parole,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2014NCR/14-03/CDCR%201515.pdf; DAPO’s
timelines for completing Form 611. Department Operations Manual (hereinafter "DOM") § 81010.5 ),
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/DOM/DOM%202015/DOM%202015.pdf (updated Jan.
2015) (“The Parole Agent shall investigate all proposed programs. If a proposed program is determined by a Parole
Agent not to be suitable for a parolee, efforts shall be made by the Parole Agent to develop an appropriate
alternate program in the county of commitment. [DAPO] staff shall return the completed RPS Form, CDC Form 611,
and Conditions of Parole to the institution housing the inmate 60 days before the inmate's EPRD. However, if the
RPS, CDC Form 611, is not received by the parole unit at least 75 days before the EPRD, the preparole investigation
shall be returned within 15 days of receipt.”).
329
CDCR, Parolee Information Handbook at 4.
330
See Parole, Public Officers and Regional Offices, CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB.,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Public_Officers_and_Regional_Offices/.
331
CDCR, Parolee Information Handbook at 4.
332
CDCR, Parolee Information Handbook at 4.
333
CDCR, Parolee Information Handbook at 5.
327
328

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notify you of your registration requirement before you are released from
custody—and will do so by checking a box on CDCR Form 611, “Release Program
Study,” indicating your registration requirements (see example of this form in
Appendix S, PG. 332), which must be given to you at least 45 days before your
334
expected release date. You will then have to sign a form that tells you when
and how you must register (see the chart on the next page to know which
335
additional form you’ll be given). If you have questions, talk with your
correctional counselor in the prison, or with your parole agent once you are
336
out. Please refer to the chart on the next page for a summary of these
registration requirements.

THE CHART BELOW SUMMARIZES THE LAWS THAT REQUIRE PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN CONVICTIONS TO
REGISTER WITH THE LOCAL POLICE/SHERIFF OR OTHER REIGSTRY.

SUMMARY OF SPECIAL LEGAL REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER WITH POLICE OR SHERIFF!
TYPE OF CONVICTION
REQUIRING REGISTRATION

LEGAL AUTHORITY

FORM YOU MUST SIGN BEFORE RELEASE TO SHOW
YOU RECEIVED NOTICE OF YOUR DUTY TO REGISTER

CRIMINAL STREET GANG337
RELATED

Cal. Pen Code § 186.30

Each county creates its own forms.
Contact your local Police or Sheriff department to ask what you
need to do to register for a gang-related conviction. The local
police or sheriff’s office may require you to fill out certain forms
338
and some first require an appointment.

SEX OFFENDER

Cal. Pen. Code § 290 et
seq.

DOJ Form SS 8047, “Notification of Sex Offender Registration”

ARSON

Cal. Pen Code. § 457.1

DOJ Form SS 8049, “Notice of Arson Offender Registration
Requirement”

CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
OFFENDER

CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE
§ 11590

DOJ Form SS 8048, “Notice of Narcotic Offender Registration”

WHAT COUNTY WILL I BE PAROLED TO, AND WHO DECIDES?
You will most likely be paroled from prison to the county where you last lived
339
(called your “last legal residence”).
However, CDCR will require you to parole to a different county if it would be “in
340
the best interests of the public.” This means that if you were convicted of
certain violent felonies (including murder, voluntary manslaughter, mayhem,
rape, sodomy by force, oral copulation, lewd acts on a child under 14, any felony
punishable by death), or a crime involving stalking or a great bodily injury
enhancement, you will not be paroled to a county where you would be within 35
miles of the residence of a victim or witness if: (1) the victim or witness has
requested additional distance, and/or (2) the BPH or CDCR finds that there is a

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See 15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3650; 3075.2(b).
CDCR Parolee Information Handbook at 5; see 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(b).
336
CDCR Parolee Information Handbook at 5.
337
There has been significant case law on what information the police or sheriff can require from you. See, e.g.,
People v. Sanchez, 105 Cal. App. 4th 1240 (2003); People v. Bailey, 101 Cal. App. 4th 238 (2002).
338
Telephone call with Gang Task Force police officer in Watsonville, CA. If you are required to register for a gangrelated offense, the local police/ sheriff’s office may ask for relevant information from you like the name of the gang,
size of the gang, where the gang tends to congregate, and/or where gang members live. Usually a parole officer will
tell someone of this registration requirement in the first days after release from prison, and may give the parolee
instructions for when and how to make an appointment to register with the local police or sheriff’s office.
339
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(a).
340
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b). A county that wants a parolee to be sent somewhere else must show that the parole
authorities have abused their discretion when choosing the county of parole. McCarthy v. Superior Court, 191 Cal.
App. 3d 1023, 1027 (1987); City of Susanville v. CDCR, 204 Cal. App. 4th 377 (2012).
334
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341

need to protect the victim or witness. If the BPH or CDCR decides to send you
to another county for parole, the agency making the decision must state their
342
reasons for doing so in writing.

Interested in requesting a transfer of your parole?
For information on how to request to transfer your parole location from
one county to a different county, see PG. 181, or from one state to a
different state, see PG. 181.

IS THERE ANY FORM OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM
PAROLE WHEN I FIRST GET OUT?
Yes, but it is very limited and for a very small amount. You are entitled
to the money in your trust account and gate money. You may be able
to get other emergency funds by requesting them through your
parole agent. Below we explain the types of financial assistance you
can ask for on your first days out in more detail:

1.

TRUST ACCOUNTS:

WHAT IS
“INTEREST”?
Interest is a small
percentage amount
of your money
being held that gets
added to your
account periodically
for the prison
having the ability to
hold your money.

Money that you brought to, earned, or received in prison is kept in an
interest-bearing trust account. The “interest” is paid to the trust account on a
monthly basis, minus operational expenses incurred. Any money in your prison
trust account, including any interest you earned, must be given to you
343
at your release.
I WAS IN CDCR’S
What should I do if the prison never gives me my
CUSTODY FOR
LESS THAN 6
money?
MONTHS DUE
If the prison does not give you your gate money, let your
TO A PAROLE
parole officer know immediately.
VIOLATION. DO I
GET GATE
2. GATE MONEY (a.k.a. “RELEASE ALLOWANCE”):
MONEY WHEN I
AM RELEASED?
> $200 GATE MONEY:
If you are leaving state prison and you are (1) paroled, (2) placed on
post-release community supervision (PRCS), or (3) discharged from a
CDCR institution or reentry facility, you are entitled to $200 in state
344
funds upon release. Even though your parole agent is responsible
for giving you these funds, the agent is not required to give you the
entire amount immediately. Instead, your parole agent may distribute
the $200 in separate, smaller amounts over a period of 60 days
345
following your release. By the end of those 60 days, you should
have received the entire $200. If you need to purchase clothes or a
bus ticket at the time of your release, you must pay for it; CDCR does
not provide extra gate money for clothing or transportation, but will
deduct it from your $200 gate money if you ask them to front this
346
cost.

If you were returned
to the custody of
prison or jail on a
parole violation—
but were there for
less than 6
months—you will
receive $1.10 per
day that you are
held, up to a
maximum of $200.
(See 15 CAL. CODE
REGS.
§ 3075.2(d)(4).)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(f) and (h). This provision does not apply to the victim’s next of kin. In re David, 202 Cal.
App. 4th 675 (2012).
342
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b).
343
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2085; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3099.
344
The rules for gate money are in CAL. PENAL CODE § 2713.1, 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d), and DOM §§ 74070.23,
74070.23.5, 81010.6.1, 81010.6.2.
345
Most people receive at least $50–$100 of their “gate money” immediately upon release from prison, and many
receive the entire $200. 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(8). See also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at
22, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
346
The rules for gate money are in CAL. PENAL CODE § 2713.1, 15; CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d); and DOM §§ 74070.23,
74070.23.5, 81010.6.1, 81010.6.2.
341

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IMPORTANT: You also have the right to the $200 gate money in the
following cases:
•

!

•
•

If you were sent to a local jail for civil commitment proceedings or evaluation
347
as a “sexually violent predator” (SVP).
If you are a “lifer parolee” who returned to prison on a parole violation, when
348
you are re-released to parole.
If you served 6 straight months or more on a sentence OR on a return-tocustody for a parole violation (these 6 months could be time spent in jail or in
349
prison).

> YOU WILL GET ONLY $100 GATE MONEY IF YOU ALREADY RECEIVED A $100
ADVANCE
350

If you are released from prison into a Community Correctional Reentry Facility
351
or Alternative Custody Program (ACP), you may be given an advance of up to
352
$100 of your gate money at that time. Once you are released from the reentry
facility or ACP, you may only receive what is left of the $200 not yet given to
353
you—for most, this will be $100 remaining.

> YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR GATE MONEY IF YOU ARE RELEASED FROM
PRISON INTO THE CUSTODY OF ANOTHER AGENCY THAT IS DETAINING YOU
If you are released from prison into the custody of another state, local law
enforcement, or the federal government (i.e. you are released from state prison
and into the custody of a federal prison or another jail/prison because you have
been convicted or face charges in another jurisdiction), you will not get any gate
354
money until you are released from that custody. Similarly, if you are released
from prison into the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
355
(INS) and are waiting a deportation hearing date, you will not get gate money.
> YOU WILL FORFEIT (GIVE UP) YOUR RIGHT TO GATE MONEY IN THE
FOLLOWING SITUATION
If you abscond from parole (meaning you flee, go missing, or do not report to
your parole agent as required) before receiving all of your gate money, you give
up your right to the gate money. This means if you fail to report or to let your
parole agent know of your whereabouts, you lose your right to the $200 gate
356
money. If you abscond from parole, you also risk: 1) getting your parole
revoked and going back to prison; 2) being held on parole for a longer time
period than originally required; 3) being forced to wear a GPS tracking advice by
parole (see PG. 170).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sabatasso v. Superior Court, 167 Cal. App. 4th 791 (2008) (holding contrary portion of 15 CAL. CODE REGS.
§ 3075.2(d)(2) invalid).
348
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(4); see also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 22,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013)
349
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d).
350
CDCR operates fourteen "reentry hubs" in California. Programs typically last up to four years, and include classes
in Substance Abuse, Criminal Thinking, Anger Management, and Family Relationships. They are available to people
who have been released from prison within the past four years, and are designed specifically "for inmates who have
a moderate-to-high risk to reoffend, as assessed by the California Static Risk Assessment (CSRA), and who have an
assessed criminogenic need, as identified by the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative
Sanctions (COMPAS) and/or other assessment(s) identified by CDCR." CDCR, Fact Sheet: Reentry Hubs,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/docs/Factsheets/OS-IP-Factsheet-ReentryHubs-Mar2014.pdf.
351
Alternative Custody Program (ACP) means a voluntary program developed for female inmates whose current
commitment offense is neither violent nor serious and whose prior or current commitment offense is not a
registerable sex offense pursuant to PC section 1170.05 that allows eligible inmates committed to state prison to
serve their sentence in the community in lieu of confinement in state prison. Provisions for ACP are located in Title
15, Division 3, Chapter 1, Article 6.8 commencing with section 3078. 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3000.
352
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(8)(A).
353
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(8)(B).
354
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(1).
355
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(d)(2).
356
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2713.1; see also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 22,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
347

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> YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO GATE MONEY IN THE FOLLOWING SITUATION
If you are released after being placed in jail for parole revocation proceedings,
357
you do not receive gate money.

3. EMERGENCY FUNDS
358

There are 2 very limited types of emergency funds that you can request
through your parole agent: (1) Cash Assistance Loans (also called “financial
359
360
assistance funds”) and (2) Funds for Services (also called “Bank Drafts”).
Unfortunately, in these current tight budget times, these funds are extremely
limited.
These funds are discretionary. This means that your parole agent and his or her
supervisor decide whether to give you a “cash assistance loan” or funds for
services. Their decision will depend on the following factors:
•
•
•

361

Whether there is money available;
362
The circumstances, including your history and needs; AND
Whether you are a citizen (as there are legal limits on the financial assistance
that CA State Parole can provide to certain parolees who are not U.S.
363
citizens).
(1) FIRST TYPE OF EMERGENCY FUND: Cash Assistance Loans
Cash Assistance Loans (a.k.a. “Financial Assistance Funds”) are loans that
you may request from your parole agent. CDCR expects you to pay back
these loans as soon as possible (for example, once employment or other
financial circumstances allow you to do so). These loans are only granted
when there is a critical need and assistance is not available from any other
364
source. The loans are usually for amounts under $50. The parole agent’s
supervisor must approve any loan over $50 or any series of loans totaling
365
more than $150 in a 30-day period.
(2) SECOND TYPE OF EMERGENCY FUND: Funds for Services:
Your parole agent is also authorized to distribute Funds for Services (a.k.a.
“Bank Drafts”), including for housing, food, and clothing. Your parole agent
may authorize a loan of up to $500 to you for over-the-counter purchases.
The check may be written either directly to you or to the vendor who is
selling the item that you are purchasing. Once again, the loans are granted
on an emergency basis, and you must pay the money back as soon as you
366
able to do so.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 2713.1; see also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 22,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
358
The rules for these funds are in 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3605 and DOM § 81070.1 et seq.
359
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3605; DOM § 81070.1 et seq. (outlining Parole’s cash assistance loan procedures).
360
See 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3605.
361
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2713.1; see also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 22,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
362
See DOM § 81070.1 (“A determination of how much money is needed is a matter of judgment, and
circumstances will generally differ from case to case.”).
363
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3630 (“Pursuant to Section 411 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996, (PRWORA) (8 U.S.C. Section 1621), and notwithstanding any other provision of Title 15,
Division 3 of the California Code of Regulations, aliens who are not “qualified aliens” or “nonimmigrant aliens,” as
defined by federal law, or who are paroled into the United States for less than one year, are ineligible to receive or
participate in the following parole services: (1) Food coupons, (2) Bus passes, (3) Job placement services, (4) Shortterm cash assistance.”)
364
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3605; DOM § 81070.1.
365
DOM § 81070.1 et seq.
366
DOM § 81070.2; DOM § 81070.7; see also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 23,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
357

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LENGTH OF STATE PAROLE
WHERE WILL I SEE THE LENGTH OF MY PAROLE? AND
WHO CALCULATES IT?
Your parole date will be listed on your CDCR Form 1515, “Notice and
Conditions of Parole” (see example in Appendix G, PG. 302). Parole
will be responsible for calculating these dates based on state law, and
your parole agent must tell you what they are.

IF I AM ON STATE PAROLE, WHAT LAW SETS THE
LENGTH OF MY PAROLE?
If you are on state parole, the length of your parole period is set by
367
state law and is based on your commitment offense (the crime you
are or were incarcerated for), and when the commitment offense
occurred. The state law that is applied to determine your base parole
period and maximum parole period is the law that was in existence at
the time of the commitment offense (NOT the date you were
368
sentenced on and NOT the date you were released onto parole).
In most cases, there is a minimum parole period that can be increased
369
up to a maximum parole period if you commit parole violations.
Because state laws set the minimum & maximum parole term lengths,
the date that a person actually gets off parole will be determined by a
number of factors. See PG. 155 for more information.
There are actually 3 discharge dates—a Controlling Discharge Date, A
Maximum Discharge Date, and a Presumptive Discharge Date— that
together determine when you will actually get off parole, and a number
of factors that interact with those 3 dates to determine when you will
be eligible to get off parole earlier or later than you originally expected.
See the chart on PG. 155 below for a detailed description of these
three dates and how they interact with each other.
You can find the parole term lengths in California Penal Code
§ 3000(b) (for set-length parole terms) and § 3000.1 (for life-long parole
terms)—we have included copies of the current versions of these laws
in Appendix F, PG. 298, for your reference. (The California Penal Code
is a chapter of laws that apply to crimes, parole, and other criminal
justice system-related laws in California). To look up the discharge
dates that apply to you, see Appendix C, PG.294 of this chapter.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See generally CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000(b); 3000.1.
See In re Thomson, 104 Cal. App. 3d 950 (1980); In re Bray, 97 Cal. App. 3d 506 (1979).
369
See generally CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000(b); 3000.1.
367
368

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WHAT STOPS
THE CLOCK FOR
MY LENGTH OF
TIME ON
PAROLE?
The clock for your
parole period is
paused if:
(1) YOU GO MISSING:
Any time during that
you “abscond” from
parole (go missing or
fail to report to your
parole agent), and any
time you are not
available for parole
supervision, this
“stops the clock” and
does not count toward
the parole period.
(2) YOU HAVE TO GO
THROUGH SEXUALLY
VIOLENT PREDATOR
(SVP) PROCEEDINGS:
The parole term is
“tolled” (paused) until
the SVP proceedings
are dismissed or you
are discharged from
the Department of
State Hospitals (DSH).
(3) YOU ARE SENT TO
COUNTY JAIL (NOT
PRISON) FOR A NEW
FELONY
CONVICTION. If you
are sentenced to a
county jail term for a
new felony conviction,
you will stay on parole
while serving your jail
sentence, but the
clock will pause on
your parole term. If the
jail sentence ends
before your controlling
discharge date (CDD)
(see chart on PG. 155),
you must report to
your parole officer
upon release and
finish serving your
original parole term.
But if your are
sentenced for a new
felony conviction, your
parole will just be
forgotten about—it
isn’t paused, but it no
longer matters.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

THE 3 DISCHARGE DATES YOU SHOULD KNOW
TO FIGURE OUT WHEN YOU GET OFF PAROLE!
CONTROLLING
DISCHARGE DATE (CDD)
THIS IS YOUR BASE PAROLE
PERIOD.
Your CDD is the date that you
are set to be discharged from
parole if nothing changes—your
base term.
For example, if someone is on
parole for 5 years with a
maximum of 7 years, then the
Controlling Discharge Date
(CDD) is 5 years from the day of
370
release from state prison.
(NOTE: These parole length
calculations are based on state
law. There is a sample
worksheet for how to calculate
your parole discharge date in
Appendix C, PG. 294 of this
chapter)
Please refer to Appendix C,
PG. 294 of this chapter to
determine your CDD.

MAXIMUM DISCHARGE
DATE (MDD)
THIS IS MAXIMUM/ THE LAST
DATE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO
BE HELD ON PAROLE.
The MDD is the last possible
date you could be on parole.
For example, if someone is on
parole for 5 years with a
maximum of 7 years, then the
Maximum Discharge Date (MDD)
is 7 years from the day of
371
release from state prison.
(NOTE: These parole length
calculations are based on state
law. There is a sample
worksheet for how to calculate
your parole discharge date in
Appendix C, PG. 294 of this
chapter)
Please refer to Appendix C,
PG. 294 of this chapter to
determine your MDD.

PRESUMPTIVE DISCHARGE DATE (PDD)

THIS IS THE DATE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO GET OFF PAROLE
EARLY.
The PDD is the date you can be discharged from parole, and the
date that you should be discharged if the BPH does not find “good
372
cause” (a good reason) to retain you.
This date is always before
your CDD (base term). You can only get off on your PDD if you have
served parole continuously without disruptions, meaning no
revocation/violation time, suspensions, or “dead time” for
absconding (going missing or failing to report to your parole agent).
For example, someone might have a 5-year parole length with a
Presumptive Discharge Date (PDD) of 3 years. This means that the
person is eligible to be discharged after 3 continuous years on
parole.
(NOTE: These parole length calculations are based on state law.
There is a sample worksheet for how to calculate your parole
discharge date in Appendix C, PG. 294 of this chapter)
IMPORTANT! Some people do not have a PDD—meaning certain
individuals do not have a date on which they are eligible to get off
373
parole early.
This is based on what your commitment offense
was and when it happened. Go to Appendix C, PG. 294 of this
chapter to determine your PDD, if you have one.

For an example of how you can calculate your own parole discharge date, see
Appendix C, PG. 294. To determine your CDD, MDD, and PDD, see Appendix B,
PG. 292.

HELPFUL HINT
In addition to these very important 3 dates, you can ask for your parole agent to
recommend that you get off parole even earlier than your Presumptive
Discharge Date (PDD), but this is very hard to do successfully. That’s because
for your parole agent to recommend you get off even earlier, everyone has to
agree—the parole agent has to support you; the agent’s supervisor has to agree;
the Regional Administrator for your parole region must approve your request;
and finally, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH), must approve your early release
from parole.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time during which a parolee absconds or is unavailable for supervision does not count toward either the CDD.
There is no limit on how long the CDD can be extended due to absconding or unavailability. CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 3000(b)(6)(B). Time served in custody for parole revocation terms will extend the CDD, but only until the MDD is
reached. The CDD comes from state law: CAL. GOV’T CODE § 3000(b) (set-length parole terms) and § 3000.1 (life-long
parole terms).
371
The MDD also comes from state law: CAL. GOV’T CODE § 3000(b) (set-length parole terms) and § 3000.1 (life-long
parole terms). There is no limit on how long the CDD can be extended due to absconding or unavailability. CAL.
PENAL CODE § 3000(b)(7). See also CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000(b)(6). Time served in custody for a parole revocation will
extend the CDD, but only until the MDD is reached.
372
Note that a provision for early “earned discharge” for some parolees (former 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.4) has
been repealed.
373
There is no presumptive discharge date from state parole for any person serving a life-long parole period
following an indeterminate life term for a sex offense under CAL. GOV’T CODE §§ 269, 288.7(c), 667.51, 667.61(j), (l), or
(m), or 667.71 [if a victim was a child under age 14]. There is also no presumptive early discharge for parolees who
were sentenced to prison for offenses committed between July 1, 1977, and December 31, 1978. 15 CAL. CODE REGS.
§ 2535(b)(5). See In re Miller, 2006 WL 1980385 (Cal. Ct. App. July 17, 2006) at n.2 (discussing CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 3000(b), Stats. 1977, chs.2, p.165, as it was prior to 1979).
370

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WHAT CAN I DO IF I THINK THAT THE LENGTH OF MY PAROLE IS
MISCALCULATED?
If you believe your parole length has been miscalculated, which does happen
time to time, you can and should APPEAL (challenge) your parole term length
with CDCR. You have to exhaust the appeals process before you can go to
court.
First, understand the timelines for filing an appeal (see box below). Then, follow
the three steps, starting on PG. 156, to file your appeal.

TIMELINES FOR ALL 602 APPEALS
What timelines must I follow in submitting a 602 appeal?
1. For submitting an initial 602 administrative appeal, you have 30 days to appeal after
the event or decision occurs, or after having first knowledge about the action or
decision being appealed;
2. If you get an unsatisfactory response from Parole or CDCR to a 602 appeal, you have
374
30 days to submit a higher-level appeal.
3. SPECIAL NOTE: There are special timelines and processes for submitting (1)
emergency appeals, (2) appeals of involuntary psychiatric transfer, and (3) disability375
related appeals. What timelines must CDCR/Parole follow in responding to my 602
appeal?
CDCR/Parole must respond to your 602 appeals within the following time limits:
1. Parole has 30 working days (from date of receipt by Appeals Coordinator) to
376
complete and return to you a First Level Response to your 602 appeal.
2. Parole has 30 working days (from date of receipt by Appeals Coordinator) to
377
complete and return to you a Second Level Response to your 602 appeal.
3. Parole has 60 working days (from date of receipt by Appeals Chief) to complete and
378
return to you a Third Level Response to your 602 appeal
The only EXCEPTIONS for CDCR/Parole to take longer than this are if:
1. The parolee, staff, or witnesses are unavailable;
2. The complexity of the decision, action, or policy requires additional research;
3. It’s necessary to involve other agencies or jurisdictions in the appeal; or
379
4. A state of emergency requires CDCR and Parole to postpone “nonessential
administrative decisions and actions, including normal time requirements for such
380
decisions and actions.”

IF THERE IS AN UNREASONABLE DELAY IN GETTING A FORMAL RESPONSE
TO YOUR 602: Except for the Third Level of a 602 appeal, CDCR/Parole must
provide you in writing with (1) an explanation of the reasons for the delay, and (2)
an estimated completion date, and these explanations must be given to you
381
within the time limits above. SO IF YOU DON’T GET A FORMAL WRITTEN
RESPONSE to your 602 and never got notified in writing about the delay, then
the appeals process is exhausted, and you can raise your issue in court by filing
a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the superior court of the county of
your parole (See PG. 312 to learn how).
Keeping the timelines for 602 appeals in mind, you can challenge the length of
your parole period by following the steps on the next page.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(b).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3084.8(f), (g), 3084.9 et seq.
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(c)(1).
377
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(c)(2).
378
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(c)(3).
379
An emergency as it is meant here is defined in 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3383(c).
380
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(d).
381
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.8(e).
374
375
376

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STEP 1: Submit two forms at the same time: (1) First, submit CDCR Form 22 to
your parole agent, requesting an interview to discuss the issue, and (2) Submit a
CDCR Form 602 appeal to the Regional Appeals Coordinator at the same time.
To challenge the length of your parole, you will need to file a CDCR Form 22
(with your parole agent) and a CDCR Form 602 (with your Regional Appeals
Coordinator) at the same time. Be sure to attach a copy of the Form 22 to the
Form 602 appeal; and vice versa, attach a copy of the Form 602 to the Form 22
382
request.
•

SUBMIT FORM 22: To challenge the length of your parole (your CDD, MDD,
or PDD), you will need to file a CDCR Form 22, “Request for Interview, Item or
383
Service” with your parole agent. You can get this Form 22 from any parole
field office (see Appendix I, PG. 308 for an example, but always ask for the
384
most current version of any CDCR form). If you don’t already know it, you
can find your local parole office’s address online at:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Public_Officers_and_Regional_Offices/. Click
on the Region where you are located for a full list of parole offices and
addresses in that region. You can also deliver the Form 22 in person to your
parole agent at your parole office.
Your parole agent has 3 working days from the time he or she receives your
Form 22 request to return the original and a copy of the form to you with a
response. In the response, your parole agent must: (1) note his or her decision
on the form, (2) sign and date the form, and (3) retain a copy for his or her
385
own records.

•

•

!

SUBMIT FORM 602: At the same time, you should submit a formal
administrative appeal using CDCR Form 602 (see Appendix J, PG. 309 for a
blank Form 602 for your reference, but always ask your parole officer for the
most current version of any CDCR form) to your Regional Appeals
386
Coordinator. (See Appendix D on PG. 296 for a list of Regional Appeals
Coordinators to see who and where you should send your appeal.)
Send your completed CDCR Form 602, with all supporting documents listed
on the Form 602 and enclosed with the form. As supporting document, you
MUST include both a copy of your CDCR Form 1515 AND a copy of your
CDCR Form 22 with your 602 appeal.

WARNING: If you send a Form 602 appeal to Regional Appeals
Coordinator before filing a more informal Form 22 with you parole agent,
the Appeals Coordinator may screen out your 602 for not having first
submitted a Form 22 (Parole’s reasoning is that they want parolees to try
and solve these issues informally with their parole agent before a formal
appeal is processed). So long as you file the Form 22 and Form 602 at
the same time, your 602 appeal should not be screened out because
parole agents must respond to the Form 22 requests faster than the
Appeals Coordinator has to respond to your Form 602 appeal.
!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.6(e)(2).
CDCR Form 22, “Request for Interview, Item or Service” is not available online. You should request the most
current version from your parole agent. A version is included in Appendix I, PG. 189, for your reference or use.
384
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3086(c)(4).
385
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3086(f)(4).
386
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3084.2; 3084.3
382
383

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STEP 2: You should receive a response to your 602 within 30 working days
(don’t count state holidays or weekends). If CDCR denies your 602 appeal at the
First Level of Review, you must continue to pursue the administrative appeals
387
process THROUGH ALL 3 LEVELS OF REVIEW before filing a case in court.
There are special rules for processing 602 appeals concerning miscalculation of
your parole discharge date. First level review will be done by the records office
388
staff. If the appeal is denied at the first level, you can request second level
review, which will consist of a “computation review hearing.” Unless you waive
(give up) your rights, you should be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the
389
date and time of the hearing. At the end of the hearing, you must be given a
390
copy of the hearing decision on a CDCR Form 1033. If the appeal is denied, or
you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can submit the appeal to the CDCR
Appeals Chief as normal for third level review.
STEP 3: Finally, if you exhaust (complete) all three levels of the 602
administrative appeals process, you can continue to challenge the calculation of
your parole length (or any other parole condition) by filing a state petition for a
writ of habeas corpus in the superior court of the county of your parole. See the
next question, and Appendix K, PG. 312 to learn how!

!

REAL-LIFE PRACTICE TIP
FOR 602 APPEALS
In real-life practice, the formal written response to a 602 appeal will often not
get back to the parolee who filed it. Sometimes the formal response is sent to a
parole agent, who doesn’t hand it over to the parolee. If you are not physically
sent or handed a WRITTEN formal response to your Form 602 appeal (which is
different and separate than the written response from your parole agent to a
Form 22 request), then this is NOT considered an answer or formal response
under law—because it was never given/sent to you. After 30 working days are
up, you can try calling your parole agent to find out where the formal response
to your 602 is and request a copy be sent to you immediately, but if you are still
not given anything after an unreasonable amount of time has passed, then you
have exhausted (completed) the administrative appeals process and can file a
state petition for a writ of habeas corpus (or file a second 602 appeal about the
delay). See PG. 156 for detailed information about what to do if you don’t hear
back within the legal time limits. Please note: A short delay is unlikely to be seen
as “exhausting” the administrative appeals process—for example, a few days or
a week late, or a mistake that was immediately fixed by handing you a copy
when you asked—but if a month or more has passed, this looks more like an
unreasonable delay and is likely to be considered exhaustion, allowing you to
take the case to state court.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.7.
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.9(d).
389
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.9(d)(2).
390
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.9(d)(3).
387
388

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IMPORTANT!
WHAT CAN I DO IF CDCR/ PAROLE IS BREAKING THE LEGAL TIME
LIMITS FOR RESPONDING TO MY 602 APPEAL?
Unfortunately, it often happens that the CDCR Regional Appeals Coordinator office will not get back to you with a written
formal response to your 602 appeal within the timelines required by law. Make sure to ask your parole agent and parole
agent’s supervisor for the formal response to your 602 appeal at any of the three levels of review. If you still do not
receive a written FORMAL RESPONSE in person or by mail after asking, you can:
(1) File another 602 appeal, noting CDCR and Parole’s failure to return a formal response to your 602 appeal within the
timelines required by law.
(2) File a state petition for a writ for habeas corpus in your local California State Superior Court– stating in the petition that
because CDCR/Parole Department didn’t send you a formal response to your 602 appeal within the legal timelines,
you’ve exhausted (completed) the only administrative appeals process available to you.
(3) As a more informal action, and to help create a record of what is happening with your original 602, you should:

! Call the Regional Appeals Coordinator office requesting a formal response to your 602 be sent to you (and document
these phone calls); AND
! Write and send a dated and signed letter to the Regional Appeals Coordinator where you sent the original 602, noting
CDCR and Parole’s failure to return a formal response to your 602 appeal within the timelines required by law; AND
! Similarly, write and send a dated and signed letter directly to the parole field office where you report, with attention to
your parole agent and your parole agent’s supervisor, noting CDCR and Parole’s failure to return a formal response to
your 602 appeal within the timelines required by law. In the letter you should include:
•
Your full name;
•
Your CDC number under your name;
•
A brief explanation of what issues your original 602 appeal was all about. Be sure to include the date that a formal
response to your 602 appeal was due back to you; explain what level you are at in the 602 appeals process; and how
much time has passed since your formal response was due back to you. You may also want to state any additional
facts about the 602 appeal that you believe are relevant; AND
•
A copy of your original 602 appeal, if you have one, as evidence of your appeal.
Why is this suggested?
It is always better to have any problems that occur with the appeals process PUT INTO WRITING in a letter to the
parole office, rather than just have verbal conversations about CDCR/Parole’s failure to respond with the legal
timelines.
Where do you send your letter?
(1) Send the first letter to your parole agent and the agent’s supervisor directly to your parole office where you report.
Please visit parole’s website at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Public_Officers_and_Regional_Offices/ to find the
address of your local parole office, if you don’t already know it. Click on the Region where you are located for a full list
of parole offices and addresses in that region.
(2) Sent the second letter to the Regional Appeals Coordinator to the office address where you sent your original 602.
As of now, it will be one of the following addresses, depending on which region of parole you are located in:
Northern Region Parole, Appeals Coordinator
9825 Goethe Road, Ste. 200
Sacramento, CA 95827-2572
Coordinator Southern Region Parole, Appeals
21015 Pathfinder Road Ste. 200
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

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I FILED A FORM 602 ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL ABOUT MY
PAROLE LENGTH, AND WAS DENIED AT ALL THREE LEVELS OF
REVIEW, OR IT IS WAY PAST WHEN A FORMAL RESPONSE WAS
DUE TO ME BUT I NEVER GOT ONE. NOW THAT I HAVE
“EXHAUSTED” (COMPLETED) THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS
PROCESS, HOW DO I FILE A STATE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS?
If you have gone through all three levels of the 602 administrative appeals
process OR it is way past the deadline for receiving a response from
CDCR/Parole to your 602 appeal, then you have exhausted (completed) the
administrative appeals process and you can now file a state petition for a writ of
391
habeas corpus in the county of your parole.
Through a habeas corpus proceeding, an incarcerated person or someone on
parole can ask a court to order “injunctive relief,” which means you ask a judge
to order that prison or parole officials DO something or STOP DOING something.
For example, a court could order parole officials to drop an illegal parole
condition OR to fix a parole term length miscalculation. For more detailed
information on how to file a habeas corpus petition, see Appendix K, PG. 312.

GETTING OFF STATE PAROLE
CAN I GET OFF STATE PAROLE EARLY?
It depends—THIS IS USUALLY AN OPTION FOR PEOPLE, BUT IT IS AT THE
DISCRETION OF PAROLE (WITH LIMITATIONS ON HOW THEY CAN MAKE
THESE DECISIONS).
Most people have the legal right to a presumption that they should get off of
parole early—this is called the presumptive discharge date or PDD. Learn more
about PDDs on PG. 155.
Some people do not have a PDD under law BECAUSE OF THEIR commitment
offense and when it occurred. See Appendix B, PG. 292, for a list of people who
do not have PDDs under law.
If you have a PDD, different time periods apply to you and they are set by state
law. Your PDD depends on the underlying commitment offense, and when the
commitment offense occurred. The PDD periods can be found in California Penal
392
Code Sections 3000, 3000.1, 3001. If you fit into more than one category, the
longer period applies. See Appendix B, PG. 292, for a list of current PDD
lengths.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual, at 34, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
(updated Aug. 2013).
392
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000, 3000.1, and 3001. See also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual, at 30,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
391

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WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN WHEN I REACH MY PRESUMPTIVE
DISCHARGE DATE (PDD)?
If you are entitled to a PDD under law, then the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH)
393
must conduct a discharge review within 30 days of your PDD. At this hearing,
BPH must decide whether to keep you on parole or let you off early based on
394
your parole agent’s report (submitted to the BPH on CDCR Form 1502)
395
recommending for or against keeping you on parole. Your parole agent will
make his or her recommendation based on factors like:
1.

Parole Adjustment: Whether or not you followed your parole conditions or
were involved in any criminal behavior or activities. This includes whether
your living situation and your employment, education, or vocational training
were stable; your ability to be financially independent in the community;
your compliance with special conditions of parole; your mental health status
and compliance with any mental health treatment; and any gang
involvement.
2. Restitution payment: The amount of your restitution balance, and any efforts
to satisfy your restitution balance; and
3. Criminal History: Your compliance with any conviction-related registration
requirements (for example, sex offense, arson, gang-related, or drug-related
396
registration requirements—refer to the chart on PG. 150); whether your
397
commitment offense or other past convictions were serious or violent;
whether you used a weapon or possessed a firearm during your
398
commitment offense.

What can I do if CDCR or parole staff makes a mistake
in the report?

WHAT IS A
“MISTAKE OF
FACT”?

A mistake of fact is
If your parole agent (or any other Parole or CDCR staff)
an error caused by
makes a “mistake of fact” in the report to the BPH
someone’s
recommending whether or not you should be kept on parole,
unawareness or
you can file a CDCR Form 602 administrative appeal
ignorance of the
399
challenging the mistake. See the steps for filing a 602
circumstances of an
administrative appeal above on PG. 156. However, if you want
event.
to directly challenge the BPH decision (since there was no
mistake in parole’s report, but you still think there wasn’t good cause to
400
keep you on parole), you do not need to file a 602 appeal. Please see
PG. 163 below for more information about how to challenge a BPH
action.

If the reviewers of your 602 appeal find that there was a significant
mistake in your parole agent’s report to the BPH and that mistake led to
you being kept on parole past your PDD, they can change the
recommendation and ask the BPH to reconsider its decision and
401
discharge you from parole.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3001. See also Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual, at 30,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf (updated Aug. 2013).
394
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3721.1.
395
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3721-3723.
396
See CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 290, 457.1, 186.30; CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 11590.
397
“Serious or violent” as it is meant here is defined in CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 1192.7(c), 1192.8, or 667.5(c).
398
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3721(b).
399
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3721-3723.
400
See CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 290, 457.1, 186.30; CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 11590.
401
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3723.
393

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WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AT THE PRESUMPTIVE DISCHARGE (PDD)
REVIEW PROCESS?
You have the right to see a written record of BPH’s decision of whether or not to
keep you on parole. The BPH must make a written record of its decision, and
402
must send a copy of that decision to you. If it is more than 30 days past your
PDD and you did not receive written notice of the BPH’s decision, you may be
entitled to IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE FROM PAROLE if the BPH failed to make a
decision in your case. See PG. 163 below for more information.

DO I HAVE A RIGHT TO APPEAR AT THE PDD REVIEW BEFORE
THE BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS (BPH)?
403

No. You do not have a right to personally appear at the BPH review. But, if
404
CDCR staff makes a “mistake of fact” (see definition on PG. 161 in the report
that goes to BPH, then you can file a CDCR Form 602 administrative appeal
405
asking for reconsideration, and clarifying the mistake that has been made.
See the steps for filing a 602 appeal on PG. 156.

ON WHAT BASIS CAN THE BPH DECIDE TO KEEP ME ON PAROLE
PAST MY PDD INSTEAD OF LETTING ME OFF EARLY?
The BPH must have “good cause” to retain you (keep you) on parole past
406
the presumptive discharge date (PDD), if you are entitled to one. The
law sets out broad factors that give parole “good cause” to keep
someone on parole—such as the original crime, in-prison behavior, and
407
parole adjustment (defined on PG. 161 above). At this time, there are no
published legal cases challenging a BPH finding of good cause for
keeping someone on parole past his or her PDD, so unfortunately there
isn’t much legal guidance. If you are in the situation of challenging a
finding of good cause, it may help for you to show the BPH as much
evidence as possible that you have adjusted well to parole, followed all of
your parole conditions, been making efforts to pay off your restitution,
complied with any registration requirements, and made significant efforts
to turn your life around (both in prison and after release) since your
commitment offense (including documentation of any employment,
education or training, certificates for completing programs that helped you
improve yourself or learn new skills, etc.).

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BPH DECIDES TO CONTINUE MY
PAROLE?
If the BPH decides to continue your parole past the PDD, you will be reviewed
for possible discharge each year until your maximum discharge date (MDD) is
408
reached. At these annual review dates, you will remain on parole unless the
409
BPH affirmatively acts to discharge you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
402
403
404
405
406
407
408
409

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3001(b).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. 2535(c).
A mistake of fact is an error caused someone’s unawareness or ignorance of the circumstances of an event.
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3721-3723.
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2535(d).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 2535(d) and 3722(c); DOM §§ 81080.1-81080.1.1.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3001(d); 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2535(c).
In re Carr, 38 Cal. App. 4th 209 (1995).

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WHAT IS
“GOOD
CAUSE”?
Good Cause is
considered a
good reason. It
is defined by
the CDCR as a
finding by a
preponderance
of the evidence,
more likely than
not, that there is
a factual basis
and good
reason for a
decision. (15
CAL. CODE
REGS.§ 2000(b)(
50)).

ROADMAP TO REENTRY

CAN I APPEAL THE BPH’S DECISION TO KEEP ME ON PAROLE
PAST MY PDD? WHERE CAN I LOOK FOR ARGUMENTS
REMINDER! YOU
TO SUPPORT MY APPEAL?
Yes. Since you are challenging a decision by the BPH, and not by
parole, you do NOT need to file a 602 appeal—you can challenge
410
the BPH decision directly in state court.
If there was not a mistake in parole’s report/recommendations to
the BPH, but you still want to challenge the BPH’s decision to keep
you on parole past your PDD because you don’t think they had a
good reason to keep you on parole, then there is no administrative
411
appeals process for challenging the BPH’s decision to retain you.
Instead you will skip the appeals process and go straight to filing a
state writ of habeas corpus in the state superior court where your
parole is located to challenge the BPH’s decision to keep you on
parole past the PDD.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GET NOTICE OF A BPH
DECISION WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER MY PDD?

CAN CHALLENGE
FACTUAL
MISTAKES IN
YOUR PAROLE
AGENT’S
DISCHARGE
REVIEW REPORT

If your parole agent or
parole staff makes a
FACTUAL MISTAKE in
their recommendation
to the BPH about
whether or not you
should be discharged
early, you can
challenge that mistake
through a 602 appeal
(see PG. 156 for that
process). (15 CAL.
CODE REGS. § 3723).

It depends on why you didn’t get the notice. There are two
possibilities:
IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN 30 DAYS SINCE MY PRESUMPTIVE DISCHARGE DATE (PDD), AND NO RESPONSE
FROM BPH ABOUT WHETHER I AM DISCHARGED FROM PAROLE. WHAT NEXT?
POSSIBILITY #1:
If you didn't get the notice because the BPH didn’t hold a
hearing at all within 30 days following your PDD.

POSSIBILITY #2:
If the BPH held a hearing and decided to retain you on
parole, but didn’t give you “notice” of their decision
(meaning the BPH didn’t actually tell you their decision)

If your situation falls under this first possibility,
then you
412
should be automatically discharged. The law states that
unless the BPH acts to retain a person on parole
after PDD,
413
the parolee “shall” be discharged from parole. This
means that parole ends automatically if the414BPH fails to
take action to retain the person on parole. So, if there is
no decision to retain you within 30 days after your PDD,
you should be discharged from parole immediately. If it’s
more than 30 days past your PDD, file a CDCR Form 22
with your parole agent and a CDCR Form 602 appeal with
your parole region’s Appeals Coordinator to resolve this.
For the steps on how to file these forms and start the
appeals process, see the steps on PG. 178.

If your situation falls under this second possibility, the lack of
notice does not invalidate BPH’s decision to retain you on
parole (meaning you415
will still be on parole), but you may still
appeal the decision. If the BPH makes a decision to retain
you on parole without giving you notice of that
decision
416
within the 30-day requirement under the law, you can file a
state petition for a writ of habeas corpus (see Appendix K,
PG. 312 for steps on how to do this). The court may order BPH
to provide you with a copy of the retention decision, which
you can use to challenge BPH’s finding of good
417
cause (through a writ of habeas corpus). See Appendix K,
PG. 312 to learn how to file a writ of habeas corpus in state
superior court. !

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 34; see also CDCR, Armstrong Remedial Plan, amended
Dec. 1, 2010, at 93; DOM § 54100.5.
411
This is because the BPH abolished its administrative appeal procedure beginning May 2004. See 15 CAL. CODE
REGS. Art. VI.
412
DOM § 81080.1.1 ("By law, a parolee, unless committed to prison for a "violent felony" under PC 667.5(c), is
discharged if the BPH does not order the parolee retained on parole by the 30th day after completion of one, two,
three, five, or seven years of continuous parole as appropriate to the commitment category.").
413
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3001.
414
In re Torres, 111 Cal. Rptr. 3d 919 (App. 2 Dist. 2010); In re Nesper, 217 Cal. App. 3d 872(1990).
415
In re Stone, 197 Cal. App. 4th 746 (2011); see also People v. Jack, 60 Cal. App. 4th 1129 (1997); In re Ruzicka, 230
Cal. App. 3d 595 (1991); In re Roa, 1 Cal. App. 4th 724 (1991).
416
See DOM § 81080.1.1.
417
See In re Stone, 197 Cal. App. 4th at 754 (2011) (proper remedy for lack of notice is "ordering the Board ‘to
transmit to appellant a copy of the written parole retention record so that he may have the opportunity to pursue
his right of appeal’”) (quoting People v. Jack, 60 Cal. App.4th at 1134). See also In re Ruzicka, 230 Cal. App. 3d at
604 (1991) (“[D]enial of Ruzicka's due process rights [due to lack of notice] can be remedied by an order directing
the DoC to transmit a copy of the written determination record to Ruzicka and afford him an opportunity to pursue
his right of appeal.”).
410

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GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR EVERY PERSON
ON STATE PAROLE:
The general conditions (rules) that apply to you and ALL people on
418
state parole are the following:
•

•
•
•

•
•
•
•
•

•
•

•

•

WHY IS IT
IMPORTANT TO
KNOW AND
UNDERSTAND THE
CONDITIONS OF
MY PAROLE?

Unless other arrangements are approved in writing, you should
It is important to know
report to your parole agent on the first working day following
and understand the
your release.
conditions of your
You must inform your parole agent of your residence,
parole because if you
employment, education, and/or training.
violate any of the
conditions of your
You must report any change or anticipated change to your
parole, you may be
residence (the address where you live) before the change.
arrested, incarcerated
You must inform your parole agent within 72 hours (3 days) of
in a county jail, or
returned to state
any change to your employment—including a change in job
prison, even if you are
location, a change in your employer, or if you are
not convicted of a
terminated/fired/laid off from your job.
new crime. (See CAL.
You must comply with all of your parole agent’s instructions.
PENAL CODE
§ 3000.08(c).
You cannot travel more than 50 miles from your residence
without your parole agent’s prior approval.
You cannot leave your county of residence for more than 48 hours at a time.
You cannot leave California without prior written approval of your parole
agent.
You cannot engage in any illegal activities (which includes any activities that
would violate any state, federal, county, or municipal law). If you engage in
illegal activity, even if you are not convicted of a crime, your parole may be
revoked.
If you are arrested for any felony or misdemeanor crime, you must inform
your parole agent as soon as possible.
You cannot own, use, possess, or have access to:
419
o Any type of gun or ammunition
420
o Any weapon;
o Any knife with a blade longer than two inches, except kitchen knives
(which must be kept only in the kitchen of your home) and knives related
to your employment (which may be used and carried only in connection
with your employment); or
o A crossbow of any kind.
Because you cannot own or have access to or control of any of these
weapons/instruments, if you live with someone who has a gun, weapon,
knife, or crossbow in your residence, you must make sure that the other
person removes those items from the residence, or at least keeps the items
locked in a place to which you don’t have access.
You must waive extradition to the State of California from any other state or
the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.). This means that you must give up
the right to a formal procedure for returning you to California should you

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CDCR, Notice and Conditions of Parole,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2014NCR/14-03/CDCR%201515.pdf.
419
This includes “any device which a reasonable person would believe to be capable of being used as a gun, or any
ammunition which could be used in a gun.” In addition to CDCR Regulations that govern gun and weapon
ownership while on parole, it is important for you to know that California law makes it a felony for any ex-felon to
own, possess, or have custody or control of any firearm—so this applies even once you are off parole. Federal law
also makes it a crime for an ex-felon to possess a firearm or ammunition that has been shipped or transported
through interstate or foreign commerce. A certificate of rehabilitation (see PG. 34) does not restore the right to
possess a firearm. In some cases, but not all, the right can be restored by a full pardon.
420
You may not own, use, posses, or have access to a weapon as defined in state or federal laws, or any device,
which a reasonable person would believe to be capable of being used as a weapon.
418

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•

•

leave the state and get arrested or taken into custody. In other words, you
421
cannot challenge any effort by California to return you to the state.
If another jurisdiction (another state) has lodged a “detainer” against you
(meaning that other state has ordered you be held there), you may be
released to the custody of that state, which means that California will let that
422
other state take control over your supervision and detention temporarily.
However, if you are released from the other state’s custody before your
California state parole would have ended, or if the other state decides not to
hold you, you must immediately contact the nearest California state parole
423
office for instructions on reporting to a parole agent.
Almost no right against searches or seizures by a probation officer, a CDCR
agent or officer, or any law enforcement/police officer. See the next question
(PG. 166) for more detailed information about searches and seizures while
you’re on parole.

GENERAL CONDITION OF STATE PAROLE: LITTLE
PROTECTION AGAINST INVASION OF PRIVACY,
SEARCHES & SEIZURES
Unfortunately, one of the conditions of parole is that you have almost no right
against searches and seizures by parole officers or other law enforcement, but
you DO have some. Since this is a very important issue in daily life, this section
explains in detail what rights you DO have to privacy from law enforcement
searches.

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO PRIVACY OF MY PERSON,
RESIDENCE, OR PROPERTY WHILE ON PAROLE?
Unfortunately, you lose most of your constitutional rights against searches and
seizures while you’re on parole. Generally speaking, for people OFF PAROLE,
the government and law enforcement cannot unreasonably search you or your
property or take things from you; and if they do search you illegally, it can’t be
424
used as evidence against you in court. BUT ON STATE PAROLE, you have
very few rights when it comes to searches of your property, yourself, or your
residence. If you are on state parole:
• You, your residence, and any property that you possess can be searched or
seized (taken) by a probation officer, a CDCR agent or officer, or any other
peace/police officer, at any time (day or night), with or without a search
425
warrant, and with or without cause —even if other non-parolees live there
426
with you.
• Officers can also search the passenger compartment of any car while you are
427
a passenger, even if you are not the driver or owner of the car.
• If you are placed in custody pending parole revocation proceedings, parole
428
agents and other law enforcement officers may search your property.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld these conditions, even though they would
violate the constitutional rights of someone who is not on parole or not under
429
criminal justice.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CDCR, Notice and Conditions of Parole,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2014NCR/14-03/CDCR 1515.pdf.
422
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1389.
423
CDCR, Notice and Conditions of Parole,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2014NCR/14-03/CDCR 1515.pdf.
424
Silverthrone Lumber Co. v. U.S., 251 U.S. 385 (1920).
425
CDCR, Notice and Conditions of Parole,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2014NCR/14-03/CDCR 1515.pdf.
426
See Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843 (2006); U.S. v. Lopez (9th Cir. 2007) 474 F.3d 1208.
427
People v. Schmitz, 55 Cal. 4th 909 (2012).
428
People v. Hunter, 140 Cal. App. 4th 1147, 1152-53 (2006).
421

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BUT—AND THIS IS A BIG BUT—A search of you, your residence, or your
property that goes outside of the normal rules applied to all citizens
CANNOT be justified if the officers who conducted the search did not
know that you were on parole,430 or did not have “probable cause” to
believe that you lived in the residence that was searched.431 With that
being said, however, if a law enforcement or parole officer knows that
you are on parole, the officer is allowed to assume that you are subject to
a parole search condition, in which a search without a warrant,
reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and without your consent are
permitted, since this is a general condition that applies to all people on
parole.432
WHAT IS
“PROBABLE
CAUSE”?

ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL LIMITATIONS ON
SEARCHES WHILE I’M ON PAROLE?
Yes. Even when the officer knows or has probable cause to believe you
are on parole, the one and only limit on parole searches is that such
“searches must be no more intrusive than necessary for a legitimate
433
interest in parole supervision”.
The courts have understood this to mean that parole searches must be
constitutionally “reasonable”—meaning they cannot take place too
often, at an unreasonable time of day, be unreasonably long, or be
434
conducted in an “arbitrary or capricious” (unreasonable) manner.
Searches cannot be motivated by the officer’s dislike of you, nor can
they be used for non-legitimate law enforcement purposes (for example,
435
to harass or embarrass you).
When conducting a parole search of your house, law enforcement
officers must give you notice of the officers’ authority and the purpose in
436
conducting the search prior to entering your house.

WHAT ACTION CAN/SHOULD I TAKE IF A PAROLE OR LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CONDUCTS A SEARCH THAT I
BELIEVE IS UNLAWFUL?

An officer has
“probable cause”
to search
someone on
parole, their
residence, or their
property when
the officer has
some heightened
knowledge that
they are at the
address where
either the parolee
or the subject of
an arrest warrant
resides.
Motley v. Parks,
432 F.3d 1072,
1079 (9th Cir.
2005) overruled
in part by United
States v. King,
687 F.3d 1189
(9th Cir. 2012).

A person on parole has little recourse (very few legal remedies) when law
enforcement officers conduct an unlawful search because evidence that is
obtained through an unlawful search can still be admitted at a parole revocation
437
hearing. Additionally, it is very rare for a court to even find that parole search
was “unreasonable.”
If you believe that the search is unlawful, you should tell the attorney who is
representing you. At a parole revocation hearing, you and your attorney will be
notified of evidence used against you (see PG. 187 for information on parole
revocation hearings).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See U.S. v. Grandberry, 730 F. 3d 968, 975 (9th Cir. 2013); Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843 (2006).
People v. Sanders, 31 Cal. 4th 318 (2003).
Motley v. Parks, 432 F.3d 1072, 1080 (9th Cir. 2005).
432
People v. Middleton, 131 Cal. App. 4th 732, 738-39 (2005).
433
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3067(d); People v. Williams, 3 Cal. App. 4th 1100 (1992); see also U.S. v. King, 687 F.3d 1189
(2012).
434
People v. Reyes, 19 Cal. 4th 743, 753-754 (1998).
435
People v. Clower, 16 Cal. App. 4th 1737, 1741 (1993); see also U.S. v. Follette, 282 F. Supp. 10, 13 (S.D.N.Y. 1968).
436
People v. Constancio, 42 Cal. App. 3d 533 (1974); see also Parsley v. Superior Court, 9 Cal. 3d 934, 938.
437
Pennsylvania Board of Prob. & Parole v. Scott, 524 U.S. 357, 363-364 (1998).
429

430
431

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IN SUM, WHILE YOU ARE ON PAROLE, OFFICERS CAN SEARCH YOU
OR YOUR PROPERTY:
•
•
•

WITHOUT your consent (your permission);
WITHOUT a search warrant;
WITHOUT “probable cause” or even reasonable suspicion that you violated
438
parole.

BUT…
In order to search you or your property, an officer must know or have a reason to
know that you are on parole or some other type of supervision. In court cases on
this issue, judges have said that a search may be illegal if the parole officer
didn’t know or have reason to know the person being searched was on parole.
However, any items that are taken (seized) during the search may still be used
as evidence against you in a later court proceeding or in a revocation hearing.
Still, the search/seizure cannot be more intrusive than reasonable necessary.
If you believe that you were subject to an illegal search, or a search where an
officer did not have knowledge that you were on parole, tell your attorney,
contact a Public Defender’s officer for help, or contact Root & Rebound.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR LEGAL INFORMATION & HELP:
•

•
•

Root & Rebound: Reentry Advocates
o Phone: (510) 279-4662
o Email: info@rootandrebound.org
American Civil Liberties Union—Northern California
o Phone: (415) 621-2488 (English), 415-293-6356 (español)
American Civil Liberties Union—Southern California:
o Phone: (213) 977-5253

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843 (2006); U.S. v. Lopez, 474 F.3d 1208 (9th Cir. 2007); People v. Reyes, 19 Cal. 4th
743 (1998); see also CAL. PENAL CODE § 3067(b)(3).
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ADDITIONAL LAWS THAT APPLY TO ALL
PEOPLE ON STATE PAROLE
In addition to general conditions, there are additional laws and restrictions on
your civil rights that apply to all people on state parole. These rules
won’t be listed on your CDCR Form 1515, “Notice and Conditions of
IMPORTANT
Parole” (the form your parole agent gives you upon release), but they
DISTINCTION
are just as important.
ABOUT VOTING

WHAT ARE OTHER LAWS & RESTRICTIONS THAT APPLY
TO ME AND ALL PEOPLE ON STATE PAROLE?
Additional laws and restrictions that apply to you and all people on
state parole are:
1) YOU CANNOT VOTE—In California elections, people who are on
parole (or who are currently incarcerated) are not allowed to vote in
439
any elections. (To learn more about voting rights in California, go
to the BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING CHAPTER,
PG. 70, to see a chart of who can vote based on the type of
supervision they’re on.) In federal elections, the voting eligibility
laws in the state where you live determine whether or not you have
the right to vote if you have a felony convictions. Since these laws
vary from state to state, if you ever move, you should look into the
state’s voter requirements.
2) YOU CANNOT SERVE ON A JURY—If you have a felony conviction
on your record, you cannot serve on a jury in California, even after
440
you are off parole. Unfortunately, that means you will not be able
to serve on a jury for the rest of your life if you have a felony on your
record.

RIGHTS (AS OF
NOW)!

This voting ban
does NOT apply to
people on county
probation in
California. But this
voting ban DOES
apply to people
sentenced under the
new Realignment
law (AB 109) –
meaning those who
are on Mandatory
Supervision or PostRelease Community
Supervision (PRCS),
and report to county
probation offices
and not parole – but
there is an ongoing
lawsuit challenging
this. See Scott et al.
v. Bowen, No. RG14712570 (Cal. Sup. Ct.
of Alameda Cnty.,
June 05, 2014)
(appeal granted).

Is there any way to get back my right to serve on a jury?
Yes. You may be able to reduce the impact of your felony conviction(s),
including restoring your right to serve on a jury in California. If you are
legally allowed to you may:
(1) Have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor (since misdemeanors
don’t prevent you from serving on a jury in California); or
(2) Apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and a Governor’s Pardon at
the same time. If you receive the Governor’s Pardon, you can serve
on a jury again.
(3) Apply directly for a Governor’s Pardon, restoring your right to serve
441
on a jury—and other civil rights—if it is granted. (See the
UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD
CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 1020, for more information.)
3) YOU CANNOT BE ON PRISON GROUNDS WITHOUT APPROVAL—In
California, it is a crime for a former prisoner to be on prison grounds for any
442
reason without prior approval of the warden. To get permission to visit,
you must (1) get written approval from your parole officer and send it to the
warden, along with a letter requesting the warden’s permission and a
443
visiting questionnaire (CDCR Form 106, see Appendix M, PG. 318).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. CONST. art. II, § 4; CAL. ELEC. CODE § 2150.
CAL. CODE CIV. PROC. § 203(a)(5). The California Supreme Court has upheld this restriction. See Rubio v. Superior
Court, 24 Cal. 3d 93 (1979) (holding that there is no fundamental right to serve on a jury and that excluding ex-felons
from juries does not violate the Equal Protection Clause because the prohibition is rationally related to the state
goal of assuring impartial verdicts).
441
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 4853; CAL. CODE CIV. PROC. § 203(a)(5).
442
CAL. PENAL CODE § 4571.
443
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3172(d), 3172.1(b)(4)-(5).
439
440

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GENERAL VS. SPECIAL
CONDITIONS
Aside from the general conditions of parole, are there other special
conditions that could be imposed on me?
Yes. There are discretionary special conditions that your parole officer can
impose on you if they meet certain legal standards (see PG. 289). There are also
mandatory special conditions that are imposed on certain individuals because
California state law requires them to be imposed. Continue reading below for
special conditions further explained.

SPECIAL (EXTRA) CONDITIONS OF
STATE PAROLE: CONDITIONS THAT
ONLY APPLY TO CERTAIN
INDIVIDUALS ON PAROLE
Sometimes, people are given special conditions by the Board of
Parole Hearings (BPH) or their Parole Officer that add EXTRA
limitations to their lives. This section explains when special
conditions can be applied under law, and your rights!

WHO SETS THE SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF PAROLE,
AND HOW DO THEY DECIDE?
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(CDCR) and individual parole agents can require you to follow
certain additional, special conditions, which are special rules you
444
must follow while you are on parole.
If you are a “lifer” in California, or if you were released onto parole
before July 1, 2013; or charged with a parole violation before July 1,
445
2013, then the BPH can also require you to follow certain
446
additional, special parole conditions in those cases.
If you are not a “lifer,” County Superior Court judges are in charge
447
of handling parole conditions and revocations of parole.
County Superior Court judges may impose special parole
conditions, but the special conditions must be reasonably
related to (having to do with) the offense for which the person
spent time in prison, or to the risk of each offender’s recidivism,
448
and criminal history.
CDCR imposes different supervision levels on you depending on
whether you are classified as High Control, High Service, Control

DO YOU THINK THAT
A SPECIAL PAROLE
CONDITION IS
VIOLATING YOUR
LEGAL RIGHTS?
Go to PG. 178 to learn how
to challenge a parole
condition, which you can
do either from prison or
when you are out in the
community.

CAN I ASK FOR MY
SUPERVISION LEVEL
TO BE REVIEWED/
REDUCED?
Yes. Most parolees who
complete 180 days of
satisfactory parole will
automatically be assigned
to the “minimum
supervision” category
EXCEPT for people whose
commitment offense is
legally classified as
“violent” (see CAL. PENAL
CODE § 667.5); 290
registrants (see CAL. PENAL
CODE § 290); people with
cases that received a lot of
media or public attention,
and certain gang members
(as documented on CDCR
Form 812-A). If you are not
one of the people who is
automatically assigned to
“minimum supervision”
after 180 days of
completing satisfactory
parole, you can still
request a reduction in
supervision level by asking
the unit supervisor, who
can make a decision on a
case-by-case basis. (CAL.
PENAL CODE § 3504.)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
444
445
446
447
448

See CDCR Form 1515, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/docs/CDCR1515_7-8-2010.pdf.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3053 et seq.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000(b)(7).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3454-55.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3454(b).

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Services, or Minimum Supervision (see the footnote below for more information
449
about these four classifications). This impacts what special conditions are
imposed on you. Your supervision level should be reviewed periodically to
450
determine whether it should be changed.

!

It’s also important to know that victims and witnesses can also request special
conditions, including no-contact provisions and/or that you are not paroled to
451
the county where they live. Read more about the special conditions that relate
to victims and witnessed on PG. 181. It’s also likely that BPH or CDCR will place a
no-contact provision for crime partners, preventing you from contacting/seeing
anyone who was your co-defendant in the criminal case.
Lastly, state law requires some special parole conditions for people convicted of
452
certain types of offenses (these special conditions are called mandatory).
Specifically, there are mandatory special conditions for “Sex Offenders” (see
PG. 172 for more information) and mandatory special conditions for “Mentally
Disordered Offenders” (see PG. 176 for more information).

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF COMMON SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF
STATE PAROLE?
The most common special conditions for a person on state parole are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

You cannot drink alcohol;
You must submit to drug testing; or
453
You must participate in mental health treatment.
GPS DEVICES– some people on parole will be required to wear GPS
tracking devices (usually, ankle monitors). It is the CDCR’s policy to require
GPS monitoring for:
o Any parolee validated as a member or associate of a prison gang, street
gang, or “disruptive group;”
o Any parolee placed on “High Control” supervision;
o Any parolee with a history of being unavailable for supervision,
absconding (going missing), escalating parole violations, or other such
factors indicating the parolee is likely to commit another crime; and
454
o Any parolee required by the BPH to have a GPS monitoring condition.
Failure to keep the GPS device charged or wear it is a violation of
455
parole. Parolees can be required to pay for the cost of the GPS if they
456
are able to do so.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3504; see also CDCR, Post-Release (County-Level) Community Supervision,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/Post-Release-Community-Supervision.html. “High control” is the
highest level of supervision, and it is based on the committed offense and prior criminal history. “High
service” is a level of supervision based on service needs and behavioral patterns—this is primarily used
for people requiring special assistance, such as individuals with severe mental or psychiatric problems.
“Control services” is a level of supervision based on the committed offense and prior criminal history,
or service needs and behavioral patterns that do not meet the specifications of “high control.”
“Minimum supervision” is a level of supervision based on committed offense and prior criminal history,
and services needed for behavioral patterns.
450
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3504.
451
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3053 et seq.
452
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 3053 et seq. For example, any parolee convicted of a sex offense while intoxicated or
addicted to alcohol is barred from using alcohol. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3053.5. A parolee convicted of domestic
violence must participate in counseling. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3053.2(e)-(i).
453
See 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2513.
454
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3004(a), 3010-3010.7; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3561.
455
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3562.
456
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3004(c); 3000.07; 3010.8; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3563.
449

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WHEN WILL I FIND OUT THE CONDITIONS OF MY PAROLE, AND
IF ANY EXTRA (SPECIAL) CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN ADDED?
• WHILE INCARCERATED:
You should find out about the conditions of your parole at least 45
days before your release: your correctional counselor should provide
you with this information in a CDCR Form 1515, “Notice and
457
458
Conditions of Parole.” You will be asked to sign the Form 1515.
You will also be given a copy of Form 1515 for you to keep upon your
release.
If possible, even if you don't agree with a special condition given to
you in the CDCR Form 1515, it is usually best for you to sign Form 1515
and comply with the conditions while at the same time taking the
steps necessary to challenge any disputed condition. If you don't sign
459
the form, you might not get out of prison until the matter is resolved.
• ONCE YOU’RE RELEASED:
When you are out and you first meet with your parole agent, your
parole officer should give you a copy of your Form 1515 to keep and
should explain ALL of the general and special conditions of your
460
parole. It is important that you fully understand your parole
conditions. If you do not understand your parole conditions, ask your
parole agent to clear up and answer your questions or concerns.

REFUSING TO
COMPLY WITH
SPECIAL
CONDITIONS
Your parole may be
revoked for 6
months if you (1)
refuse to give any
required DNA
sample prior to
release or (2) refuse
to sign any
documents
acknowledging a
duty to register as a
sex offender. (See
CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 3060.5).

If your parole officer doesn’t present you with the Form 1515 in your first
meeting, you should ask him or her to do so. Again, it is very important that the
parole agent explains to you your conditions of parole, and if they do not, you
should ask them to.

AM I LEGALLY PROTECTED FROM HAVING CERTAIN UNFAIR
EXTRA (SPECIAL) CONDITIONS IMPOSED ON ME?
Yes. A parole condition is invalid if it fails one of the following 4 legal tests:
TEST 1: A parole condition is invalid if it:
(1) Has no relation to the commitment offense;
(2) Bars conduct that is not in itself criminal; and
(3) Requires or forbids conduct that is not reasonably related to future criminal
461
conduct or activities.
You must show that the condition does not meet any of the 3 factors.
For example, courts have held that if a parolee has no history of alcohol abuse
or committing crimes while intoxicated, alcohol testing cannot be imposed as a

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3075.2(b)(2)(A).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3075.2, 3502. CDCR Form 611 is used for the Release Program Study and CDCR Form 1515
is used to notify parolees of their conditions of parole.
459
Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 17, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf.
459
15 CAL. CODE REGS. 3075.2(b)(3)(B) (“A unit supervisor or higher level staff may place an inmate or parolee refusing
to sign the CDC Form 1515 into custody pending a revocation hearing.”). Although the BPH regulations still contain
a rule that parolees must sign their conditions of parole, it is unclear whether this provision is still enforced in cases
in which the BPH has parole authority.
460
DOM § 81010.16; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. 3075.2(b)(3)(A).
461
People v. Lent, 15 Cal. 3d 481, 486 (1975); People v. Dominguez, 256 Cal. App. 2d 623, 627 (1967). Many of the
relevant cases deal with probation conditions, to which courts usually apply the same analysis as to parole
conditions. See also People v. Petty, 213 Cal. App. 4th 154 (2013) (condition requiring parolee to take psychiatric
drugs invalid where no connection between mental health condition and criminality); People v. Brandao, 210 Cal.
App. 4th 568 (2012) (prohibition on associating with gang members must have connection to parolee’s criminality);
People v. Olguin, 45 Cal. 4th 375 (2008) (condition requiring notification of all pets in home valid to protect
supervising officer’s safety during home visits).
457
458

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condition of parole because using alcohol is not illegal and the condition would
462
not relate to the parolee’s past criminal conduct or future criminality.
TEST 2: A parole condition is invalid if it:
(1) Infringes on (violates) a constitutional right AND
463
(2) Is broader than necessary to promote public safety or rehabilitation.
TEST 3: A parole condition may be invalid if it is excessively broad or so vague
464
that it cannot be understood and followed.
For example, a parole condition prohibiting a parolee from associating with
certain groups of people must include a requirement that the parolee knows or
465
should know that any given individual is part of the prohibited group.
TEST 4: A parole condition is invalid if it limits the type of employment you can
466
have, but does not directly relate to the parolee’s crime.
For example, a parole condition that forbids you from becoming a salesperson
467
because you were previously convicted of fraud for bouncing a check.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR SEX OFFENDERS
IF I MUST REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER, WHAT ARE THE
ADDITIONAL MANDATORY CONDITIONS OF MY PAROLE?
The following are the mandatory conditions of parole imposed on sex offenders:
1)

REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER!—Any person required to register as a sex
offender, who “willfully” (intentionally) decides not to register, is guilty of a
468
new criminal charge for failure to register as a sex offender. If you were
originally convicted of a misdemeanor, then the new charge for failure to
register will also be a misdemeanor. If you were originally convicted of a
469
felony, the new charge for failure to register will be a felony. You must
register with the local chief of police (or with the county sheriff if your city
470
doesn’t have a local police department).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People v. Kidoo, 225 Cal. App. 3d 922 (1990), overruled on other grounds in People v. Welch, 5 Cal. 4th 228 (1993).
People v. Smith, 152 Cal. App. 4th 1245, 1250 (2007).
People v. Fritchey, 2 Cal. App. 4th 829, 838 (1992); U.S. v. Bonanno, 452 F. Supp. 743, 752 (N.D. Cal. 1978). See
also People v. Bauer, 211 Cal. App. 3d 937 (1989) (condition not to become pregnant); People v. Pointer, 151 Cal.
App. 3d 1128, 1139 (1984) (forbidding living with parents); People v. Beach, 147 Cal. App. 3d 612, 622-623 (1983)
(banishing from home); In re Sheena K., 116 Cal. App. 4th 436 (2004) (not associating with anyone disapproved by
officer); People v. O’Neil, 165 Cal. App. 4th 1351 (2008) (same); Hyland v. Procunier, 311 F. Supp. 749 (N.D. Cal. 1970)
(condition to get permission before making speech); Arciniega v. Freeman, 404 U.S. 4, 92 S.Ct. 22 (1971) (not
associating with ex-convicts at work); People v. Garcia, 19 Cal. App. 4th 97, 101-102 (1993) (not associating
knowingly or unknowingly with ex-felons or drug users); In re Justin S., 93 Cal. App. 4th 811 (2001) (not associating
with “any gang members”); In re Stevens, 119 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2004) (prohibiting use of computers or Internet
when neither used in committing crime); U.S. v. Williams, 356 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2004) (requiring releasee to take
medications); In re H.C., 175 Cal. App. 4th 1067 (2009) (not frequenting areas of gang activity); U.S. v. Soltero, 510
F.3d 858, 867 (9th Cir. 2007) (not associating with members of “disruptive groups”); U.S. v. Wolf Chold, 699 F.3d
1082 (9th Cir 2012) (condition not to live with or be in company of minor under 18 or socialize with minor children).
465
People v. Turner, 155 Cal. App. 4th 1432 (2007).
466
See People v. Burden, 205 Cal. App. 3d 1277 (1988); People v. Lewis., 77 Cal. App. 3d 455 (1978); People v. Keefer,
35 Cal. App. 156 (1972).
467
See People v. Burden, 205 Cal. App. 3d 1277 (1988).
468
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.018(b).
469
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.018(b).
470
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.46.
462
463
464

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2) GPS TRACKER—Any person on parole who is required to register
as a sex offender must wear a GPS tracking device (usually an
471
ankle bracelet) while on parole.
3) RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS—There are strict residency restrictions
on all parolees who are required to register as sex offenders under
California Penal Code § 290 (“290 registrants”). If required to
register as a sex offender, you cannot reside within 2,000 feet of
472
any school or park where children regularly gather. The CDCR
may also be able to impose other residency restrictions as
special conditions of parole in individual cases based on specific
473
case factors.
4) REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSIENTS – If you are required to
register as a sex offender, you must re-register every year, within
five business days of your birthday, with the chief of police in the
city where you live (or with the county sheriff if there is no city
474
police department).

!

IMPORTANT! If you are not living in one place (for example, if
you don’t have a stable place to live and/or are homeless), then
parole considers you “transient,” and you must register with the
chief of police in whatever city you are physically present in on
that date (or with the county sheriff if there is no city police
department). If you move to a new city, you must inform the
chief of police (or county sheriff if there is no city police
department) in the city where you have relocated.475 If you don’t
have a stable place to live, you should re-register AT LEAST
EVERY 30 DAYS with the chief of police in the city where you
are currently present (or with the county sheriff if there is no city
police department), no matter how long you have been
physically present in that city.476

IMPORTANT
DEFINITIONS FOR
PEOPLE WHO
MUST REGISTER
AS SEX
OFFENDERS TO
KNOW
• “DISTANCE” is
measured by a
straight line
between the main
entrance of the
residence and the
boundary of the
nearest park or
school, not the
driving or walking
distance. (15 CCR
§ 3571(e)(4).)
• A “transient” is a
person who does
not have a
residence.
• A “residence” is any
place where:
(1) You spend 1 day or
night at the same
address every week
for two or more
weeks in a row;
(2) You spend 2 or
more
consecutive days
or nights living at
the same
address;
(3) You have a key
to the address
“and there is a
pattern of
residency”; or
(4) The parole agent
finds evidence of
your residency
such your
clothes or
toiletries (15 CAL.
CODE REGS.
§ 3590(a).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3004(b). The statute says that § 290 registrants must be monitored by GPS “for life,” but no law
enforcement agency is designated to do such monitoring once parole has ended and no punishment is authorized.
Also, the GPS requirement does not apply to persons who were both convicted and released from custody prior to
November 8, 2006. Doe v. Schwarzenegger, 476 F. Supp. 2d 1178 (E.D. Cal. 2007); Doe v. Schwarzenegger, No. C
06-06968 JSW (N.D. Cal. Feb. 22, 2007).
472
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003.5(b). This rule applies to any sex offender released on parole on or after November 8,
2006, even if the most recent term was for a non-sex offense or the parolee was initially released before November 8,
2006, and later re-released after a parole revocation. In re E.J., 47 Cal. 4th 1258 (2010). However, the residency
restrictions cannot be applied to people who were both convicted and released from custody prior to November 8,
2006. Doe v. Schwarzenegger, 476 F. Supp. 2d 1178 (E.D. Cal. 2007).
473
For example, parolees convicted of violating Penal Code §§ 288 or 288.5 cannot live within one half-mile (2,640
feet) of a K-12 school if they are deemed “high risk” by CDCR. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(g). Also, a sex offender
parolee cannot live in a single family house with another person who is also a sex offender, unless they are related
by blood, marriage, or adoption. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003.5(a).
474
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.012(a).
475
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.011(a).
476
CAL. PENAL CODE § 290.011(b).
471

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ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THESE MANDATORY SPECIAL
PAROLE CONDITIONS FOR REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS?
Yes, there are 2 exceptions:
(1) Parole agents are supposed to make exceptions if you are mentally ill and
are either living in a licensed mental health facility or need medical care in a
477
licensed mental health facility.
(2) If you are homeless, you may stay at such locations as bridges,
encampments, and bus stops that are closer than 2,000 feet to a school or
478
park, but you must keep your parole agent informed of your whereabouts.
In addition, if you are homeless, you may stay temporarily at an address
without establishing “residency” if the stay is for approved work, receiving
medical services, or conducting legitimate business (i.e. working or
completing a task at a licensed business, professional, or government
479
building).

IN RE TAYLOR — PROP 83
CHALLENGES
The “Proposition 83” residency restriction on where people
convicted of certain sex offense can live was challenged as being so
unreasonable, vague, and overbroad that it violates constitutional
480
rights. Parolees throughout the state challenged the residency
restrictions. In a number of counties, judges granted individual
parolees temporary relief (excusing them from following that law, and
481
allowing them to live in more places in the county).
In March 2015, the California Supreme Court decided that certain
residency restrictions are unconstitutional as applied to all sex
482
offender parolees in San Diego County. The Court decided that
CDCR may still force conditions on individual sex offenders on a
483
case-by-case basis. We do not know whether the Taylor ruling will
be interpreted as applying only to San Diego County or throughout
the state of California. However, there appear to be strong
arguments that the § 3003.5(b) residency restrictions are at least
unconstitutional as applied in other counties where there is very little
484
affordable Proposition 83-compliant housing available to parolees.
If you are required to register as a sex offender on parole, and learn
about the registry restriction court challenges in your county, you
should contact the Public Defender’s office to find out the status of
local challenges.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HELP FROM
THE PRISON
LAW OFFCE
The Prison Law
Office also has a
more detailed
information letter
on the status of
these cases and a
sample petition
for writ of habeas
corpus for
challenging the
residency
restrictions. This
letter can be
obtained by
writing to the
Prison Law Office
or visiting its
online Resources
page at

http://www.prisonla
w.com/pdfs/Prop8
3Update,March27,
2015.pdf

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3590.1(d).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 3590.2(a) and 3590.3(b)
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3590.1.
480
In re Taylor, 60 Cal.4th 1019 (2015).
481
The counties that have granted relief to individuals include San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco,
Contra Costa, & San Bernardino.
482
In re Taylor, 60 Cal.4th 1019 (2015).
483
As of mid-March 2015, it is unclear how CDCR will respond to the Taylor decision. We also do not know if the
CDCR will try to impose special residency restriction conditions on many sex offender parolees.
484
The Prison Law Office, Proposition 83 Update, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/Prop83Update,March2015.pdf.
477
478
479

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SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR MENTALLY
DISORDERED OFFENDERS (MDOS)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CLASSIFIED AS A MENTALLY
DISORDERED OFFENDER (MDO)—AND WHAT ARE THE
MANDATORY SPECIAL CONDITIONS PLACED ON MDOS ON
STATE PAROLE?
“Mentally disordered offenders” (MDOs) are people who the California
Department of Corrections (CDCR) has determined must receive inpatient
485
treatment from the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) as a condition of their
parole.
To be committed as an MDO on parole, you must:
(1) Be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that causes you to pose a
substantial danger of physical harm to others, AND
486
(2) Have been sentenced to prison for an offense involving violence.

WHO DETERMINES WHETHER A PERSON ON PAROLE IS
CLASSIFIED AS AN MDO, AND WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR
MAKING THIS DECISION?
There are several steps to the MDO determination process by CDCR:
STEP 1: First, CDCR mental health staff and a DSH psychologist or psychiatrist
487
must screen you for classification as an MDO while you’re in prison.
STEP 2: If both agree that you qualify as an MDO, the CDCR will send
certification papers to the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) stating that you have
488
been found to be an MDO.
STEP 3: The BPH then notifies the prisoner that he or she will have to undergo
489
DSH inpatient treatment as a condition of parole. The BPH also MUST notify
490
the prisoner of his or her right to challenge the MDO finding.

CAN I CHALLENGE AN MDO DETERMINATION? IF SO, WHAT IS THE
PROCESS?
Yes. You can challenge the MDO finding by requesting a hearing before the
BPH.
If you challenge the finding, the BPH MUST do the following:
1. Have you evaluated by two independent mental health professionals, AND
2. Must hold a hearing in front of a BPH commissioner. At this hearing, the
State of California must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (that it is
more likely than not) that you are a Mentally Disordered Offender—again,
that you are both (1) diagnosed with a serious mental illness that causes you
to pose a substantial danger of physical harm to others AND (2) were

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The DSH was formerly known as the Department of Mental Health (DMH).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2962. The definition of a crime involving violence under CAL. PENAL CODE § 2062(e) is broader
than the definition of violent felonies in CAL. PENAL CODE § 667.5(c).
487
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2962(d)(1).
488
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2962(d)(1).
489
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2573(c).
490
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 2966 and 2978; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 2573-2574.
485
486

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491

sentenced to prison for an offense involving violence. If you want a lawyer
492
at the hearing, the state must provide you one for free.
If, at this hearing, the BPH commissioner determines that you are an MDO, and
you want to challenge that finding, you can file a petition in the local superior
court to demand a jury trial. The BPH must provide a prisoner who requests a
trial with two things: (1) a petition form and (2) instructions for filing the petition.
At trial, you have the right to an attorney for free and the district attorney will
represent the State. The district attorney has the burden of proving “beyond a
493
reasonable doubt” that you met the criteria of being classified as an MDO.

IF I AM FOUND TO BE AN MDO, AND I WANT TO BE SEEN AS AN
OUTPATIENT, IS THAT POSSIBLE?
It might be possible. The normal rule is that if you are found to be an MDO on
parole, you must be placed in inpatient treatment (confined to a state
hospital to live and receive mental health treatment)—unless the
Department of State Hospitals (DSH) finds that you can be treated safely
494
as an outpatient.

WHAT IS THE
“DEPARTMENT
OF STATE
HOSPITALS
(DSH)”?

However, after 60 days in DSH custody, you can request a hearing in
front of a BPH commissioner to ask for outpatient status as an MDO
(where you live in the community but go to a mental health hospital for
495
treatment). At the hearing, the DSH must show by “a preponderance
of the evidence” (that it is more likely than not) that you require inpatient
496
treatment. At this hearing before the BPH, you have the right to a free
497
appointed attorney (called a Panel Attorney) and the appointment of
two independent evaluators, and you may appeal the decision in County
498
Superior Court (see below for more information).

The DSH was
created in 2012 to
take over the
functions of the
now-defunct
Department of
Mental Health
(DMH). DSH
oversees inpatient
mental health
treatment facilities
in California.

IF I AM FOUND TO BE AN MDO, WHEN AND HOW OFTEN IS
MY MDO STATUS REVIEWED?
The Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) must review your status as an MDO when
you reach your presumptive discharge date (PDD) (the date under state
law that you should be discharged early from parole if the BPH doesn’t
find a good reason to keep you: see PG. 155 to learn more about PDDs),
and decide whether or not it recommends that you continue in your
499
MDO inpatient placement or be discharged. If the BPH recommends
that you continue in your MDO placement, it MUST hold re-commitment
proceedings similar to the original MDO commitment procedures (see
PG. 176 for information about the initial MDO classification process that
500
happens in prison before your release). An MDO who is re-committed
multiple times could end up serving his or her entire time on parole in a
501
DSH hospital. Before being re-committed, you’ll receive a written form
502
notifying you of the decision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT IS “RECOMMITMENT”?
Re-commitment
refers to the
process by which
DSH decides that
a person is still an
MDO and must be
confined in a DSH
facility for another
year.

CAL. PENAL CODE § 2966(a); 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2576(b).
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2576(b)(4).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2966(a)-(b).
494
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2964.
495
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2964(b).
496
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2964; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2578.
497
More information on Panel Attorneys see
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/docs/Attorney_Orientation/Panel_Attorney_Program_Guide.pdf.
498
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2964(a) and (b); 15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 2576, 2578. Your email must be made within sixty days
of the BPH’s determination that your are an MDO.
499
15 CAL. CODE REGS. §§ 2535 and 2580.
500
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2580(b)-(c).
491
492
493

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CAN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HOSPITALS (DSH) HOLD ME
BEYOND MY MAXIMUM DISCHARGE DATE (MDD)?
Possibly. If you are classified as an MDO and reach your parole’s maximum
discharge date (MDD) (The MDD is the maximum parole term as set by statute,
after which the parolee must be discharged see PG. 155), the DSH can seek to
continue the mental health commitment (meaning you have to stay in inpatient
503
treatment) for 1 more year.
If your MDO commitment is continued for an additional year, the DSH can
504
continue to seek re-commitment every year. If the DSH seeks to continue your
MDO commitment, the district attorney (prosecutor) will argue on behalf of DSH/
the State. You will also be appointed an attorney and a jury trial in county
Superior Court. At the trial, the district attorney must prove that you still meet
the MDO criteria—that you are still both: (1) diagnosed with a serious mental
illness that causes you to pose a substantial danger of physical harm to others
505
AND (2) were sentenced to prison for an offense involving violence.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2970(e).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2972.1.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2970(a).
504
CAL. PENAL CODE § 2970.
505
The burden of proof in an MDO hearing is “beyond a reasonable doubt”—this means that in order for your to be
re-committed, the district attorney must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are still both: (1) diagnosed
with a serious mental illness that causes you to pose a substantial danger of physical harm to others AND (2) were
sentenced to prison for an offense involving violence. CAL. PENAL CODE § 2970.
501
502
503

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HOW TO CHALLENGE STATE PAROLE
CONDITIONS
HELPFUL HINT
It’s suggested that you sign the Form 1515, and then
challenge the condition later. Don’t refuse to sign!
First, while you can and should challenge a condition of
parole that you believe is unlawful, it is usually best for you to
sign the “Notice and Conditions of Parole” (CDCR Form 1515,
see example of this form in Appendix G, PG. 302) and comply
with them while taking the steps necessary to challenge the
disputed condition. Otherwise you may end up having to
spend additional time in custody while the matter is being
resolved.

HOW COULD I CHALLENGE A CONDITION OF
PAROLE THAT I BELIEVE IS UNLAWFUL AND
INVALID?
•

IF THE CONDITION WAS PUT ON YOU BY BPH:

If you want to challenge a BPH decision or parole condition set by
BPH, you do not need to file any administrative appeal UNLESS
the issue involves a disability. This is because the BPH has no
general administrative appeal process, so you can immediately
challenge a BPH decision by filing a state petition for writ of
habeas corpus in the Superior Court in the county of your parole.
Again, to learn when & how to file a state petition for writ of habeas
corpus, see Appendix K, PG. 312, at the end of this chapter.
•

IF THE CONDITION WAS PUT ON YOU BY PAROLE:

STEP 1:

APPEAL THE CONDITION:

To challenge a parole condition, you generally must start by filing a
CDCR Form 22, “Request for Interview, Item, or Service,” (see
sample in Appendix I, PG. 308) and an administrative appeal, on
CDCR Form 602. It’s best to file the Form 22 at the same time as
the Form 602 appeal because the Appeals Coordinator may screen
506
out a formal 602 appeal if you do not first submit a Form 22.
The 602 administrative appeal may solve the problem, but even if
it does not, courts usually will not consider a lawsuit challenging a
CDCR decision unless the parolee has “exhausted administrative
507
remedies.” Once you get a response, you should file the first
level of 602 administrative appeal and go through all three levels
of appeal, if necessary.
There are some circumstances in which you may bring a court
challenge without first filing an administrative appeal. These
include situations where:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3084.6(e)(2).
See In re Dexter, 25 Cal. 3d 921, 925 (1979); In re Muszlaski, 52 Cal. App. 3d 500, 503 (1975).
506

PAGE 178 OF 1210

REMINDER OF THE
LEGAL TEST FOR
ADDING EXTRA
(SPECIAL) CONDITIONS
TO YOUR PAROLE:
The courts have held that
conditions of parole are
invalid if they don’t meet
the following 4 tests:
TEST 1: A parole condition
is invalid if it:
• Has no relation to the
commitment offense;
• Bars conduct that is not
in itself criminal; and
• Requires or forbids
conduct that is not
reasonably related to
future criminal conduct
or activities.
You must show that the
condition does not meet
any of the 3 factors. For
example, courts have held
that if a parolee has no
history of alcohol abuse or
committing crimes while
intoxicated, alcohol testing
cannot be imposed as a
condition of parole
because using alcohol is
not illegal and the
condition would not relate
to the parolee’s past
criminal conduct or future
criminality.
TEST 2: A parole condition
is invalid if it infringes on
(violates) a constitutional
right AND is broader than
necessary to promote
public safety or
rehabilitation.
TEST 3: A parole condition
may be invalid if it is
excessively broad or so
vague that it cannot be
understood and followed.
For example, a parole
condition prohibiting a
parolee from associating
with certain groups of
people must include a
requirement that the
parolee knows or should
know that any given
individual is part of the
prohibited group.
TEST 4: A parole condition
is invalid if it limits the type
of employment you can
have, but does not directly
relate to the parolee’s
crime.

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•
•
•

There is no administrative remedy (for example, because the condition is
required by a state law);
An administrative appeal would not give you any relief; OR
508
Delay could cause you irreparable harm such as risk of serious injury.

STEP 2: If your complete Step One and your 602 appeal is denied,
you can then file a state writ of habeas corpus.

WHAT IS A
“WRIT OF
HABEAS
CORPUS”?

WHEN? You may consider filing a writ of habeas corpus when
authorities or state officials have violated the federal Constitution or
statutes or California’s Constitution, statutes, or regulations.
HOW? See Appendix K, PG. 312 to learn how to file a state petition for a
writ of habeas corpus.
OTHER RESOURCES TO HELP YOU: A state court habeas form and more
information about state habeas cases can be found in the Prison Law
Office’s State Habeas Corpus Manual. The manual can be obtained for
FREE by writing to the Prison Law Office (at General Delivery, San
Quentin, CA 94964) or by visiting its website at:
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/STATEHABEAS2008.pdf.

A writ of habeas
corpus is when
you petition a
court, asking it to
determine
whether a parole
condition is legal
or not.

HOW COULD I CHALLENGE A PAROLE CONDITION THAT IS A
PROBLEM FOR ME BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY THAT I HAVE?
If you cannot satisfy a parole condition because of a disability that you have, or if
the parole condition is unfair to you because of your disability, the steps to
challenge that condition are different than the appeals process discussed on
PG. 178. To challenge a parole condition related to a disability that you have, you
will first want to figure out which agency put the condition on you—Parole or the
BPH—because the steps for challenging it are different depending on who put
the condition in place.
IF THE CONDITION WAS PUT ON YOU BY PAROLE: You should file a CDCR
Form 1824 Request (NOT a Form 22 and Form 602 appeal) (see a sample copy
of that form in Appendix Q, PG. 326). See the section on “DISABILITIES” below
at PG. 184 to learn more about that procedure.
IF THE CONDITION WAS PUT ON YOU BY THE BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS
(BPH): Normally you don’t need to file an appeal to challenge a parole condition
that the BPH put on you, but it’s different if that condition relates to your
disability or an accommodation that you need. To challenge a BPH condition
related to your disability, you should fill out BPH Form 1074 “Request for
Reasonable Accommodation,” (see a sample copy of that form in Appendix R,
PG. 329), and send it to the BPH’s ADA Coordinator at:
BPH ADA COORDINATOR
1515 K Street, Suite 600
Sacramento, CA 95814
If the response from the BPH is unsatisfactory (doesn’t solve the issue), you can
submit you appeal to the Second and Third levels of appeal.
Find the forms you need online here:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/Inmates_w_Disabilities_Resource.html

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Glendale City Emp.’s Ass’n, Inc. v. Glendale, 15 Cal. 3d 328, 342-43 (1975); In re Serna, 76 Cal. App. 3d 1010
(1978).
508

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IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF PAROLE OR THE BPH PUT THE CONDITION ON
YOU:
Ask your parole agent if it was Parole or the BPH, and then follow the appeals
process for challenging conditions related to your disability explained above.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE
The Prison Law Office, a nonprofit organization that works on prisoners’ rights
issues, also has a detailed information letter describing the rules, timelines, and
procedures for pursuing administrative appeals. The letter can be obtained at no
cost by writing to the Prison Law Office at:
Prison Law Office
General Delivery
San Quentin, CA 94964
OR by visiting the Prison Law Office’s online Resources page at:
www.prisonlaw.com

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TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON STATE PAROLE
In this section, you will learn how to request that your parole be transferred:
from one county to another county, or from California to a different state. Keep
reading to learn more!

I WANT TO TRANSFER MY PAROLE TO ANOTHER COUNTY. HOW
CAN I DO THAT?
You can request a transfer to another California county while you are still
incarcerated (recommended!) or after you are out and living in the
community. If your transfer request is denied, you may challenge the
denial by filing a 602 appeal (see above PG. 156).

HELPFUL TIP—
REQUEST
TRANSFER
WHILE
INCARCERATED:

HOW TO REQUEST WHILE YOU’RE INCARCERATED:
While you are still incarcerated in CDCR, it’s best to go to your
correctional counselor to help you navigate your transfer request.
You should ask him/her to submit a Transfer Investigation Request
form (TIR). The correctional counselor will submit your TIR to the
Board of Parole Hearings (BPH), which generally dsicusses it with the
District Attorney responsible for your case, to make a final decision.
Try to work with the correctional counselor as much as possible.
You should explain why being in a different county will help you be
more successful living in the community. You should also provide
supporting documents (such as letters from supportive family
members, a doctor, a prospective employer) verifying the reasons that
the transfer would be beneficial to your rehabilitation and reentry, and
submit these supporting documents along with the correctional
509
counselor’s Transfer Investigation Request (TIR) to the BPH.

If possible, you
should make the
request for transfer
while you are still in
prison—when the
Release Program
Study (CDCR Form
611) is being
prepared. For more
information about
Form 611, the
“Release Program
Study,” see
Appendix S
PG. 332.

The BPH could deny your request to transfer your parole to another county if:
1.) It believes denying your request will better protect the safety of the victim;
2.) It believes denying your request will better protect the public’s safety;
3.) You don’t have verified work or educational program in your requested
county;
510
4.) You don’t have family/ a support stem in your requested county
HOW TO REQUEST AFTER YOU ARE RELEASED:
You should submit a verbal or written request to your parole agent. We
recommend a written request, and making a copy and keeping it in a safe
place—just in case you don’t hear back and need to follow up and need a paper
trail. There is no special form that you need to use for this request; your request
can just be submitted as a standard dated letter. See the next question to learn
about how your request should be processed by parole after it is received.
You should explain to your parole officer why being in a different county will
help you be more successful living in the community. You should also provide
supporting documents (such as letters from supportive family members, a
doctor, or a prospective employer) verifying the reasons that the transfer would
511
be beneficial to your rehabilitation and reentry.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b)(3)-(4).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b). If you receive treatment pursuant to Penal Code section 2960—BPH may also deny
your transfer request if your requested county doesn’t have the necessary outpatient treatment programs.
511
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b)(3)-(4).
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What should my parole agent do after I submit a verbal or written
request to transfer counties?
A parole agent who receives a transfer request should prepare a
Transfer Investigation Request form (TIR) and submit it to the parole unit
supervisor. The supervisor should then consider the following factors:
• Any need to protect the safety of the parolee, a victim, a witness, or
other person;
• Any public concern that would reduce the chance that parole would
be successfully completed;
• A verified work offer or an educational or vocational program;
• The existence of family with whom you have strong ties and whose
support would increase the chance that you would successfully
complete parole; and
• The presence or lack of any needed mental health treatment
512
programs.

HELPF UL HINT
Because there is a limit on the number of “out-of-county” parolees who may be
supervised in each county (meaning there’s a limit on transfers), once again,
your request to transfer parole to another county in California may be denied
even if some or all of these factors are favorable. It is best to put the strongest
application possible forward, and to get as much support as you can, especially
from your Parole Agent, correctional counselors, and anyone else you know
working for the government—including judges, District Attorneys, Public
Defenders, etc. It would also be great to get the support of leaders from the
community you are hoping to transfer to.

I WANT TO TRANSFER PAROLE TO ANOTHER STATE.
HOW CAN I DO THAT?
First, some background: a legal agreement between all of the states
called the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision sets out
the rules for transferring parole from one state to another (called
513
“interstate parole transfer”). The Interstate Compact applies in all 50
514
states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you are classfied
as a sex offender, there are special rules that apply to you in
requesting to transfer your parole to a different state (see PG. 183).
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY INCARCERATED:
The earliest that California can send an interstate transfer request for
you is 120 days before your expected release date (ERD) from
515
prison. The receiving state is supposed to respond within 45 days of
516
receiving a transfer request. The process can be sped up in an
517
emergency.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOTE ABOUT
INTERSTATE
TRANSFERS:
The Interstate
Compact for Adult
Offender
Supervision also
governs the rules for
all interstate
transfers of state
probation, including
PRCS and
Mandatory
Supervision. See
PG. 208 of this
chapter for more
information on those
types of county-level
supervision.

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(b).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 11180, 11181.
An Interstate Commission has developed rules for transfer eligibility and supervision. The Interstate
Commission’s rules have the same effect as statutory law and are mandatory in the states that adopted them. All
state officials and state courts must carry out the terms of the Compact and comply with these rules. To the extent
that state statutes, rules, or policies conflict with the terms of the Compact or rules created by the Commission to
carry out the Compact, then such statutes, rules, or policies are superseded by the Commission’s rules to the extent
of any conflict. More Information on the Compact and rules made by the Interstate Commission for Adult
Supervision and California State Council can be found at www.interstatecompact.org.
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513
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IF YOU ARE FORMERLY INCARCERATED:
If you are out and living in the community, you may request to transfer your
parole to a new state if you meet basic eligibility requirements. Read about
those requirements below, and follow these steps:
STEP 1: Generally speaking, you must meet the basic eligibility requirements to
request to transfer your parole to a different state. The basic requirements are:
1) You have three or more months left to serve on parole at the time you
submit your application to the state you wish to transfer to.
2) You have not had parole revoked and have no pending parole revocation
charges.
3) You were previously a resident of the receiving state for at least 1 year OR
you have family that lives in the state who are willing and able to assist you;
and
4) You can obtain employment or have another means of support.
NOTE: Technically, if you do not meet these requirements, California and the
state you wish to transfer to may still agree to transfer your parole if there is a
518
very good reason (“good cause”) to do so.
STEP 2: Request the transfer. If you meet the eligibility requirements above, you
must request a transfer verbally or in writing from your parole agent. Again, we
suggest making a written request to have a paper trail, and making a copy of
your request and keeping it in a safe place.
STEP 3: Your parole agent determines whether or not you meet the basic
eligibility requirements.
STEP 4: Your parole agent must submit a Transfer Request to CDCR’s California
Interstate Compact Unit in Sacramento, CA for review.
STEP 5: If California approves the transfer, it will be sent to the receiving state
for review. It is then up to the state you wish to transfer to whether or not to
519
accept you for parole supervision.
STEP 6: If approved by both California AND the state you wish to transfer to, you
520
will then be transferred.
SPECIAL RULES FOR SEX OFFENDERS TO TRANSFER PAROLE TO NEW STATE:
In addition to the rules laid out above, there are additional special rules for
521
transferring states if you are registered as a Sex Offenders.
STEP 1: To get the process started, you should talk to your correctional
counselor (if you are still incarcerated) or your parole agent (if you are out on
parole).
STEP 2: The parole agent should determine whether you meet the eligibility
requirements.
STEP 3: If the requirements are met, the parole agent should submit a transfer
application to the CDCR’s Interstate Compact Unit in Sacramento, CA.
STEP 4: If the CDCR approves the transfer application, the request will be sent to
522
the receiving state.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rules Adopted by the Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision (hereinafter ICAOS), Rules 3.101 and 3.105
ICAOS Rule 3.104.
ICAOS Rule 3.1046.
518
ICAOS Rule 3.101-2.
519
ICAOS Rule 3.101.
520
See DOM § 81060.1 et seq. for details on CDCR’s procedure for handling applications from parolees for out-ofstate transfers. See ICAOS Rules 102-3.109.
521
For additional rules see ICAOS Rule 3.101-3.
522
See DOM § 81060.1 et seq. for the CDCR’s procedure for handling applications from parolees for out-of- state
transfers. See also ICAOS Rules 3.102-3.109. Further information can be obtained from the CDCR Interstate
Compact Unit, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, CA 94283.
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YOUR RIGHTS AS A PAROLEE WITH A
DISABILITY
I HAVE A DISABILITY. WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE ON STATE
PAROLE TO GET ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MY DISABILITY?
523

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California state law protect you
524
from discrimination due to your disabilities. There are specific rules and
procedures that govern your rights (these apply to both prisoners AND parolees
in California):
• The rules for parolees with physical disabilities (such as mobility,
PRACTICAL TIP IF
hearing, and vision disabilities) and learning disabilities are in the
YOU ARE
Armstrong Remedial Plan (January 3, 2001, amended December 1,
CURRENTLY
INCARCERATED,
2010), § IV.S.
PREPARING FOR
• The rules for parolees with developmental disabilities are in the
RELEASE, AND
Clark Remedial Plan (March 1, 2002), § VIII.
REQUIRE A
DEVICE FOR
YOUR DISABILITY:

HOW WILL MY PAROLE OFFICER KNOW ABOUT MY
DISABILITY & ANY ACCOMMODATIONS THAT I NEED?

Your correctional counselor in the prison must notify your parole agent
about your disability and related special needs by giving information
about your disability on CDCR Form 611, “Release Program Study” (see
copy of form in Appendix S, PG. 329) and accompanying forms that
explain the accommodations you will require (CDCR Form 1845 for
physical disabilities (example in Appendix T, PG. 335) and CDCR Form
128C-2 for developmental disabilities (example in Appendix U,
PG. 338). If the information about your disability is not on your Release
Program Study (Form 611), tell your correctional counselor (if you’re still
incarcerated) or your parole agent (if you’re out) about it. If, after you
talk to your corrections counselor or parole agent, your disability is not being
recorded and accommodated, file an appeal. The process for filing an appeal
can be found below on PG. 185.

The prison staff
often fail to give you
the device you need
for your disability
when you are
released. If this
happens to you,
inform your parole
agent immediately
and file a disabilityrelated appeal on
CDCR Form 1824
(read more about
this special appeals
process below on

WHAT KINDS OF ACCOMMODATIONS MUST PAROLE MAKE FOR
ME IF I HAVE A DISABILITY?
If you have a disability, parole staff must make the following accommodations:
1.

First, parole staff must make sure that you receive “effective
communication” during all orientations, interviews, and supervision
meetings, and when you are notified of conditions of parole and registration
requirements. This means that parole staff must provide any help necessary
for you to understand the information that is being communicated. Examples
525
include:
o Assistance by a sign language interpreter for a hearing- impaired
person;
o Reading aloud of written materials for a vision-impaired person; or
o Simplifying information for a developmentally disabled person.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
523
524
525

CAL. GOV’T CODE § 11135 (2011).
42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.
Armstrong v. Brown Remedial Plan at 4, Bd. of Parole Hearings, Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh.

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2. Second, parole staff must make reasonable changes to procedures so that
you can receive services in a location that is accessible to you. For example:
o If a disability makes it difficult for you to get to the parole office, the
parole agent should meet you somewhere else, such as at your home.
o If the parole agent refers you to community service such as a drug
treatment center, job center, or literacy center, the parole staff should
make sure that you can actually get to the programs and services
offered.
o If you are required to attend a program at the parole office (such as an
outpatient clinic), that program must be accessible considering your
special needs.
3. Third, if you are a prisoner who uses a wheelchair or other healthcare
appliance (such as a cane, prosthesis, eyeglasses, or prosthetic eyes), you
have the legal right to keep the device when you leave prison, even if the
state provided you with the device.
4. Fourth, if you are transported somewhere while you are out on parole, the
parole staff must consider all of your disability needs in determining the
mode of transportation to use.
5. Lastly, if parole staff arrests you while you are on parole, they must take your
disability into account in placing you under any physical restraints. For
example:
o If you need to use a cane, the parole agent should not cuff you behind
your back.

IF PAROLE IS NOT ACCOMMODATING MY DISABILITY AND I FEEL
I AM NOT GETTING FAIR TREATMENT OR EQUAL ACCESS TO
PAROLE SERVICES OR PROGRAMS, WHAT CAN I DO?
There is a special CDCR appeals process if you are a person with a disability
asking for fair treatment or asking to get access to parole services or programs.
526
Follow these steps:
STEP 1: Fill out CDCR Form 1824 “Request for Modification or Reasonable
Accommodation” (a yellow form, see Appendix Q, PG. 326). If you cannot fill out
the form due to your disability, ask your parole agent, an advocate, or a friend or
family member for help. All parole offices should have this form available. You
do not need to request an informal review through Form 22 before filing a Form
1824 (as you do with a 602 appeal).
STEP 2: If you get a First Level response from parole denying your request, you
can appeal to the Second Level by attaching the original CDCR Form 1824 (find
a sample copy in Appendix Q, PG. 326) to a regular CDCR Form 602
administrative appeal (find a sample copy in Appendix J, PG. 309), filling out
Section F of CDCR Form 602. Send both forms to the Regional Parole
Administrator (See Appendix D, PG. 309 for their contact information).
STEP 3: If you get a Second Level response denying your request, you can send
the appeal to the Third Level for review.
STEP 4: If you get a Third Level response denying your request, that means you
have “exhausted” (completed) all three levels of the 1824 disability appeals
process, and you can bring the issue to court by filing a state petition for a writ
of habeas corpus in the superior court of the county of your parole. See
Appendix K, PG. 312) to learn how! Find the necessary forms online here:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/Inmates_w_Disabilities_Resource.html.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
526

Armstrong v. Brown Remedial Plan at 4, Bd. of Parole Hearings, Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh.

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WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE DURING A PAROLE REVOCATION
HEARING TO ACCOMMODATE MY DISABILITY?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you have the legal right to
527
reasonable accommodations during parole violation/revocation proceedings.
Examples of accommodations include:
•
•
•
•

Ensuring access to the hearing room for a parolee with mobility impairments;
Providing Braille, taped documents, or reading assistance for a visionimpaired parolee;
Providing assistance in communicating for a developmentally disabled
parolee; OR
528
Providing sign language interpretation for a hearing-impaired parolee.

Just like all other aspects of parole, the CDCR’s parole staff must use “effective
communication” and provide reasonable accommodations when interacting with
you. That means that they must use effective communication and provide
reasonable accommodations when:
1) Arresting you;
2) Modifying your conditions of parole; or
529
3) Imposing sanctions like flash incarceration.

KEEP IN MIND:
If you are a disabled parolee who is having problems receiving help from parole
staff, you can submit a CDCR Form 1824, “Request for Modification or
Reasonable Accommodation,” (read more about this process on PG. 185 above).
CDCR parole staff should also alert jail staff and the attorney appointed to you
530
about what your needs are when revocation proceedings begin.
In the courtroom, your attorney and the court should be responsible for ensuring
531
your needs are met throughout the court process.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.
See Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manu (updated Aug. 2013) at 43,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
529
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
530
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
531
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
527
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STATE PAROLE VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS
Under AB 109, California’s “Realignment” law, there were major changes to the
procedures required for California state parole revocations. These changes took
532
effect on July 1, 2013. The new rules for revocation hearings laws are
explained in this section.

WHAT WERE THE MAJOR CHANGES TO THE WAY THAT PAROLE
REVOCATION HEARINGS WORK UNDER REALIGNMENT (AS OF
JULY 1, 2013)?
1. CHANGE TO WHO HEARS THE CASE
The biggest change is that local county Superior Courts are now responsible for
533
hearing most parole revocation cases. Before July 1, 2013, the Board of
Parole Hearings (BPH) was responsible for hearing all parole revocation
cases, and now that responsibility has shifted to the courts for most
534
cases. County Superior Court judges will be the ones hearing these
535
cases in state court. One of the ideas behind this change was to create
more transparency and fairness in parole revocation hearings—by having
an independent, unbiased judge hear the case and weigh the evidence.
However, the BPH will continue to hear certain cases. The BPH will
continue to hear:
• Parole consideration for lifers (also called “parole suitability hearings”);
• Medical parole hearings;
• Cases regarding mentally disordered offenders” (MDOs); and
• Cases regarding “sexually violent predators.”

NOTE FOR
“LIFERS”:
This change in
the law means
that if you were
a “lifer” in
prison, your
parole
revocation
hearing will be
before the BPH,
not the local
county superior
court.

2. CHANGE TO WHERE YOU SERVE A SENTENCE FOR A PAROLE VIOLATION
• If your parole is revoked for a parole violation that occurred on or after July 1,
2013, you will be sentenced to COUNTY JAIL, not state prison.
• If your parole is revoked for a parole violation that occurred before July 1,
2013, you would have been sent back to state prison, so this is a big change
in the law!
• THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION: If you are a parolee classified as a “serious
offender” (meaning you were a life-term prisoner under California Penal
Code § 3000.1 or convicted of certain types of sex offenses under California
Penal Code § 3000(a)(4), you will be sent back to CDCR to serve time in state
prison for a parole revocation, and then you will go back to the BPH, who
retains jurisdiction, for future consideration in determining whether or not to
536
discharge you back onto parole.
3. HOW LONG YOU SERVE YOUR SENTENCE
If you serve your parole violation (revocation) term in country jail, you will serve a
537
MAXIMUM of 180 days. Most people do serve their parole revocation terms in
county jails.
But, if you are a former lifer, you may be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months
538
in prison for a parole violation. People who have maximum parole periods that

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Fact Sheet: 2011 Public Safety Realignment,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/realignment-fact-sheet.pdf.
533
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(a).
534
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(j).
535
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 1203.2(b)(1) and (f).
536
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(f)(1).
537
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08.
537
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3056(a).
538
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3057(e).
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are life-long (some people convicted to sex offenders or murder) may be
sentenced to up to a year in prison for revocations, unless, at sometime during
that year sentence, BPH determines that the person should be incarcerated
539
longer.

IF I AM SUSPECTED OF A PAROLE VIOLATION, WHO HAS THE
AUTHORITY TO ARREST ME? DO THEY NEED A WARRANT TO
ARREST ME?
A parole agent or police officer can arrest you if he or she has probable cause
(meaning a reasonable belief of a prudent person based off of the specific
540
facts) to believe you violated a condition of parole. BUT the arresting
agent/officer does not need a warrant. A judge in the court COULD issue a
warrant, but does not have to. (CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(c)). If the parole
officer suspects that you have violated a term of your parole, then you can be
arrested by a parole agent or peace office at any time until the judge makes a
final decision about your guilt or innocence of the case (called a “final
541
disposition”).

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM ARRESTED FOR AN ALLEGED PAROLE
VIOLATION?
Here is what you can expect if you are arrested for an alleged parole violation:
1)

After an arrest, a CDCR parole agent can place you on “hold”— meaning
542
place you in jail pending further proceedings.
2) Once you are on “hold,” CDCR parole staff then decides if there is probable
cause to believe that you violated the law or a condition of your parole. The
staff does not have to hold a hearing or give you a chance to provide more
543
information, but they have to come to this decision among themselves.
3) It depends whether or not CDCR staff finds probable cause when they look
over the alleged violation.
a) If CDCR staff does not find probable cause, you will be re-released on
544
parole.
b) If CDCR staff does find probable cause, they must decide whether
“intermediate sanctions” can address the violation, or whether a formal
revocation proceeding needs to happen. Intermediate sanctions might
include:
c) New parole conditions;
d) Sending you to a special reentry court;
e) Requiring your participation in treatment or rehabilitation programs; or
f) “Flash incarceration”—which is detention in the county jail for up to 10
545
consecutive days.
4) If CDCR staff decides that intermediate sanctions are not enough, they will
546
file a formal parole revocation petition in the local superior court.
a) The CDCR’s petition should describe:
i) The relevant conditions of parole;
ii) The circumstances of the violation;
iii) The history and background of the parolee; and

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
539
540
541
542
543
544
545
546

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.1(d).
See Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 175 (1949).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(c).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 1203.2(a), 3000.08(c), and 3056; People v. Woodall, 216 Cal. App. 4th 1221 (2013).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(d).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(c).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000.08(d)-(f).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(f).

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iv) Parole staff’s recommendations for disposition (meaning there
recommendations on what the outcome of the parole revocation
petition should be).
b) At this point, CDCR staff should inform you of your rights, including: (1)
the right to consult with an attorney, and (2) that if you don’t have the
money to hire an attorney, you have the right to have the court provide
you a free attorney (the Public Defender will be appointed). We
recommend that you consult with an attorney or public defender before
waiving any rights.

!

IMPORANT: CDCR may inform you that you have the right to waive both your

right to an attorney and your right to a hearing, admit the parole violation, and
accept the CDCR’s proposed revocation term (sometimes called a “screening
547
offer”). The waiver of an attorney or hearing must be in writing. AGAIN, WE
RECOMMEND THAT YOU ASK TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY, AND IF YOU
CANNOT AFFORD ONE, THAT YOU WAIT FOR YOUR FREE ATTORNEY TO
COME MEET WITH YOU. Please note: There is currently no timeline required for
these steps to happen, which is concerning.
548

Currently, the law does not set any timelines for parole revocation steps.
CDCR staff should make a probable cause determination within 2 business days
after a hold is placed, notify a parolee of charges and rights within 3 business
days after the hold, and either file a revocation petition with the court or release
the parolee within 7 business days after the hold. However, these timelines are
not formal regulations and the CDCR is not obligated to enforce them.

SUMMARY
So, in sum, what are the 3 options that parole has if they arrest me
for an alleged violation?
1)

Intermediate Sanctions: new parole conditions, reentry court, and treatment
or rehabilitation programs.
549
2) Flash Incarceration for up to 10 days. No court involvement required.
3) Petition the local superior court for a formal revocation under California
550
Penal Code § 1203.2.

WHAT LAW GOVERNS (SETS OUT THE RULES FOR) THE
HEARING?
California Penal Code Section 1203.2.

WHO REPRESENTS THE INTEREST OF PAROLE/THE STATE OF
CALIFORNIA IN THE HEARING?
The District Attorney.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08(f).
The Valdivia Injunction, which previously set timeliness requirements on the parole revocation process, is no
longer in effect. Because of the major changes in parole laws, the court overseeing Valdivia decided that the case is
“moot” (meaning no longer applicable) and that any problems with the new parole revocation procedures will have
to be raised in new cases. Thus, advocates for people on parole have expressed concerns that there could be long
delays between the placement of parole holds in jail and CDCR’s filing of revocation petitions. Advocates are also
concerned that parolees may be pressured into giving up their rights and taking “screening offers” (like a parole
revocation plea bargain) without having an opportunity to consult with an attorney. See also Prison Law Office, The
Parolee Rights Manual at 43, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf.
549
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.08.
550
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2.
547
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WHO REPRESENTS ME IF I CANNOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY?
The Public Defender.

WHAT IS THE LEGAL STANDARD FOR FINDING A PERSON
GUILTY OF A PAROLE VIOLATION?
At the parole revocation hearing, the judge must decide whether a
“preponderance of the evidence” (meaning 51% or more than half of the
evidence) supports the charges. In other words, the District Attorney must prove
that it is more likely than not that you violated parole.

IF I GO TO JAIL ON A PAROLE VIOLATION, AM I ENTITLED TO
BAIL?
551

552

No. You have no right to bail on a pending parole violation. However, a
court could still grant it. Once a court has “jurisdiction” (legal authority to hear
the case) over a petition to revoke your parole, the court is allowed to set bail
and release the parolee on his or her own recognizance (meaning the judge can
553
decide that bail and/or release would be appropriate in that case). Your parole
554
violation hearing must be held within 90 days if you are not released on bail.

WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE DURING A PAROLE REVOCATION
HEARING?
Parole cannot be suspended or revoked by the Superior Court Judge unless
there is good cause (a good reason) to believe that a person has violated the
555
conditions of his or her parole.
As a parolee, your rights are as follows:
1. Written notice of the alleged violation(s) (the rule or law that parole claims
you have broken) and the possible consequences, with enough information
to allow you to prepare a defense and obtain evidence that would help
556
explain the situation, or justify it;
557
2. Disclosure of the evidence against you (just like at trial);
3. Timely hearing of the charges at a probable cause hearing and a formal
558
revocation hearing (within 90 days if you were not granted bail);
559
4. The right to present witnesses and documentary evidence.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3056.
In re Law, 10 Cal.3d 21, 26. (1973) (no due process right to bail while parole violation proceedings are pending).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3056.
554
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1381.5; Gonzalez v. Superior Court, 166 Cal. App. 4th 922 (2008).
555
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3063. Note: In Morrissey v. Brewer, the U.S. Supreme Court established the minimum due
process requirements for parole revocation proceedings under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. Cases since Morrissey have reaffirmed those rights and described them with greater detail.
556
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972); Vanes v. U. S. Parole Comm’n, 741 F.2d 1197 (9th Cir. 1984) (due
process violated by lack of notice of basis for parole violation charge); Rizzo v. Armstrong, 921 F.2d 855, 858 (9th Cir.
1990) (failure to give notice of consequences if parole revoked at hearing).
557
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 498, 92 S.Ct. 2593 (1972) (“As we said in another connection in Greene v.
McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 496–97 (“Certain principles have remained relatively immutable in our jurisprudence. One of
these is that where governmental action seriously injures an individual, and the reasonableness of the action
depends on fact findings, the evidence used to prove the Government's case must be disclosed to the individual so
that he has an opportunity to show that it is untrue.”). See also People v. Moore, 34 Cal. 3d 215 (1983) (state has
duty to preserve and disclose material physical evidence).
558
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 485 (1972); People v. Woodall, 216 Cal. App. 4th 1221 (2013) (probation
revocation procedures that fail to provide probable cause hearing do not violate due process rights if full hearing
occurs relatively soon or if preliminary hearing on any new criminal charges is conducted). See also CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 1381.5; Gonzalez v. Superior Court, 166 Cal. App. 4th 922 (2008).
559
See Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972). You can subpoena and present witnesses and documentary
evidence to the same extent that the State can (In re Carroll, 80 Cal. App.3d 22, 34 (1978)).
551
552
553

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5. The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses who speak out against
560
your interest. You have a conditional right under the U.S. (federal) and
California (state) constitutions to cross-examine people whose statements
561
are used against you in a parole violation proceeding. BUT SEE NOTE
BELOW!!
6. A neutral and detached (unbiased and fair) hearing body (meaning, the
562
Superior Court Judge); and
7. A written statement of the decision, the evidence relied on, and the reasons
563
for revoking parole.

!

IMPORTANT! You may waive (give up) your right to a parole revocation by
564
admitting that you violated parole. It is important that you SAY SOMETHING if
you believe your rights are violated during the process or in a hearing. If you are
unsure if your rights have been violated or if you don’t understand your rights,
ask your lawyer or public defender. If you do not have a lawyer or public
defender, call your local public defender’s office.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT WITNESSES! Witnesses may not be required to
testify in front of you at your parole revocation hearing if they are deemed
565
fearful or confidential. Be sure to speak to your lawyer about all potential
witnesses—those both for your and against you—prior to your hearing.
“Fearful witnesses” are witnesses whose identity is known to you but who: (1)
have indicated that they are at a risk of harm if they testify in your presence; or
(2) have requested that their contact information be withheld from you.
Testimony of a fearful witness can be taken outside the parolee’s presence, but
your attorney must be present.
“Confidential witnesses” are witnesses, whose identity is not known to you, and
566
who would be at a risk of harm if their identity were disclosed. However, if
confidential information is used as part of the evidence that you violated parole,
you can ask the District Attorney (prosecutor) to show you this information. If the
District Attorney refuses to show you this information, then he or she must prove
that showing you this information would create a risk of harm to the informant.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A “MATERIAL” (VERY IMPORTANT) STATE
WITNESS DOESN’T SHOW UP TO THE PAROLE REVOCATION
HEARING, EVEN THOUGH HE/SHE WAS REQUIRED TO ATTEND?
If a material (very important) state witness fails to attend a parole revocation
hearing and the hearing cannot fairly proceed without the witness, the court can
postpone the hearing or dismiss the case.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972); Valdivia v Schwarzenegger, 599 F.3d 984, 989 (9th Cir. 2010).
U.S. CONST. amend. VI; CAL. CONST. art. I, § 15. Thus, upon the your request, the people who gave the information
that proves the parole violation charge should be made available for you to question them at the hearing, unless
the judge determines that requiring the witness to appear would create a risk of harm. If the state has “good cause”
(a good explanation or reason) for failing to present a witness and that good cause outweighs your right to confront
the witness, the witness’s prior statements may be presented at the hearing, even if those statements were made
outside of court. The more important the witness’s testimony is to the case, the stronger your right to confront and
cross-examine that witness is. Courts may overturn a parole revocation if the hearing officer relies on unsworn
hearsay (out of court statements) without determining the unavailability of the declarant or the reliability of the
hearsay, or without considering the parolee’s interests prior to admitting the evidence. See, e.g., In re Miller, 145
Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2006).
562
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972).
563
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972).
564
In re La Croix, 12 Cal. 3d 146, 153 (1974).
565
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 487 (1972).
566
See U.S. v. Comito, 177 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1999); In re Melendez, 37 Cal. App. 3d 967, 973 (1974); In re Prewitt, 8
Cal. 3d 470, 477-78 (1972); In re Love, 11 Cal. 3d 179 (1974) (due process violation in failure to disclose contents of
“confidential” report where disclosure would not endanger any informant).
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To decide whether the witness’s testimony would be “material,” the court will
balance the importance of the witness’s expected testimony against the
availability and reliability of another source of the same information. Also, if the
state’s material witnesses fails to appear, but your witnesses are present, you
and your attorney may want to ask that the judge take the testimony of your
witnesses before postponing the rest of the hearing.

CAN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY INTRODUCE EVIDENCE AT MY
PAROLE HEARING THAT WAS FOUND IN AN UNLAWFUL SEARCH
& SEIZURE?
Yes. Unfortunately, the “exclusionary rule,” which applies in criminal cases, does
not apply in parole revocation hearings. This means that this evidence may be
used in parole revocation hearings, even if it would be excluded from a criminal
court trial, or already was excluded from a criminal court trial related to the same
567
issue.

SUMMARY OF SENTENCING
What are the court’s 3 options for sentencing/ punishment if it finds
that I violated my state parole?
The court’s 3 options are:
1)

Return you to parole supervision with changes (called “modifications”) to
your conditions of parole, including possible time in county jail;
2) Refer you to a Reentry Court or other Evidence-Based Practice program; or
568
3) Revoke your parole and order confinement.

IF THE JUDGE REVOKES MY PAROLE AND ORDERS ME BACK
INTO CUSTODY, WHERE WILL I SERVE AND FOR HOW LONG?
It depends on your conviction history.
(1) MOST PEOPLE – Almost everyone who has his or her parole revoked will
569
serve the parole revocation sentence in county jail. You will most likely get
570
180 days in county jail, even if there were multiple grounds for the revocation.
You can earn “half-time” credit on parole revocation sentences (meaning 2 days
“good conduct credit” for every 2 days actually served in custody), regardless of
the nature of the commitment offense or parole violation. If you are serving a
parole revocation sentence and you violate jail rules or refuse to do assigned
571
work, then you may lose some or all of your good conduct credits.
(2) FORMER “LIFER” –There are different rules if you are on parole after serving
an indeterminate prison term of “life with the possibility of parole” (a.k.a. “former
lifers”). If you are a former lifer:
• You can get a parole revocation sentence term of up to 12 months;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Penn. Bd. of Prob. & Parole v. Scott, 524 U.S. 35 (1998) (exclusion of evidence at parole hearing would hinder
functioning of parole system); In re Martinez, 1 Cal. 3d 641, 649-52 (1970), disapproved on other grounds in In re
Tyrell J., 8 Cal. 4th 68 (1994); In re Love, 11 Cal. 3d 179, 190 (1974).
568
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000.08(f)-(g), 3004(a), 3056(a).
569
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3056(a).
570
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3056(a). A parolee may not be kept in custody beyond the maximum parole discharge date
(see Section 16.C, above). You are no longer subject to extensions of your revocation sentence for in-custody
misconduct (meaning bad behavior while you are in jail/custody). See CAL. PENAL CODE § 3057(e).
571
CAL. PENAL CODE § 4019.
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•
•

You are not entitled to earn good conduct credits; and
Your revocation sentence could be extended if you violate rules while you
572
are in custody.

(3) CERTAIN SEX OR MURDER CONVICTIONS – There are also different rules
573
for people convicted of certain sex offenses or certain murder convictions:
• If you have life-long parole (some people convicted of sex offenses or
574
murder) and it gets revoked, you’ll be sent back to prison, not county jail.
• Within 1 year of being returned to prison, a two-member BPH panel will hold
a hearing. The panel must release you within 1 year of the date of the
revocation—unless it determines the seriousness of the parole violation
requires longer incarceration for public safety. If the two-member BPH panel
keeps you in prison longer than 1 year, you have the legal right to a parole
575
consideration hearing every year afterwards.

WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE IF I AM A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
GOING THROUGH PAROLE REVOCATION PROCEEDINGS?
Under a federal law called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you have
the legal right to reasonable accommodations during parole violation/revocation
576
proceedings. Examples of accommodations could include:
• Ensuring access to the hearing room for a parolee with mobility impairments;
• Providing Braille, taped documents, or reading assistance for a visionimpaired parolee;
• Providing assistance in communicating for a developmentally disabled
parolee; OR
577
• Providing sign language interpretation for a hearing-impaired parolee.
Just like all other aspects of parole, the CDCR’s parole staff must use “effective
communication” and provide reasonable accommodations when interacting with
you. That means that they must use effective communication and provide
reasonable accommodations when:
1) Arresting you;
2) Modifying your conditions of parole; or
578
3) Imposing sanctions like flash incarceration.

KEEP IN MIND: If you are a disabled parolee who is having problems receiving
help from parole staff, you can submit a CDCR Form 1824, “Request for
Modification or Reasonable Accommodation,” (read more about this process on
PG. 185 above). CDCR parole staff should also alert jail staff and the attorney
appointed to you about what your needs are when revocation proceedings
579
begin.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3057(e).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.1(d).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000.08(h), 3056(b).
575
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.1(d).
576
42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.
577
See Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manu (updated Aug. 2013) at 43,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf.
578
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
579
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
572
573
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HOW DO I CHALLENGE (APPEAL) A PAROLE REVOCATION
DECISION OR ACTION MADE BY THE COUNTY SUPERIOR
COURT?
If you are challenging a decision made by the county superior court, you should
be able to file a direct appeal under the statute that allows an appeal “from any
580
order made after judgment, affecting the substantial rights of the party.”
Follow these steps:
STEP 1: To appeal, the parolee must file a Notice of Appeal in the Superior Court
581
within 60 calendar days after the original court’s decision.
STEP 2: When a timely Notice of Appeal is filed, the Superior Court will prepare a
record of the parole revocation proceedings consisting of all the documents filed
in the original court and transcripts of the hearings; the court will then provide
these documents to the Court of Appeal, the State, and you (the parolee). In a
direct appeal, the Court of Appeal must appoint a free attorney to represent you
582
if you do not have enough money to pay for a private attorney.

!

IMPORTANT: If you do not file a timely Notice of Appeal, or if the issue
involves information outside the court record, then you may be able to
raise the issues in a state court petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

WHAT TYPES OF ISSUES COULD I BRING UP IN A CHALLENGE TO
PAROLE REVOCATION PROCEEDINGS, DECISIONS, OR ACTIONS?
There are many types of issues that you can raise in a challenge to a revocation
proceeding or decision. For this reason, we recommend that you speak with
your attorney if you believe that your rights have been violated! Your claim could
be based on violations of state or federal constitutional due process rights,
California or federal statutes, or California administrative rules. For example, you
could argue that:
• The revocation hearing is being unreasonably delayed;
• You were denied the right to cross-examine witnesses at the parole
revocation hearing; or
• The evidence did not support the revocation decision.
UNFORTUNATELY—in most cases, the process for raising such challenges will
be too slow to provide you any relief before you have served the entire parole
revocation sentence term. BUT You may still benefit by:
• Getting your parole revocation cases re-heard;
• Getting their revocations vacated; and/or
• Getting the time served for the revocation deducted from the controlling
parole discharge date.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR APPEALING A DECISON MADE BY
CDCR?
You can challenge a CDCR action or lack of action in these stages by filling out a
CDCR Form 602 administrative appeal (see Appendix J, PG. 309 for copy of
form) and submitting it to the CDCR’s parole agent.
Possible uses for a 602 appeal include challenging the CDCR’s decision to place
a parole hold or find probable cause for a violation, asking for an attorney for the

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1237(b).
CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 8.308.
582
CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 8.300.!!
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early stage of the revocation process, or challenging a delay by CDCR in filing a
583
formal petition.
There are two reasons for filing a CDCR Form 602 administrative appeal and refiling it to the highest level necessary:
1. First reason—It might solve the problem.
2. Second reason—Courts usually require you to “exhaust administrative
remedies” (meaning that you pursued all three levels administrative review
before filing a case in court) and that you filed an appeal before filing a
584
lawsuit in court claiming that the CDCR violated your legal rights.
After completing any required administrative remedies, you can challenge a
CDCR or BPH action or decision by filing a state court petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. If the judge issues an “order to show cause,” it must appoint a
free lawyer to represent you if you request one and show that you do not have
585
enough money to pay for a private lawyer. See Appendix K, PG. 312 for
information on when and how to file a state court petition for a writ of habeas
corpus.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual, at 34, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
(updated Aug. 2013).
584
See In re Dexter, 25 Cal.3d 921, 925 (1979).
585
Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual, at 34, http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
(updated Aug. 2013).
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III.

COUNTY PROBATION
AND NEW FORMS OF
COUNTY-LEVEL
SUPERVISION
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•

•
•
•
•
•
•
•

How California’s “Realignment” Law changed county-level
probation and supervision
The different types of county level supervision—misdemeanor
probation, felony probation, post-release community
supervision, mandatory supervision
Terms and condition of probation and supervision
How to request a change to your probation or supervision
conditions
How to request a transfer to a different county
What to do if your probation or supervision is revoked
What happens at a probation revocation hearing
How to challenge probation conditions
How to challenge probation revocation

If you are convicted of certain types of state criminal offenses:
1.

You will be sentenced to time in county jail/ state prison. This will be
followed by either (1) a term on county probation or (2) one of California’s
newer forms of county-level supervision; OR
2. You will be sentenced directly to one of these forms of supervision, and you
will be supervised by a local county probation officer.
Continue reading to learn more!

WHAT IS COUNTY PROBATION?
586

Probation is a suspended state prison or county jail sentence. In other words,
instead of doing the full amount of time in custody (in prison or jail), you can stay
in the community under supervision and be required to follow certain rules and
587
588
conditions. The primary purpose of probation is rehabilitation.
All probation sentences are different. However, there are some standard
conditions that apply to most if not all people on probation in California. If you
have a disability, you should get certain accommodations on probation, so make
sure you see PG. 184 to learn about requesting the accommodation you need on
probation. Each county is responsible for running its own probation department,
and each of these departments have their own specific rules.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(a).
588
People v. Scroggins, 191 Cal. App. 3d 502, 505 (1987).
586
587

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HOW DID CALIFORNIA’S “REALIGNMENT LAW” CHANGE
CALIFORNIA’S STATE PROBATION?
The Realignment Law made some of the largest and most pivotal changes to the
criminal justice system in California. Generally speaking, Realignment
transferred the responsibility of supervision to the state’s 58 counties for people
convicted of felonies (excluding those classified as high-risk sex offenders)
released from prison whose commitment offenses are statutorily defined as nonserious and non-violent. This is sometimes referred to as “the 3 nons”—nonserious, non-violent, non-sexual felonies.
• If you were convicted after October 1, 2011 and you have no current or prior
convictions defined by statute as “serious, violent, or sexual” felony offenses,
you now serve time locally (regardless of the length of your sentence) with
the possibility of community supervision instead of the full sentence time
being spent in custody in jail or prison.
• Here are the 4 types of state probation’s community supervision after
Realignment: (1) Misdemeanor Probation (MSD) (a.k.a. “Summary” or
“Informal” probation); (2) Felony Probation (FP) (a.k.a. “Formal” probation);
(3) Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS); and (4) Mandatory
Supervision.

WHAT ARE TYPES OF SUPERVISION FALL UNDER THE CONTROL
OF COUNTY PROBATION NOW AFTER REALIGNMENT?
Here is a quick overview of the different types of supervision that are under the
control of county probation departments in California:
Misdemeanor Probation (MSD)—a.k.a. informal or summary probation: If you
get convicted of a misdemeanor and get placed on probation in California,
you are placed on misdemeanor probation—also called “informal” probation
589
or “summary” probation. To learn more about misdemeanor probation, go
to PG. 198.
2) Felony Probation (FP): If you get convicted of a felony and get placed on
probation in California, it will be felony probation—also called “formal
590
probation” or FP). To learn more about felony probation, go to PG. 203.
3) Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS): PRCS is a new type of
supervision created by Realignment (AB 109). People released from a state
prison after incarceration for non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual crimes are
591
placed under supervision by local, county probation officers. This form of
supervision is called Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS). PRCS can
last for up to 3 years, but can end earlier if you do not violate any PRCS
592
conditions. To learn more about PRCS, go to PG. 208.
4) Mandatory Supervision: Mandatory supervision is a new type of supervision
created be Realignment (AB 109). California state courts are allowed to use a
tool called “split sentencing,” which allows a judge to split the time of a
sentence between a jail term and a period of supervision by a county
probation officer. This type of supervision is known as Mandatory
593
Supervision. To learn more about mandatory supervision, go to PG. 215.
1)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(d).
See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Implementation of the Post Release Community Supervision Act of 2011,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/PRCS-County.pdf.
591
For more information about the 3 nons and PRCS, see http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/Post-ReleaseCommunity-Supervision.html.
592
See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Post-Release Community Supervision, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/PostRelease-Community-Supervision.html.
593
For more information on split sentences, see University of California Berkeley: The Chief Justice Earl Warren
Institute on Law and Social Policy, Thinking Critically About Realignment in California,
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/bccj/Thinking_Critically_3-14-2012.pdf.
589
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MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (A.K.A. INFORMAL
PROBATION OR SUMMARY PROBATION)
BASICS OF MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)
WHAT IS MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (A.K.A. INFORMAL OR
SUMMARY PROBATION)?
In California, if you get probation imposed for a misdemeanor conviction, it is
known as misdemeanor probation (MSD)—also sometimes called “informal
594
probation” or “summary probation.”

WHO WILL MONITOR ME UNDER MISDEMEANOR PROBATION
(MSD)?
The County Superior Court.

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR FIRST
DAYS OUT ON MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD FIRST STEPS TO TAKE AFTER I FIRST
GET RELEASED FROM JAIL OR PLACED ONTO MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION (MSD)?
Instructions for what to do when you first start your probation term will be
different depending on what county you are being supervised in. The best thing
to do when you first get out, is call or visit your county probation department
immediately to find out what the requirements and instructions apply to you.

LENGTH OF MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)
HOW LONG IS MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)?
The length of your MSD probation depends on what the court ordered, and that
usually depends on what county you are being supervised in. The period of
misdemeanor probation may last up to three years, depending on which county
you are in. Each county sets a mandatory minimum (which can be as low as one
595
year). But remember, every county in California operates differently.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
594
595

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(d).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a).

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CAN I GET OFF MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD) EARLY?
Possibly. California law allows you to ask the court to be released early from
596
your probation or Mandatory Supervision. It is very common for courts to
grant a term of 3 or 4 years of informal probation for misdemeanor
597
convictions; however, some people are able to satisfy all of the conditions of
their probation (all of the things the court orders you to do—such as attend
counseling or paying restitution) before the 3 or 4 years are up. For this reason,
598
judges are often willing to release people from probation early. The process is
the same for asking a court to terminate your misdemeanor probation, felony
probation, or Mandatory Supervision early. If your request (called a “Motion”) to
end your misdemeanor probation early is granted by the judge, then you might
also be able to ask for certain convictions to be dismissed from your record! For
more information on how to file a Motion to Terminate Probation early, and also
how to request dismissals of eligible convictions, please see the
UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER,
beginning on PG. 1020.

CONDITIONS OF MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)
ON MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD), WHAT KINDS OF
CONDITIONS WILL THE COURT IMPOSE ON ME?
Once misdemeanor probation is granted, the court will decide what
conditions of probation to impose. Here is some general information to
know about your conditions of probation:
Conditions set by the Criminal Court Judge: The judge in the criminal
court has a lot of freedom in determining the conditions of your
misdemeanor probation, and may impose reasonable conditions for the
599
purposes of rehabilitation or to protect the community. However, the
court cannot impose a condition that is unreasonable or that does not
600
properly take into consideration the circumstances of your case.” .
MSD conditions differ from offense to offense. Some common examples
of MSD conditions are:
• You must “violate no laws”: This is a general condition for almost
everyone on misdemeanor probation that means you cannot violate
any laws (other than minor traffic offenses) while you are on MSD
probation;
• No-contact (stay away) orders that prevent you from being around
or seeing and communicating with certain individuals;
• Anger management courses;
• Substance abuse rehabilitation/ treatment programs;
601
• Restrictions on your ability to have access to or carry weapons;
602
• Impose a fine up to $1,000;

WHEN WOULD
A COURT
ORDER
COMMUNITY
SERVICE
INSTEAD OF
RESITITUTION?
For example, if
you are
unemployed due
to a disability, and
unable to make
restitution
payments to the
state, the court
may order you to
instead complete
community
service (CAL.
PENAL CODE
§ 1202.4(n)). But if
your probation is
revoked, the court
must impose
restitution instead
(Cal. Pen. Code
§ 1202.4(n)).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(a). “The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and
when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of
probation, and discharge the person so held.”
597
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203 (a).
598
Information/advice taken from: http://californiaexpungementhelp.com/early-termination-of-probation/
599
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(j). See also People v. Birkett, 21 Cal.4th 226, 235 (1999).
600
People v. Birkett, 21 Cal.4th 226, 320 (1999).
601
See First District Appellate Project, Probation Conditions: Adults and Juveniles—What Types of Conditions are
Unreasonable and Unconstitutional, http://www.fdap.org/downloads/articles_and_outlines/Seminar2011ProbationConditions.pdf.
602
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a)(1). See also http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/criminal/misdemeanors.shtml.
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•

•

Restitution Payments to the Victim or State OR community service: Courts
are also required to order restitution payments, either to the victim or to the
603
state, as a condition of probation. Read more about restitution payments
in the COURT-ORDERED DEBT CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 755. The court
604
may also sentence you to serve a sentence in county jail for up to a year;
Minimum Fine or Jail Sentence Sometimes Required by Law: For some
misdemeanor convictions, the court is required
to impose a minimum fine or
605
jail sentence as a condition of your probation.

IF I AM ON MISDEMEANOR PROBATION, WILL I HAVE TO REPORT
TO A PROBATION OFFICER?
No. If you’re on misdemeanor probation, you’ll report to a judge in the County
606
Superior Court. This means that you will be required to appear in court before
607
a judge for “progress reports” as often as the judge orders you to do so.
When you go to the court for a “progress report,” the judge will determine
608
whether you are following the conditions of your probation.

WHAT WILL THE JUDGE LOOK FOR WHEN I AM MONITORED IN
COURT DURING “PROGRESS REPORTS?”
When you go to court for a “progress report,” the judge will be checking to see if
you are following the conditions of your probation. The judge will also ask you
about your progress in any programs (i.e. AA meetings, anger management
classes) that you were assigned as part of your misdemeanor probation.
It is important that you BRING DOCUMENTATION of any progress and positive
steps that you’ve made in fulfilling your probation conditions. This means that
you should bring documentation of any progress that you’ve made in: courtordered treatment programs; community service; public works service; etc.

HOW DO I CHANGE A CONDITION OF MY
MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)?
Under state law, you can ask the judge to modify (change) your
609
probation terms AT ANY TIME. This does not mean the judge will
do so, but you can always ask!

WHAT IS "GOOD
CAUSE”?
“Good cause,”
means a reason(s)
that is persuasive
enough to convince
a judge that s/he
should make an

To ask the judge to change a condition of your probation, you have
to file a motion with the court that is monitoring your probation, asking that
your probation conditions be modified. You must show why there is a good
reason for the judge to modify your conditions. Remember to bring all
documentation of your progress with you to court (i.e. reports/attendance
sheets from any classes or courses that you were required to take as part of
your misdemeanor probation).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1202.4(m). However, if the court finds “compelling and extraordinary reasons for not imposing
restitution,” it must order community service as a condition of probation instead, unless it also finds “compelling
and extraordinary reasons” for not requiring community service. CAL. PENAL CODE § 1202.4(n).
604
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a).
605
For example, if you are convicted of driving on a suspended license and this offense occurred within 5 years of a
prior offense for driving on a suspended license, the court must impose a minimum 10-day jail sentence as a
condition of probation (see CAL. VEH. CODE § 14601(c) (West 2014)). The CAL. GOV’T CODE also has special mandatory
probationary terms for specific offenses, such as completion of a domestic violence rehabilitation program (DVRP)
for those convicted of a crime of domestic violence (see CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.097(a)(6) (West 2014)).
606
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(a).
607
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1202.4(n).
608
For example, if the court ordered you to go to substance abuse treatment, then at your “progress report,” the
court will ask for written reports or attendance sheets from your treatment program.
609
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(a).
603

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There is no standard statewide form used to request a modification of
probation conditions. But some counties may have local forms for this purpose.
You may call the county Superior Court clerk’s office to find out whether or not
they have local forms to request a change. If the Public Defender was assigned
to your case, contact your Public Defender and ask them to file a motion to
modify your probation terms for you. If you had a private attorney but can no
longer afford one, you may call the Public Defender and ask them to represent
you in your attempt to change your probation conditions.
Before the judge can modify your conditions, the court must notify the
prosecutor (the District Attorney) in your case, and hold a hearing where the
610
prosecutor has a chance to speak. If the judge decides to change your
611
conditions, he or she must state the reasons for doing so.
IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR THE CHANGE BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY:
If you are asking to change a condition because of a disability, you should
explain why your disability makes it difficult for you to comply with your current
probation conditions, and what changes (in conditions) or assistance (from the
probation department or other services) you need to successfully complete
your probation For example, if you were ordered to perform public works
service (for example, highway cleanup), but your disability prevents you from
doing so, you may ask the judge at the local county superior court for a
modification that allows you to do community service (for example,
volunteering at the local public library) instead.
When you go to court, remember to BRING DOCUMENTATION OF YOUR
DISABILITY and explain the reasons why your disability makes it difficult for
you to follow the conditions and rules of your probation.

WHAT’S THE PROCESS FOR REQUESTING A CHANGE TO MY
MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD) CONDITIONS?
To request a change to your misdemeanor conditions (called a “modification”),
start by contacting the Court Clerk at your local county superior court where you
were convicted to ask if there is a local form for this type of request. If not, you
and your attorney will have to draft a motion. See Appendix Y, PG. 346, for more
information.

TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION (MSD)?
HOW DO I TRANSFER COUNTIES ON MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION?
Below is the process for a county to submit a “notice of motion for transfer” in
order to send the supervision of a person to a new county’s probation
612
department:
1)

When a person is released on probation or mandatory supervision, the court
must transfer the case to the superior court in any other county where the
person resides permanently (the county where the person plans to remain

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
610
611
612

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(b)(1).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(b)(2).
The court must follow the Judicial Council’s procedures and court rules set out in CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9(d).

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2)
3)
4)

5)
6)
7)
8)

9)

permanently/for the duration of probation or mandatory supervision), unless
the transferring court determines that the transfer would be inappropriate.
Next, the proposed receiving county may provide comments on the record
about the proposed transfer.
The court and the probation department must investigate county transfers
with precedence over most other actions, and make speedy decisions.
If victim restitution was ordered as a condition of probation or mandatory
supervision, the transferring court shall determine the amount of restitution
before the transfer unless the court finds that it can’t make that decision
within a reasonable time from when the motion for transfer is made. If a case
is transferred without the amount of restitution being decided, the
transferring court must make a determination about the restitution amount
as quickly as possible.
For every other determination related to probation (besides the amount of
victim restitution), the receiving county will have the power to make those
decisions, and must accept jurisdiction over the case.
The transfer order must require the supervised person to be in the care and
custody of the probation officer of the receiving county.
If it applies, the transfer order must also include an order for reimbursement
of reasonable costs for processing the transfer to be paid to the sending
county in accordance with Cal. Pen. Code § 1203.1b.
The sending county must send copies of any orders and any probation
reports to the court and the probation officer in the receiving county within 2
weeks of finding that the supervised person permanently resides in or has
permanently moved to the receiving county.
The receiving county may also follow these rules and procedures to again
transfer the probation supervision to another county later on.

HOW DO I TRANSFER STATES ON MISDEMEANOR PROBATION
(MSD)?
If you are on Misdemeanor Probation (or Felony Probation) and want to transfer
to a new state, go to PG. 368 to learn how.

VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS ON MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION (MSD)
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS OF
MISDEMEANOR PROBATION (MSD)?
The rules and procedures for probation and revocation proceedings are the
same for misdemeanor probation and felony probation.
Please see PG. 220.

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FELONY PROBATION (A.K.A. FORMAL
PROBATION)

WHAT’S THE
MAIN
DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN
FELONY
PROBATION VS.
MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION

BASICS OF FELONY PROBATION (FP)
WHAT IS FELONY PROBATION (FP)?
Felony Probation (sometimes called “formal probation” or FP) is a
type of community supervision that is part of the original sentence
handed down by a judge at trial, as an alternative to or in addition to
613
incarceration for a felony conviction.
FP reduces or eliminates the time you must spend in custody in jail or
prison and instead allows you to remain in or return to a community
614
sooner, so long as you follow your probation conditions.
This means that some people never serve time in jail or prison for a
felony but are sentenced to felony supervision in the community, while
some other people are sentenced to time in prison/jail and felony
supervision in the community.

The main difference
between felony and
probation and
misdemeanor
probation is that,
unlike with
misdemeanor
probation, if you are
on felony probation,
your are assigned a
probation officer.

WHO WILL MONITOR ME ON FELONY PROBATION (FP)?
Depending on the circumstances, either the court (and the judge of that court) or
a probation officer will monitor you to make sure you follow your probation
615
conditions. Generally, you must report to the probation officer once a month,
616
although the judge could require you to report more or less often than that. It
is very important to remain in contact with your probation officer, or it could
617
trigger a probation violation hearing.

!

IMPORTANT! How Felony Probation operates, and what services are
available, varies from county to county. Ask your probation officer what is
available to you in your county.

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR FIRST
DAYS OUT ON FELONY PROBATION (FP)
WHAT ARE SOME OF MY RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN I FIRST GET
RELEASED ONTO FELONY PROBATION (FP)?
Instructions for what to do when you first start your probation term will be
different depending on what county you are being supervised in. When you first
get out, the best thing to do is call or visit your county probation department
immediately to find out what requirements and instructions apply to you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
613
614
615
616
617

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(d).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203(j).

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LENGTH OF FELONY PROBATION (FP)
HOW LONG WILL I BE ON FELONY PROBATION (FP)?
618

Felony probation (FP) is typically imposed for a term of 3–5 years. The length
of your probation depends on what the court ordered, and that usually depends
on what county you are being supervised in (since each county has some
619
discretion to set the maximum length of felony probation within this range).

CAN I GET OFF FELONY PROBATION EARLY?
Possibly. California law allows you to ask the court to be released early from
620
your probation. If you have completed all of the conditions of your probation
(for example, paid all fines/fees, completed all counseling) and you are at least
half-way through your probation term (for example, 1 ½ years through a 3-year
probation term), you may be a good candidate to have your probation ended
early. The process for terminating (ending) felony probation early is the same as
the process for ending misdemeanor probation or mandatory supervision early.
If your request (called a “Motion”) to end your felony probation early is granted
by the judge, then you might also be able to ask for certain convictions to be
dismissed from your record! For more information on how to file a Motion to
Terminate Probation early, and also how to request dismissals of eligible
convictions, please see the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR
CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 1020.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a) provides: “The court, or judge thereof, in the order granting probation, may suspend
the imposing or the execution of the sentence and may direct that the suspension may continue for a period of time
not exceeding the maximum possible term of the sentence, except as hereinafter set forth, and upon those terms
and conditions as it shall determine. The court, or judge thereof, in the order granting probation and as a condition
thereof, may imprison the defendant in a county jail for a period not exceeding the maximum time fixed by law in
the case. However, where the maximum possible term of the sentence is five years or less, then the period of
suspension of imposition or execution of sentence may, in the discretion of the court, continue for not over five
years.”
619
Each county sets its own mandatory minimum. For example, in Alameda County, Yolo County, Sacramento
County, and Alpine County require a minimum of 5 years on FP, while most counties in California only require a
minimum of 3 years on FP.
620
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(a). “The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and
when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of
probation, and discharge the person so held.”
618

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!

IMPORTANT: It is important to know the conditions of your probation
because, if you do not follow the terms and conditions of your FP, your
probation could be revoked and you could:
• Be sent to jail, or go to prison (where the court had earlier suspended
a prison sentence by granting you FP);621
• Be sentenced to the maximum sentence authorized for the crime you
were convicted of;
• Have additional terms, such as public works service (“PWS” or
“volunteer works”) or community service added to your probation;622
• Have your probation revoked, and reinstated, for a new period of
three-five years623 (see PG. 220 on probation revocation proceedings)

CONDITIONS OF FELONY PROBATION (FP)
WHAT ARE COMMON CONDITIONS OF FELONY PROBATION (FP)?
There are some general/standard rules and conditions that apply to most (if not
all) people on felony probation, BUT REMEMBER, EVERY COUNTY WILL HAVE
DIFFERENT RULES AND CONDITIONS.
624

Felony probation will often include some of the following rules/ conditions:
1) Meeting with your probation officer as often as required, generally once a
month;
625
2) Payment of restitution, fines, and fees;
3) Participation in individual or group therapy;
4) Mandatory drug testing, if you were convicted of certain drug-related crimes;
5) Community service;
6) An agreement to submit to law enforcement searches of your person,
residence, or property with or without a warrant (sometimes called a “search
th
condition” or a “4 Waiver”);
7) No contact with victim(s) and following any stay away orders not to harass
victim(s);
626
8) Not associating with people who you know are gang members;
9) Agreement not to violate any laws.
To challenge/ try to change the conditions of probation, see the next question
and answer.

HOW DO I CHANGE A CONDITION OF MY FELONY PROBATION
(FP) CONDITIONS?
Follow the outlined steps below to request a change (called a “modification”) in
your probation terms: Start by contacting the Court Clerk at your local county
superior court where you were convicted to ask if there is a local form. If not, you
and your attorney will have to draft a motion. See Appendix Y, PG. 346 for more
information. (Note: The process for requesting a change to MSD conditions is
the same as the process for requesting a change to FP conditions.)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(c).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(a).
624
See First District Appellate Project, Probation Conditions: Adults and Juveniles—What Types of Conditions are
Unreasonable and Unconstitutional, http://www.fdap.org/downloads/articles_and_outlines/Seminar2011ProbationConditions.pdf.
625
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1202.4. This probation requirement will likely be imposed on anyone who was found guilty of
being a “gang offender” under of CAL. PENAL CODE § 1202.4(a) or (b).
626
CAL. PENAL CODE § 186.22(a) makes it illegal to participate in a gang. CAL. PENAL CODE § 186.22(b) states that
621
622
623

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TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON FELONY PROBATION (FP)
I WANT TO TRANSFER MY FELONY PROBATION TO ANOTHER
COUNTY. CAN I DO THAT?
It’s possible. The California Superior Court of the county that you were convicted
of a crime in has jurisdiction (decision-making power) over county-to-county
627
transfers for probation.
When deciding whether transfer is appropriate, the judge will look at:
1) Permanency of residence of the offender;
2) Local programs available for the offender; and
628
3) Restitution orders and victim issues.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR TRANSFERRING MY FELONY
PROBATION (FP) TO A NEW COUNTY?
Below is the process for a county to submit a “notice of motion for transfer” in
order to send the supervision of a person to a new county’s probation
department:
1)

2)
3)
4)

5)
6)
7)
8)

9)

When a person is released on probation or mandatory supervision, the court
must transfer the case to the superior court in any other county where the
person resides permanently (the county where the person plans to remain
permanently/for the duration of probation or mandatory supervision), unless
the transferring court determines that the transfer would be inappropriate.
Next, the proposed receiving county may provide comments on the record
about the proposed transfer.
The court and the probation department must investigate county transfers
with precedence over most other actions, and make speedy decisions.
If victim restitution was ordered as a condition of probation or mandatory
supervision, the transferring court shall determine the amount of restitution
before the transfer unless the court finds that it can’t make that decision
within a reasonable time from when the motion for transfer is made. If a case
is transferred without the amount of restitution being decided, the
transferring court must make a determination about the restitution amount
as quickly as possible.
For every other determination related to probation (besides the amount of
victim restitution), the receiving county will have the power to make those
decisions, and must accept jurisdiction over the case.
The transfer order must require the supervised person to be in the care and
custody of the probation officer of the receiving county.
If it applies, the transfer order must also include an order for reimbursement
of reasonable costs for processing the transfer to be paid to the sending
county in accordance with Cal. Pen. Code § 1203.1b.
The sending county must send copies of any orders and any probation
reports to the court and the probation officer in the receiving county within 2
weeks of finding that the supervised person permanently resides in or has
permanently moved to the receiving county.
The receiving county may also follow these rules and procedures to again
629
transfer the probation supervision to another county later on.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
627
628
629

Governed by CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9- the Court has jurisdiction over transfers.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9(a)(2).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9.

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HOW DO I TRANSFER TO A NEW STATE?
Go to PG. 182 to learn how to transfer to a new state.

VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS OF FELONY
PROBATION
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS OF
FELONY PROBATION?
See PG. 220 for the rules and procedures. Probation revocation proceedings are
the same for Misdemeanor Probation (PG. 198), Felony Probation (PG. 203), and
a newer form of supervision called “Mandatory Supervision” (PG. 215).

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POST-RELEASE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
(PRCS)
PRCS is run by your local county probation office and the rules vary from county
to county across California. We have tried to provide information here that will
be helpful to all as general rules and guidelines, but we encourage you to ask
people in your particular county probation office about how PRCS operates
locally, and what services or programs are available to you there.

BASICS OF PRCS
WHAT IS POST-RELEASE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION (PRCS)?
It is a new form of community supervision under California’s 2011 “Realignment”
Law (AB 109), which mandated that a large group of people leaving state prison
would be monitored by the probation department of each county, instead of by
state parole.
After October 1, 2011, a specific group of former prisoners—people released from
a state prison for crimes that are non-violent, non-serious, AND non-sexual —are
630
now placed under the supervision of county probation officers.

WHO WILL BE RELEASED FROM STATE PRISON TO COUNTY
SUPERVISION ON PRCS?
The following people will be released from state prison onto PRCS supervision:
• Individuals currently serving terms for non-violent, non-serious commitment
offenses;
• Some sex offenders; AND
• Individuals who, prior to October 1, 2011, would have been placed on non631
revocable parole (NRP).

!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you were paroled from state prison before October
1, 2011, you will stay on parole, and not be placed on PRCS. However, if
you are returned to the custody of state prison due to a parole revocation
case, the CDCR will screen your case beginning at least 180 days before
your calculated release date (see the next question about this timeline) to
decide if you should be (1) returned to state parole or (2) placed on PRCS
after serving the revocation term.632

WHO WILL NOT BE RELEASED FROM STATE PRISON TO COUNTY
SUPERVISION ON PRCS?
The 3 nons—anyone convicted of the following offenses will be released onto
state PAROLE, not PRCS:
1)

A “serious” felony (as described in Cal. Pen. Code § 1192.7(c));

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3450–3465.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3450 et seq; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 3079 et seq.
632
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.09(c).
630
631

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2) A “violent” felony (as described in Cal. Pen. Code § 667.5(c));
3) Individuals with an indeterminate life-term, including third-strikers, who were
sentenced pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 667(e)(2) or § 1170.12(c)(2);
4) Any crime for which the person is classified as a high-risk sex offender (as
defined by CDCR);
5) Any crime for which the person is required, as a condition of parole, to
undergo treatment by the State Department of State Hospitals (DSH) as a
633
mentally disordered offender pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 2962.
6) If you think you will be on parole, not PRCS, see earlier section on state
parole, PG. 147).

WHEN IS THE PRCS VS. PAROLE ASSESSMENT DONE?
Before you are released from prison, a correctional counselor will screen your
634
case and decide whether to refer you to state parole or PRCS. The
correctional officer should start this screening process at least 180 days prior to
635
your calculated release date. The CDCR Form 611, “Release Program Study,”
(see Appendix S, PG. 332) is used to determine if you will be eligible for PRCS
636
after release.

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR FIRST
DAYS OUT ON PRCS
WHAT MUST I DO WHEN I FIRST GET OUT ON PRCS?
You must report to your County Probation Department for PRCS supervision
within 2 working days after your release from state prison, court, or county
637
jail. Instructions for what to do when you first get out on PRCS vary from
county to county. Please see Appendix Z on PG. 348 for some examples of the
PRCS release process in a few California counties.

WHERE WILL I BE RELEASED TO ON PRCS?
In most cases, you will be sent to the county of your last legal residence before
638
you were incarcerated. However, CDCR can send you to PRCS in a different
county for various reasons, including victim safety concerns, to help you
639
maintain family ties, or so you can benefit from work or educational programs.
Please keep reading for more information on how to make a request to be sent
to a different county other than the one you last legally lived in.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(b).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(a).
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/PRCS-County.pdf.
636
http://www.cpoc.org/assets/Realignment/whatcountiesneedtoknow.pptx.
637
See L.A. Cnty. Prob. Dep’t, Just Released,
http://probation.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/probation/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9Q1MjA1tzS0NDcw04_Qj8pLLMtMTyzJzM9LzA
Hxo8zi3QwMDNz9nYKN_INdjA083dydnA39TQyNgo2ACiKRFRg4u1saeDqZuFt4mYUYOvuZE9IfrhFT0mwoTG6AixWgBUY4ACOBgSs8DLR9_PIz03Vz43KsfTMDEgHAB9RScE!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUU.
638
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003.
639
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(a)-(c).
633
634
635

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CAN I REQUEST THAT CDCR SEND ME TO PRCS IN A DIFFERENT
COUNTY THAN WHERE THEY WANT TO SEND ME?
Yes. While you are in prison, you can request to be released on to PRCS in a
different county than where CDCR has assigned you—which is typically the
county of last legal residence. Please read the section on how to request a PRCS
Location Transfer, beginning on PG. 213.

LENGTH OF PRCS
WHO SETS THE LENGTH OF PRCS?
The Superior Court Judge who sentences you.

HOW LONG DOES PRCS SUPERVISION LAST?
PRCS can last for minimum of six months, and for a maximum of 3 years.
Remember PRCS can end earlier if you do not violate any conditions of your
640
PRCS.
If at any time you abscond (go missing) or are otherwise unavailable for
641
supervision, that amount of time will not count toward the total PRCS period.

CAN I GET OFF PRCS EARLY?
It’s possible. If you have no violations of your PRCS, the county probation
department that supervises you may discharge you after 6 consecutive
642
months of no violations.
However, early release from PRCS is discretionary—it’s up to the
supervising agency to decide. Most individuals discharge from PRCS
643
within 30 days after serving a continuous year without violations.

CONDITIONS OF PRCS
WHAT CONDITIONS MUST I FOLLOW IF I AM ON PRCS?
You must comply with all of your conditions on PRCS.
standard conditions include:
1)

644

The

A waiver of your Fourth Amendment Rights—agreeing to be
searched by law enforcement without probable cause;
2) Informing the Probation Department of your home and work
addresses; and
645
3) Never possessing or having access to weapons.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
640
641
642
643
644
645

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(b).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3451(a)(1).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3456(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3452.
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3067(a); 3453.

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A NOTE ABOUT
ADDING EXTRA
(SPECIAL)
CONDITIONS OF
PRCS:
The county
probation office
may send special
conditions to CDCR
prior to release, but
they must be
related to your
offense. So CDCR
can make the PRCS
conditions, and then
the local county
probation office can
add to those
conditions, if the
new conditions are
lawful.

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IS THERE A DOCUMENT WHERE I CAN FIND ALL MY PRCS
CONDITIONS?
Yes—you should refer to your signed CDCR Form 1515, “Notice and Conditions
646
of Parole” (see Appendix G, PG. 302 for an example of this form).
If you do not sign the conditions while you are still incarcerated, the prison/jail
staff will notify the county of your supervision, and you can be held in custody
647
until you sign Form 1515 or until your credits expire.

CAN I CHALLENGE A PRCS CONDITION?
Yes. The legal standards for determining whether a PRCS condition is unlawful
648
are generally the same as for parole conditions. Please refer to, PG. 178
above, to understand what makes a PRCS condition lawful vs. unlawful.

HOW DO I CHALLENGE A PRCS CONDITION?
The procedure will depend on whether the supervising agency (the county
probation department) or the court made the decision, and when the challenge
is being raised.
IF THE CONDITION WAS SET BY THE PROBATION OFFICER SUPERVISING
YOUR PRCS: then you should complete any administrative appeal or grievance
process that is available through Probation. If there is no administrative appeal
process or the administrative appeal is unsuccessful, then you can file a state
649
petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the local superior court. See Appendix K
PG. 312 to learn how to file a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
IF THE CONDITION WAS SET BY THE COURT JUDGE OR A COURT-APPOINTED
HEARING OFFICER: then you should be able to proceed with a court challenge.
It appears likely that a direct appeal can be filed under the statute that allows an
appeal to be filed “from any order made after judgment, affecting the substantial
rights of the party.” To appeal, you must file a 22/ notice of appeal in the
superior court within 60 calendar days after the court’s decision.
When 22/a timely notice of appeal is filed:
• The superior court will prepare a record of the parole revocation proceedings
consisting of all the documents filed in the court and transcripts of the
hearings and provide these documents to the court of appeal, the state, and
the parolee.
o In a direct appeal, an attorney will be appointed by the Court of Appeal
at state’s expense, if the parolee does not have enough money to pay
for one.
o If you wish to have a court-appointed attorney, you must file your notice
of appeal within 60 calendar days after the court’s decision.
If the notice of appeal is not timely filed or if the issue involves information that
is not in the court record, it might be possible to raise the issues in a state court
habeas corpus petition.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Form 1515.
See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Form 1515.
See Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 34,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
649
See Prison Law Office, The Parolee Rights Manual at 34,
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf
646
647
648

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IMPORTANT: Whether or not issues from your case can be raised on a
habeas appeal can be a difficult subject to determine. For this reason, it
is recommended that you seek help from a court-appointed attorney, if
possible. Again, remember that if you wish to have a court-appointed
attorney, you must file your notice of appeal within 60 calendar days
after the court’s decision.
Please refer to Appendix K, on PG. 312 for more information on direct appeals
and state habeas corpus petitions, including sample forms.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I DO NOT FOLLOW THE CONDITIONS OF
MY PRCS?
There are different types of consequences for not following (violating) the terms
and conditions of your post-release community supervision (PRCS). These
include:
•

•

•

INTERMEDIATE SANCTIONS: PRCS agencies are supposed to develop and
use “intermediate sanctions” for minor violations of PRCS conditions.
Intermediate sanctions could include programs like drug treatment, mental
650
health counseling, and job assistance.
FLASH INCARCERATION: Another type of punishment for violating a PRCS
condition is “flash incarceration.” Flash incarceration is an immediate return
651
to jail for a period of up to 10 days. One of the conditions for being placed
on PRCS is that you give up the right to demand a court hearing before being
652
subject to flash incarceration.
COURT PETITION TO MODIFY/REVOKE/TERMINATE PRCS: If the PRCS
supervising agency (the county probation office) decides that more serious
punishment is appropriate for the violation, the agency will file a petition to
modify, revoke, or terminate PRCS through the County Superior Court. The
probation office’s petition will be filed with a hearing officer appointed by the
local Superior Court. Either the supervising agency (probation department) or
the hearing officer can decide to keep a person in custody (in jail) while the
653
petition is pending.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3450(b)(8).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3450(b)(8)(A).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3453(q) and 3454(c). People earn credit toward their PRCS terms for actual time spent in flash
incarceration, but do not earn any good conduct credits for such incarceration. CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 4019(i),
3450(b)(8)(A).
653
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a)-(c).
650
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TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON PRCS
HOW DO I TRANSFER COUNTIES (WITHIN CALIFORNIA) ONCE OUT
ON PRCS?
California state law governs the process for transferring a person’s PRCS
654
between counties. Unlike the state law that governs transfers of Misdemeanor
Probation, PG. 198, Felony Probation, PG. 203, and Mandatory Supervision,
655
PG. 215), the Court does not have the authority to transfer a person’s PRCS.
Instead, the PRCS transfer process is administrative, and happens directly from
656
one county to another. Under law, the process for transferring counties on
PRCS is as follows:
STEP 1: The supervising agency (the county probation department) must
determine that:
You no longer permanently reside (see definition in footnote)
jurisdiction, AND

657

within its

Your change of residence was either approved by probation OR didn’t violate
658
the terms and conditions of your PRCS.
STEP 2: The supervising agency (the county probation department) then has 2
weeks in which they must send any information it received from CDCR before
you were released over to the receiving probation department in your new
659
county of permanent residence.
STEP 3: Once the receiving county probation department has verified your
permanent residency in its county, the agency must accept you on PRCS
660
there.
NOTE: Your supervising agency (the county probation department) is not
required to transfer your PRCS to another county unless you have shown your
ability to establish permanent residence within another county without violating
the terms and conditions of your PRCS.
Go to PG. 182 to learn how to transfer to a new state.

IF THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT PURSUES THE CASE IN
COURT, DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO A HEARING FOR A PRCS
VIOLATION PETITION?
Yes. If you must respond to a PRCS violation petition, you have the right to a
661
hearing in County Superior Court.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460.
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9.
Chief Probation Officers of California, PRCS Transfer Protocol, http://www.cpoc.org/assets/Realignment/transfers
of prcs offender protocol.pdf.
657
For the purpose of CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460, “residence means the place where the person customarily lives [not
including your place] of employment, school, or other special or temporary purpose. A person may have only one
residence.” CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460(c).
658
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460(a).
659
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460(a).
660
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3460(b).
661
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a).
654
655
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DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO A FREE ATTORNEY IF I CAN’T AFFORD
ONE AT A PRCS VIOLATION HEARING?
Yes, at least in some cases—you have the right to a free court-appointed
662
attorney if you cannot afford your own. You can give up the right to an
attorney and a hearing, admit the violation, and accept the proposed
663
punishment, but it’s suggested that you ALWAYS ask for an attorney and
hearing.

IF THE JUDGE FINDS THAT I HAVE VIOLATED THE TERMS OR
CONDITIONS OF MY PRCS, WHAT ARE POSSIBLE PUNISHMENTS?
If you are found to have violated the terms or conditions of your PRCS at a
hearing, the judge, magistrate, or hearing officer can:
1) Return you to PRCS supervision with modified (changed or new)
conditions;
2) Refer you to a special program or to a special “reentry court” for
664
assessment for a special program; OR
3) Revoke (take away) your PRCS and order you to county jail for a maximum
665
term of 180 days.
NOTE: If you are ordered to serve county jail time for a PRCS violation, you
can earn 2 days of good conduct credits for every 2 days you actually
666
serve.

HOW CAN I CHALLENGE A COURT DECISION REVOKING MY
PRCS, OR A DECISION BY THE HEARING OFFICER AFTER A PRCS
VIOLATION HEARING?
You can almost always challenge the judgment of a PRCS recvocation
667
hearing. Follow the steps below:
STEP 1: To appeal, you must file a notice of appeal in the county Superior Court
668
within 60 calendar days after the court’s decision.
STEP 2: After a timely notice of appeal is filed, the Superior Court will prepare a
record of the PRCS revocation proceedings that includes all the documents filed in
the court and transcripts of the hearings. The Superior Court must then provide
these documents to (1) the Court of Appeal, (2) the State/ District Attorney
(representing the Probation Department), and (3) you. In a direct appeal, the court
of appeal must appoint an attorney to represent you for free if you don’t have
669
enough money to pay for one. In order to have a court-appointed attorney, you
must file your notice of appeal within 60 calendar days after the court’s decision.

HELPFUL HINT
Alternative to filing a timeline notice of appeal:
If the “notice of appeal” is not filed on time, or if the issue involves information that isn’t
in the court record, then it might be possible to raise the issues in a state court habeas
corpus petition (see Appendix K PG. 312 to learn about the general process for filing one).
This is not recommended unless (1) your notice of appeal wasn’t filed in time, or (2) the
appeal involves information that the court has no record of.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
662
663
664
665
666
667
668
669

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a).
Re-entry Court procedures are discussed at CAL. PENAL CODE § 3015.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a) and (d).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3455(a) and (d).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1237(b)
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1237(b)
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 8.308.

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MANDATORY SUPERVISION
BASICS OF MANDATORY SUPERVISION
WHAT IS MANDATORY SUPERVISION?
If you receive a split sentence (jail and community supervision time), you could
be placed on Mandatory Supervision after your release from county jail.
California’s 2011 Realignment law (AB 109) has given criminal courts in California
670
a legal tool called “split sentencing.” Split sentencing allows a judge to split
the time of a person’s sentence between a jail term and a period of supervision
by a probation officer.
While Mandatory Supervision is not technically probation under law, it will feel
the same—you will be supervised by a county probation officer, and it will feel a
671
lot like probation in how the supervision functions.
Please note: Mandatory Supervision is run by the counties and rules vary from
county to county across California. We have tried to provide information here
that will be helpful to all, but we encourage you to find out information from your
particular county probation office about how Mandatory Supervision operates,
and what services or programs are available to you there.

WHO CAN BE RELEASED ONTO MANDATORY SUPERVISION?
You are eligible for a “split sentence” and Mandatory Supervision if your felony
conviction is for a non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offense (the “3 nons”) under
672
law.
You CANNOT get a “split sentence” if:
1) You have a prior or current felony conviction for a serious felony described
in Cal. Pen. Code § 1192.7(c);
2) You have a prior or current conviction for a violent felony described in Cal.
Pen. Code § 667.5(c);
3) You have a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that
has all the elements of a serious or violent felony discussed directly above;
4) You are required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code
§ 290 et seq.; OR
5) Your conviction included a sentence enhancement pursuant to Cal. Pen.
Code § 186.11.
These 5 categories of individuals will still have to serve their sentence in state
673
prison.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1170(h)(5).
Mandatory supervision is similar to probation, though mandatory may also include extra monitoring conditions,
such as GPS monitoring or home detention. Fore more information about mandatory supervision and split
sentences, see Rebecca Sullivan Silbert, Thinking Critically About Realignment in California,
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/bccj/Thinking_Critically_3-14-2012.pdf.
672
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1170(h)(5).
673
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1170(a)(3).
670
671

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AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR FIRST
DAYS OUT ON MANDATORY SUPERVISION
WHAT MUST I DO AFTER I GET RELEASED ONTO MANDATORY
SUPERVISION?
You must report to your County Probation Department for Mandatory
Supervision within 2 working days after your release from state prison, court, or
674
county jail.
Other instructions for what to do when you first get out on Mandatory
Supervision vary from county to county, and you should check with your local
county’s probation office for a list of all the requirements.

LENGTH OF MANDATORY SUPERVISION
HOW LONG WILL I BE ON MANDATORY SUPERVISION?
It depends. The judge in the court that convicted you sets the term and length of
mandatory supervision, and it is different for every person depending on what
your conviction is for. BUT there are limitations. Split sentences cannot be
longer than the maximum sentence possible for the conviction—meaning the
total time you serve in custody (in jail) and supervision time (time on Mandatory
Supervision) cannot be more than the maximum original sentence.

CAN I GET OFF MANDATORY SUPERVISION EARLY?
Possibly. California law allows you to ask the court to be released early from
675
mandatory supervision. It is entirely up to the judge to decide whether to
terminate your mandatory supervision early. Since they are given so much
discretion, some judges (and even some whole counties) are unwilling to let
people off of mandatory supervision early, regardless of the person’s progress.
Many judges see mandatory supervision as an alternative to incarcerating you
for the whole time (that’s why it’s called “split sentencing” because the judge
split your sentence between incarceration and being on mandatory supervision
in the community), so for the most part they are less likely to end your
mandatory supervision early as compared with probation.
We recommend that you speak with an attorney BEFORE filing a “Motion to
Terminate Mandatory Supervision” early. If you go ahead with asking a judge to
end your mandatory supervision early (such a request is called a “Motion”) and it
is granted, then you might also be able to ask for certain convictions to be
dismissed from your record! For more information on how to file a Motion to
Terminate Probation early, and also how to request dismissals of eligible
convictions, please see the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR
CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER, PG. 1020.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See L.A. Cnty. Prob. Dep’t, Just Released,
http://probation.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/probation/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9Q1MjA1tzS0NDcw04_Qj8pLLMtMTyzJzM9LzA
Hxo8zi3QwMDNz9nYKN_INdjA083dydnA39TQyNgo2ACiKRFRg4u1saeDqZuFt4mYUYOvuZE9IfrhFT0mwoTG6AixWgBUY4ACOBgSs8DLR9_PIz03Vz43KsfTMDEgHAB9RScE!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUU.
675
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(a). “The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and
when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of
probation, and discharge the person so held.”
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CONDITIONS OF MANDATORY SUPERVISION
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF MANDATORY SUPERVISION?
State law requires Mandatory Supervision to be supervised by a county
probation officer with the same “terms, conditions, and procedures that apply to
676
people on probation (such as submitting to drug testing).”
Generally speaking, Probation Officers use routine office appointments,
employment services and treatment program partnerships to ensure compliance
with terms and conditions of probation.

CAN I EARN GOOD TIME CREDITS ON MANDATORY
SUPERVISION?
No. There are no good time credits for the supervision portion of Mandatory
677
Supervision.

TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON MANDATORY
SUPERVISION
HOW DO I TRANSFER COUNTIES ON MANDATORY
SUPERVISION?
Transferring counties on Mandatory Supervision works the same way as it does
678
for felony probation. Please read on PG. 181 to learn how to transfer.
Go to PG. 182 to learn how to transfer to a new state.

I AM ON PROBATION (MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY PROBATION),
PRCS, OR MANDATORY SUPERVISION, AND I WANT TO
TRANSFER TO ANOTHER STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
The rules and process for transferring your probation, PRCS, or Mandatory
679
Supervision to another state are the same as rules that apply to state parole.
Please refer to the process and rules on PG. 368 to understand the rules and
process for interstate transfer, governed by the Interstate Compact for Adult
680
Offender Supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1170(h)(5)(B)(i).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1170(h)(5)(B).
See CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 4.530.
679
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.9(a).
680
To view the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, please visit:
http://www.interstatecompact.org/Portals/0/library/legal/ICAOS_Rules.pdf
676
677
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VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS OF MANDATORY
SUPERVISION
WHAT IS THE PROBATION VIOLATION AND REVOCATION
PROCESS ON MANDATORY SUPERVISION, AND WHAT ARE MY
RIGHTS IN THAT PROCESS?
Go to PG. 220 to learn about your rights relations to the probation violation and
revocation process.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO ABIDE BY THE CONDITIONS
OF MY MANDATORY SUPERVISION?
If you’re on Mandatory Supervision, the violation and revocation process works
the same way as it does for felony probation (FP) and misdemeanor probation
681
(MSD). Please read the violation and revocations information on PG. 220, for a
description of the law and how the process works.

YOUR RIGHTS AS A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY ON
MANDATORY SUPERVISION
I HAVE A DISABILITY. WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE REGARDING
ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MY DISABILITY?
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California state law
protect you against discrimination based on your disability, and protect your
rights to equal treatment and reasonable accommodations.
682

If you are on probation (MSD or FP), PRCS, or Mandatory Supervision
have the right to:

, you

1.

Reasonable accommodations and changes in procedures so that you can
participate in probation services, programs, and activities, and can
683
successfully complete the terms of your supervision. EXAMPLES
INCLUDE:
a. If you are in a wheelchair, probation staff should make sure that any
programs, meetings, and services are in wheelchair-accessible
buildings.
b. If your probation officer refers you to community service (such as a
drug treatment center, job center, or literacy center), or requires you
to complete a program, the probation staff should make sure that
you can actually get to the services and participate in the programs.
c. If you are required to complete a work program, probation staff
should make sure that you are given a (alternative) job that you are
able to do with your disability.
2. Effective communication so that you can fully understand and participate in

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a)(2).
Title II of ADA, § 202 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 12132); Cal Gov’t Code § 11135; CAL. CIV. CODE §§ 54 et seq. See also
28 C.F.R. Part 35 (implementing the ADA). In addition to federal and state law, some cities or counties may provide
additional protections for individuals with disabilities, which protect your rights while you are on supervision in that
county. Telephone call with Jennifer Scaife, Reentry Division Director, San Francisco Adult Probation Dept., Nov. 6,
2014.
683
28 C.F.R. § 35.130.
681
682

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684

probation programs, services, activities, and proceedings. This includes
communication during orientations, interviews, and supervision meetings;
when you are notified of conditions of probation and registration
requirements; and during grievance and revocation proceedings. EXAMPLES
include:
a. Assistance by a sign language interpreter for a hearing- impaired
person;
b. Reading aloud of written materials for a vision-impaired person; or
c. Simplifying information for a developmentally disabled person.
3. Additional assistance (including services) and aids (like healthcare devices)
to accommodate your disability and ensure that you can fully and
successfully participate in programs, activities, and services. EXAMPLES
include:
a. Providing sign language interpretation if you are hearing impaired or
b. Wheelchair assistance if you have difficulty walking and cannot
685
access a building.
4. Information about your right to receive accommodations and equal
treatment, and how this affects your probation programming and
686
requirements.

HOW CAN I REQUEST AN ACCOMMODATION OR FILE A
COMPLAINT IF I FEEL THAT PROBATION IS NOT
ACCOMMODATING MY DISABILITY, OR IF I AM NOT GETTING
ACCESS TO PROBATION SERVICES OR PROGRAMS?687
Unlike for state parole, there are no formal probation policies or procedures to
request accommodations or file a complaint related to your disability. Each
county does things differently, and many counties have no formal procedures.
You can first talk to your probation officer and explain the situation to him/her
OR you may ask a judge to modify your probation to accommodate your
disability by filing a motion requesting a change. Please Appendix AA, on
PG. 349, for detailed steps on the process.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 35.160(a).
28 C.F.R. § 35.160(b).
28 C.F.R. § 35.106.
687
The information in this section is based on our staff’s conversation with probation staff in Alameda, Contra Costa,
and Yolo Counties, and our law clerk’s conversation with probation staff in Sacramento. If your county Probation
Department employs more than 50 people (including POs and other staff), the department is required by law to
provide a formal complaint (grievance) process. 28 C.F.R. § 35.107(b). However, most Probation Departments do not
have formal grievance procedures to request accommodations or complain about discrimination based on disability.
684
685
686

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VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS UNDER
COUNTY PROBATION SUPERVISION OF
FELONY PROBATION, MISDEMEANOR
PROBATION, & MANDATORY SUPERVISION
The following questions and answers apply to most forms of county-level
community supervision in California, including misdemeanor probation (MSD),
felony probation (FP), and Mandatory Supervision, but NOT Post-Release
Community Supervision (PRCS).

PRE-HEARING
WHAT IS THE PROBATION REVOCATION PROCESS IN
CALIFORNIA?
The following probation revocation process applies to: (1) misdemeanor
688
probation (MSD), (2) felony probation (FP), and (3) Mandatory Supervision.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I DON’T FOLLOW THE CONDITIONS OF
MY PROBATION?
If any probation officer, parole officer, or police officer has probable cause to
believe that you are violating any term or condition of your supervision, the
officer may re-arrest you (even without a warrant) and bring you before the
689
court.
This is the case so long as you are on probation—at any point until the time your
probation terminates or your case is dismissed. Alternatively, the court may, in
690
its own discretion, issue a warrant for your re-arrest.
If you willfully miss a scheduled court date/ “progress report,” this is considered
691
a probation violation and the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

CAN I BE REVOKED FOR NOT PAYING RESTITUTION?
Yes, BUT not if you cannot afford to pay. If you do not pay restitution, your
692
probation can be revoked. But your probation will not be revoked due to a
failure to pay restitution unless the court determines that: 1) you have the ability
693
to pay, and 2) you willfully failed to pay.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a).
691
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a).
692
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2. See also Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. 660.
693
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2. See also, People v. Self, 233 Cal. App. 3d 212 (“Probation shall not be revoked for
failure of a person to make restitution . . . as a condition of probation unless the court determines that the
defendant has willfully failed to pay and has the ability to pay. Restitution shall be consistent with a person’s ability
to pay.”).
688
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CAN FLASH INCARCERATION BE USED AS AN INTERMEDIATE
SANCTION?
Not if you are on misdemeanor probation (MSD), felony probation (FP), or
Mandatory Supervision. Flash incarceration can only be used for people on
694
parole or PRCS.

AM I ENTITLED TO BAIL?
It depends. Bail amounts for probation violations vary from county to county. Bail
amounts for probation violations may also vary depending on the type of offense
695
you were convicted of, and whether you are on MSD or FP.
If you have internet access, you can usually find standard felony and
misdemeanor bail amounts for probation violations (also referred to as “bail
696
schedules”) on your county Superior Court’s website. Or you may call your
county public defenders office to ask them about bail amounts for probation
violations.

WHAT DOES THE COURT HAVE THE POWER TO DO TO MY
PROBATION STATUS?
The court can:
1) Reinstate your probation with the same probation terms and conditions;
2) Reinstate and modify (meaning change the terms or conditions of your
probation),
3) Revoke and terminate (meaning take away your probation and sentence you
to jail or prison time). The court can modify, revoke, or terminate probation’s
supervision of you on its own motion or upon the petition (a formal, legal
request through the court) of you, the probation or parole officer, or the
697
District Attorney. This applies to MSD, FP, and Mandatory Supervision .

FOR FULL DETAILS ON THE COURT PROCEDURE AND SENTENCING IN
PROBATION REVOCATION PROCEEDING, PLEASE SEE PG. 220.

THE HEARING
WHAT COURT WILL HEAR MY CASE?
The court in the county in which you are supervised has “jurisdiction” (the legal
authority) to hear the motion or petition to modify, revoke, or terminate you
698
probation.
For those on probation, it will be either the court in the county in which you are
supervised or the court in the county in which the alleged violation of
699
supervision occurred.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 1203.2(g); 3450(b)(8)(A) (allowing short-term “flash incarceration” for people supervised on
parole and PRCS).
695
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1268 et. seq.
696
For example, you can find Riverside County’s bail schedule at:
http://www.riverside.courts.ca.gov/bailschedule.pdf. In Riverside County, the standard bail amount for a violation of
misdemeanor probation is $5,000. But the bail standard bail amount for a violation of FP in Riverside County is
$50,000.
697
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(a).
698
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(b).
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WHO HEARS THE CASES?
Judges, magistrates, or court-appointed hearing officers hear probation
700
revocation cases.

WHO REPRESENTS THE INTEREST OF PROBATION IN THE
HEARING?
701

The District Attorney (DA), on behalf of the state of California.

WHAT DOES THE PROSECUTOR (D.A.) NEED TO PROVE?
The prosecutor, also known as the District Attorney (DA), must prove that is
702
more likely than not that you violated probation.
Unlike a criminal trial where the DA must prove the case “beyond a
reasonable doubt,” the DA in a probation revocation hearing only
needs to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that you
703
violated probation.

DO I HAVE A RIGHT TO NOTICE OF THE PROBATION
REVOCATION HEARING?
704

Yes, unless you waive the notice requirement in writing.

WHAT DOES
“PREPONDERANCE
OF THE EVIDENCE”
MEAN?
Requires the court
to find that more
than half of the
evidence at least
51% of it supports
the charges or
alleged probation
violation.

You must be given notice before your first court appearance in the
probation revocation proceedings, unless you agreed in writing to a modification
705
(a change) or termination (an end) of a specific term of your supervision.
If you agreed in writing to a modification or termination of a specific term of your
supervision, you also do not have to make an in-person appearance in court for
706
the hearing. We suggest that you speak with an attorney or public defender
prior to waiving your right to a revocation hearing.

DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY AT THE HEARING?
707

Yes. Before you waive the requirement to personally appear at the hearing or
before you accept an offer of modification of your probation conditions, you
should be informed that you have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot
708
afford one, you have the right to a free attorney provided by the court.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (b)(1).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(b)(1) and (f).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2.
702
People v. Rodriguez, 51 Cal.3d 437, 441 (1990). (“Considerations of both law and policy dictate that the facts in a
probation revocation hearing be provable by a preponderance of the evidence. First, constitutional principles
permit the revocation of probation when the facts supporting it are proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
While no constitutional provision declares a standard of proof for probation revocation hearings, the United States
Supreme Court has indicated that due process requires no stricter standard of proof in probation revocation
hearings than a preponderance of the evidence.”)
703
People v. Rodriguez, 51 Cal.3d 437, 441 (1990).
704
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (b)(2).
705
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (b)(2).
706
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (b)(2).
707
People v. Vickers, 8 Cal. 3d 451, 461 (“[T]he efficient administration of justice requires that the defendant be
assisted by retained or appointed counsel at all revocation proceedings other than at summary proceedings had
while the probationer remains at liberty after absconding.”). See also, Gagnon v. Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778.
708
Pursuant to CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(b)(2)
699
700
701

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709

If you waive the right to an attorney, this waiver must be in writing. Again, we
suggest that you speak with an attorney or public defender prior to waiving your
right to a revocation hearing.

WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE DURING A PROBATION REVOCATION
HEARING?
There are minimal due process requirements for probation revocation
710
proceedings. This means that you don’t have all of the same rights that you
711
have at trial.
You have the following rights:
1) Written notice of the alleged violations and the possible consequences, with
enough information to allow you to prepare a defense and obtain mitigating
evidence (meaning evidence that would lessen the perceived severity of the
712
violation or help justify it);
713
2) Disclosure of the evidence against you;
3) Timely hearing of the charges at a probable cause hearing and a formal
714
revocation hearing;
715
4) The right to present witnesses and evidence. You can subpoena and
716
present witnesses and evidence. A person served with a subpoena for a
parole revocation hearing is required to appear at the hearing unless the
hearing is held at a place outside the county of his or her residence and
717
more than 75 miles from his or her residence;
718
5) The right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. You have a
conditional right under the U.S. and California constitutions to confront
witnesses whose statements are used against you in a probation violation
719
hearing. This means that you or your attorney may cross-examine any
720
people who gave information or testified that you violated your probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2(b)(2).
In Morrissey v. Brewer, the U.S. Supreme Court established minimal due process requirements for parole
revocation proceedings under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972).
With regard to the revocation of probation, the Court subsequently held that “a probationer, like a parolee, is
entitled to a preliminary and a final revocation hearing, under the conditions specified in Morrissey.” Gagnon v.
Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778, 782 (1973). Thus, the State “must provide the same process [found in Morrissey ] when
terminating a probationer from probation.” State v. Rogers, 144 Idaho 738, 742–43 (2007); State v. Scraggins, 153
Idaho 867, 871 (2012). While Morrissey and Gagnon holdings make clear that probationers do not retain the full
constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants, a probationer has a protected liberty interest in continued
probation, and is therefore entitled to due process before probation may be revoked. Morrissey and Gagnon set
forth those minimum due process requirements. See State v. Scraggins, 153 Idaho 867, 871 (2012). Cases since
Morrissey have reaffirmed those rights and described them more specifically. See People v. Vickers, 8 Cal. 3d 451
(1979) (“[T]he efficient administration of justice requires that the defendant be assisted by retained or appointed
counsel at all revocation proceedings other than at summary proceedings had while the probationer remains at
liberty after absconding.”); see also, Gagnon V. Scarpelli, 411 U.S. 778 (1973).
711
See Gagnon V. Scarpelli 411 U.S. 778 (1973).
712
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972); Vanes v. U.S. Parole Commission, 741 F.2d 1197 (9th Cir. 1984)
(due process violated by lack of notice of basis for parole violation charge); Rizzo v. Armstrong, 921 F.2d 855, 858
(9th Cir. 1990) (failure to give notice of consequences if parole revoked at hearing).
713
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972); People v. Moore, 34 Cal.3d 215 (1983) (state has duty to preserve
and disclose material physical evidence).
714
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 485 (1972); People v. Woodall, 216 Cal. App. 4th 1221 (2013) (probation
revocation procedures that fail to provide probable cause hearing do not violate due process rights if full hearing
occurs relatively soon or if preliminary hearing on any new criminal charges is conducted).
715
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-489 (1972).
716
In re Carroll, 80 Cal. App. 3d 22, 34 (1978).
717
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 11185(a).
718
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972); Valdivia v Schwarzenegger, 599 F.3d 984, 989 (9th Cir. 2010).
719
See Gagnon V. Scarpelli 411 U.S. 778 (1973).
720
You keep this right to cross-examine a witness unless: a.) the hearing officer (i.e. the judge) determines that there
is “good cause” that the witness does not have to testify, and b.) that the “good cause” outweighs (exceeds) your
right to confront that particular witness.720 If the hearing officer determines that there is “good cause” that a witness
does not have to testify, then the hearing officer may take into consideration that witness’s past out-of-court
statements, even though the witness will not be in court you to confront. For example, if a judge determines that
there is “good cause” that a witness’s safety will be in danger if he or she testifies at your probation revocation
hearing, then the witness’s past statements are admissible at your hearing. But remember—the more important the
witness’s testimony is to the case, the stronger your right to confront and question that witness is (see U.S. v.
Comito, 177 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1999); Valdivia v Schwarzenegger, 599 F.3d 984, 989 (9th Cir. 2010); People v. Arreola,
7 Cal.4th 1144, 1154 (1994).See also Gagnon V. Scarpelli 411 U.S. 778 (1973) (“[T]he minimum requirements of due
709
710

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721

6) A fair and unbiased hearing body; and
7) A written statement of the decision, the evidence relied on, and the reasons
722
for revoking parole.

!

IMPORTANT: You may waive (give up) your rights, either expressly—by
saying you give up the right, or by implication—by failing to assert the
right.723 Therefore, it is important that you take advantage of your rights
and complain if a right is violated.

CAN THE PROSECUTOR (D.A.) INTRODUCE EVIDENCE THAT WAS
OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF MY FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHT
AGAINST UNLAWFUL SEARCH & SEIZURE AT MY PROBATION
REVOCATION PROCEEDING?
724

Yes. You should note that the “exclusionary rule” that usually applies in a
criminal court trial—a rule that bars evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—does NOT apply in probation revocation
hearings. This means that even if evidence was suppressed in an earlier criminal
725
trial, it can still most likely be brought in to a later parole revocation hearing.

CAN A WITNESS BE EXCUSED FROM TESTIFYING IN FRONT OF
ME AT A PROBATION REVOCATION HEARING?
Witnesses may not be required to testify in front of you if they are deemed
726
fearful or confidential.
•

•

“Fearful witnesses” are witnesses whose identity is known to you but who: (1)
have indicated that they are at a risk of harm if they testify in your presence;
or (2) have requested that their contact information be withheld from you.
Testimony of a fearful witness can be taken outside the parolee’s presence,
but the parolee’s attorney must be present.
“Confidential witnesses” are witnesses whose identity you are unaware of
727
and who would be at a risk of harm if their identity were disclosed.
However, if confidential information is used as part of the reason you’re
charged with violating probation, you can request that the prosecutor
disclose (reveal) this information or prove that revealing this information
728
would create a risk of harm to the confidential witness.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
process include . . . “the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses . . . unless the hearing officer specifically finds
good cause for not allowing confrontation.”).
721
Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972) .
722
See People v. Hawkins, 44 Cal. App. 3d 958 (1975); see also, Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 488-89 (1972).
723
In re La Croix (1974) 12 Cal.3d 146, 153.
724
See U.S. v. Vandemark, 522 F.2d 1019, 1020 (“This accords with the almost unanimous view that the exclusionary
rile does not usually apply in probation revocation settings.”). See also, People v. Harrison, 199 Cal. App. 3d 803,
808 (1988).(“We believe that federal [and state] law does [sic] not require application of the exclusionary rule to
probation revocation hearings”).
725
Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole v. Scott, 524 U.S. 357 (1998) (exclusion of evidence at parole hearing
would hinder functioning of parole system); In re Martinez, 1 Cal.3d 641, 649-652 (1970), disapproved on other
grounds in In re Tyrell J., 8 Cal.4th 68 (1994); In re Love, 11 Cal.3d 179, 190 (1974); see also, People v. Rackling, 195
C.A. 4th 872, 874 (2011) (finding that the Miranda exclusionary rule does not apply in probation revocation
proceedings).
726
The hearing officer may exempt a confidential informant from “confrontation and cross-examination.” Morrissey,
408 U.S. 471, 487 (1972) (stating that, “[h]owever, if the hearing officer determines that an informant would be
subjected to risk of harm if his identity were disclosed, he need not be subjected to confrontation and crossexamination”).
727
See United States v. Comito (9th Cir. 1999) 177 F.3d 1166; In re Melendez (1974) 37 Cal. App. 3d 967, 973; In re
Prewitt (1972) 8 Cal.3d 470, 477-78. But see People v. Stanphill (2009) 170 Cal. App. 4th 61 (no need for balancing
test where statement meets hearsay exception as “spontaneous statement”).
728
See In re Prewitt, 8 Cal.3d 470, 478 (1972); In re Love, 11 Cal.3d 179 (1974) (due process violation in failure to
disclose contents of “confidential” report where disclosure would not endanger any informant).

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WHAT HAPPENS IF A VERY IMPORTANT WITNESS DOESN’T
SHOW UP TO THE PROBATION REVOCATION HEARING, EVEN
THOUGH HE/SHE WAS REQUIRED TO ATTEND?
If a very important (called “material”) state witness fails to attend a parole
revocation hearing, and the hearing cannot fairly proceed without the witness,
729
the court can postpone the hearing or dismiss the case.

SENTENCING
HOW LONG CAN I BE SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME FOR A
PROBATION REVOCATION?
It depends on what your original conviction was for. When your probation is
revoked and terminated, the court may—if the original sentence was
suspended—now sentence you to jail for the longest period (the maximum
sentence) that you could have originally been sentenced for the specific crime
730
you were convicted of committing.

COULD I BE SENTENCED TO PRISON INSTEAD OF JAIL FOR A
PROBATION REVOCATION?
It’s possible. You could be sentenced to prison time instead of jail time if the
crime that you were originally convicted of is one that would have allowed a
731
judge to sentence you to prison. On the other hand, if the crime you were
originally convicted of would not have allowed a judge to sentence you to prison
time, then your probation revocation time cannot be sentenced to prison either.

SUMMARY OF SENTENCING FOR PROBATION
REVOCATION PROCEEDINGS
What are the options the court has for sentencing/ punishment if they revoke
probation? The judge could:
1) Reinstate your probation on the same terms and conditions;
2) Reinstated and modify (change) the terms of your probation to make them
more difficult, (including adding fines, community service, or public works
service); OR
3) Revoke and terminate your probation—and send you to jail or prison,
732
depending on the commitment offense.

IF MY PROBATION IS REVOKED AND TERMINATED, HOW LONG
WILL I BE SENT TO PRISON OR JAIL?
It depends. The length of time that you will be sentenced depends on what the

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To decide whether the witness’s testimony would be “material,” the court will weight the importance of the
witness’s expected testimony against the availability and reliability of any alternative source of the same information.
Also, if the state’s material witnesses fail to appear, but your witnesses are present, you and your attorney may want
to ask that the court to take the testimony of your witnesses before postponing the rest of the hearing.
See CAL. PENAL CODE § 1050(e).
730
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (c).
731
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (d). The statute reads: “In any case of revocation and termination of probation,
including, but not limited to, cases in which the judgment has been pronounced and the execution thereof has
been suspended, upon the revocation and termination, the court may, in lieu of any other sentence, commit the
person to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities if he or she is otherwise
eligible for such commitment.” CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2 (d).
732
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.1(j).
729

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judge ordered at the time you were sentenced. When you were initially
sentenced to probation, the sentencing judge had the option of either ordering
that the Execution of Sentence be Suspended (ESS) or ordering that the
Imposition of Sentence be Suspended (ISS). Trying to figure out if the judge
imposed ESS or ISS can be tricky. This is a technical area of law, you should be
asking your attorney or public defender if you are not sure whether the judge
ordered ESS or ISS.
Here are the basics:
• ESS means that the sentence is only executed (meaning, you serve the
sentence) if your probation is revoked because you violated your probation
conditions.
• ISS means that your sentence has not yet been determined at the time the
judge sentences you to probation. But, if you have ISS and you violate the
terms of your probation, and you probation is revoked, then the court, at time
that the court finds you in violation of your probation, will sentence you to
whatever length sentence (up to the maximum for your specified offense) it
733
deems appropriate.

CHALLENGING A REVOCATION DECISION
WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE IF I AM A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
GOING THROUGH PROBATION REVOCATION PROCEEDINGS?
The ADA and California state law protect your rights during probation revocation
734
proceedings. In addition, you have a constitutional right to Due Process during
735
a revocation hearing, this means that the court must give you notice of and
ensure that you can participate effectively in the hearing. (See PG. 223 above for
more information on your Due Process rights during a probation revocation
hearing).
If you have a disability, you have the following rights during probation revocation
proceedings:
•

•

736

Reasonable accommodations from Probation staff Examples of
accommodations include: Ensuring access to the hearing room for a person
with mobility impairments; providing Braille or taped documents or reading
assistance for a vision-impaired person; providing assistance in
communicating for a developmentally disabled person; or providing sign
language interpretation for a hearing-impaired person.
Probation staff must use effective communication and provide
accommodations when interacting with people on probation with
737
disabilities. That means that they must use effective communication and
provide accommodation when arresting parolees or modifying conditions of
738
probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you plead guilty and have ISS, then whether or not your sentence will be imposed in front of the same judge
who accepted your guilty plea depends on whether or not you signed an Arbuckle waiver. An Arbuckle waiver
occurs when a defendant waives his right to be sentenced by the same judge who presided over his/her
trial/accepted the change of plea. Without an Arbuckle waiver, any sentencing imposed by another judge is
unlawful.
734
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 11135(a).
735
U.S. CONST. amend. 14; CAL. CONST. art. 7; see also CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.2; People v. Vickers, 8 Cal. 3d 451
(1972).
736
See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. Fore more information about reasonable accommodations, and about the rights of
disabled persons who are on parole or probation, please see: Prison Law Office Parolee Handbook (Aug. 2013), 43.
737
Prison Law Office Parolee Handbook (Aug. 2013), 43
738
See Armstrong Remedial Plan (Jan. 3, 2001), § IV.S; Clark Remedial Plan (Mar. 1, 2002), § VIII.
733

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•
•
•

In the courtroom, attorney and court are responsible for meeting your needs
739
during the court processes.
Additional assistance to accommodate your disability so that ensure that you
740
can fully and successfully participate in the revocation proceeding.
Information about your right to receive accommodations and equal
treatment, and how this affects your probation programming and
741
requirements.

IMPORTANT TIPS IN COURT:
•

•

•

Tell the judge about your disability and how it affects your probation:
Remember, the judge has much more power than your probation officer in
deciding whether or not to revoke your probation. So if your disability is
making it difficult for you to comply with your probation conditions (and if this
is the reason for your revocation), you should try to explain this to the judge.
Remember to bring documentation (i.e. letters from doctors, medical reports)
of your disability to court with you.
Tell the Judge what assistance you need from the Probation Department to
accommodate your disability: You should also explain if you need any
additional assistance from the Probation Department.742
Bring Witnesses: Finally, you can also bring any witnesses (for example, a
doctor, therapist, or other service provider) and evidence (such as a letter
from your doctor or prescription for medication) to show how your disability
affects you.

CAN I CHALLENGE A DECISION/ACTION BY THE COUNTY
SUPERIOR COURT?
Yes. If you are on probation and would like to challenge a revocation decision or
action made by a court, you can file a direct appeal that allows you appeal “any
743
order made after judgment, affecting the substantial rights of the party.”
STEP 1: To file an appeal, you must file a notice of appeal in the superior court
744
within 60 calendar days after the court’s decision.
STEP 2: When you file a timely notice of appeal, the County Superior will prepare
a record of the probation revocation proceedings consisting of all the
documents filed in the court and transcripts of the hearings and provide these
documents to you, the court, the state (the prosecutor).. In a direct appeal, the
court must appoint an attorney to represent the you for free if you do not have
enough money to pay for one. If you wish to have a court-appointed attorney,
you must file a timely notice of appeal within 60 calendar days after the court’s
decision. For a list of California County Superior Courts, visit:
http://www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm.
STEP 3: If you do not file a timely notice of appeal or if your case involves
information outside the court record, then you may be able to raise the issues in
a state court petition for a writ of habeas corpus (see explanation in Appendix K,
on PG. 312).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
739
740
741
742
743
744

See CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 1.100(b). See also, CAL. CIV. CODE § 51 et seq.
28 C.F.R. § 35.106.
28 C.F.R. § 35.106.
Telephone conversation with Tony Crear, Alameda County Probation Department
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1237(b).
CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 8.308.

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There are many types of issues that you can raise in a challenge to a revocation
proceeding or decision. Claims can be based on violations of state or federal
constitutional due process rights, California or federal statutes, or California
administrative rules. For example, a person could argue that the revocation
hearing is being unreasonably delayed, that he or she was denied the right to
cross-examine witnesses at the hearing, or that the revocation decision was not
supported by the evidence. Unfortunately, in most cases, the process for raising
such challenges will be too slow to provide any relief before you serve the entire
revocation term. However, you may still benefit by getting their your revocation
cases re-heard, getting their revocations vacated, and/or getting the time served
for the revocation deducted from the controlling parole discharge date.

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Brief Introduction to Parts IV, V, and VI of this Chapter:
Federal Community Supervision
We mentioned earlier that each state in the U.S. runs its own criminal justice system—
including deciding criminal laws, methods of incarceration, and community supervision. In
addition to each state running its own system, the federal government (which oversees all
the states) has a separate system to prosecute federal offenses (including things like drug
!trafficking, human trafficking, immigration, national security, computer fraud, corporate
“white-collar” crimes.) In the next two sections of the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER,
you will learn about the types of correctional supervision in the community that are RUN
BY THE U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:
• Part IV covers FEDERAL PROBATION
• Part V covers FEDERAL SUPERVISED RELEASE
• Part VI covers FEDERAL PAROLE

IV. FEDERAL COMMUNITY
SUPERVISION: FEDERAL
PROBATION
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Important basic information about Federal Probation
What to expect in your first days out on Federal Probation
The general conditions of Federal Probation
What extra (special) conditions of Federal Probation can be
added
How to challenge the conditions of Federal Probation
How to transfer locations while on Federal Probation
The process of violations & revocations on Federal Probation
Your rights as a person with a disability on Federal Probation

BASICS OF FEDERAL PROBATION
WHAT IS FEDERAL PROBATION?
After you are convicted of a federal crime, federal probation is often used as an
745
alternative sentence to prison time. That means that federal “probation” is still
considered a sentence in and of itself. For the most part, if you are placed on
federal probation, you must report to your assigned probation office and comply
746
with all the rules (terms and conditions) of your federal probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A defendant may receive a sentence of probation unless he or she is convicted of a Class A or B felony; probation
is prohibited by statute of conviction; or the defendant is sentenced at the same time to imprisonment. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3561(a). A court’s authority to impose probation is based solely on statute. See Affronti v. U.S., 350 U.S. 79, 83
(1955). The authorized length of probation is between one and five years for a felony; not more than five years for a
misdemeanor; and not more than one year for an infraction. 18 U.S.C. § 3561(c).
746
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(15). Ever since 1984 (the time when the “Sentencing Reform Act” went into effect), federal
criminal courts; see also United States Sentencing Commission, Guidelines Manual,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2012/manual-pdf/Chapter_7.pdf.
745

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WHO IS SUPERVISED BY FEDERAL PROBATION?
1) People who are on “federal probation”
2) People who are on something called “supervised release”
3) People who would have, in the past (and today in Washington, D.C. only) be
put on federal parole

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR
FIRST DAYS OUT ON FEDERAL PROBATION
WHEN MUST I REPORT TO MY PROBATION OFFICER?
You must report to your probation officer within 72 hours (3 days), or sooner if a
747
judge or U.S. Probation Officer orders you to.
Read the written statement given to you by U.S. Probation for information on
748
where, when, and to whom you should report. If you cannot remember where
you were supposed to report or have lost your written statement, you should
749
report to the nearest U.S. Probation office and they will be able to help you.
To find the U.S. Probation office closest to you:
1)

Go to the U.S. Courts’ website here:
http://www.uscourts.gov/Court_Locator/CourtLocatorSearch.aspx
2) Fill in your city, state, and zip code.
3) Under the “Court Type” drop-down menu, choose “Probation Offices”
4) A list of offices nearest you will appear. If you click the link for “Details” on
any one of those listings, it will take you to a new web page with the street
address, phone number for the U.S. Probation office, and an interactive map
of the location.
Sometimes the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)—which oversees the federal
prison system across the country—will release you to a transitional house (a
“halfway house”), before you’ve reached your actual release date—usually 6
months ahead of time.
Before you leave federal prison, the prison staff will give you a “Notice of
Release and Arrival” (Form BP-S714.056), which will clearly state the exact
amount of time you are allowed for transportation from the prison to the
transitional house. Once at the transitional house, you might be subject to a
lockdown period (for example, a 72-hour lockdown period)—meaning you cannot
leave for those days.
After being released from a transitional house, Federal Probation staff will give
you another Notice of Release and Arrival (Form BP-S714.056). For some people
on federal probation, that is the moment that the 72-hour clock for checking in
with your Probation Officer begins. That form will also clearly state your home
confinement date. The transitional house you are leasing in may have
requirements you first have to meet to their satisfaction before you will be
released to home confinement—usually on an ankle monitor until the 6 months
are up.!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See United States Probation Office, Central District of California, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.cacp.U.S.C.ourts.gov/faq.
748
18 U.S.C. § 3564(d).
749
Telephone call with Duty Officer at the San Francisco United States Probation Office on March 19, 2015.
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LENGTH OF FEDERAL PROBATION
HOW LONG IS MY SUPERVISION UNDER FEDERAL PROBATION?
The maximum term of probation that can be imposed depends on the type of
750
conviction offense:
(1) FELONY CONVICTION: Minimum 1 year to maximum 5 years (maximum); or
(2) MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION: Maximum 5 years.
751
(3) INFRACTION: Maximum 1 year.
Therefore, to know the range of time you could be sentenced to federal
probation, you will need to know if you were convicted of a felony,
misdemeanor, or infraction. If you aren’t sure, ask your federal public defender
or your probation officer.

CAN I GET OFF OF FEDERAL PROBATION EARLY?
Possibly. You can ask for early release from federal probation from the judge
who originally sentenced you.
•
•

For a misdemeanor conviction or an infraction, you can file a petition and ask
the judge to terminate your federal probation at any time.
For a felony conviction, you can file a petition and ask the judge to terminate
752
your federal probation after one year. Talk to your U.S. Probation Officer
about this request first, because he or she can help you ask the judge for
this.

The court has the power to decide whether or not to let you off probation early.
In most cases, judges will deny requests to be let off probation early. But that
doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, especially if you’ve done really well on your
probation. And remember, it is really helpful if your Probation Officer supports
your request.
You have the best shot of being let off of federal probation EARLY if:
•
•
•
•
•

You have completed 2/3 of your probation term (or at the very least, you are
½ way through),
You have had no violations,
You have complied with all the terms of your probation,
You have paid all restitution an fines, and
753
Your probation officer agrees that you should be let off early

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are three types of crimes in the federal criminal justice system: Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions.
Felonies are offenses for which a term of imprisonment of more than one year is possible. Misdemeanors are
offenses for which a term of imprisonment no greater than one year may be imposed. Finally, Infractions are
offenses for which the term of imprisonment may be no longer than five days. See 18 U.S.C. § 3559.
751
18 U.S.C. § 3561(c)(1)(3). The United States Sentencing Guidelines provide a recommendation to sentencing
judges based on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the instant offense and the defendant’s prior
criminal record. Ultimately, this recommendation is reflected in a Guideline Sentencing Range sitting at the
intersection of the applicable Offense Level and Criminal History Category. See United States Sentencing
Guidelines 2014 Sentencing Table, http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelinesmanual/2014/2014sentencing_table.pdf; U.S.S.G. § 1B1.1 General Application Principles,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2014/GLMFull.pdf. The Sentencing Guidelines
recommend that probation be imposed for at least one year, but no longer than five years, if the Guideline Offense
Level is 6 or greater. When the Guideline Offense Level is less than 6, the Guidelines recommend probation be
imposed for no greater than three years. See U.S.S.G. § 5B1.2(a), Term of Probation,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2013/manual-pdf/2013_Guidelines_Manual_Full.pdf.
752
18 U.S.C. § 3564(c).
753
See Federal Defenders of New York, Supervised Release, http://federaldefendersny.org/information-for-clientand-families/supervised-release.html.
750

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What factors might the judge consider in my request?
It depends on the judge. Ultimately, the decision to end your federal
probation early is up to the judge who originally sentenced you. To get
off of federal probation early, you must show the judge that you have
earned it through good conduct, and it must be in the interest of
754
justice. See APPENDIX EE PG. 358 for more information about.
Here is the full list of factors that the judge may consider when deciding
whether to let you off probation early:
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

Whether or not your Probation Officer or the Prosecutor support
your request;
The nature and seriousness of the crime you were convicted of;
Your criminal history and/or mental illness history;
Whether the judge believes you are a threat to the public;
Whether the judge believes you have been sufficiently punished;
Whether you have completed any substance abuse treatment or
rehabilitation programs;
How your sentence compares to the federal sentencing guidelines
recommended sentence;
755
U.S. Sentencing Commission policy statements;
756
Whether you’ve paid restitution to the victims.

COULD MY TIME ON FEDERAL PROBATION BE EXTENDED
BEYOND THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE?
Yes, but only if you were not originally given the maximum term on federal
probation that would be allowed under law. The judge may extend your
probation at any time before the end of your sentence, but must give you a
hearing before doing so. At that court hearing, the judge can make your
probation term longer if he or she did not originally give you the maximum
757
authorized term.
A judge may extend your time on federal probation instead of sending you to jail
if he or she finds you violated your conditions of probation (see PG. 233 which
discusses conditions of federal probation). The maximum amount of time you’ll
spend on federal probation supervision depends on whether you were convicted
of a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction. Look at PG. 231 to figure out the
maximum amount of time you could spend on federal probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3564(c).
In 2011, the Sentencing Commission issued a policy statement informing judges that they may let former
narcotics abusers from supervised release early, if that person has successfully completed a treatment program. See
United States Sentencing Commission, 2013 Guidelines Manual, http://www.ussc.gov/guidelinesmanual/2013/2013-5d12. See 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1)-(2).
756
See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1)-(7).
757
18 U.S.C. § 3564(d).
754
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CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PROBATION
WHAT ARE CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PROBATION, AND WHY
ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Your conditions of federal probation are the rules set by the judge that you must
follow if you want to remain in the community under supervision, and not be
sent back to prison. These are called “release conditions”—they tell you what
you can and can’t do in the community. These conditions are broken down into
two types: (1) mandatory conditions and (2) discretionary conditions.
Examples include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Not being able to own/store guns or other weapons;
No contact with victims or witnesses; restrict your association with certain
people or groups;
Restricted travel;
Curfews;
Community service;
Electronic monitoring;
Employment requirements;
Mental health treatment;
Substance abuse treatment.

It is important for you to know what conditions you must follow on federal
probation so that you don’t get into trouble or sent to prison for violating those
rules.
Also: be sure to talk to your U.S. Probation Officer about how to get connected
758
to any needed services or resources offered in your community.

WHERE CAN I FIND A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MY CONDITIONS
OF FEDERAL PROBATION?
The judge must direct the probation officer to provide you with a written
statement that explains all the conditions you must follow, and is clear and
759
specific enough to guide your conduct under supervision.
The conditions of supervision are also listed on the “Judgment in a Criminal
Case” produced by the court after your sentencing hearing. Ask your attorney or
the Clerk of the Court where you were sentenced for a copy of this document so
that you can be sure of your obligations to the Court. Most judges will not
excuse your failure to comply with the conditions of supervision simply because
760
you did not receive a copy of the conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO SEE MY PROBATION OFFICER IF I AM
ON FEDERAL PROBATION?
It depends. How often you must report to your probation officer varies widely

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reentry Council, Getting Out Staying Out: A Guide to San Francisco Resources for People Leaving Jails and
Prisons, 30, http://sfreentry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/1213-2nd-printing-GOSO.pdf.
759
18 U.S.C. §§ 3563, 3583.
760
This is because the Judge also reads all of the conditions to you at your sentencing hearing.
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based on the individual “supervision plan” developed for you by your probation
761
officer.
Some supervision plans require weekly meetings and even more frequent phone
contact; for others, occasional or monthly contact is sufficient. Meetings may
762
take place at the probation office, your home, or your workplace. Probation
officers sometimes make “surprise” visits. For this reason, it is important that
you always inform your probation officer of any changes to your work schedule.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANDATORY &
DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS?
Federal law governs the mandatory conditions of federal probation (the law
breaks it down into a list of mandatory conditions (required) and discretionary
763
conditions (not required).
1) Mandatory conditions are the rules that judges must impose.
2) Discretionary conditions are the rules that judges can, but do not have to,
impose.
If a judge wants to impose a discretionary condition, he or she MUST find that
764
the condition reasonably relates to sentencing factors, and is reasonably
765
necessary for the purposes of supervision.
The only difference to note is that intermittent confinement may be imposed as
a condition of probation during the first year of federal probation. Intermittent
confinement means temporarily going into Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody for a
766
night, a weekend (or possibly for a longer period of time).

WHAT ARE THE MANDATORY CONDITIONS ON FEDERAL
PROBATION?
The following conditions are mandatory and apply to EVERYONE on
Federal Probation. (Note: These also apply to everyone on Supervised
Release, see PG. 243.)
1)

POSSIBLE
EXCEPTION TO
THE BAN ON
SUBSTANCE USE
The Court can
completely remove
or suspend this
condition if your
pre-sentence report
(or other reliable
sentencing
information)
indicated a low risk
of future substance
abuse.

You cannot commit another federal, state, or local crime during
the entire length of your federal probation. The court must
make this condition known and clear to you.
2) You cannot unlawfully use a controlled substance.
3) You must submit to one drug test within 15 days of release and
at least 2 periodic drug tests thereafter (as determined by the
court).
a) Consequences for a confirmed positive drug test include:
b) Possible prison time, and
c) Court-ordered participation in a substance abuse treatment program
(unless your current or past participation in such a program warrants an
767
exception)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(15) (permitting the Court to order a defendant to report to a probation officer as directed
by probation)
762
See Federal Judicial Center, Who Does What?,
http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf/autoframe!openform&nav=menu1&page=/federal/courts.nsf/page/360.
763
18 U.S.C. § 3563.
764
See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) (listing the sentencing factors Judges must consider when imposing sentence).
765
18 U.S.C. §§ 3563(b); 3583(d), 3583.
766
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(10).
767
18 U.S.C. §§ 3563, 3583.
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768

5) You must cooperate in the collection of a DNA sample. You may be
placed in prison for up to one year or fined up to $100,000 if you fail to
cooperate with a DNA sample.
6) You must notify your U.S. probation officer if there is any significant change
in your income or economic circumstances, which would impact how much
769
you can pay towards any unpaid restitution, fines, or special assessments.
Even those receiving SSI/SSDI “Disability” benefits will be asked to pay. If
you are low-income, you should communicate with your probation officer
about how you might be able to arrange payments you can afford.

!

IMPORTANT NOTE: OTHER MANDATORY CONDITIONS MAY APPLY
DEPENDING ON YOUR COMMITMENT OFFENSE!!! See the next quetion.

WHAT ARE ADDITIONAL MANDATORY CONDITIONS THAT ONLY
CERTAIN PEOPLE ON FEDERAL PROBATION HAVE TO FOLLOW?
The following are mandatory conditions that apply to ONLY CERTAIN people on
Felony Probation, depending on your commitment offense.
> MANDATORY CONDITIONS if you were convicted of a felony:
You must also follow at least one of the following two conditions, as ordered by
the judge:
770
• Pay restitution to a victim of the offense, OR
771
• Perform community service.
EXCEPTIONS: You do not have to obey one of these two additional conditions if
one of the following applies to you:
• The judge imposed a fine that removed this requirement; OR
• The judge finds on the record that extraordinary circumstances exist that
would make such a condition plainly unreasonable, in which case the judge
772
must impose one or more of the other discretionary conditions.
> MANDATORY CONDITION if you are required to register as a sex offender:

773

You must comply with all the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration &
774
Notification Act.

WHAT DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS WILL I HAVE TO FOLLOW
ON FEDERAL PROBATION?
For a discretionary condition to be lawful, the following must be true:
1)

It must be “reasonably related” to the nature and circumstances of the
offense, your personal history and characteristics, the need to protect the
public from you committing future crimes, and the need to provide you

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3563. For people on supervised release, DNA samples are usually taken prior to your release
(especially if you were convicted of murder, voluntary manslaughter, enslavement, kidnapping, robbery, burglary
incest, or arson). But if your DNA sample was not taken prior to your release, some Districts contract with companies
who will take your DNA sample after your release. See United States Courts, Judiciary Begins Sample Collection for
DNA Testing, http://www.U.S.C.ourts.gov/News/TheThirdBranch/02-0201/Judiciary_Begins_Sample_Collection_for_DNA_Testing.aspx.
769
18 U.S.C. § 3563.
770
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(2) (You must make restitution to a victim of the offense under section 3556 (but not subject to
the limitation of section 3663(a) or 3663A(c)(1)(A))).
771
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(12).
772
18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)(2).
773
42 U.S.C. § 16911, et seq.
774
18 U.S.C. § 2250.
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educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional
treatment; AND
2) It cannot deprive you of liberty (meaning, your ability to live your life freely
without excessive restrictions) any more than “reasonably necessary” to
deter future crimes, protect the public, and for the purpose of providing you
775
with training and treatment.
A judge may order discretionary conditions on your federal probation—but only
if it meets this two-part legal standard.
Furthermore, discretionary conditions of federal probation can be thought of in
two categories—(1) “standard conditions,” which are imposed in almost every
person’s case (see note directly below), and (2) other discretionary conditions
that may be added to you in particular (see the next question).
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT STANDARD CONDITIONS:
The list of “Standard Conditions” below—while technically discretionary (not
required)— will be added by the judge in almost every case of federal probation
(the same is true for Supervised Release, see PG. 243). These “standard
conditions” will be IN ADDITION TO the general conditions of federal probation
776
discussed on PG. 234 above. For a full list, please see PG. 353. If you are on
federal probation that means you will likely have to follow all of these rules.

WHAT RULES MUST THE JUDGE FOLLOW WHEN ORDERING
DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS ON MY FEDERAL PROBATION?
To add a discretionary condition to your federal probation, the judge must find
that that the conditions are reasonably related to the following factors:
• The nature and circumstances of the offense;
• Your personal history and characteristics;
• Reflecting the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law and
to provide just punishment for the offense;
• Adequately deterring future criminal conduct;
• Protecting the public from further crimes committed by you; and/or
• Providing you with needed educational or vocational training, medical care,
777
or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner.
• Furthermore, if the additional discretionary conditions deprive you of liberty
or property, the judge must find that the conditions are reasonably necessary
to:
o Reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law,
and to provide just punishment for the offense;
o Adequately deter future criminal conduct;
o Protect the public from further crimes committed by you; and/or
o Provide you with needed educational or vocational training, medical
778
care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner.
Courts have emphasized that ALL of these requirements MUST be satisfied for a
779
judge to impose a special condition.
If you want to learn about your rights to challenge or change a discretionary
condition of your federal probation, see the next Question & Answer on PG. 106.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3583(d).
See 18 U.S.C. § 3583; U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(b)–(d) (standard conditions” are set forth in U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(c)).
See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (referring to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(a)(1), (a)(2)).
778
See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (referring to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)).
779
See, e.g., U.S. v. Bender, 566 F.3d 78 (8th Cir. 2009); U.S. v. Perazza-Mercado, 553 F.3d 65 (1st Cir. 2009); U.S. v.
Pruden, 398 F.3d 241, 249 (3d Cir. 2005).
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776
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CAN I ASK THAT MY CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PROBATION BE
CHANGED?
Yes. The judge may change, reduce, or increase the conditions of a sentence of
780
federal probation at any time before your probation term ends. The judge may
change or increase the conditions of your probation if you violate a condition of
probation. In the best-case scenario—if you have not had any violations and you
have fulfilled all probation requirements—the judge may end your probation
781
early. In the worst-case scenario, the judge may revoke your probation and
sentence you to time in prison.

CAN I CHALLENGE UNLAWFUL DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS
THAT WERE ADDED ON TO MY FEDERAL PROBATION?
YES. If you think that a discretionary condition is illegal, then you can appeal the
condition.
For a federal probation condition to be LAWFUL:
(1) It must be “reasonably related” to the nature and circumstances of the
offense, your personal history and characteristics, any concerns of public
safety, and the need to provide you educational or job training, medical
care, or correctional treatment; AND
(2) Cannot deprive you of liberty (meaning, your ability to live your life freely
without excessive restrictions) any more than “reasonably necessary” to
deter future crimes, protect the public, and provide you with training and
782
treatment.
Courts have emphasized that BOTH of these requirements must be met to
783
impose a DISCRETIONARY CONDITION on you. If you object to a special
condition, it is the government’s responsibility (NOT yours) to show that the
784
condition is legally justified. We suggest that you speak with an attorney if you
think a condition of your probation is illegal.

HOW CAN I CHALLENGE UNLAWFUL DISCRETIONARY
CONDITIONS THAT WERE ADDED ON TO MY FEDERAL
PROBATION?
Within 14 days of your sentencing hearing, you must file a Notice of Appeal with
785
the Clerk of the Court where you were convicted. Once this occurs, you
should contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office in your federal judicial
district. For a list of Federal Public Defender’s Offices in California, visit:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. §§ 3563, 3583; see also FED. R. CRIM. PRO. 32.1 (describing the procedures required for the probation
officer to petition the Court for a modification or revocation of probation or supervised release, and for the Court in
adjudicating a potential revocation or modification). The Court can also modify or revoke your Federal Probation or
Supervised Release after the official end of the term (i.e., a specific number of years after your release from custody)
so long as the violation and Probation Officer’s Petition to Modify or Revoke was filed with the Court before the
official end of the term of supervision. This means that the Probation Office can obtain an arrest warrant years after
an event occurred.
781
18 U.S.C. § 3563(c); see also FED. R. CRIM. PRO. 32.1.
782
18 U.S.C. § 3583(d).
783
See, e.g., U.S. v. Bender, 566 F.3d 78 (8th Cir. 2009); U.S. v. Perazza-Mercado, 553 F.3d 65 (1st Cir. 2009); U.S. v.
Pruden, 398 F.3d 241, 249 (3d Cir. 2005).
784
U.S. v. Weber, 451 F.3d 553 (9th Cir. 2006) (“We have long held that a term of supervised release is part of a
defendant’s sentence . . . and, like imprisonment, restricts a defendant’s liberty and fundamental rights . . .. As a
result, when the government seeks to restrict a defendant’s liberty through a term of supervised release, it
shoulders the burden of proving that a particular condition of supervised release involves no greater deprivation of
liberty than is reasonably necessary to serve the goals of supervised release.”).
785
Fed. R. App. Pro. 4(b)(1)(A).
780

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http://www.fd.org/docs/defender-contacts/federal-public-and-communitydefender-directory.pdf?sfvrsn=9.
NOTE: The same rules and processes apply for challenging discretionary
conditions of Supervised Release as for federal probation (refer back to PG. 106
for challenging conditions of federal probation.)

TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON FEDERAL
PROBATION
The same rules and processes for transferring and moving residences apply to
both federal probation and Supervised Release (Supervised Relase transfers
discussed on PG. 252).

I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE, AND I
WANT TO MOVE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
The process depends on whether you are asking to move to a new residence
within the same district OR to a new residence in a different district.
In a nutshell, it’s easier to move within the same district than to move to a new
one. The steps below outline both possibilities:
POSSIBILITY #1:
If you are moving to a new residence within your current district, follow these
steps:
STEP 1: Notify your Probation Officer that you want to change your address, and
submit that address and the contact information for anyone else living at that
address. You must get permission from your Probation Officer to move within
your current U.S. Probation District—even if it’s across the street.
STEP 2: Your Probation Officer will investigate the new address—so long as it is
located in the same U.S. Probation District. As part of that investigation, your
Probation Officer will:
1) Make sure the new address actually exists;
2) Make sure that other people living at the new address are willing and able to
have you in their home;
3) Run a background check on everyone living at the new address;
4) PLEASE NOTE: Since it is a standard condition for all people on Federal
Probation or Supervised Release to avoid associating with anyone else who
has a felony conviction, your request to move/transfer to live with someone
who has been convicted of a felony will likely be denied.
5) Make sure that everyone at the new address knows about and agrees to the
786
“Search Condition” of your Federal Probation or Supervised Release.
6) Make sure there are no weapons at the new address.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Search Condition might read something like “The defendant is prohibited from possessing controlled
substances. To ensure that the defendant is in compliance, the defendant will submit to search of his person, home,
or vehicle at any time of the day or night by any law enforcement or probation officer without cause.” This means
your friends may get searched if at your home (or vice versa). If either of you have any contraband, there is a good
chance both of you will be getting in trouble.
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POSSIBILITY #2:
If you are moving to a new residence outside of your current U.S. Probation
District, it’s suggested that you follow these steps:
STEP 1: Before you ask for a formal transfer to a new district—which can be a
longer, more challenging process—ask your probation officer for what is called
“courtesy supervision” by another district. This technically keeps your case in
the original district, but allows you to live in and travel to the district of your
choice. Your probation officer AND the probation officer of the other district
have to agree. After doing this, it is much easier to transfer to the courtesy
district than to just transfer from one district to another without “courtesy
supervision” being set up first.
STEP 2: If “courtesy supervision” is denied or doesn’t work out, you can still
request a formal transfer. Tell your Probation Officer that you want to change
your address, and submit that address and the contact information for anyone
else living at that address. You must get permission from your Probation Officer
to move to a new address in a different U.S. Probation District.
STEP 3: Your Probation Officer must submit a “Transfer Investigation” to the
new district. The Transfer Investigation generally takes 30 days or longer, since
both your current district and the new district must investigate your new
proposed address and approve the transfer. As part of the “Transfer
Investigation,” a Probation Officer in the receiving District will:
1) Make sure the new address actually exists;
2) Make sure that other people living at the new address are willing and able to
have you in their home;
3) Run a background check on everyone living at the new address;
a) PLEASE NOTE: Since it is a standard condition for all people on Federal
Probation or Supervised Release to avoid associating with anyone else
who has a felony conviction, your request to move/transfer to live with
someone who has been convicted of a felony will likely be denied.
4) Make sure that everyone at the new address knows about and agrees to the
“Search Condition” of your Federal Probation or Supervised Release.
5) Make sure there are no weapons at the new address.
STEP 4: The receiving District must approve or deny the transfer after
conducting the “Transfer Investigation.” The receiving district can deny your
request to transfer/move for any reason. The sending district where you are
currently supervised must wait for a response before it can act to transfer your
787
supervision.

!

IMPORTANT NOTE! Some districts have hard and fast rules about certain
offenses—e.g., they won’t accept people with sex offenses, or the
receiving district will require a more onerous investigation of that person.

I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION AND WANT TO MOVE/TRANSFER
TO A NEW STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
To transfer districts, it’s best to first discuss it with your Probation Officer, who
will review your plan and make sure you meet certain criteria required for
transfer. To have the transfer request approved, you must get the permission of
BOTH your current probation officer AND a probation officer from the new
district. Only those transfers that follow the U.S. Parole Commission’s

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
787

Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation (Oakland, CA office).

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instructions can be approved.

788

Go to PG. 275 to learn how to transfer states. An Interstate Compact governs all
transfers between states, and applies to all types of supervision (state parole,
county probation and other county-level forms of supervision, federal probation,
supervised release, and federal parole).

WHAT ARE SOME POSITIVE FACTORS THAT COULD HELP MY
REQUEST TO MOVE/ TRANSFER BE APPROVED?
Most U.S. Probation Districts have some internal criteria for analyzing individual
requests to transfer into their District.
The following are factors that will likely work in your favor if you can show these
to your Probation Officer:
1)
2)
3)
4)

Reliable job offer in new area;
Proven family and community ties;
Other positive connections to the new area;
Reasonable plan for living in the new area (e.g., income, social and family
support, etc.);
5) The new address was your legal residence prior to incarceration, and had
nothing to do with your criminal offense;
6) You have nowhere else to go and would be homeless if you don’t move; and
7) The move appears to be in your best interest for other reasons not listed
above.

WHAT ARE SOME NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT COULD HURT THE
CHANCES OF MY REQUEST TO MOVE/ TRANSFER FROM BEING
APPROVED?
Most U.S. Probation Districts have some internal criteria for analyzing individual
requests to transfer into their District.
The following are factors that will make it less likely that your request to move or
transfer districts is approved:
1) No job offer in new area;
2) No or weak family and community ties in the new area;
3) Weak social connections to the new area, or connections that could be a
bad influence on you;
4) Unreasonable plan for moving (e.g., no income, no social or family
connections, etc.);
5) You are unable to provide contact information for the people you are
connected to or the people you will be living with at the new address;
6) You appear to be trying to escape a possible violation of your Federal
Probation or Supervised Release conditions in your current District;
7) The new address where you want to move is unsafe;
8) Someone with a felony or someone who is currently on community
supervision for a criminal conviction lives at the new address; and
9) The residence is connected to a previous criminal offense committed by you
or by someone who you would be living with.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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28 C.F.R. § 2.38.

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I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE. IS IT
POSSIBLE TO MOVE WHILE A TRANSFER INVESTIGATION IS
STILL PENDING?
Maybe. Sometimes a U.S. Probation Officer will give someone permission to
move while an investigation is pending.
For example, you may be allowed to move before an official approval of your
transfer request if:
1)

An eviction is forcing you out of your home and you have nowhere else to
live but at the new address in your current district or a different district;
2) You have a job offer that requires you to start on a specific date;
3) Another emergency reason that requires you to move.

IF YOUR NEED TO MOVE IS URGENT:
You should inform your Probation Officer and request a travel permit while the
“Transfer Investigation” and approval are still pending. But please be aware, if
the new district completes its “Transfer Investigation” and denies the transfer
!
request for any reason, you would be required to move back to the original
789
sending district. If you do not move back, you will be violating the Court’s
Order to follow the directions of the Probation Officer. If the court finds you were
not following the directions of your Probation Officer it can revoke your
supervision and send you to prison.

CAN I CHALLENGE A DENIAL OF MY TRANSFER REQUEST?
Yes. If your request to move/transfer has been denied by your current probation
officer, you can ask to speak with a Supervising U.S. Probation Officer. However,
it is often the case that the request has already gone through a supervisor, and
has been denied with the supervisor’s approval. Other times, a request to
move/transfer will be conditionally denied, meaning you could get your request
approved later on if you do the things asked of you, like finding a safer home to
move to, securing a firmer job offer, finding a different family member to connect
790
with in the new place, etc.

I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION, AND I’M TRYING TO MOVE IN
WITH SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED
HOUSING (LIKE PUBLIC HOUSING, SECTION 8, OR A VOUCHER
PROGRAM), CAN I STILL MOVE IN?
It depends. If the family member or person you want to move in with lives in
subsidized housing, there might be federal, state, or local laws that restrict
someone on federal probation or Supervised Release from moving into the
residence. It may depend on what your conviction was for. To avoid putting that
person’s government- assisted housing subsidy at risk, refer to the HOUSING
CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 369, to learn more about how your criminal record
or supervision status might affect where you can live.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
789
790

Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation, N.D. Cal. (Oakland office).
Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation, N.D. Cal. (Oakland office).

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VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS—FOR BOTH
FEDERAL PROBATION AND SUPERVISED
RELEASE
The same rules and processes for violations and revocations apply to both
791
federal probation and Supervised Release. Please jump to PG. 257 to learn
more about violations and revocations.

DISABILITIES & FEDERAL PROBATION
If you have a disability and are under federal community supervision of any kind
(federal probation, supervised release, or federal parole), go to PG. 284 below to
learn about your rights.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To read more about federal probation and supervised release violations and revocation, and the legal
distinctions between the two of them and the codes that govern them, see Administrative Office of the United
States Court, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics--probation/revocation-of-prob-and-sup-release.pdf.
791

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V.

!

FEDERAL COMMUNITY
SUPERVISION:
SUPERVISED RELEASE

BASICS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE
WHAT IS SUPERVISED RELEASE?
Supervised release is overseen by Federal District Courts
792
with the assistance of federal probation officers. The
judge can sentence you to a term of Supervised Release in
793
addition to a sentence of imprisonment. In other words, a
term of Supervised Release does not replace any time you
are sentenced to prison; rather, a judge orders Supervised
794
Release in addition to any term in prison you may serve. In
some cases, the judge that sentences you is actually required
by law to impose a term of Supervised Release in addition to a
795
prison term.

SENTENCING
REFORM ACT
Some historical
background: In
1984, as part of the
Sentencing Reform
Act (“SRA”) that
created the federal
sentencing
guidelines system,
Congress got rid of
federal parole and
created Supervised
Release.

It’s common today for a federal sentence to include a period of
time in prison, followed by a period of time in the community on Supervised
Release.

HELPFUL HINT
Supervised Release vs. Federal Probation:
What’s the difference between the two?
Federal Probation: Federal probation is a substitute for incarceration, meaning
!!
that probation is ordered instead of incarceration.
Supervised release: Supervised release is ordered in addition to incarceration.
This means that after you are released from prison, you may be placed on
supervised release.
Note that the same terms and conditions generally apply to both people on
federal probation and on supervised release.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

United States Sentencing Commission, “Federal Offenders Sentenced to Supervised Release,” July 2010 10, p. 1.
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/annual-national-trainingseminar/2012/2_Federal_Offenders_Sentenced_to_Supervised_Release.pdf.
793
18 U.S.C. § 3583.
794
See Unites States Sentencing Commission, Sentencing Guidelines, p. 477,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2012/manual-pdf/Chapter_7.pdf.
795
See, e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (mandating a lifetime term of supervised release for those convicted of certain
drug offenses).
792

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AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR
FIRST DAYS OUT ON SUPERVISED RELEASE
Generally, you must report to your probation officer within 72 hours (3 days) of
796
release, or sooner if a judge or a U.S. Probation Officer orders you to do so.
IMPORTANT: Read the written statement given to you by U.S. Probation for
797
information on where, when, and to whom you should report.

LENGTH OF SUPERVISED RELEASE
HOW LONG IS MY SUPERVISION UNDER SUPERVISED RELEASE?
Supervised Release can be up to 5 years, with a few exceptions discussed below
798
on PG. 244.
The length of the term of your Supervised Release is determined by the “Class”
799
of crime for which you were convicted. To figure out what the range of time
your will be sentenced to Supervised Release, you should find out which “Class”
of crime you were convicted of (for example, a Class A Felony, Class B Felony,
Class A Misdemeanor, etc.). See the chart in the APPENDIX HH, PG. 363, for
more information.
IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS:
Despite the lengths of Supervised Release listed above, the term length may be
up to life if you committed:
• An offense listed in 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5)(B), which resulted in, or created a
foreseeable risk of, death or serious bodily injury to another person; OR
• A sex offense— for these commitment offenses, the maximum term of
supervised release as allowed by statute is recommended.

CAN I GET OFF SUPERVISED RELEASE EARLY?
Possibly. You can ask for an early termination of supervised release from the
judge who originally sentenced you. You are eligible to be released early after
800
one year of supervised release. Talk to your U.S. Probation Officer about this
request first, because he or she can help you ask the judge for this.
The court has the power to decide whether or not to let you off supervised
release early. In most cases, judges will deny requests to be let off supervised
release early. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, especially if you’ve
done really well on your supervised release. And remember, it is really helpful if
your Probation Officer supports your request.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See United States Probation Office for the Central district of California, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.cacp.U.S.C.ourts.gov/faq.
797
18 U.S.C. § 3564(d).
798
See Federal Judicial Center, Who Does What?,
http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf/autoframe!openform&nav=menu1&page=/federal/courts.nsf/page/360.
799
See 18 U.S.C. § 3583(c). The types of “classes” of crimes can be found in 18 U.S.C. § 3559.
800
18 U.S.C. § 3683(e)(1).
796

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HELPFUL HINT
You have the best shot of being let of supervised release early if:
• You have completed 2/3 of your supervised release term (or at the very least
½ way through),
!!
• You have had no violations,
• You have complied with all the terms of your supervised release,
• You have paid all restitution and fines, and
801
• Your probation officer agrees that you should be let off early

WHAT FACTORS CAN THE JUDGE CONSIDER?
It depends on the judge. Ultimately, the decision to end your supervised release
early is up to the judge who originally sentenced you. To get off of supervised
release early, you must show the judge that you have earned it through good
802
conduct, and it must be in the interests of justice.
Here is the full list of factors that the judge may consider when deciding whether
to let you off supervised release early:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Whether or not your Probation Officer or the Prosecutor support your
request;
The nature and seriousness of the crime you were convicted of;
Your criminal history and/or mental illness history;
Whether the judge believes you are a threat to the public;
Whether the judge believes you have been sufficiently punished;
Whether you have completed any substance abuse treatment or
rehabilitation programs;
How your sentence compares to the federal sentencing guidelines
recommended sentence;
803
U.S. Sentencing Commission policy statements;
804
Whether you’ve paid restitution to the victims.

CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE
WHAT ARE CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE, AND WHY
ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Your conditions of Supervised Release are rules set by the judge that you must
follow if you want to remain in the community under supervision and not end up
back in prison. These are called “release conditions”—and tell you what you can
and can’t do in the community.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Federal Defenders of New York, Supervised Release, http/::federaldefendersny.org:information-for-clientand-families:supervised-release.html.
802
18 U.S.C. § 3683(e)(1).
803
In 2011, the Sentencing Commission issued a policy statement informing judges that they may let former
narcotics abusers from supervised release early, if that person has successfully completed a treatment program. See
United States Sentencing Commission, 2013 Guidelines Manual, http://www.ussc.gov/guidelinesmanual/2013/2013-5d12. See also 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1)-(2).
804
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1)-(7).
801

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EXAMPLE of release conditions include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Not having guns or other weapons;
No contact with victims or witnesses;
Restrictions on your association with certain people or groups;
Restrictions on your travel; or
A curfew;
Community service;
Electronic monitoring;
Employment requirements;
Mental health treatment, or
Substance abuse treatment.

It is important for you to know what conditions you must follow on Supervised
Release so that you don’t get into trouble or sent back to prison for violating
those rules. Also, be sure to talk to your U.S. Probation Officer about how to get
805
connected to any needed services or resources offered in your community.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANDATORY &
DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE?
Federal law governs the mandatory conditions of Supervised Release (the law
breaks it down by a list of mandatory conditions (required) and discretionary
806
conditions (not required).

WHERE CAN I FIND A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MY CONDITIONS
OF SUPERVISED RELEASE?
The court must direct the probation officer to provide you with a written
statement that explains all the conditions you must follow, and is clear and
807
specific enough to guide your conduct under supervision.
The conditions of supervision are also listed on the Judgment in a Criminal Case
produced by the Court after your sentencing hearing. Ask your attorney or the
Clerk of the Court for a copy of this document so that you can be sure of your
obligations to the Court. Most Judges will not excuse your failure to comply with
the conditions of supervision simply because you did not receive a copy of the
808
conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO SEE MY PROBATION OFFICER IF I AM
ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
It depends. How often you must report to your probation officer varies widely
based on the individual “supervision plan” developed for you by your probation
809
officer.
Some supervision plans require weekly meetings and even more frequent phone

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reentry Council, Getting Out Staying Out, http://sfreentry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/1213-2nd-printingGOSO.pdf.
806
18 U.S.C. § 3583.
807
18 U.S.C. §§ 3563; 3583.
808
This is because the Judge also reads all of the conditions to you at your sentencing hearing.
809
See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(15) (permitting the Court to order a defendant to report to a probation officer as directed
by probation)
805

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contact; for others, occasional or monthly contact is sufficient. Meetings may
810
take place at the probation office, your home, or your workplace. Probation
officers sometimes make “surprise” visits. For this reason, it is important that
you always inform your probation officer of any changes to your work schedule.

WHAT ARE THE MANDATORY CONDITIONS THAT APPLY TO ME
AND EVERYONE ELSE ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
The following conditions are mandatory and apply to EVERYONE on Supervised
811
Release. (Note: These also apply to everyone on Federal Probation, see
PG. 234).
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.

!

You cannot commit another federal, state, or local crime during the entire
length of your Supervised Release. The court must make this condition
known and clear to you.
You cannot unlawfully use a controlled substance.
You must submit to one drug test within 15 days of release and at least 2
periodic drug tests thereafter (as determined by the court).
• Consequences for a confirmed positive drug test include:
o Possible prison time, and
o Court-ordered participation in a substance abuse treatment program
(unless your current or past participation in such a program warrants
812
an exception)
813
You must cooperate in the collection of a DNA sample. You may be placed
in prison for up to one year or fined up to $100,000 if you fail to cooperate
with a DNA sample.
You must notify your U.S. probation officer if there is any significant change
in your income or economic circumstances, which would impact how much
you can pay towards any unpaid restitution, fines, or special
814
assessments. Even those receiving SSI/SSDI “Disability” benefits will be
asked to pay. If you are low-income, you should communicate with your
probation officer about how you might be able to arrange payments you can
afford.

IMPORTANT NOTE: OTHER MANDATORY CONDITIONS MAY APPLY
DEPENDING ON YOUR COMMITMENT OFFENSE!!! SEE BELOW:

WHAT ARE ADDITIONAL MANDATORY CONDITIONS THAT ONLY
CERTAIN PEOPLE ON SUPERVISED RELEASE HAVE TO FOLLOW?
The following are mandatory conditions that apply to ONLY CERTAIN people on
Supervised Release, depending on your commitment offense.
> MANDATORY CONDITIONS if you were convicted of a felony:
You must also follow at least one of the following two conditions, as ordered by
the judge:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Federal Judicial Center, Who Does What?,
http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf/autoframe!openform&nav=menu1&page=/federal/courts.nsf/page/360.
811
See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3563, 3583.
812
18 U.S.C. §§ 3563; 3583.
813
18 U.S.C. § 3563. DNA samples are usually taken prior to your release (especially if you were convicted of murder,
voluntary manslaughter, enslavement, kidnapping, robbery, burglary incest, or arson). But if your DNA sample was
not taken prior to your release, some Districts contract with companies who will take your DNA sample after your
release. See United States Courts, Judiciary Begins Sample Collection for DNA Testing, http://www.U.S.C.ourts.gov/
News/TheThirdBranch/02-02-01/Judiciary_Begins_Sample_Collection_for_DNA_Testing.aspx.
814
18 U.S.C. § 3563.
810

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1) Pay restitution to a victim of the offense,
816
2) Perform community service.

815

OR

EXCEPTIONS: You do not have to obey one of these two additional conditions if
one of the following applies to you:
• The judge imposed a fine that removed this requirement; OR
• The judge finds on the record that extraordinary circumstances exist that
would make such a condition plainly unreasonable, in which case the judge
must impose one or more of the other discretionary conditions (listed below,
817
PG. 245).
> MANDATORY CONDITION if you are required to register as a sex offender:

818

You must comply with all the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration &
819
Notification Act.
> MANDATORY CONDITION if you were convicted of a domestic violence crime
820
for the FIRST time:
You must attend an offender rehabilitation program that has been approved by
the court—in consultation with a State Coalition Against Domestic Violence or
other appropriate experts—so long as an approved program is readily available
821
within a 50-mile radius of your legal residence.

ARE THERE OTHER ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS I WILL HAVE TO
FOLLOW ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
Most likely, yes. The U.S. Sentencing Commission recommends that the
“Standard Conditions” be applied to everyone on Supervised Release (this is the
822
same as for Federal Probation conditions, discussed earlier on PG. 234), See
the question “WHAT DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS WILL I HAVE TO FOLLOW
ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?” on PG. 249 for more information.

WHAT RULES MUST THE JUDGE FOLLOW WHEN ORDERING
DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS ON MY SUPERVISED RELEASE?
To add a discretionary condition to your Supervised Release, the judge must find
that that the conditions are reasonably related to the following factors:
• The nature and circumstances of the offense;
• Your personal history and characteristics;
• Reflecting the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law and
to provide just punishment for the offense;
• Adequately deterring future criminal conduct;
• Protecting the public from further crimes committed by you; and/or
• Providing you with needed educational or vocational training, medical care,
823
or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(2) (2008) (You must make restitution to a victim of the offense under section 3556 (but not
subject to the limitation of section 3663(a) or 3663A(c)(1)(A))).
816
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(12) (2008).
817
18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)(2) (2008).
818
42 U.S.C. § 16911, et seq.
819
18 U.S.C. § 2250.
820
This applies to domestic violence crimes listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3561(b).
821
See 18 U.S.C. § 3583 et seq.
822
United States Sentencing Commission, U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3.
823
See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (referring to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(a)(1), (a)(2)).
815

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Furthermore, if the additional discretionary conditions deprive you of liberty or
property, the judge must find that the conditions are reasonably necessary to:
• Reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to
provide just punishment for the offense;
• Adequately deter future criminal conduct;
• Protect the public from further crimes committed by you; and/or
• Provide you with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or
824
other correctional treatment in the most effective manner.
If a judge is going to impose a special condition, then both of the following
requirements must: be met:
1. The condition must have a reasonable relationship to the factors listed
above on PG. 245 AND
2. The condition must be reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes listed
above on PG. 245.
Moreover, if you object to the discretionary condition, it is the federal
825
government’s burden to show that the discretionary condition is justified.
These are the same legal standards and rules that applied to setting
discretionary conditions for people on federal probation (see below for
information about discretionary conditions).

WHAT DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS WILL I HAVE TO FOLLOW
ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
If the above legal standards are met (refer to the last two questions), the judge
may order discretionary conditions on your Supervised Release. These can be
thought of in two categories—standard conditions, which are imposed in almost
every case (see Appendix CC, PG. 353), and other discretionary conditions that
may be added (see Appendix DD, PG. 245).
STANDARD CONDITIONS— The list of “Standard Conditions”—while technically
discretionary (not required)— are added by the judge in almost every case of
Supervised Release (and federal probation), as recommended by the U.S.
Sentencing Commission, the agency that oversees federal sentencing
826
guidelines.
You will likely be ordered to follow most if not all of the following rules
827
(conditions), or something very similar to these:
•

•
•
•

You cannot leave the limits of your judicial district (meaning the area that the
court has jurisdiction—i.e. the “Southern District of California”) without
written permission from the court or your probation officer.
You must file a written report with your probation officer within the first 5
days of each month, or as directed by your probation officer.
You must truthfully answer any questions and follow any instructions that
your probation officer asks of you.
You must meet your family responsibilities, primarily paying any courtordered child support or support for the parent with whom your child is living.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (referring to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)).
U.S. v. Weber, 451 F.3d 553 (9th Cir. 2006) (“We have long held that a term of supervised release is part of a
defendant’s sentence . . . and, like imprisonment, restricts a defendant’s liberty and fundamental rights . . .. As a
result, when the government seeks to restrict a defendant’s liberty through a term of supervised release, it
shoulders the burden of proving that a particular condition of supervised release involves no greater deprivation of
liberty than is reasonably necessary to serve the goals of supervised release.”).
826
See 18 U.S.C. § 3583; U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(b)-(d) (Standard conditions” are set forth in U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(c)).
827
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b).
824
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•

•

•
•

•

•
•
•

•
•

•
•

You must work regularly at a lawful occupation, unless your U.S. probation
officer excuses you for school, training, or other reasons the officer finds
acceptable.
You must notify your probation officer at least 10 days before you change
your address (some officers will require more or less notice, so check your
conditions).
You cannot drink alcoholic beverages to excess. You cannot use or distribute
illegal drugs, or frequent places where others use or distribute drugs.
You cannot associate with people engaged in criminal activity. (This means
you cannot hang out with or spend time with people who are committing
crimes.)
You cannot associate with anyone convicted of a felony unless your U.S.
probation officer gives you permission to do so. (Again, this means that
unless your probation officer says differently, you are not allowed to hang out
with or spend time with someone who has been convicted of a felony. Just
spending time with someone who has been convicted of a felony can be
considered a violation of your probation, even if you were not doing anything
else wrong.)
You must let your probation officer to visit you any time at home or
elsewhere.
You must let your probation officer to take any contraband that he or she
finds in plain view around you.
You must get in touch with your U.S. probation officer within 3 days (72
hours) if you’re arrested or questioned by law enforcement (again, some
officers will require you to report faster, so check your conditions).
You cannot serve as an informant to law enforcement without court
permission.
As directed by your U.S. probation officer, you must notify other people
about any risks that your criminal record, personal history or characteristics
might pose; and you must allow your U.S. probation officer to notify people of
any risks posed by your criminal record, personal history or characteristics.
You must pay any court-ordered “special assessment” and fines, and follow
any court-ordered payment plan set up for you.
You must notify your U.S. probation officer if there is any significant change
in your income or economic circumstances which would impact how much
you can pay towards any unpaid restitution, fines, or special assessments
(NOTE: this is a mandatory condition for people on federal probation, and a
recommended “standard condition” for people on Supervised Release).

WHAT ADDITIONAL DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS MAY I HAVE
TO FOLLOW ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
If the above legal standards are met (refer to PG. 237), the judge may order
additional discretionary conditions on your Supervised Release.
As discussed, the Standard Conditions listed on PG. 353 above are almost
always added.
For a full list of discretionary conditions that may be added see Appendix DD,
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CAN MY CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE BE CHANGED?
Yes. A judge may change, reduce, or increase your conditions before your
828
Supervised Release term ends. A probation officer can also change your
conditions of Supervised Release.
Changes in conditions (called “modifications”) usually happen because you got
in trouble with your probation officer (for example, you tested dirty on a drug
test), or you didn’t follow a condition of your Supervised Release. In this type of
situation, the probation officer will usually ask a judge to change your
conditions, often with the consent of your attorney, to get an order for you to do
something (for example, to get an order that you go into in-patient, residential
substance abuse treatment).
PRACTICE TIP—AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU: It’s been suggested that it is
sometimes easier to work out any changes to your conditions of supervised
release directly with your probation officer, rather than go before a judge. To
protect yourself in this type of situation, it is best to “invoke your right to
counsel”—meaning ask for an attorney to represent you—and then you can
communicate with your attorney who will work something out with the probation
officer or represent you before the judge if the issue ends up going back to
829
court.

!

WARNING: Sometimes a U.S. probation officer will ask you to waive (give
up) your right to an attorney and submit to a change of your conditions of
Supervised Release (called a “modification”).830 You may be asked
(directly or indirectly) to give up your right to an attorney. You should
NOT give up this right. You should “invoke your right to counsel instead,”
and ask for an attorney. If you do not agree to changes in the conditions
of your Supervised Release, then any changes will require the same
justification as conditions imposed during the original sentencing
hearing.831

HOW DO I CHALLENGE UNLAWFUL DISCRETIONARY
CONDITIONS THAT WERE ADDED ON TO MY SUPERVISED
RELEASE?
Within 14 days of your sentencing hearing, you must file a Notice of Appeal with
832
the Clerk of the Court where you were convicted. Once this occurs, you
should contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office in your federal judicial
district. . For a list of Federal Public Defender’s Offices in California, visit:
http://www.fd.org/docs/defender-contacts/federal-public-and-communitydefender-directory.pdf?sfvrsn=9.
A discretionary condition on your Supervised Release may be imposed only if it:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. §§ 3563, 3583; see also FED. R. CRIM. PRO. 32.1 (describing the procedures required for the probation
officer to petition the Court for a modification or revocation of probation or supervised release, and for the Court in
adjudicating a potential revocation or modification). The Court can also modify or revoke your Federal Probation or
Supervised Release after the official end of the term (i.e., a specific number of years after your release from custody)
so long as the violation and Probation Officer’s Petition to Modify or Revoke was filed with the Court before the
official end of the term of supervision. This means that the Probation Office can obtain an arrest warrant years after
an event occurred.
829
Telephone call with David Wasserman, Deputy Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender for the Central
District of California,
830
See, e.g., U.S. v. Begay, 631 F.3d 1168 (10th Cir. 2011); U.S. v. Emerson, 231 F.3d. 349 (5th Cir. 2007).
831
See also Defender Services Office, The Fine Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of Supervised
Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics---common-offenses/fine_print.pdf.
832
Fed. R. App. Pro. 4(b)(1)(A).
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(1) Is “reasonably related” certain statutory (meaning, included in the law)
833
sentencing factors, which include the nature and circumstances of the
offense, the history and characteristics of the defendant, the need to protect
the public from further crimes of the defendant, and the need to provide
needed educational or vocational training, medial care, or other correctional
treatment; AND
(2) Involves “no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary” to
serve the purposes of deterrence, protection of the public, and training and
834
treatment.
Courts have emphasized that BOTH of these requirements must be satisfied in
835
order to impose a special condition. Moreover, in the event of an objection, it
836
is the government’s burden to show that the condition is justified.
NOTE: These rules and processes for challenging discretionary conditions of
Supervised Release are the same as those that apply to that apply to Federal
Probation (refer back to PG. 237 for information on challenging discretionary
conditions of federal probation.)

TRANSFER LOCATIONS ON SUPERVISED
RELEASE
The same rules and procedures for transferring and moving residences apply to
both federal probation and Supervised Release (federal probation transfers
discussed earlier on PG. 238).

I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE, AND I
WANT TO MOVE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
The process depends on whether you are asking to move to a new residence
within the same district OR to a new residence in a different district. A district is
the geographic area that a district federal court has power to make decisions
over—for example, California has four federal districts: Southern District,
Northern District, Central District, and Eastern District.
In a nutshell, it’s easier to move within the same district than to move to a new
one. The steps below outline both possibilities:
POSSIBILITY #1: If you are moving to a new residence within your current
district, follow these steps:
STEP 1: Notify your Probation Officer that you want to change your address, and
submit that address and the contact information for anyone else living at that
address. You must get permission from your Probation Officer to move within
your current U.S. Probation District—even if it’s across the street.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(a)(1), 3553(a)(2)(B) - (D).
18 U.S.C. § 3583(d).
See, e.g., U.S. v. Bender, 566 F.3d 78 (8th Cir. 2009); U.S. v. Perazza-Mercado, 553 F.3d 65 (1st Cir. 2009); U.S. v.
Pruden, 398 F.3d 241, 249 (3d Cir. 2005).
836
U.S. v. Weber, 451 F.3d 553 (9th Cir. 2006) (“We have long held that a term of supervised release is part of a
defendant’s sentence . . . and, like imprisonment, restricts a defendant’s liberty and fundamental rights . . .. As a
result, when the government seeks to restrict a defendant’s liberty through a term of supervised release, it
shoulders the burden of proving that a particular condition of supervised release involves no greater deprivation of
liberty than is reasonably necessary to serve the goals of supervised release.”)
833
834
835

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STEP 2: Your Probation Officer will investigate the new address—so long as it is
located in the same U.S. Probation District. As part of that investigation, your
Probation Officer will:
1) Make sure the new address actually exists;
2) Make sure that other people living at the new address are willing and able to
have you in their home;
3) Run a background check on everyone living at the new address;
a) PLEASE NOTE: Since it is a standard condition for all people on Federal
Probation or Supervised Release to avoid associating with anyone else
who has a felony conviction, your request to move/transfer to live with
someone who has been convicted of a felony will likely be denied.
4) Make sure that everyone at the new address knows about and agrees to the
837
“Search Condition” of your Federal Probation or Supervised Release.
5) Make sure there are no weapons at the new address.
POSSIBILITY #2: If you are moving to a new residence outside of your current
U.S. Probation District, follow these steps:
STEP 1: HELPFUL HINT!!!—Before you ask for a formal transfer to a new district—
which can be a longer, more challenging process—ask your probation officer for
what is called “courtesy supervision” by another district. This technically keeps
your case in the original district, but allows you to live in and travel to the district
of your choice. Your probation officer AND the probation officer of the other
district have to agree. After doing this, it is much easier to transfer to the
courtesy district than to just transfer from one district to another without
“courtesy supervision” being set up first.
STEP 2: If “courtesy supervision” is denied or doesn’t work out, you can still
request a formal transfer. Tell your Probation Officer that you want to change
your address, and submit that address and the contact information for anyone
else living at that address. You must get permission from your Probation Officer
to move to a new address in a different U.S. Probation District.
STEP 3: Your Probation Officer must submit a “Transfer Investigation” to the
new district. The Transfer Investigation generally takes 30 days or longer, since
both your current district and the new district must investigate your new
proposed address and approve the transfer. As part of the “Transfer
Investigation,” a Prbation Officer in the receiving District will:
1) Make sure the new address actually exists;
2) Make sure that other people living at the new address are willing and able to
have you in their home;
3) Run a background check on everyone living at the new address;
a) PLEASE NOTE: Since it is a standard condition for all people on Federal
Probation or Supervised Release to avoid associating with anyone else
who has a felony conviction, your request to move/transfer to live with
someone who has been convicted of a felony will likely be denied.
4) Make sure that everyone at the new address knows about and agrees to the
“Search Condition” of your Federal Probation or Supervised Release.
5) Make sure there are no weapons at the new address.
STEP 4: The receiving district must approve or deny the transfer after
completing the “Transfer Investigation.” The receiving district can deny your

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Search Condition might read something like “The defendant is prohibited from possessing controlled
substances. To ensure that the defendant is in compliance, the defendant will submit to search of his person, home,
or vehicle at any time of the day or night by any law enforcement or probation officer without cause.” This means
your friends may get searched if at your home (or vice versa). If either of you have any contraband, there is a good
chance both of you will be getting in trouble.
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request to transfer for any reason. The sending district where you are currently
838
supervised must wait for a response before it can transfer your supervision.

!

IMPORTANT NOTE! Some districts have hard and fast rules about certain
offenses—e.g., they won’t accept people with sex offenses, or the
receiving district will require a more onerous investigation of that person.

I AM ON SUPERVISED RELEASE AND WANT TO MOVE/TRANSFER
TO A NEW STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
To transfer districts, you need to discuss it with your Probation Officer, who will
review your plan and make sure you meet certain criteria required for transfer.
To have the transfer request approved, you must get the permission of both
your probation officer from the current district AND a probation officer from the
new district. You can only transfer if it doesn’t go against the instructions from
839
the U.S. Parole Commission.
Go to PG. 275 to learn how to transfer states. An Interstate Compact governs all
transfers between states, and applies to all types of supervision (state parole,
county probation and other county-level forms of supervision, federal probation,
supervised release, and federal parole).

WHAT ARE SOME POSITIVE FACTORS THAT COULD HELP MY
REQUEST TO MOVE/ TRANSFER BE APPROVED?
Most U.S. Probation Districts have some internal criteria for analyzing individual
requests to transfer into their District. The following are factors that will likely
work in your favor if you can show these to your Probation Officer:
1) Reliable job offer in new area;
2) Proven family and community ties;
3) Other positive connections to the new area;
4) Reasonable plan for living in the new area (e.g., income, social and family
support, etc.);
5) The new address was your legal residence prior to incarceration, and had
nothing to do with your criminal offense;
6) You have nowhere else to go and would be homeless if you don’t move; and
7) The move appears to be in your best interest for other reasons not listed
above.

WHAT ARE SOME NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT COULD HURT THE
CHANCES OF MY REQUEST TO MOVE/ TRANSFER FROM BEING
APPROVED?
Most U.S. Probation Districts have some internal criteria for analyzing individual
requests to transfer into their District.
The following are factors that will make it less likely that your request to move or
transfer districts is approved:
• No job offer in new area;
• No or weak family and community ties in the new area;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
838
839

Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation (Oakland, CA office) (Sept. 2014).
28 C.F.R. § 2.38.

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•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Weak social connections to the new area, or connections that could be a bad
influence on you;
Unreasonable plan for moving (e.g., no income, no social or family
connections, etc.);
You are unable to provide contact information for the people you are
connected to or the people you will be living with at the new address;
You appear to be trying to escape a possible violation of your Federal
Probation or Supervised Release conditions in your current District;
The new address where you want to move is unsafe;
Someone with a felony or someone who is currently on community
supervision for a criminal conviction lives at the new address; and
The residence is connected to a previous criminal offense committed by you
or by someone who you would be living with.

I AM ON FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE. IS IT
POSSIBLE TO MOVE WHILE A TRANSFER INVESTIGATION IS
STILL PENDING?
Maybe. Sometimes a U.S. Probation Officer will give someone permission to
move while an investigation is pending.
For example, you may be allowed to move before an official approval of your
transfer request if:
1)

An eviction is forcing you out of your home and you have nowhere else to
live but at the new address in your current district or a different district;
2) You have a job offer that requires you to start on a specific date;
3) Another emergency reason that requires you to move.

IF YOUR NEED TO MOVE IS URGENT:
You should inform your Probation Officer and request a travel permit while the
“Transfer Investigation” and approval are still pending. But please be aware, if
the new district completes its “Transfer Investigation” and denies the transfer
!
request for any reason, you would be required to move back to the original
840
sending district. If you do not move back, you will be violating the Court’s
Order to follow the directions of the Probation Officer. If the court finds you were
not following the directions of your Probation Officer it can revoke your
supervision and send you to prison.

CAN I CHALLENGE A DENIAL OF MY TRANSFER REQUEST?
Yes. If your request to move/transfer has been denied by your current probation
officer, you can ask to speak with a Supervising U.S. Probation Officer. However,
it is often the case that the request has already gone through a supervisor, and
has been denied with the supervisor’s approval. Other times, a request to
move/transfer will be conditionally denied, meaning you could get your request
approved later on if you do the things asked of you, like finding a safer home to
move to, securing a firmer job offer, finding a different family member to connect
841
with in the new place, etc.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation, N.D. Cal. (Oakland, CA office) (Sept.
2014).
841
Phone Call with Amy Rizor, Supervisory Probation Officer, U.S. Probation, N.D. Cal. (Oakland, CA office) (Sept.
2014).
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I AM ON SUPERVISED RELEASE, AND I’M TRYING TO MOVE IN
WITH SOMEONE I KNOW. IF MY FAMILY MEMBER OR THE
PERSON WHO I WANT TO MOVE IN WITH LIVES IN
GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING (LIKE PUBLIC HOUSING,
SECTION 8, OR A VOUCHER PROGRAM), CAN I STILL MOVE IN?
It depends. If the family member or person you want to move in with lives in
subsidized housing, there might be federal, state, or local laws that restrict
someone on federal probation or Supervised Release from moving into the
residence. It may depend on what your conviction was for. To avoid putting that
person’s government- assisted housing subsidy at risk, refer to the HOUSING
CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 369, to learn more about how your criminal record
or supervision status might affect where you can live.

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VIOLATIONS & REVOCATIONS—FOR BOTH
FEDERAL PROBATION AND SUPERVISED
RELEASE
The same rules and processes for violations and revocations apply to both
842
federal probation and Supervised Release. Read this section if you are on
either of these two types of federal supervision and have questions about
violations and revocations.

WHAT IS A VIOLATION OF MY FEDERAL PROBATION OR
SUPERVISED RELEASE?
It is a violation of your Federal Probation or Supervised Release (SR) if you break
any law or disobey any condition of your post-release supervision. Read about
conditions of Federal Probation (PG. 233) and Supervised Release (PG. 245)
above.
If your probation officer thinks you have broken one of your conditions of
843
supervision, you may be charged with a violation.
1) If the judge finds that you have violated one of your conditions of
844
supervision, you could go to prison.
2) If you are having trouble with your Probation officer, or if you think you are
in danger of being violated, you should call your attorney. If you have
retained a private attorney, you should call him or her. If you don’t have a
private attorney, you should call the Federal Public Defender in you District.
Often an attorney can help you resolve a supervision problem before there
845
is a formal violation charge.

CAN MY U.S. PROBATION OFFICER SEND ME BACK TO PRISON?
No, your probation officer cannot send you back to prison, but it is part of the
officer’s job to tell the court about a violation of your conditions. The judge at
court, however, usually CAN send you back to prison.
• MINOR VIOLATIONS: Typically, if your probation officer learns of a minor
violation of a condition, or believes that a violation is likely to happen, the
officer will discuss with you how to avoid a more serious problem.
Alternatively, the probation officer might ask the judge to modify your
conditions of Federal Probation or Supervised Release.
• SERIOUS or REPEATED VIOLATIONS: After a serious violation or repeated
violations, your probation officer may tell a judge about these violations and
request revocation of your Federal Probation/Supervised Release. If this
happens, you have the right to a revocation hearing, at which the judge may
decide to revoke your Federal Probation/Supervised Release and send you
846
back to prison.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To read more about federal probation and supervised release violations and revocation, and the legal
distinctions between the two of them and the codes that govern them, see Administrative Office of the United
States Court, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics--probation/revocation-of-prob-and-sup-release.pdf.
843
18 U.S.C. § 3565 (a).
844
18 U.S.C. § 3565 (a)(2).
845
See Federal Defenders of San Diego, Violations of Probation or Supervised Release,
http://www.fdsdi.com/pdf/Client_Violations.pdf.
846
See Federal Judicial Council, Who Does What?,
http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf/autoframe!openform&nav=menu1&page=/federal/courts.nsf/page/360.
842

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WHAT COULD THE COURT DO IF IT FINDS THAT I VIOLATED MY
FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE?
FOR A FEDERAL PROBATION VIOLATION: If the judge finds that you violated a
condition of Federal Probation, it may:
1)

Continue you on federal probation, with or without lengthening your term, or
changing/increasing the conditions you must follow; OR
847
2) Revoke your federal probation and resentence you.
FOR A SUPERVISED RELEASE VIOLATION: If the judge finds that you violated a
condition of Supervised Release, it may:
1)

Continue you on supervised release, with or without lengthening the term,
or changing/ increasing the conditions you must follow; OR
848
2) Revoke your Supervised Release and send you back to prison. For certain
849
violations, the court is required to do this by law (it’s mandatory).

WHEN IS REVOCATION OF FEDERAL PROBATION OR
SUPERVISED RELEASE MANDATORY?
For both Federal Probation and Supervised Release, revocation and additional
time sentenced to prison are mandatory if the violation is one of the following:
1)

Possession of controlled substance (in violation of the condition set forth in
section 18 U.S. C. 3563(a)(3));
850
2) You possess a firearm (in violation of Federal law or a condition of
probation),
851
3) You refuse to comply with drug testing, or
4) You test positive for illegal controlled substances more than 3 times over the
852
course of 1 year.
If one of the above situations occurs, then your probation officer or the
prosecutor will have to file a violation notice, telling the judge that they think you
853
have violated.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF MY VIOLATION WAS ALSO A NEW
CRIMINAL OFFENSE?
854

All violations of the law are also violations of your conditions of supervision.
Essentially, the law treats a new criminal conviction as two wrongs:
(1) Disobeying the federal court by violating a condition of your supervision, AND
855
(2) Whatever you did to break the law. If you get arrested on state or federal
charges while on federal probation or Supervised Release, you will probably be
violated in federal court.
A NOTE ABOUT SENTENCING WHEN THERE IS ANOTHER PENDING CRIMINAL
CASE AGAINST YOU FOR THE SAME OFFENSE: Your sentence for the violation

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3565 (a).
18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3).
U.S. Sentencing Commission, Sentencing Guidelines, http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelinesmanual/2012/manual-pdf/Chapter_7.pdf.
850
The definition for firearm in 18 U.S.C § 921.
851
18 U.S.C. § 3563(a)(4).
852
18 U.S.C. §§ 3565(b), 3583 (g)
853
See Federal Defenders of San Diego, Violations of Probation or Supervised Release,
http://www.fdsdi.com/pdf/Client_Violations.pdf.
854
18 U.S.C. § 3565 (a).
855
See Federal Defenders of San Diego, Violations of Probation or Supervised Release,
http://www.fdsdi.com/pdf/Client_Violations.pdf.
847
848
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of your federal probation or Supervised Release will be SEPARATE from
whatever sentence you might get in the other criminal case, and will probably
FOLLOW your sentence for the new criminal conviction (in other words, these
sentences will follow one after the other).

WHAT ARE POSSIBLE SANCTIONS FOR AN ALLEGED VIOLATION
OF FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED RELEASE?
When there’s an allegation that you violated your federal probation or
Supervised Release, revocation proceedings will usually begin. The law and
rules that govern these revocation hearings can be found in the Federal Rules of
856
Criminal Procedure, Section 32.1. There will be a series of steps that you will
follow in a revocation hearing, from appearing in front of a Magistrate
Judge, to attending a Probable Cause Hearing, and finally attending a
YOUR RIGHT TO
Revocation Hearing. The steps below are a general outline of the
COUNSEL
revocation process, and possible outcomes:
STEP 1:

Initial Appearance

Whenever someone is first taken into federal custody or has been
cited/summoned to federal court, he or she has an initial appearance
before a Magistrate Judge. This appearance allows the Court to
advise you of the charges, set a preliminary hearing date (unless
waived or you are out of custody) and direct you to the District Judge
presiding over your case.

If you had an
Assistant Federal
Defender before,
that same attorney
will probably
represent you in the
revocation process.
In some cases you
may get a different
attorney from the
same office. If you
had a private lawyer
but can no longer
afford to pay, the
court must appoint
a lawyer for you.

NOTE: If you are arrested outside of the federal district that has
jurisdiction over your case (usually the place where you are being
officially supervised), then you have additional rights at this Initial
Appearance stage. First, you have the right to an “Identity Hearing,”
where the government must show only that you are the person named
in the warrant for arrest, not that you actually committed the crime.
Second, you have the right to receive a reliable certified electronic COPY of the
original revocation petition that was filed (this right to receive a copy of the
857
revocation petition is called “Arrival of Process”). !
STEP 2: Probable Cause Hearing
Know Your Rights! If you are held in custody for an alleged violation of your
federal probation or Supervised Release, then you have the following rights:
1)

You must receive a prompt hearing to determine if there is “probable cause”
858
to hold you for a revocation hearing (a.k.a. the “probable cause hearing”).
If you are in custody, you only receive what is called a “probable cause
hearing.” This will usually happen within one week, but “prompt” does not
859
have a specific timeframe, so it could be longer.
860
2) You must be given notice of the hearing.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Fed. Rules Crim. P. § 32.1.
An Identity Hearing usually consists of a law enforcement officer testifying about what information they received
from the charging district in order to determine that you were the person who was named in the arrest warrant.
Arrival of Process is usually satisfied by an email copy of the certified petition.
858
See FED. R. CRIM. P. § 32.1(a)(1).
859
For example, if you are in custody doing time on a state charge, and that state charge serves as the violation of
your SR, the PO can wait until your state sentence is over before brining you to have your PC hearing even though
the PO may have filed the violation petition and the warrant issued at the start of the client’s sentence in state
prison. A state defendant could be serving a 15-year state sentence such that his 5-year term of SR would have
expired by the time he is done with his state time. However, so long as the petition was filed within the supervised
release period, then there is an argument to be made that he can still be sent to prison on a federal violation.
Perhaps most judges would not do this, but it is a possibility.
860
See FED. R. CRIM. P. § 32.1(a)(1); http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learningcenter/supporting-materials/Revocation-of-Probation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf, p. 3.
856
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3) You must be given an opportunity to appear and present evidence, an
opportunity to question opposing witnesses (if requested), and be told of
861
your right to an attorney.
4) The Rules of Evidence are more relaxed; hearsay is allowed. This means that
the judge can consider evidence (testimony, photographs, etc.) that he
would not be able to consider in a full criminal trial.
5) You will usually appear before the same judge who sentenced you. The
judge will explain your rights and make sure you have a lawyer.
6) If you are not held to answer (i.e., probable cause is not found), then the
allegations will be dismissed. If you are held to answer (i.e., probable cause
is found), then you will be directed to a District Judge to enter an admission
862
or denial to the allegations. If you admit the allegations, the Judge will
either set a future date for sentencing or sentence you right then and there.
However, if you deny the allegations, then you go to a revocation hearing.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST YOU &
THE REVOCATION PROCESS: Unless your lawyer advises you otherwise, do not
admit a violation that’s based on pending criminal charges until the pending
charges are resolved. Admitting to criminal conduct during the revocation
hearing in federal court could then be used against you in your pending criminal
case. It’s best to consult with your attorney to figure out what to do in your
situation.
STEP 3: Revocation Hearing
You have the right to a revocation hearing before a District Judge within a
reasonable time in the district that has decision-making power (called
863
“jurisdiction”) over your case

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
IN THE REVOCATION PROCESS
•
•
•

•
•
•

•

864

You must be given notice of the hearing.
You must be given written notice of the charges against you (i.e., the alleged
865
violation of your supervision).
You must receive notice of your right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an
attorney, you will be appointed a Federal Public Defender in your District, or
another court-appointed defender. !!
866
You must have the opportunity to appear at the revocation hearing.
You must have an opportunity to see the evidence against you, as well as the
867
opportunity to present your own evidence;
The Rules of Evidence are more relaxed; hearsay is allowed. This means that
the judge can consider evidence (testimony, photographs, etc.) that he would
not be able to consider in a full criminal trial.
Additional constitutional rights described in
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learningcenter/supporting-materials/Revocation-of-Probation-and-SupervisedReleased.pdf (pp. 6-7).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1(a)(1); http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learningcenter/supporting-materials/Revocation-of-Probation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf, Page 3.
862
FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1(a)(2).
863
FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1(a)(2)
864
FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1(b)(1)(B).
865
FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1(b)(2)(A).
866
See U.S. v. Pelensky, 129 F.3d 63 (2d Cir. 1997); U.S. v. LeBlanc, 175 F.3d 511 (7th Cir. 1999); U.S. v. Stocks, 104
F.3d 308 (9th Cir. 1997).
867
FED. R. CRIM. P. 32.1.
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WHAT LAWS GUIDE THE COURT IN SENTENCING ME FOR MY
REVOCATION OF FEDERAL PROBATION OR SUPERVISED
RELEASE?

!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The laws about revocation sentencing are confusing
and difficult to figure out on your own! You have the right to lawyer if you
can’t afford one, and it’s best to ask your attorney to walk through your
specific situation and help you understand what the judge can sentence
you to if your federal probation or Supervised Release is revoked.
The chart shown below on PG. 262 is important because this period determines
the maximum amount of time you can be sent to prison for violating the terms
and conditions of your Supervised Release.
For example, assume you have been convicted of a Class A felony and receive 5
years of Supervised Release. Then, let’s say, you violate the terms and
conditions of your supervision. The judge may, but is not required to, sentence
868
you to four years in prison. If the judge were to do that, you could only be
placed on supervision for one additional year. However, if you were to violate
your supervision again, the judge could sentence you up to the maximum
available term of imprisonment (which is 5 years), but could not impose any
869
additional supervision. This could result in you serving nine years in prison on
revocations when the original term of supervision was only 5 years.

EXCEPTIONS: Offenses committed on or before April 30, 2003:
There are special rules, however, if you committed the offense of conviction on
or before April 30, 2003. Assume the same situation as described above: you’re
convicted of a Class A felony, sentenced to prison with five years of Supervised
Release. Upon your first revocation, you are sentenced four years in prison and
one year of Supervised Release. If you violated your Supervised Release again,
you can only be sentenced to one year in prison (meaning that the difference
between the total term of Supervised Release available by statute for that
offense minus the amount of prison imposed during any previous revocation(s)).
This is different than the first scenario when the judge could impose a five-year
term on a second revocation after imposing a four-year term on the first
revocation.
REVOCATION SENTENCING GUIDELINES:
In addition to the statute governing the maximum terms of supervision, judges
must consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines in determining your
870
sentence upon revocation. The recommended sentence is based on (1) the
Grade of Violation, (2) your Criminal History Category at the time of your original
conviction, and (3) the Class of your original conviction.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3) (outlining maximum terms of imprisonment available upon Supervised Release).
18 U.S.C. § 3583(h) (explaining that the length of any term of supervised release imposed upon revocation shall
not exceed the term of supervised release authorized by statute for the offense that resulted in the original term of
supervised release, less any term of imprisonment that was imposed upon revocation of supervised release); see
also U.S. v. Knight, 580 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2009).
870
The United States Code and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provide guidance for revocation of federal
probation and Supervised Release. In addition, Chapter 7 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines addresses revocation of
probation and supervised release. Every circuit has held that because the Sentencing Commission intended the
policy statements of Chapter 7 to be recommendations, and not binding. But they must be considered. See United
States Sentencing Commission, Revocation of Parole and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
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This chart outlines Congress’ recommended terms of imprisonment upon
revocation:
REVOCATION TABLE
(IN MONTHS OF IMPRISONMENT)
Grade of
Violation

Criminal History Category*
I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Grade C

3-9

4-10

5-11

6-12

7-13

8-14

Grade B

4-10

6-12

8-14

12-18

18-24

21-27

Grade A

12-18

15-21

18-24

24-30

30-37

33-41

However, if you were on probation or supervised release as a result of a
sentence for a Class A felony, the Congress’ recommendation looks like this:
Grade of
Violation
Grade A

Criminal History Category*
I

II

III

IV

V

VI

24-30

27-33

30-37

37-46

46-57

51-63

Although these are only recommendations for the judge, the judge must
consider them first when rendering a decision.

CAN I APPEAL THE COURT’S REVOCATION DECISION/ACTION?
WHAT COURT HAS JURISDICTION?
It depends. The appellate court (which is the court above the district court) that
made the decision will have the authority to hear the case, unless you have
already completed your time on supervision. In that case, appellate courts have
held that they don’t have authority to hear the case, because your have already
871
completed your sentence, and have no “injury” that the court can fix.

WHAT WILL THE JUDGE LOOK FOR WHEN REVIEWING MY
APPEAL?
The judge who is reviewing your revocation case will look at different aspects
using different legal standards.
Unless a violation is for drug or firearm possession, which requires revocation, a
district court judge’s decision to revoke your federal probation or Supervised
Release will be reviewed by the higher-up appellate judge for “abuse of
872
discretion.” This means, the judge reviewing your case will only grant you an
appeal if they found that the district court judge below them actually mishandled
your case—by acting unreasonably or incorrectly applying the law.
The higher-up appellate judge who is reviewing your case can also review the
LAW that was applied by the district court judge below as if the questions were

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Office of Defender Services Training Branch, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
872
See Office of Defender Services Training Branch, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
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being asked for the first time. In other words, the reviewing judge can freshly
make his or her own judgment about whether the lower court correctly applied
873
the law (this is called a “de novo” review).
If there were any FACTUAL ERRORS made in your case, the appellate judge will
874
eview htose for “clear error.” This means that the court will not find a factual
875
error unless all the evidence together shows a mistake was made. However, if
you fail to object to an argument or a fact, then the judge in the appeals court
may review the case under the “plain error” standard—a harder burden for you
to meet (this means that the appeals court has to find that the error is extremely
unjust or unfair).
Again, the SENTENCE that you received at the revocation hearing will be
reviewed for reasonableness, which means that the higher-up appellate judge
looks to see if the judge at the district court below abused his or her discretion
in making a decision in the case, by mishandling the case (acting unreasonably
876
or incorrectly applying the law) .

DISABILITIES & SUPERVISED RELEASE
If you have a disability and are under federal community supervision of any kind
(including federal probation, supervised release, or federal parole), please go to
PG. 284 below to learn about your rights.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Office of Defender Services Training Branch, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
874
See Office of Defender Services Training Branch, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
875
See U.S. v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948) (“A finding is ‘clearly erroneous’ when although there is
evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a
mistake has been committed.”). This standard is highly deferential, meaning most of the time the appeals court will
agree with the district court.
876
See Office of Defender Services Training Branch, Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release,
http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/online-learning-center/supporting-materials/Revocation-ofProbation-and-Supervised-Released.pdf.
873

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VI. FEDERAL COMMUNITY
SUPERVISION: FEDERAL
PAROLE
The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 eliminated federal parole for most people
convicted of a federal crime. Now, instead of defendant’s serving an
indeterminate sentence (i.e., one where a parole board determines how much of
the Judge’s sentence you serve), all federal defendants serve 85% of his or her
sentence. This is much like “mandatory release” discussed below. See the
information on “RELEASE PLANNING” at Appendix II PG. 364. In light of the
Sentencing Reform Act, only a few groups of individuals are serving a federal
parole sentences.

BASICS OF FEDERAL PAROLE
WHO IS RELEASED ONTO FEDERAL PAROLE?
Federal parole now applies only to individuals who were:
•
•
•
•

Sentenced for a federal offense before November 1, 1987;
Convicted of violating the laws of the District of Columbia in D.C. Superior
Court before August 5, 2000;
Convicted of crimes within the military criminal justice system;
877
Convicted in certain foreign transfer treaty cases.

IF I AM ON FEDERAL PAROLE, WHY DO I REPORT TO A U.S.
PROBATION OFFICER?
Federal U.S. Probation offices and officers are responsible for overseeing and
878
administering federal parole. U.S. Probation Officers provide parole services
as request of the USPC.
Thus, U.S. probation officers function as parole officers and supervise people on
879
federal parole and mandatory release.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Federal parole in the United States was a system that existed prior to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. Parole
of federal prisoners began after enactment of legislation on June 25, 1910.[1] Under parole, prisoners were eligible
for release before their sentences were complete. Parole boards under the United States Parole Commission
determined whether a prisoner should be released and whether or not a parolee who violated parole should be
sent back to prison. The U.S. Parole Comm’n (USPC, or “Parole Commission”) was just reauthorized for 5 more years,
effective beginning November 1, 2013. Despite the abolishment of federal parole in 1987, the USPC currently has
jurisdiction over more than 17,800 individuals convicted of felonies under the D.C. Penal Code, and 3500 individuals
convicted of the other kinds of eligible federal offenses discussed above.
878
See United States Courts, Probation and Pretrial Services-Mission,
http://www.U.S.C.ourts.gov/FederalCourts/ProbationPretrialServices/Mission.aspx.
879
28 C.F.R. § 2.38; 8 U.S.C. §§ 3655; 4203(b)(4).
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BEFORE RELEASE: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT
GETTING RELEASED ONTO FEDERAL PAROLE
I AM STILL INCARCERATED. WHAT IS THE LEGAL PROCESS FOR
GETTING RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON ONTO FEDERAL
PAROLE?
There are several steps you will follow in planning for your release from federal
prison onto federal parole. These will include creating a release plan, creating a
plan for payment of restitution and fines, investigation of your plan, and release.
Please see the Appendix II, PG. 364 to find out more.
STEP 1: Release Plan
Once you have a release date from the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC), you
must complete a satisfactory plan for parole supervision to actually get released.
If the release plan is NOT approved, your release may be delayed regardless of
the date the USPC had set when it first granted your parole.
The Regional Commissioner of the USPC may change your date of release
(earlier or later) onto parole to allow more time for release planning. At most, the
Regional Commissioner can delay your release onto parole for 120 days;
otherwise, you have the right to a hearing if the Regional Commissioner wants to
880
push back your release date more than 120 days.
Generally, you are required to have the following included in your release plan:
1) Availability of legitimate employment;
2) An approved residence for the prospective parolee; and
881
3) Availability of necessary aftercare if you are ill or will require special care.
STEP 2: Unpaid Fines & Restitution
Your release onto parole might also be delayed if you still owe court-ordered
882
fines or restitution. When you still have fines or restitution to pay, a
reasonable plan for payment, or a performance of services, if ordered by the
883
court, will be included in your parole release plan, where feasible.
STEP 3: Investigation Phase
Your U.S. Probation Officer will do an investigation to make sure that the
person’s release plan is appropriate. This investigation will start with the
probation officer asking you questions about your release plan. The probation
officer will then follow up and verify your answers. For example, if you told the
probation officer that your approved residence did not have any persons with a
felony record, the probation officer will follow-up to make sure this is true.
STEP 4: Release
After the Parole Commission approves your release plan, and a U.S. Probation
Officer completes an investigation, you will be released on the date set by the
Parole Commission (unless there is misconduct or some other reason leading to
a change in the date).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
28 C.F.R. § 2.28.
28 C.F.R. § 2.33(a)(2).
28 C.F.R. § 2.7.
883
28 C.F.R. § 2.33.
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WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I REFUSE TO SIGN THE CERTIFICATE
OF RELEASE?
If you don’t sign the certificate of release, one of the two following things could
happen:
1)

If you have been granted a parole date and you refuse to sign the certificate
of release (or any other document necessary to fulfill a condition of release),
the USPC will treat your refusal as a withdrawal of your application for
parole, effective on the date of your refusal. You will not be released on
parole and you will have to reapply for parole consideration.

2) If you are scheduled for release to supervision through good-time deduction
and you refuse to sign the certificate of release, you will be released but you
still must follow the conditions listed on the certificate of release, or risk
884
violation and revocation (see Appendix GG, PG. 360).

DO I HAVE TO RETURN TO THE SAME COMMUNITY THAT I CAME
FROM FOR MY FEDERAL PAROLE?
Usually, yes. In most instances, you will be released to parole in the U.S. Judicial
District of your legal residence, or in the U.S. Judicial District where you were
885
convicted of the federal offense.
THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION: if the U.S. Parole Commission decides that your
chances of success on parole will be better in another community, or believes it
would serve “the public interest,” it can order you be paroled to a different
886
District. !

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEDERAL PAROLE AND
“MANDATORY RELEASE”?
If you are never granted parole during your prison sentence, you will be released
through “Mandatory Release” (unless you have forfeited all your statutory “good
time credits”). The institution’s officials set your Mandatory Release date by
calculating how much statutory “good time” credit you have a legal right to, and
how much extra “good time” is earned.
The law states that if you are entitled to Mandatory Release, you must “be
treated as if released on parole” and are “subject to all provisions of the law
relating to the parole of United States prisoners until the expiration of the
maximum term or terms for which [you were] sentenced, less 180 days.” What
this really means is that you should have a release plan (see question above) as
if you were going out on parole. You will also be supervised by a U.S. Probation
Officer as if on federal parole until 180 days before the end date of your
sentence—so long as you don’t violate the conditions of your mandatory release,
in which case the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC) can hold you under
supervision until the original full term date of the sentence.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.40(a)(2).
28 C.F.R. § 2.33(b); see U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html#q29.
886
28 C.F.R. § 2.33(b).
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IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I BE RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON
AND NOT BE ON ANY TYPE OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION?
Yes, it is possible, but rare. If you are NOT paroled and have less than 180 days
left on your original sentence when you are released, you will be released
without supervision. However, if a “special parole term” is being served,
supervision will end at the full term date, and this 180-day date does not apply.

AFTER RELEASE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR
FIRST DAYS OUT ON FEDERAL PAROLE
AFTER I AM RELEASED TO FEDERAL PAROLE, WHEN AND TO
WHOM MUST I REPORT?
US. Probation Officers function as parole officers and provide supervision to
887
persons released on parole or on mandatory release. !
•
•
•
•

888

You will go to an approved residence and report within 3 days (72 hours)
889
to the United States Probation Office shown on your certificate of release.
You must continue to report to a U.S. Probation Officer in-person as
instructed by your officer once released.
In addition, you must submit a monthly written report, and follow all the
890
conditions of your release.
U.S. Probation Officers must also provide you with parole
CONSTITUTIONAL
891
CONCERNS
services at the request of the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC).
ABOUT
DETAINERS

I AM NOT A U.S. CITIZEN, AND I AM TOLD I HAVE AN
OUTSTANDING DETAINER AGAINST ME. WHAT IS A
DETAINER? WHAT COULD HAPPEN TO ME?
An ICE detainer is a written request by immigration officials to a
local jail or other law enforcement agency that the agency detain an
individual for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and
holidays) after his or her release date so that ICE officials can decide
whether to take the individual into federal custody and begin formal
deportation proceedings.
A “detainer”—or “immigration hold”—is one of the key tools U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to apprehend
individuals who come in contact with local and state law
enforcement agencies and put them into the federal immigration,
and often times, deportation system.
Even if you have a detainer against you, the USPC may still grant
you release onto federal parole if you meet the other criteria in 28
C.F.R. § 2.18. The presence of a detainer is not in itself a valid reason

State and local
corrections officials
frequently violate the
48-hour limitation by
continuing to hold
individuals beyond the
period allowed by
regulation, raising
constitutional
concerns. Detainers
have resulted in the
illegal imprisonment
of many people—
including U.S. citizens,
lawful permanent
residents, without any
charges pending,
sometimes for days or
weeks after they
should have been
released from
custody.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.38.
Unless you are released on a detainer.
28 C.F.R. § 2.40(a)(1) (“Your certificate of release informs you of these conditions and special conditions that we
have imposed for your supervision.”).
890
See U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
891
See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3655, 4203(b)(4).
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for the denial of parole.

892

When a State or local detainer is outstanding against a prisoner whom the
USPC wishes to parole, the Commission may order either of the following:
1)

In this event, you can only be released to agency that put the detainer on
you. When such a detainer is removed, you can’t be released unless the
Commission makes a new order of parole; OR
2) If you have an acceptable plan for community supervision, you can be
released into the community if the detaining officials remove the detainer or
893
don’t pick you up

LENGTH OF FEDERAL PAROLE
HOW LONG WILL I BE ON FEDERAL PAROLE?
You will be on parole and under the supervision of a U.S. Probation Officer until
the maximum expiration date of the sentence (for offenses committed before
April 11, 1987), unless the Commission ends your supervision earlier.

!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your time on federal parole runs at the same time as
any other Federal, State, or local sentence to supervision.894
•

•

IF YOUR SUPERVISION IS ENDED EARLY: You will be given a Certificate of
Early Termination, which may also be provided to other supervising
895
agencies.
IF YOU ARE NOT RELEASED TO PAROLE, AND INSTEAD YOU ARE
MANDATORILY RELEASED: Your supervision by a U.S. Probation Officer
automatically ends 180 days before the maximum expiration date, unless the
USPC ends supervision earlier. If your supervision is ended early, you will be
896
given a Certificate of Early Termination. You have been mandatorily
released if you reached the end of the sentence imposed by the court minus
any “good time” deductions you earned during the time of your
897
confinement.

CAN I GET OFF FEDERAL PAROLE EARLY?
Possibly. Read about when and how you can ask to be released from federal
parole early.
•

•

Every year, your U.S. Probation Officer submits a report to the Parole
Commission about your adjustment in the community. After reviewing the
report and any recommendations it contains, the Parole Commission may
898
decide to end your parole supervision early.
At any point in time, you may request, or the Parole Commission on its own
899
motion may decide, to end your parole supervision early.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.31.
28 C.F.R. § 2.32.
28 C.F.R. § 2.39.
895
28 C.F.R. § 2.39.
896
See U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
897
28 C.F.R. § 2.35.
898
See U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
899
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43(a)(1), 2.95(a)(1).
892
893
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•

•

After you’ve completed 2 years on federal parole (again: not counting any
time you spend on parole before the most recent release, and not counting
900
any time you spent in confinement on another sentence ), the Parole
Commission must consider terminating your federal parole, and again must
901
consider early termination at a minimum every year thereafter.
After you’ve completed 5 years on federal parole (again: not counting any
time spend on parole before the most recent release, and not counting any
time you spent in confinement on another sentence), by law, the Parole
Commission must end your supervision UNLESS it finds—after conducting a
hearing with you present—that you are likely to engage in future conduct
violating criminal law. You have the right to a personal hearing before the
Parole Commission can make such a finding to keep you on federal parole
902
past 5 years. You should not waive your right to this hearing.

HOW DOES THE U.S. PAROLE COMMISSION DECIDE
WHETHER TO LET ME OFF FEDERAL PAROLE EARLY?
The Parole Commission must consider the following guidelines,
which indicate that your federal parole should be ended early:
1)

You received a “salient factor score” (SFS) in the “very good
risk category” AND you have completed 2 continuous years of
supervision free from an incident of new criminal behavior or
serious parole violation (which includes a new arrest or report
of a parole violation if supported by substantial evidence of guilt,
903
even if no conviction or parole revocation results); OR
2) You received a “salient factor score” in a risk category other than
very good AND you have completed 3 continuous years of
supervision free from an incident of new criminal behavior or
serious parole violation (which includes a new arrest or report of a
parole violation if supported by substantial evidence of guilt, even
904
if no conviction or parole revocation results).
However, the USPC may disregard the outcome indicated by the 2
guidelines above based on case–specific factors, including:

WHAT IS A
“GOOD RISK
DETERMINATION”?
It is VERY difficult to
have a “very good
risk” determination
for the SFS. This is
because the score
sheet is written to
be nearly
impossible for
someone to every
have that good of a
score. To have a VG
(Very Good) you
have to have 10 -8
SFS, which is very
hard given that you
lose a point just for
being on parole.
The scorecard is
very “stacked”
against the parolee.
not.

1) Your current behavior;
2) Your background; and
905
3) Your criminal history.

IF I AM DENIED EARLY TERMINATION OF MY FEDERAL PAROLE,
CAN I CHALLENGE THE U.S. PAROLE COMMISSION’S DECISION?
906

907

Yes. You can appeal to the National Appeals Board. However, the National
Appeals Board does not often reverse the decision of the Parole Commission,
unless an error was made. There are several steps to challenge the Parole

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43(d), 2.95(d).
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.95(b), 2.43(b) (“In calculating the two-year and five-year period . . . , the Commission shall not
include any period of parole before the most recent release, or any period served in confinement on any other
sentence.”) See U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
902
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43, 2.95. See also U.S. Parole Comm’n, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
903
The Parole Commission cannot terminate your federal parole supervision until it determines the disposition of a
pending criminal charge. 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43(g)(1)(i), 2.95(e)(1)(i).
904
The Parole Commission cannot terminate your federal parole supervision until it determines the disposition of a
pending criminal charge. 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43(g)(1)(ii), 2.95(e)(1)(ii).
905
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.43(h), 2.95(e)(3).
906
28 C.F.R. § 2.43(e); see also 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.17; 2.26; 2.43.
907
28 C.F.R. § 2.26.
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Commission’s decision not to let you off federal parole early. Please see the
APPENDIX JJ PG. 365 for full details on each step.
STEP 1: You may send a written appeal to the National Appeals Board
challenging any decision to grant (other than a decision to grant parole on the
date of parole eligibility), rescind, deny, or revoke parole.
NOTE: If you want to appeal a decision denying your parole on the date of
parole eligibility, you instead need to submit a “petition of reconsideration” to
908
the USPC.
909

STEP 2: Use the proper form (Parole Form I-22) and file your written appeal
within 30 days from the date of entry of the decision that you are appealing. If
you don’t file within 30 days of the decision, you lose your right to
challenge/appeal it.
OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR APPEAL:
1)

The appeal must include an opening paragraph that briefly summarizes the
legal grounds for the appeal.
2) You should then list each ground separately and clearly explain the reasons
or facts that support each ground.
If you’re appeal doesn’t meet these requirements, the USPC may return it to you,
in which case have 30 additional days from the date the appeal is returned to
submit an appeal that meets the above requirements.
LEGAL GROUNDS FOR YOUR APPEAL CAN INCLUDE:
1)

That the guidelines were wrongly applied in your:
o Severity rating;
o Salient factor score;
o Time in custody;

2) That a decision outside the guidelines was not supported by the reasons or
facts as stated;
3) That especially mitigating circumstances (for example, facts relating to the
severity of the offense or your probability of success on parole) justify a
different decision;
4) That a decision was based on wrong information, and the correct facts
justify a different decision;
5) That the USPC did not follow correct procedure in deciding the case, and a
different decision would have resulted if it would have followed the right
procedure;
6) There was important information that you did not know at the time of the
hearing;
7) There are compelling reasons why a more lenient decision should be given
on grounds of compassion
8) The Attorney General (AG) may file an appeal by making a written request to
have the Regional Commissioner’s regarding decision regarding an
individual’s federal parole. The request by the AG must be within 30 days of
the Commissioner’s decision. The National Board of Appeals will have 60
days, after receiving the AG’s request, to reaffirm, modify or reverse the
Commissioners decision. The Board of Appeals decision has to be provided
910
in writing to both the AG and prisoner the appeal relates to.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
908
909
910

See 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.17; 2.27.
Parole Form I-22, available at http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/uspc/legacy/2013/02/26/formi22.pdf.
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How can I strengthen my appeal?
You can provide additional information for the USPC to consider in an
addendum to your original appeal. An addendum is when you have new
or additional information you would like to give to USPC, but you have
already turned in your application. You can send the new information to
USPC with a note that you would like to attach the new information as
an “addendum.”
You can attach exhibits (photos, documents that help your case, etc.) to
your appeal, but the exhibits shouldn’t be copies of documents that the
USPC already has.
STEP 3: The National Appeals Board may affirm, modify, or reverse the decision
of the Parole Commissioner(s) below.
STEP 4: You receive the National Appeals Board’s decision. The National
Appeals Board must act within 60 days of receiving your papers to affirm,
modify, or reverse the decision below. The decision of the National Appeals
911
Board is final.

CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PAROLE
WHAT CONDITIONS MUST I FOLLOW ON FEDERAL PAROLE?
There are a lot of general and additional conditions that it is important to follow!
Here is an overview of all the general conditions, and you should also be aware
912
of any special conditions that might apply to you.

GENERAL CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PAROLE
1)

Go directly to your approved residence in the district named in your
Certificate of Release (unless you are released to a detainer, explained on
PG. 267 above);
2) Report in-person within 3 days (72 hours) to the U.S. Probation Office named
on your Certificate of Release. If because of an emergency you are unable to
appear in person within 3 days (72 hours) after your release, you should
report to the nearest U.S. Probation Office and obey any instructions that
the “duty officer” gives you.
a. If you were released to another authority (not U.S. Probation), then
you should follow these first 2 steps as soon as you are released
from the custody of the other authority.
3) Cooperate with your Probation Officer, and provide any information
requested to your Probation Officer. You must answer completely and
truthfully when the Probation Officer asks you for information.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.26.
See 28 C.F.R. § 2.40(a)(1) (“All persons on supervision must follow the conditions of release described
in § 2.204(a)(3) through (6). These conditions are necessary to satisfy the purposes of release conditions stated in 18
U.S.C. 4209. Your certificate of release informs you of these conditions and other special conditions that we have
imposed for your supervision.”); 28 C.F.R. 2.85(a)(1) (D.C. federal parole) (“General conditions of release and notice
by certificate of release. All persons on supervision must follow the conditions of release described in § 2.204(a)(3)
through (6). Your certificate of release informs you of these conditions and other special conditions that we have
imposed for your supervision.”).
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4) Between the first and third day of each month, you must make a written
report to the supervision officer on a form provided to you. The written
report will look different depending where you are. It will most likely look
like a worksheet where you will fill out your address, job information, and
answer other questions about your life, or a form that you will fill out and
submit on line at the probation office’s website. Your Probation Officer will
show you how to fill this out and give it to you at your check-in.
5) Report to your Probation Officer as that officer directs.
TALKING TO
6) Tell your Probation Officer if you are arrested or questioned by
YOUR P.O.
law enforcement/police within 2 days of the contact with law
ABOUT
AN
enforcement.
ARREST
7) Tell your Probation Officer if you change your job or address
Under the federal
within 2 days of the change.
law that governs
8) You must let the Probation Officer to visit your home and
federal parole, if you
workplace.
end up being
9) You must let the Probation Officer take any item that the officer
arrested for an
reasonably believes you are not allowed to have (for example, an
incident that police
questioned you
illegal drug or a weapon), and that is in plain view in your
about (or any other
possession (meaning they can see it without having to open
incident), you must
drawers or dig through compartments), including in your home,
tell your probation
workplace, or vehicle.
officer. It could help
10) You must take a drug or alcohol test whenever your Probation
to show the USPC
913
that you are being
Officer orders you to take the test.

Conditions that Prohibit Conduct:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

honest with your
P.O. and trying hard
to comply.

You cannot violate any law and must not associate with any person
who is violating any law.
You cannot possess a firearm, any other dangerous weapon, or ammunition.
You cannot illegally possess or use a controlled substance.
You cannot drink alcoholic beverages to excess.
Stay away from a place where a controlled substance is illegally sold, used,
or given away.
You cannot leave your district of supervision without permission. (See
PG. 275 for instructions on how to get permission to leave your district of
permission.)
You cannot associate with a person who has a criminal record without the
permission of your Probation Officer.
You cannot act as an informant (meaning someone who gives information to
law enforcement/police about secret or criminal activities) for any law
enforcement officer without the prior approval of the U.S. Parole
914
Commission.

Additional Conditions You Must Follow:
1)
2)
3)
4)

5)

You must make a good faith effort to work regularly, unless excused by your
Probation Officer.
You must support your children and any legal dependents.
You must participate in an employment-readiness program if your
supervision officer tells you to do so.
You must make a good faith effort to pay any fine, restitution order, court
costs or assessment or court-ordered child support or alimony payment. If
asked by your Probation Officer, you must provide your financial
information. You must cooperate with your Probation Officer in setting up an
installment plan to pay these debts and obligations.
If your underlying conviction was for a domestic violence crime, and it was
your first conviction for domestic violence, you must attend an approved

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
913
914

28 C.F.R. § 2.204.
28 C.F.R. § 2.204(5).

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offender-rehabilitation program for the prevention of domestic violence (if
such a program is readily available within 50 miles of your home).
6) If required by law, you must register with any applicable special offender
registration law, for example, a law that requires you to register as a “sex
offender” or a “gun offender.”
7) If directed by your Probation Officer AND if authorized by the DNA Analysis
Backlog Elimination Act of 2000, you must provide a DNA sample.
8) You must inform a person about your criminal record or personal history if
your supervision officer determines that your relationship or contact with
this person may pose a risk of harm to this person. The Probation Officer
may direct you to do this and then ask for some form of confirmation or
proof that you followed the direction. The Probation Officer may also speak
915
directly with that person.

I AM ON FEDERAL PAROLE. CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE MY FEDERAL
PAROLE DISTRICT?
Yes, if you get permission from your Probation Officer and/or the Parole
916
Commission first.
1)

Your Probation Officer may give you permission to travel outside your
federal parole district without approval of the U.S. Parole Commission in the
following situations:
a. Vacation trips for 30 days or less.
b. Trips to look into certain employment possibilities for 30 days or
less.
c. Repeated travel across a district boundary, no more than 50 miles
917
outside the district, for a job, shopping, or recreation.
2) For the following types of travel, you must (1) get the Parole Commission’s
advance permission in writing, and (2) show a substantial need for such
travel:
a. All foreign travel;
b. A job that requires you to repeatedly travel more than 50 miles
outside your federal parole district (except offshore job locations);
and
918
c. Vacation travel outside the district for more than 30 days.
3) A special condition imposed by the Regional Commissioner prohibiting
919
certain travel shall supersede any of the above general rules. This means
that if you have a special condition that prohibits certain travel then you will
not be able to travel even if you meet the conditions above.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF FEDERAL PAROLE
WHAT SPECIAL CONDITIONS COULD APPLY TO ME ON FEDERAL
PAROLE?
If the U.S. Parole Commission determines that it is necessary to protect the
public from further crimes and to provide adequate supervision over you, it may
impose a special condition other than one of the general conditions above.
Examples of special conditions of release that the Commission might require of

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
915
916
917
918
919

28 C.F.R. § 2.204(6).
See 28 C.F.R. § 2.41.
28 C.F.R. § 2.41(a)(3).
28 C.F.R. § 2.41(b)
28 C.F.R. § 2.41(c).

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your are found at 28 C.F.R. § 2.204(b)(2), and include the following possible
requirements:
1)

2)
3)
4)
5)

If the Parole Commission requires you to participate in a drug-treatment
program, you must submit to a drug test before release and to at least two
other drug tests, as determined by your Probation Officer. However, a
decision not to impose this special condition, because available information
indicates that you have a low risk of future substance abuse, constitutes
good cause (a good reason under law) for suspending the drug testing
920
requirements of 18 U.S.C. 4209(a). Furthermore, a grant of parole or reparole depends on your passing all pre-release drug tests administered by
921
the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
You must live in or participate in a program at a community corrections
center, or both, for all or part of your period of supervision;
You must participate in a drug-or alcohol-treatment program, and abstain
from all use of alcohol and other intoxicants;
As an alternative to incarceration, you may be put on house arrest (home
confinement), meaning you remain at home during nonworking hours, and
your compliance is monitored by telephone or electronic signaling devices;
You must allow a supervising off it a time of their choosing, to conduct a
search of your person, or of any building, vehicle, or other area under your
control, and to seize contraband found.

CAN FEDERAL PAROLE REQUIRE ME TO GO TO A HALF-WAY
HOUSE OR REQUIRE ME TO UNDERGO DRUG OR ALCOHOL
TREATMENT WHILE I’M UNDER SUPERVISION?
922

Yes. Federal law allows the U.S. Parole Commission to require you to go into
a half-way house or undergo treatment for drug or alcohol for all or part of the
time under supervision. In most cases, you will be notified in advance and may
submit comments about that proposal to the Parole Commission before the final
923
decision is made.

IF I’M ON PAROLE, MAY I OWN, USE OR POSSESS FIREARMS
AFTER THEY ARE RELEASED?
No—almost never. Except in very rare situations, federal law forbids anyone who
has ever been convicted of a felony from possessing firearms or ammunition.
Generally, you will not be permitted to own or possess a firearm or
924
ammunition.

CAN THE PAROLE COMMISSION CHANGE ANY OF MY
CONDITIONS OF RELEASE?
Yes. If you believe the conditions on your Certificate of Release are unfair, you
may ask the Case Manager for an appeal form and submit it to the Regional
Commissioner within 30 days after your release. The U.S. Parole Commission
will consider the appeal and you will be notified of the decision within 21 days

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
920
921
922
923
924

28 C.F.R. § 2.204.
See 28 C.F.R. § 2.40.
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(9); see also, 2011 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 5B1.3(e)(1).
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(9).
18 U.S.C. § 3563.

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after you file your appeal. While the appeal is pending, the parolee must
925
continue to abide by the conditions imposed.

AFTER A PAROLEE IS RELEASED, MAY ANY OF THE CONDITIONS
BE CHANGED? CAN ADDITIONAL ONES BE IMPOSED?
Yes. The Probation Officer or the U.S. Parole Commission may propose
changing or adding to your conditions of federal parole. You will be notified of
any such proposal and be given up to 10 days to make any written comments to
the U.S. Parole Commission. You will be notified within 21 days after you provide
926
written comments.
STEP 1: Ask your U.S. Probation Officer for a form to make comments.
STEP 2: You may write directly to the Commission (with a copy to your Probation
927
Officer) if you want to have any of the conditions changed or deleted.

TRANSFERRING FEDERAL PAROLE
I’M ON FEDERAL PAROLE AND I WANT TO TRANSFER TO
A NEW DISTRICT. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
To transfer districts, you need to discuss it with your Probation Officer,
who will review your plan and make sure you meet certain criteria
required for transfer.
To have the transfer request approved, you must get the permission
of both the Probation Officer from the transferring district and from
the receiving district. You can only transfer if it doesn’t go against the
928
instructions from the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC). If you meet
the criteria, have your plan approved, and sign the required forms
and submit a transfer request through the Interstate Compact
Offender Tracking System (ICOTS), your transfer request will then be
submitted to the other state for investigation and a decision on
acceptance or rejection.

IMPROVING
YOUR CHANCES
OF HAVING A
TRANSFER
REQUEST
APPROVED
Your request is
much more likely to
be approved if you
have a good track
record – clean drug
tests, always going
to your meetings
with your Probation
Officer, staying out
of trouble with law
enforcement.

Please read the next question for more information about transferring between
states.

I AM ON FEDERAL PAROLE AND WANT TO TRANSFER TO
ANOTHER STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
An Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision governs transferring
929
between states for adults under all types of community supervision. The
Compact has been adopted by all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
925
926
927
928
929

28 C.F.R. §§ 2.40(d), 2.204(c)–(d).
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.40(d), 2.204(c)–(d).
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.40(d), 2.204(c)–(d).
28 C.F.R. § 2.38
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 11180; 11181.

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930

Islands. An Interstate Commission has developed rules for transfer eligibility
and supervision.
To view a flowchart overview of the Interstate Compact process, go to
Appendix MM, PG. 368. To A full list of rules for interstate transfer can be found
931
here: http://www.interstatecompact.org/Portals/0/library/legal/ICAOS_Rules.pdf.
At the discretion of the sending state, you are eligible and can be approved for
transfer if you meet the following criteria:
1)

You have more than 90 calendar days or an indefinite period of supervision
remaining at the time the sending state transmits the transfer request; and
2) You have a valid plan of supervision; and
3) You are in substantial compliance with the terms of supervision in the
sending state (meaning you have not had your probation or parole revoked
and you have no pending revocation charges); and
4) Either:
a. You are a resident of the receiving state, OR
b. You have family in the receiving state who indicate a willingness and
ability to assist (as specified in your supervision plan) and you can
obtain employment in the receiving state or have some other means
932
of support.
If you are approved for transfer by the sending state, then the receiving state
933
must accept you for federal parole supervision.

ALTERNATIVE OPTION:
Even if you do not meet the above criteria and eligibility requirements for
interstate parole transfer, the sending and receiving states may also agree to
transfer you if there is good cause to do so. To pursue this option:
STEP 1: Discuss the transfer with your Probation Officer.

!!

STEP 2: If the special circumstances and good cause for transferring your
supervision are approved, the sending state must provide the receiving state
enough documentation to justify the transfer.
STEP 3: The receiving state shall have the discretion to accept or reject the
transfer of supervision in a manner consistent with the purpose of the Interstate
934
Compact.

How do I start the process?
To get the process started, you should talk to your federal correctional
counselor or federal probation agent. The parole agent should
determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria. If the criteria are met,
the agent should submit a transfer application to the department’s
Interstate Compact Unit (In California, the CDCR’s Interstate Compact
Unit in Sacramento). If that unit approves your application, the request
935
will be sent to the receiving state.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Information on the Compact and rules made by the Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision and California
State Council can is available at www.interstatecompact.org.
931
Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, ICAOS Rules,
http://www.interstatecompact.org/Portals/0/library/legal/ICAOS_Rules.pdf.
932
ICAOS Rule 3.101.
933
ICAOS Rule 3.101.
934
ICAOS Rule 3.101-2.
935
See DOM § 81060.1 et seq. for the CDCR’s procedure for handling applications from parolees for out-of- state
transfers. See also ICAOS Rules 3.102-3.109. Further information may be obtained from the CDCR Interstate
Compact Unit, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, CA 94283.
930

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How long will it take?
The earliest that your supervising agency can send a transfer request is
936
120 days before your expected release date from prison. The
receiving state is supposed to respond within 45 calendar days of
937
receiving a transfer request. The process can be expedited in an
938
emergency.

I AM CLASSIFIED AS A SEX OFFENDER, AND I WANT TO
TRANSFER TO ANOTHER STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
You must meet the above 5 criteria, AND you must be able to meet additional
specific requirements for transferring the supervision of people classified as sex
939
offenders.
NOTE: You cannot leave the sending state until the receiving state has approved
the transfer request or issued reporting instructions.
See Appendix LL, PG. 367 to follow detailed steps.
Follow these steps:
STEP 1: Discuss your desire to transfer with your U.S. Probation Officer.
STEP 2: Satisfy all of the eligibility criteria. At the discretion of the sending state,
you are eligible and can be approved for transfer if you meet the following
criteria and all 5 of the criteria above (see previous page).
STEP 3: Complete an Application for Transfer.
STEP 4: The sending state must send the receiving state:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

Assessment information, including sex offender specific assessments;
Social history;
Information relevant to the sex offender’s criminal sexual behavior
Law enforcement report that provides specific details of sex offense;
Victim information: including the name, sex, age and relationship to the
offender and the statement of the victim or victim’s representative;
6) The sending state’s current or recommended supervision and treatment
940
plan.
STEP 5: The receiving state has 5 business days to review the proposed
residence. If the proposed residence is not acceptable due to existing state law
or policy, the receiving state may deny the application. No travel permit can be
941
granted by the sending state until the receiving state says it can.
STEP 6: A travel permit will be given to you by your Probation Officer if the
receiving state has approved the new residence. Travel permits are issued by
the local parole office, so each office uses a different form. Your Probation
Officer will give you this form once you have been approved by the Interstate
942
Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ICAOS Rules 3.101; 3.105
ICAOS Rule 3.104.
ICAOS Rule 3.106.
939
For additional rules see ICAOS Rule 3.101-3.
940
ICAOS Rule 3.101-3(b).
941
ICAOS Rule 3.101-3(c).
942
Email conversation with Harry Hageman, Executive Director, Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision on Feb.
26, 2015.
936
937
938

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VIOLATIONS & REVOCATION OF FEDERAL
PAROLE
WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF I VIOLATE THE CONDITIONS OF MY
FEDERAL PAROLE (OR MANDATORY RELEASE)?
1)

First, a U.S. Probation Officer will likely report the violation to the U.S. Parole
Commission. While your Probation Officer is required to report any and all
violations to the U.S. Parole Commission (USPC), the officer may
recommend that you be continued under supervision without sanctions.

2) Second, a Parole Commissioner determines the appropriate punishment
(called “sanctions”), which could include:
a) Issuance of an arrest warrant, or
b) A summons for you to appear at a hearing.
The Probation Officer's recommendation is one of the factors considered by the
943
Commission in its decision.
At this stage of the process, there are two reasons why the USPC might wait to
issue an arrest warrant or a hearing summons:
• It may wait until, in the opinion of the Commission, the frequency or
seriousness of violations requires it to issue a warrant or summons;
• You (the parolee) have been charged with a new criminal offense and are
awaiting disposition of the charge, so the Commission may decide to (1)
withhold the summons, (2) issue and hold the warrant in abeyance, or (2)
944
issue a warrant and place a detainer on you.
3) Third, the warrant will be “executed,” which means that you will be taken
into custody or asked to come to a hearing. What happens next will depend
on your personal circumstances, but the different possibilities are described
in the next two questions.

WHO ISSUES AN ARREST WARRANT OR SUMMONS TO APPEAR
AT A HEARING IF I VIOLATE FEDERAL PAROLE OR MANDATORY
RELEASE?
Only a Parole Commissioner may issue a warrant or a summons for a violation of
945
the conditions of your release on federal parole.
Any officer of any Federal correctional institution or any Federal officer
authorized to execute the warrant will do so by returning you to the custody of
946
the Attorney General.
You must be served with a summons to appear at a preliminary interview or
revocation hearing by a Federal officer who is authorized to serve you, and proof
of such service shall be returned to the appropriate regional office of the
947
USPC.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

United States Department of Justice, U.S. Parole Comm’n—Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
944
28 C.F.R. § 2.44(a).
945
28 C.F.R. § 2.44.
946
28 C.F.R. § 2.46(a).
947
28 C.F.R. § 2.46(d)
943

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AFTER A WARRANT OR SUMMONS IS ISSUED, WHAT HAPPENS?
1)
2)
3)

4)

5)

You will be either taken into custody, usually in the nearest government948
approved jail or detention center, or summoned to appear at a hearing.
If you have been convicted of a new offense, a Probation Officer will
personally advise you of your legal rights and conduct a preliminary
949
interview.
The Regional Commissioner will pick an official to conduct a preliminary
interview with you —this official could be a U.S. Probation Officer in the
district where you are confined, so long as it is not the same U.S. Probation
950
Officer who recommended that you be arrested.
You’ll go through a preliminary interview (sometimes called a probable
cause hearing) by the official, which will be used to help the U.S. Parole
Commission determine if there is probable cause to believe you actually
violated your parole conditions. If the Parole Commission finds probable
951
cause, then it must decide whether to conduct a final revocation hearing.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR AN ATTORNEY & INVITE WITNESSES
952
TO THE PRELIMINARY HEARING! At the beginning of the preliminary
interview, the interviewing officer must:
o Verify that you received the Warrant Application (as required by
953
§ 2.46(b));
o Advise you of your right to have the preliminary interview postponed so
that you have time to get an attorney to represent you or to arrange for
954
witnesses to attend on your behalf;
o Tell you that if you cannot afford an attorney, you can apply to a U.S.
District Court for appointment of counsel to represent you at the
preliminary interview and the revocation hearing (pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
3006A). You do not have a constitutional right to have an attorney at
your revocation hearing, but you can request an attorney and may have
one appointed to you. You will most likely qualify for an attorney if you
955
cannot afford one.

6) YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK THE PAROLE COMMISSION TO MAKE
WITNESSES WHO PROVIDED INFORMATION LEADING TO YOUR
REVOCATION CHARGE APPEAR AT THE PRELIMINARY INTERVIEW—
o You should request that the Commission bring in anyone who has given
information that it will use in its decision to revoke or reinstate your
parole. Such adverse witnesses shall be requested to attend the
preliminary interview unless (1) you admit a violation; or (2) have been
convicted of a new offense while on supervision; or (3) the interviewing
956
officer finds good cause for their absence. The Parole Commission
may subpoena (meaning order through the court) witnesses who are
957
against your interest (adverse) and the production of documents.
7)

AT THE PRELIMINARY INTERVIEW, THE INTERVIEWING OFFICER MUST:
o Review the violation charges with you;
o Tell you about the evidence which has been presented to the Parole
958
Commission;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.48(g)
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(c).
950
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(a).
951
28 C.F.R. § 2.48.
952
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(b).
953
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(b).
954
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(b).
955
18 U.S.C. 3006A(a)(1)(E).
956
28 C.F.R. § 2.48 (b).
957
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.48; 2.51.
958
Disclosure of the evidence presented to the U.S. Parole Comm’n must be made pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 2.50(d).
See also 28 C.F.R. § 2.48(c).
948
949

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o Take statements of witnesses and documentary evidence on your behalf;
and
o Allow cross-examination of those witnesses in attendance.
8) AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE PRELIMINARY INTERVIEW, THE
INTERVIEWING OFFICER MUST:
o Tell you his or her recommended decision as to whether there is
probable cause to believe that you violated the conditions of your parole.
o Tell you recommendation and the basis for it.
o Submit to the Parole Commission a summary of the preliminary interview
959
along with the officer’s recommended decision. In this report, the
interviewing officer will recommend (1) whether there is “probable cause”
to believe that a violation has occurred AND (2) whether you should be
held in custody pending a revocation hearing or be reinstated to your
parole supervision.

A Finding of Probable Cause
Just because an interviewing officer finds “probable cause” to believe you
violated your parole, does not mean that your parole has been revoked. It just
means that there is reason to believe you!! did what the warrant says you did—
you will still have a chance to be reinstated at your Final Revocation Hearing.
“Probable cause” is a very low standard, meaning an interviewing officer will
most likely find “probable cause,” but you can still be reinstated at your Final
Revocation Hearing.
9) After the interviewing officer’s report is received, the Parole Commission will
either order you reinstated to supervision or order that a Hearing Examiner
hold you in custody for a revocation hearing.
10) Even if the Commission finds probable cause to believe you have violated
the conditions of your parole, it may still order you reinstated back to parole
supervision or release you pending further proceedings if:
a) Continued revocation proceedings are not warranted; OR
b) Keeping you in jail is not necessary because the you have not violated
multiple times or the charge you are facing is not serious, and you are
likely to appear for further proceedings, and don’t constitute a danger to
960
yourself or others.
11) If you’re convicted of a new offense, you are NOT entitled to a preliminary
interview because the conviction is sufficient evidence (probable cause is
automatically shown) that you violated your conditions of parole. In that
case, you may be immediately transported to a federal institution for a
961
revocation hearing.

MAY A PAROLEE HAVE AN ATTORNEY AT A PRELIMINARY
INTERVIEW AND REVOCATION HEARING?
Yes. You have the right to an attorney of your choice, or you may request to
962
have the court appoint you an attorney if you can’t afford your own.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
959
960
961
962

28 C.F.R. § 2.48.
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(e)(2).
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(f).
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(b).

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You do not have a constitutional right to have an attorney at your parole
revocation hearing, but you will most likely qualify for an attorney if you cannot
963
afford one. You should apply for an attorney with the District Court in your
judicial district. It is your responsibility to tell your attorney the time and place of
964
the hearing.

WILL I BE IN PRISON PENDING HEARING?
It depends. If you were picked up on an arrest warrant issued by the USPC, you
will be held in custody until a final decision about your revocation or release.
The only exception is if the Regional Commissioner orders otherwise, but this is
not likely. If you received a summons to a revocation hearing (under 28 C.F.R.
§ 2.44), you will remain on supervision pending the decision of the
965
Commission.

WHERE ARE THE REVOCATION HEARINGS HELD?
The revocation hearing will be either (1) an institutional hearing OR (2) a local
hearing.
1)

INSTITUTIONAL HEARINGS: Generally, revocation hearings are held after
you are returned to a federal institution. An institutional hearing is held
within 90 days from time you were taken into custody on the U.S. Parole
Commission’s warrant.
OR
2) LOCAL HEARINGS: If there are sufficient reasons to do so, the U.S. Parole
Commission may order your revocation hearing held in your own community
or in the community where you were arrested. You only have the right to a
local hearing if: (1) You deny violating the conditions of your release, AND
(2) You were NOT convicted of a new crime.
If a local revocation hearing is requested, the you must complete a request
form. There is a penalty for false answers on this form. Local revocation
hearings are generally held within 60 days from the date the Regional
Commissioner finds “probable cause” that parole or mandatory release was
966
violated. If granted, your local revocation hearing will be scheduled to
happen reasonably near the place of the alleged violation(s) or arrest.
A NOTE ABOUT GETTING SUPPORT FROM A LAWYER: At a local revocation
hearing, you are more likely to have a lawyer and you can request that all
adverse witnesses be called so you can confront and cross-examine them. In
order to get a local revocation hearing, you and your attorney must (1) deny
all the charges and (2) request a local revocation hearing.

WHAT IS THE TIMELINE OF THE HEARING?
A local revocation hearing must be within 60 days of the probable cause
determination. Institutional revocation must be held within 90 days of the date

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(1)(E).
28 C.F.R. § 2.48(b).
28 C.F.R. § 2.49(e).
966
United States Department of Justice, U.S. Parole Comm’n—Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
963
964
965

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the warrant was executed, when you were taken into custody. However, you can
967
request postponement or consent to a postponed revocation proceeding.

IF MY HEARING IS HELD IN A FEDERAL INSTITUTION RATHER THAN
LOCALLY, AM I ENTITLED TO AN ATTORNEY AND MAY I PRESENT
WITNESSES ON MY BEHALF?
You do not have the right to appointed counsel, but may secure an attorney at
your own expense. NOTE: The attorney can act only in the capacity of a
968
representative.

WHAT IS THE HEARING PROCEDURE?
The purpose is to determine whether you have violated the conditions of your
release and, if so, whether your parole or mandatory release should be (1)
revoked (taken away) or (2) reinstated (where you continue on parole as you
969
were). To get more information about how to prepare for the hearing, please
see the Appendix KK, PG. 366

WHEN IS REVOCATION MANDATORY?
If the USPC finds after a revocation hearing that you:
(1) Possessed a controlled substance,
(2) Refused to comply with drug testing,
(3) Possessed a firearm, or
(4) Tested positive for illegal controlled substances more than 3 times over the
course of 1 year, the USPC must revoke your term of supervision and impose a
970
term of prison.
If you fail a drug test, the USPC must consider appropriate alternatives to
971
revocation.

HOW COULD I BE SENTENCED FOR A REVOCATION OF FEDERAL
PAROLE?
If the Parole Commission finds by a “preponderance of the evidence,” (that it is
more likely than not) that you violated a condition of the parole, the Commission
may take any of the following actions:
1)

Continue your supervision on federal parole, which can include:
a. Reprimanding you;
b. Modifying (changing) your conditions of release;
c. Referring you to a community corrections center for all or part of the
remainder of your original sentence;

OR
972
2) Revoke your parole, and send you back to prison.

In determining whether to revoke parole for not paying a fine, restitution, court
costs or assessment, and/or court-ordered child support or alimony payment

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.49.
United States Department of Justice, U.S. Parole Comm’n—Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
969
28 C.F.R. § 2.55.
970
See 28 C.F.R. § 2.218.
971
28 C.F.R. § 2.204.
972
28 C.F.R. § 2.52.
967
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that was a condition of your release on supervision, the U.S. Parole Commission
must consider your employment status, earning ability, financial resources, and
any other special circumstances that may have a bearing on the matter.
Revocation shall not be ordered unless you are found to be deliberately evading
973
or refusing compliance. (Learn more about court-ordered debt in the COURTORDERED DEBT CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 755).

IF THE COMMISSION REVOKES PAROLE OR MANDATORY
RELEASE, DOES A PAROLEE GET ANY CREDIT ON THE
SENTENCE FOR THE TIME SPENT UNDER SUPERVISION?
Generally, if you are convicted of a new law violation, you are entitled to credit
for any of the time spent under supervision unless serving a Youth Corrections
Act (YCA) or Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Act (NARA) commitment.
Also, there is no credit given for any time a parolee intentionally failed to
respond or report to a Probation Officer or after a parolee has absconded from
his or her area and the Probation Officer did not know where he or she was
living. For violation of any of the other noncriminal conditions, a parolee
generally will be credited for all of the time spent under supervision in the
974
community.

IF I GET MY FEDERAL PAROLE REVOKED, HOW LONG MUST I
SERVE BEFORE THE PAROLE COMMISSION REVIEWS MY CASE
AGAIN?
The U.S. Parole Commission uses its own guidelines to determine the length of
time you should serve in prison for the revocation. The guidelines are the same
ones used for inmates who apply for their initial parole hearings. Decisions, of
course, can be made above or below the guidelines for good cause (a good
975
reason).

CAN I APPEAL THE REVOCATION DECISION BY THE U.S. PAROLE
COMMISSION?
Yes. It’s the same process discussed above (PG. 269) for appealing a denial of
976
early release from parole to the National Appeals Board.
The U.S. Attorney General can also appeal a Regional Parole Commissioner’s
decision.
The Attorney General, within 30 days after entry of a Regional Commissioner's
decision, may send a written request to the National Appeals Board to review
the decision. Within 60 days of the receipt of the request the National Appeals
Board must affirm, modify, or reverse the decision, or order a rehearing at the
institutional or regional level, and send a written decision to the Attorney
977
General and to you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.52.
United States Department of Justice, U.S. Parole Comm’n—Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
975
United States Department of Justice, U.S. Parole Comm’n—Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.justice.gov/uspc/faqs.html.
976
28 C.F.R. § 2.26.
977
28 C.F.R. §§ 2.26; 2.54.
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If the Commission finds out you were convicted of a new crime after your
revocation hearing for something you did while you were on parole, the
Regional Commissioner may reopen your case pursuant to § 2.52(c)(2) for a
special reconsideration hearing on the next regularly scheduled docket to
consider whether you should give up your time spent on parole or any other
consequence that he may think is appropriate. If he decides to change
978
something, this new ruling will replace the ruling you got at your hearing.

DISABILITY RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE ON ALL
TYPES OF FEDERAL SUPERVISION
I HAVE A DISABILITY. WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE ON FELONY
PROBATION OR PAROLE TO HAVE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR MY
DISABILITY?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects individuals on federal
979
probation/federal parole from discrimination due to their disabilities.
The Rehabilitation Act provides essentially the same protections as the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including the right to reasonable changes
in policies, rules, and conditions; equal opportunity to participate in programs,
services, and benefits; and additional assistance (services or devices) so that
980
you can participate in programs and activities related to your supervision.
Thus, federal probation staff must offer you the same types of accommodations
and services discussed for state parole under “State Parole: Disabilities and the
ADA,” see PG. 184.

HOW CAN I FILE A COMPLAINT IF I FEEL THAT MY FEDERAL
PROBATION OFFICER IS NOT ACCOMMODATING MY DISABILITY,
OR FEEL THAT I AM NOT GETTING ACCESS TO PAROLE
SERVICES OR PROGRAMS?
Unfortunately, there are no special procedures or forms to seek
accommodations for your disability, or to complain about overly restrictive
conditions under federal supervision. There are several steps you can take to try
and rectify the situation.
STEP 1: If your disability makes it difficult to comply with your federal probation
or parole conditions, or your conditions are overly strict and cause you harm due
981
to your disability, the first thing to do is talk with your U.S. probation officer.
You should explain:
1)

Your disability;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.28.
Codified at 29 U.S.C. § 794 (2014). The Rehabilitation Act also applies to any program or activity that receives
federal funding or other assistance. Note, however that the ADA does NOT cover federal agencies or programs; it
only applies to state and local programs.
980
28 C.F.R § 39.130.
981
Telephone conversation with Deputy Chief Noel Belton, U.S. Probation Office, Northern District of California,
Nov. 5, 2014. Telephone conversation with Day Officer Nisha Modica and Supervision Supervisor Jeff Oestreicher,
U.S. Probation Office, Eastern District of California, Nov. 5, 2014. If you know before sentencing that one (or more)
of the recommended conditions of probation (described in the pre-sentence report) will cause problems due to
your disability, you can ask the judge to change them at sentencing.
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2) Which condition of supervision is causing you problems due to your
disability (e.g., drug testing conditions that prevent you from taking
necessary medication) or how you are being treated differently due to your
disability (e.g., you are stopped from participating in certain programs due to
your disability or related medical treatment) or why you need additional help
to participate in activities or follow the rules of supervision; and
3) What accommodations (like changes in rules, policies, or procedures),
982
services, or other assistance you need for your disability.
4) If you have any other documents—such as a letter from your doctor or
prescription for medication—you should show that to your probation officer.
You can also remind your probation officer that federal law requires him or
her to provide “reasonable accommodations” for your disability. Your
probation officer, along with the judge and any medical providers who help
you with your disability, will consider your situation and make a case-by-case
decision about whether and how to accommodate your disability.
STEP 2: If you are unhappy with your probation officer’s decision, you can ask a
supervisor for assistance. If the probation department does not provide the
assistance you need, you can go to court to request a change in your
983
supervision conditions or other accommodations.
STEP 3: You have the right to file an administrative complaint with the
Department of Justice, which will investigate and attempt to resolve cases of
984
discrimination based on disability, including a hearing and appeal process.
Note, however that this process can take a long time to complete, so it’s best as
a last resort.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev., A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual: Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities (9th ed.), 2011.
You can also file a new complaint (start a new case) to allege disability discrimination under Section 504. “Your
Section 504 complaint must say that: (1) You are an individual with a disability; (2) You are “otherwise qualified” for
the program, activity, or service from which you were excluded; (3) You were denied benefits or discriminated
against solely because of your disability; and (4) The program, activity, prison, or jail receives federal financial
assistance. . .. But your complaint should also include other information, both to make your situation clear and to
get the judge to sympathize with the problems you face in prison. You should (1) discuss your disability in detail, (2)
explain the accommodations you need, and (3) describe the discrimination you have experienced. You should also
mention any other facts you think are relevant and will make your argument stronger.” Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev., A
Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual at 726.
984
28 C.F.R. § 39.170.
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VII. CONCLUSION
Being under some type of supervision is usually required for you to be released
from prison or jail. In California, there are many types of supervision—state
parole, county probation, Mandatory Supervision, PRCS, federal probation,
Supervised, and federal parole. Hopefully now that you’ve read this Chapter, you
better understand what it means to be under supervision, what special rules you
have to follow, and all of the rights you have as a person in reentry.

LET’S REVIEW!
•

!

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In the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER, you learned about:
o Different types of supervision in California, including the state and
federal systems for supervision
o Who gets put onto what type of supervision, and the reasons why
o What to expect and know about when you first get released onto
community supervision
o The General vs. Special/ Discretionary Conditions of Supervision: What
general rules (conditions) you have to follow, what special/ discretionary
(extra conditions) might be added on, and how to challenge special/
discretionary conditions
o The Length of Supervision: How it is is calculated, and how to get off
early, if possible
o Transferring Supervision to a Different Location: What the procedures
are for transferring your supervision to a different county or state
o Disability Rights: How to navigate parole and/or probation if you have a
disability and need help or accommodations
o Violations: What your rights are if you’re accused of violating the
conditions of your supervision, and how the “revocation” (violations)
process works for the different types of supervision

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Community Supervision:
PAROLE & PROBATION
APPENDIX
APPENDIX A.

General And Discretionary Conditions Of California State
Parole – PG. 289

APPENDIX B.

California State Parole Term Lengths – PG. 292

APPENDIX C.

Learn How To Calculate Your State Parole Discharge Date –
PG. 294

APPENDIX D.

State Parole (DAPO) Regional Appeals Coordinators
Addresses & Phone Numbers – PG. 296

APPENDIX E.

Notice Of Arson Offender Registration Requirement –
PG. 297

APPENDIX F.

California Penal Code Sections 3000(B) & 3000.1 – PG. 298

APPENDIX G.

California CDCR Form 1515 – PG. 302

APPENDIX H.

California CDCR Form: Written Consent For Minor Visitation
– PG. 307

APPENDIX I.

California CDCR Form 22 – PG. 308

APPENDIX J.

California CDCR Form 602 – PG. 309

APPENDIX K.

How To File A State Writ Habeas Corpus Petition – PG. 312

APPENDIX L.

California CDCR Form 1502 – PG. 316

APPENDIX M.

California CDCR Form 106 – PG. 318

APPENDIX N.

Transferring To Another State As a Person Required to
Register as a Sex Offender – PG. 321

APPENDIX O.

California CDCR Form 106 – PG. 322

APPENDIX P.

California CDCR Form 106-A – PG. 324

APPENDIX Q.

California CDCR Form 1824 – PG. 326

APPENDIX R.

California BPH Form 1074 – PG. 329

APPENDIX S.

California CDCR Form 611 – PG. 332

APPENDIX T.

California CDCR Form 1845 – PG. 335

APPENDIX U.

California CDCR Form 128C-2 – PG. 338

APPENDIX V.

California CDCR Form 1707 – PG. 341

APPENDIX W.

Selected California Felony Probation Instructions (County
Specific) – PG. 343
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APPENDIX X.

Sample Instructions for County Probation From Different
Counties in California – PG. 344

APPENDIX Y.

Changing Conditions Of Misdemeanor Or Felony Probation
– PG. 346

APPENDIX Z.

Sameple Instuctions for PRCS from Different Counties in
California – PG. 348

APPENDIX AA.

Information on Modifying the Conditions of County
Probation – PG. 349

APPENDIX BB.

U.S. Department Of Justice, Federal Bureau Of Prisons
(BOP) Form BP-A714.056, “Notice Of Release And Arrival” –
PG. 351

APPENDIX CC.

Federal Probation/Supervised Release Standard Conditions
– PG. 353

APPENDIX DD.

Federal Probation/Supervised Release Discretionary
Conditions – PG. 355

APPENDIX EE.

List Of Factors Federal Judges Consider When Determining
Whether To Let Someone Off Probation Early – PG. 358

APPENDIX FF.

Federal Crime Classes – PG. 359

APPENDIX GG.

Sample Certificate Of Supervised Release – PG. 360

APPENDIX HH.

Federal Supervised Release Term Length Chart – PG. 363

APPENDIX II.

Federal Supervised Release Plans – PG. 364

APPENDIX JJ.

Appeals To The National Appeal Board – PG. 365

APPENDIX KK.

Federal Parole Revocation Hearings – PG. 366

APPENDIX LL.

Transferring To Another State As A Sex Offender On
Federal Probation/Supervised Release – PG. 367

APPENDIX MM.

Interstate Compact Process Flowchart – PG. 368

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APPENDIX A
General And Discretionary Conditions Of
California State Parole
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General Conditions of State Parole:
•
•

•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

•
•

The release date and how long the parolee may be on parole.
Advisement that the parolee, their residence, and possessions can be
searched at any time of the day or night, with or without a warrant, and with
or without a reason. This can be done by a parole agent or police officer.
By signing the parole conditions, the parolee waives extradition if they are
found out of state.
The parolee’s obligation to always tell their parole agent where they live and
work.
The parolee’s obligation to report upon release from prison or jail.
The parolee’s obligation to tell their parole agent about a new address before
they move.
The parolee’s obligation to tell their parole agent, within three days, if they
get a new job.
The parolee’s obligation to report to their parole agent when told to report or
a warrant can be issued for their arrest.
The parolee’s obligation to follow their parole agent’s instructions.
The parolee’s obligation to ask their parole agent if it is OK to travel more 50
miles from their residence, and receive approval before they travel.
The parolee’s obligations to receive a travel pass before they leave the
county for more than two days.
The parolee’s obligations to receive a travel pass before they can leave the
State.
The parolee’s obligation to obey ALL laws.
The parolee’s obligation to tell their parole agent immediately if they get
arrested or get a ticket.
An advisement that if a parolee breaks the law, they can be sent back to
prison even if they do not have any new criminal charges.
The parolee’s obligation to not be around guns, or things that look like a real
gun, bullets, or any other weapons.
The parolee’s obligation to not have a knife with a blade longer than two
inches except a kitchen knife. Kitchen knives must be kept in your kitchen.
Knives you use for work are also allowed if approved by the parole agent
tells, but they can only be carried while at work or going to and from work.
The parolee must possess a note from the parole agent approving this, and it
must be carried at all times.
The parolee’s obligation to not own, use, or have access to a weapon listed in
Penal Code Section 12020.
The parolee’s obligation to sign their conditions of parole. Failure to sign
them can result in a return to prison.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
985

Parole Conditions, Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Parolee_Conditions/.

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Discretionary Conditions of State Parole:
•
•
•
•
•

•
•
•

•
•

•
•

•

•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

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Require you to support your dependents and meet other family
responsibilities;
Require that you make restitution to a victim of the offense under section
3556;
Require that you give notice (ordered pursuant to the provisions of section
3555) to the victims of the offense;
Require that you be employed or be pursuing educational/vocational training
to prepare you for suitable employment;
Prevent you altogether from working in a specified occupation, business, or
profession with a reasonably direct relationship to the conduct underlying
your commitment offense (OR prevent you from working in a specified
occupation, business, or profession only to a certain degree/under stated
circumstances);
Forbid you from going to specified kinds of places;
Forbid you from associating with specified persons;
Forbid you from excessive use of alcohol, or any use of a narcotic drug or
other controlled substance, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled
Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), without a prescription by a licensed medical
practitioner;
Forbid you from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous
weapon;
Require that you get medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment,
including treatment for drug or alcohol dependency (as specified by the
court)
Require that you live in a specified institution for medical, psychiatric, or
psychological treatment
Require that you remain in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons during
nights, weekends, or other intervals of time, totaling no more than the lesser
of one year or the term of imprisonment authorized for the offense, during
the first year of the term of probation or supervised release (this is known as
intermittent confinement);
Require you to live at a community corrections facility (including somewhere
maintained by or contracted with the Bureau of Prisons), or attend a program
at such a community corrections facility, for all or part of the term of
probation;
Require you to work in community service as directed by the court;
Require you to live in a specified place or area, or prevent you from living in a
specified place or area;
Require you to remain within the jurisdiction of the court, unless granted
permission to leave by the court or a probation officer;
Require you report to a probation officer as directed by the court or the
probation officer;
Allow a probation officer to visit you at your home or elsewhere as specified
by the court;
Require you to quickly notify your probation officer, or answer your P.O.’s
questions, about any change in address or employment;
Require you to quickly notify your probation officer if you are arrested or
questioned by a law enforcement officer;
Require you to stay at home/where you live during non-working hours (this is
known as home confinement or house arrest), and require you to be
monitored by telephonic or electronic signaling devices to track you and

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•

•
•
•

•

make sure you are at home during these times. This condition can only be
986
used as an alternative to incarceration.
Require that you obey any court order or other government administrative
order that requires you to pay for support/maintenance of a child or to both
the child and parent with whom the child is living;
Deport you if you are “deportable” under law;
Satisfy any other court-imposed conditions; and
If you are required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and
Notification Act: The judge may order a search at any time, with or without a
warrant, of your person, any property, your house/residence, vehicle, papers,
computer, or other electronic/data devices or media, by any law enforcement
or probation officer with reasonable suspicion concerning a violation of a
condition of probation or unlawful conduct, and by any probation officer
lawfully carrying out his/her function of supervision.
Intermittent confinement. Intermittent confinement can only be used if you
987
violate a condition of probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is because if you are sentenced to a term of incarceration, you cannot receive a sentence of probation.
Rather, you would receive a term of supervised release following imprisonment as part of your sentence.
987
18 U.S.C. § 3583(b), (d).
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APPENDIX B
California State Parole Term Lengths
I.

CONTROLLING DISCHARGE DATE (CDD) & MAXIMUM
DISCHARGE DATE (MDD):

Three-year base period, maximum period of four years:
• People who were sentenced to a determinate (set-length) prison term, and
who do not fall into any of the other categories listed below. Longer parole
periods apply to people convicted of serious sex crimes or sentenced to life
with the possibility of parole.
• People sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for offenses committed
988
before January 1, 1979.
Five-year base period, maximum period of seven years:
• People convicted of a violent sex crime listed in CAL. PENAL CODE
§ 667.5(c)(3)-(6), (16), or (18) committed between July 19, 2000, and
September 19, 2006, or between November 7, 2006, and September 9, 2010.
This provision also applies to people convicted of a violent sex crime listed in
Penal Code § 667.5(c)(11) committed between January 1, 2003, and
September 19, 2006, or between November 7, 2006, and September 9,
989
2010.
• People sentenced for a sex crime under CAL. PENAL CODE § 661.61 (the “one
strike” law) committed between July 19, 2000, and September 19, 2006 (note
that the base term can be extended for an additional five years if the prisoner
is deemed to pose a danger to society; as of January 1, 2002, either the
original or extended parole period can be increased to a maximum of seven
years). This also applies to people sentenced under Penal Code § 667.71
(recidivist sex offenders) for offenses committed from January 1, 2003,
990
through September 19, 2006.
• Life prisoners who committed their offenses on or after January 1, 1979, and
991
who do not fall into some other category.
Ten-year base period, maximum period of fifteen years:
• People convicted of a violent sex crime listed in Penal Code § 667.5 (c)(3)-(6),
(11), (15), (16), or (18) committed between September 20, 2006, and November
6, 2006. This provision also applies to people convicted of a violent sex
crime listed in CAL. PENAL CODE § 667.5 (c)(3)-(6), (11), or (18) committed on or
after September 9, 2010, and who do not fall into some other category.
• People sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for a sex offense under
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 209(b) [with intent to commit a sex offense], 269, 288.7,
or 667.51 committed between September 20, 2006, and November 6,
992
2006.
• People sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for a sex offense under
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 667.61 or 667.71 committed on or after September 20,
2006, and who do not fall into some other category.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000(b); 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2515(e); In re Wilson, 30 Cal.3d 438, 440-41 (1981) .
CAL. PENAL CODE § 661.61.
CAL. PENAL CODE § 661.61.
991
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000(b)(1); 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2515(d).
992
This provision also purports to apply to people sentenced to life with the possibility of parole under CAL. PENAL
CODE § 209 [with intent to commit a sex offense] or § 667.51 committed on or after September 9, 2010. However,
such offenses appear to be covered by the life-long parole provision in CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.1.
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Twenty-year and six month base period with a maximum life-long parole:
• People convicted of a sex offense under CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 261, 262, 264.1,
286, 288a, 288(b)(1), 288, 288.5, or 289 if the victim was under 14 years of
age and the offense was committed on or after September 9, 2010. These
parolees can be kept on parole longer, even without parole violations, upon a
993
finding of good cause.
Life-long parole period:
• People sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for first- or seconddegree murder committed on or after January 1, 1983 (BUT NOT
994
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT ANY DEGREE OF MURDER).
• People sentenced to life with the possibility of parole under Penal Code
§ 209(b) [with intent to commit a sex offense] committed on or after
995
September 9, 2010.
• Prisoners sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for sex offenses
under CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 269, 288.7(c), 667.51, 667.61(j), (l), or (m), or 667.71
996
[if victim under age 14] committed on or after September 9, 2010.

II.

PRESUMPTIVE DISCHARGE DATE (PDD):

Most parolees can be discharged from parole early if they successfully complete
a certain amount of parole time and the BPH does not find good cause to retain
997
them on parole. This is called the “presumptive discharge date” (PDD). If a
parolee fits into more than one category, the longer period applies.
• Six months: Any person with a determinate sentence for non-violent, nonserious, non-sex offenses.
• One year: Any person who has a three-year parole term following a
determinate sentence for a serious felony listed in Penal Code §§ 1192.7 or
1192.8(a) or for an offense requiring registration as a sex offender.
• Two years: Any person who has a three-year parole term following a
determinate sentence for a violent felony listed in Penal Code § 667.5(c).
• Three years: Any person who has a five-year parole term following a
determinate sentence for a violent sex crime listed in Penal Code § 667.5(c)
or following an indeterminate life sentence for a crime other than murder.
• Five years: Any person sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence for
second- degree murder.
• Six years and six months: Any person with a ten-year parole term following
an indeterminate life sentence under Penal Code §§ 209(b) [with intent to
commit a sex offense], 667.51, 667.61, or 667.71.
• Seven years: Any person sentenced to an indeterminate life term for firstdegree murder.
• No presumptive discharge date: Any person serving a life-long parole period
following an indeterminate life term for a sex offense under Penal Code
§§ 269, 288.7(c), 667.51, 667.61(j), (l), or (m), or 667.71 [if a victim was a child
under age 14]. There is also no presumptive early discharge for parolees who
were sentenced to prison for offenses committed between July 1, 1977, and
998
December 31, 1978.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 667.61(e).
CAL. PENAL CODE § 3000.1; 15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2515(f).
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000(b)(3) and 3000.1(a)(2). There is a discrepancy between the statutory language and the
stated legislative intent to require life-long parole for “habitual sex offenders [and] persons convicted of kidnapping
a child under 14 years of age with the intent to commit a specified sex offense.” Legis. Couns. Dig. Assem. Bill No.
1844, Ch. 219. Thus, there is potentially an argument that prisoners convicted under § 209(b) should be subject to
only a 10-year parole term if the victim is over 14 years old.
996
CAL. PENAL CODE § 667.61(e).
997
CAL. PENAL CODE §§ 3000, 3000.1, 3001.
998
15 CAL. CODE REGS. § 2535(b)(5).
993
994
995

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APPENDIX C
Learn How To Calculate Your State Parole
Discharge Date
(Excerpted with slight modifications from Prison Law Office, The
Parolee Rights Handbook, August 2013, available for download on
their website at:
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/ParoleeManual,Aug2013.pdf)
FOR PEOPLE ON STATE PAROLE:
How Is the Parole Discharge Date Calculated?
A parolee who is not serving life-long parole and who is retained past the
“presumptive discharge date” can calculate when he or she must be discharged
from parole. There are two important dates: the “controlling discharge date”
(CDD) and the “maximum discharge date” (MDD). The CDD is the date that a
parolee is currently set to be discharged from parole if nothing changes. The
MDD is the maximum parole term as set by statute, after which the parolee must
be discharged.
Two types of events may change the CDD and MDD:
•

•

Time during which a parolee absconds or is unavailable for supervision does
not count toward either the CDD or MDD. There is no limit on how long the
CDD and MDD can be extended due to absconding or unavailability.
Time served in custody for parole revocation terms will extend the CDD, but
only until the MDD is reached.

The pieces of information a parolee needs to figure out his or her CDD and MDD
are: (1) the initial parole date; (2) the base and maximum parole terms that apply
to his or her case (see Section 16.A, above); (3) how much time he or she has
been unavailable for supervision, if any; and (4) the amount of time he or she has
served in custody on parole violations.
Here is a calculation worksheet that can be used by any parolee, with an
example of a calculation for a parolee named Joe who is serving a three-year
parole term with a maximum term of four years following a determinate
sentence for a non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offense.
Worksheet
1)

Start with the date the parolee was first paroled. For our
example, Joe paroled on January 1, 2013.

1/1/2013

2) Add the amount of time the parolee must serve before a
presumptive discharge review. Joe has a presumptive
discharge date of six months plus 30 days, and was eligible
for early discharge on July 1, 2013.

7/1/2013

3) However, the BPH acted to retain Joe on parole, so his CDD
will be set by his full statutory base parole period. Joe has a

1/1/2016

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three-year base parole period, so his CDD is January 1, 2016.
Joe has a statutory maximum parole term of four years, so his
MDD is January 1, 2017.

!

(CDD)
1/1/2017
(MDD)

4) Joe absconded from parole, and the “clock” on his parole
term stopped running during that time. This extends both the
CDD and the MDD. Joe absconded for three months, so his
CDD is now April 1, 2016, and his MDD is now April 1, 2017.

4/1/2016
(CDD)

5) Joe also violated parole and served a parole revocation term
in custody. This extends the CDD but only until the MDD is
reached. Joe’s revocation term was 180 days, but he only
served 90 days in jail because he behaved well and got good
conduct credits. Thus, 90 days is added to his CDD, which is
now July 1, 2016. The revocation time does not affect Joe’s
MDD, which is still April 1, 2017.

7/1/2016
(CDD)

6) Joe violated parole two more times and got two more 180-day
revocation terms (360 days total); while he was in jail, Joe got
into fights and refused to work, so he did not get any good
conduct credits. The time Joe spends in jail extends his CDD
but does not affect his MDD. Also, since a CDD cannot be
further in the future than an MDD, Joe has “maxed out” and
will be discharged on April 1, 2017.

4/1/2017
(CDD)

4/1/2017
(MDD)

4/1/2017
(MDD)

4/1/2017
(MDD)

IMPORTANT: if your parole length seems wrong, you can challenge it (it’s
a similar process to challenging a parole condition). See PG. 178 above
for more information.

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APPENDIX D
State Parole (DAPO) Regional Appeals
Coordinators Addresses & Phone Numbers
Based on which parole (DAPO) region your parole office is located, you should
send any appeals (602s, etc.) to that parole region’s Regional Appeals
Coordinator. There are now 3 parole regions in California.
NORTHERN REGION PAROLE:
Laurie Harikian, Region I Appeals Coordinator
Region I Headquarters
9825 Goethe Road, Ste. 200
Sacramento, CA 95827-2572
Tel. 916-255-2758

SOUTHERN REGION PAROLE:
Christopher Hernandez, Southern Region Appeals Coordinator
Southern Region Parole Headquarters
21015 Pathfinder Road Ste. 200
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
Tel. 909-468-2300

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APPENDIX E
Notice Of Arson Offender Registration
Requirement

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APPENDIX F
California Penal Code Sections 3000(B) &
3000.1
California Penal Code section 3000(b):
(b) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in Article 3 (commencing
with Section 3040) of this chapter, the following shall apply to any inmate
subject to Section 3000.08:
(1) In the case of any inmate sentenced under Section 1168 for a crime
committed prior to July 1, 2013, the period of parole shall not exceed five
years in the case of an inmate imprisoned for any offense other than first
or second degree murder for which the inmate has received a life
sentence, and shall not exceed three years in the case of any other
inmate, unless in either case the Board of Parole Hearings for good
cause waives parole and discharges the inmate from custody of the
department. This subdivision shall also be applicable to inmates who
committed crimes prior to July 1, 1977, to the extent specified in Section
1170.2. In the case of any inmate sentenced under Section 1168 for a
crime committed on or after July 1, 2013, the period of parole shall not
exceed five years in the case of an inmate imprisoned for any offense
other than first or second degree murder for which the inmate has
received a life sentence, and shall not exceed three years in the case of
any other inmate, unless in either case the department for good cause
waives parole and discharges the inmate from custody of the
department.
(2)
(A) For a crime committed prior to July 1, 2013, at the expiration
of a term of imprisonment of one year and one day, or a term of
imprisonment imposed pursuant to Section 1170 or at the
expiration of a term reduced pursuant to Section 2931 or 2933,
if applicable, the inmate shall be released on parole for a period
not exceeding three years, except that any inmate sentenced for
an offense specified in paragraph (3), (4), (5), (6),(11), or (18) of
subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 shall be released on parole for a
period not exceeding 10 years, unless a longer period of parole
is specified in Section 3000.1.
(B) For a crime committed on or after July 1, 2013, at the
expiration of a term of imprisonment of one year and one day, or
a term of imprisonment imposed pursuant to Section 1170 or at
the expiration of a term reduced pursuant to Section
2931 or 2933, if applicable, the inmate shall be released on
parole for a period of three years, except that any inmate
sentenced for an offense specified in paragraph
(3), (4), (5), (6), (11), or (18) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 shall
be released on parole for a period of 10 years, unless a longer
period of parole is specified in Section 3000.1.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), in the case of any offense for
which the inmate has received a life sentence pursuant to subdivision (b)
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or Section 667.51, 667.61, or 667.71, the period of parole shall be 10
years, unless a longer period of parole is specified in Section 3000.1.
(4)
(A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, in the case of
a person convicted of and required to register as a sex offender
for the commission of an offense specified inspection
261, 262, 264.1, 286, 288a, paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of
Section 288,Section 288.5, or 289, in which one or more of the
victims of the offense was a child under 14 years of age, the
period of parole shall be 20 years and six months unless the
board, for good cause, determines that the person will be
retained on parole. The board shall make a written record of this
determination and transmit a copy of it to the parolee.
(B) In the event of a retention on parole, the parolee shall be
entitled to a review by the board each year thereafter.
(C) There shall be a board hearing consistent with the
procedures set forth in Sections 3041.5 and 3041.7 within 12
months of the date of any revocation of parole to consider the
release of the inmate on parole, and notwithstanding the
provisions of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5,
there shall be annual parole consideration hearings thereafter,
unless the person is released or otherwise ineligible for parole
release. The panel or board shall release the person within one
year of the date of the revocation unless it determines that the
circumstances and gravity of the parole violation are such that
consideration of the public safety requires a more lengthy
period of incarceration or unless there is a new prison
commitment following a conviction.
(D) The provisions of Section 3042 shall not apply to any
hearing held pursuant to this subdivision.
(5)
(A) The Board of Parole Hearings shall consider the request of
any inmate whose commitment offense occurred prior to July 1,
2013, regarding the length of his or her parole and the
conditions thereof.
(B) For an inmate whose commitment offense occurred on or
after July 1, 2013, except for those inmates described in Section
3000.1, the department shall consider the request of the inmate
regarding the length of his or her parole and the conditions
thereof. For those inmates described in Section 3000.1, the
Board of Parole Hearings shall consider the request of the
inmate regarding the length of his or her parole and the
conditions thereof.
(6) Upon successful completion of parole, or at the end of the maximum
statutory period of parole specified for the inmate under paragraph (1),
(2), (3), or (4), as the case may be, whichever is earlier, the inmate shall
be discharged from custody. The date of the maximum statutory period
of parole under this subdivision and paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) shall
be computed from the date of initial parole and shall be a period
chronologically determined. Time during which parole is suspended
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a parole violator shall not be credited toward any period of parole unless
the prisoner is found not guilty of the parole violation. However, the
period of parole is subject to the following:
(A) Except as provided in Section 3064, in no case may a
prisoner subject to three years on parole be retained under
parole supervision or in custody for a period longer than four
years from the date of his or her initial parole.
(B) Except as provided in Section 3064, in no case may a
prisoner subject to five years on parole be retained under parole
supervision or in custody for a period longer than seven years
from the date of his or her initial parole.
(C) Except as provided in Section 3064, in no case may a
prisoner subject to 10 years on parole be retained under parole
supervision or in custody for a period longer than 15 years from
the date of his or her initial parole.
(7) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall meet with
each inmate at least 30 days prior to his or her good time release date
and shall provide, under guidelines specified by the parole authority or
the department, whichever is applicable, the conditions of parole and
the length of parole up to the maximum period of time provided by law.
The inmate has the right to reconsideration of the length of parole and
conditions thereof by the department or the parole authority, whichever
is applicable. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the
board may impose as a condition of parole that a prisoner make
payments on the prisoner's outstanding restitution fines or orders
imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 13967 of the
Government Code, as operative prior to September 28, 1994,
or subdivision (b) or (f) of Section 1202.4.
(8) For purposes of this chapter, and except as otherwise described in
this section, the board shall be considered the parole authority.
(9)
(A) On and after July 1, 2013, the sole authority to issue warrants
for the return to actual custody of any state prisoner released on
parole rests with the court pursuant to Section 1203.2, except
for any escaped state prisoner or any state prisoner released
prior to his or her scheduled release date who should be
returned to custody, and Section 5054.1 shall apply.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), any warrant issued by the
Board of Parole Hearings prior to July 1, 2013, shall remain in full
force and effect until the warrant is served or it is recalled by the
board. All prisoners on parole arrested pursuant to a warrant
issued by the board shall be subject to a review by the board
prior to the department filing a petition with the court to revoke
the parole of the petitioner.
(10) It is the intent of the Legislature that efforts be made with respect to
persons who are subject to Section 290.011 who are on parole to
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California Penal Code section 3000.1
(a)
(1) In the case of any inmate sentenced under Section 1168 for any
offense of first or second degree murder with a maximum term of life
imprisonment, the period of parole, if parole is granted, shall be the
remainder of the inmate's life.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, in the case of any inmate sentenced
to a life term under subdivision (b) of Section 209, if that offense was
committed with the intent to commit a specified sexual
offense, Section 269 or 288.7, subdivision (c) of Section 667.51, Section
667.71 in which one or more of the victims of the offense was a child
under 14 years of age, or subdivision (j), (l), or (m) of Section 667.61, the
period of parole, if parole is granted, shall be the remainder of the
inmate's life.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, when any person referred to in paragraph (1)
of subdivision (a) has been released on parole from the state prison, and has
been on parole continuously for seven years in the case of any person
imprisoned for first degree murder, and five years in the case of any person
imprisoned for second degree murder, since release from confinement, the
board shall, within 30 days, discharge that person from parole, unless the board,
for good cause, determines that the person will be retained on parole. The board
shall make a written record of its determination and transmit a copy of it to the
parolee.
(c) In the event of a retention on parole pursuant to subdivision (b), the parolee
shall be entitled to a review by the board each year thereafter.
(d) There shall be a hearing as provided in Sections 3041.5 and 3041.7 within 12
months of the date of any revocation of parole of a person referred to in
subdivision (a) to consider the release of the inmate on parole and,
notwithstanding paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5, there shall be
annual parole consideration hearings thereafter, unless the person is released or
otherwise ineligible for parole release. The panel or board shall release the
person within one year of the date of the revocation unless it determines that
the circumstances and gravity of the parole violation are such that consideration
of the public safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration or unless
there is a new prison commitment following a conviction.
(e) The provisions of Section 3042 shall not apply to any hearing held pursuant
to this section.

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APPENDIX G
California CDCR Form 1515

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APPENDIX H
California CDCR Form: Written Consent
For Minor Visitation
See next page

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APPENDIX I
California CDCR Form 22

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APPENDIX J
California CDCR Form 602
See next page

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APPENDIX K
How To File A State Writ Habeas Corpus
Petition
WHAT IS A HABEAS CORPUS PETITION?
Once you have gone through the entire 602 appeal process by filing your
grievance with the appropriate agency OR if you’ve exhausted administrative
remedies because CDCR/Parole didn’t get back to you on an appeal within the
legal timeline require by law, you may then file a state-level petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. A habeas corpus petition can be based on any rights guaranteed
by the federal or state constitutions, statutes, or regulations.
Through a habeas corpus petition, a state parolee (just like a state prisoner
challenging conditions of his/her confinement) can ask a court to order
“injunctive relief,” meaning that the court will order prison or parole officials to
do something or to stop doing something. For example, a court could order
parole officials to drop an invalid parole condition or fix a parole term length
miscalculation.

WHAT DEADLINES SHOULD I BE AWARE OF IF I WANT TO FILE A
WRIT HABEAS CORPUS IN STATE COURT?
There is no deadline or time limit on when you can file a habeas petition. But
keep in mind that, the longer you wait, the more you should be prepared to
999
explain in detail, to the court, why you didn’t file the petition sooner. You can
only file a habeas petition if you have “exhausted” (meaning that you completed
or gone through) all other administrative remedies. You exhaust the
administrative remedies by completing the three levels of the appeals process
discussed on PG. 178.
You must file your habeas petition while you are still under some form of
custody or parole. At the time you file your habeas petition, you must currently
be affected by the condition that you are appealing. If you are no longer
suffering from the condition that you are appealing, the court will likely dismiss
1000
your habeas petition.

HOW DO I FILE A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN STATE COURT?
Here are the steps you should take to prepare your habeas petition:
1.

Your petition should include a Judicial Council MC-275 form. You can access
this form at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/mc275.pdf.
2. In addition to the MC-275 form, you must include the following information
in your habeas petition:
a. Identify the type of custody you are under (i.e. you are on parole)
and the person who supervises you (your parole office and CDCR)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In re Sanders, 20 Cal. 4th 1083 (1999) ; In re Clark, 5 Cal.4th 750 (1993) ; In re Swain, 34 Cal.2d 300 (1949); In re
Moss 175 Cal. App. 3d 913 (1985).
1000
If you are no longer suffering from the condition that you are filing a habeas appeal about, then your case is said
to be “moot” (meaning not currently at issue; not currently debatable/arguable). There are special circumstances
where a court can hear a “moot” case (i.e. the issue you are appealing is one that is likely to come up frequently in
other cases). See In re Gardia, 767 Cal. App. 4th 841 (1998).
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b. Name a “respondent” (meaning the opposing party) in your case. If
you are on parole, the respondent is the Director of CDCR.
c. Describe why your current parole conditions are illegal (i.e. your
parole term length has been miscalculated)
d. State whether you have filed any previous court actions about the
illegal condition
e. Verify (swear that you are telling the truth) the statements you’ve
made in your petition
f. Include any supporting documents, such as sworn declarations by
witnesses with your petition
3. If you want to ask the court to appoint an attorney to your case, you should
file a “Declaration of Indigency” and “Request for Appointment of Counsel.”
o For a sample habeas petition, please visit:
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/STATEHABEAS2008.pdf

HOW AND WHERE DO I FILE A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS?
Usually, you should file your habeas petition with the Superior Court of the
1001
county that you are on parole in. You can file your petition by mailing it to the
Superior Court clerk. Remember: any time you file documents with the superior
court clerk, you should include an extra copy of the cover page along with a selfaddressed stamped envelope so that the clerk can send you a copy with the
date of filing and your case number.
If the court determines that you case should proceed, you will have to “serve”
the opposing party. Serving the opposing party means that you will have to send
CDCR a copy of your petition along with a “Proof of Service” form that verifies
that you have served the document.

HOW CAN I HAVE AN ATTORNEY APPOINTED TO MY CASE?
You can request an attorney by filing a “Declaration of Indigency” and “Request
for Appointment of Counsel.”

WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK FROM THE COURT ABOUT MY
PETITION?
1002

The judge must act within 60 days from the day you file your petition.
Note:
Unless the court orders an Order to Show Cause (OSC), you do not have the
right to an attorney. But if the court does issue an OSC, it must appoint an
attorney to your case if you cannot afford one. See below for more information
on OSCs.

WHAT CAN THE COURT DO WITH MY PETITION?
The judge at the state court may take the following actions in response to your
petition:
1.

Deny your petition: If the court denies your petition, it must explain the
reasons why it is denying your petition

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Griggs v. Superior Court, 16 Cal.3d 341 (1976). The petition can also be filed initially with the Court of Appeal or
even the California Supreme Court, if there are special reasons why those courts should hear it at once. CAL. CONST.
art. VI, § 10.
1002
CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 4.551(a)(3)(A).
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2. Request an informal response from the respondent (the opposing party): If
the court thinks your case may have merit, but the court still wants more
information prior to taking any actions, the court can ask both parties to
submit informal briefings. Your reply can be as simple as a letter back to the
court (you must also serve the opposing party with a copy of your response).
Your response will be due 15 days after the date that the court requested an
1003
informal response (unless the court specifies another due date).
3. Issue an “Order to Show Cause”: This will require the opposing party (called
the “respondent”) to file an explanation why the court should not grant your
petition.
If the court decides that your case has merit (meaning the court decides your
case can go forward because you have a valid argument), then the court will
issue an OSC. An OSC directs the respondent (opposing party) to state any legal
or factual reasons why the petitioner (you) should not be granted his or her
request.

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE COURT ORDERS AN ORDER TO
SHOW CAUSE (OSC)?
The respondent (opposing party) must file a response, called a “return,”
explaining reasons why your petition should not be granted. The respondent
1004
usually has 30 days to file a return.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT I HAVE TO DO ONCE THE
RESPONDENT FILES A “RETURN?”
Once the respondent files their “return,” you should file a “Denial and Exception
to the Return.” In your Denial (also called a “traverse”), you should deny any and
all false allegations made by the respondent in the return. You usually have 30
days to file your Denial with the court and serve the opposing party.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER “RETURNS” AND “DENIALS” ARE FILED—
THE HEARING?
After the respondent files a “Return” and you file your “Denial,” the court has 30
days to decide whether or not to order an evidentiary hearing. The court only
has to grant a hearing if it thinks there is a reasonable likelihood that you may
be entitled to relief. If you are granted a hearing, both you and the opposing
party will have the opportunity to present evidence.

WHEN HAPPENS AFTER THE HEARING?
At the end of the hearing, the court will decide whether or not to grant you the
request made in your habeas petition.

WHAT IF THE COURT DOES NOT GRANT A HEARING?
If the court decides not to grant an evidentiary hearing, then the court will
decide whether or not to grant your habeas appeal based off: your petition, the
respondent’s Return, and your Denial. If the court did not order a hearing, then it

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 4.551(b).
CAL. RULES OF COURT, rule 4.551(d).

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has 30 days after you filed your Denial to decide whether or not to grant your
petition.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PETITION IS GRANTED?
If the court grants your petition, the respondent has the right to appeal within 60
days of the court’s ruling. If the respondent does appeal , it can request that the
court’s order be “stayed”—meaning that it does not take effect while the appeal
is pending. If the respondent does appeal, your case will next be heard by the
Court of Appeal.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PETITION IS DENIED?
If the Superior Court denies your appeal, you to not have the right to appeal.
But, you can, however, file a new appeal with the Court of Appeal, following the
same process as discussed above.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE COURT OF APPEAL DENIES MY
PETITION?
If the Court of Appeal denies your petition, you can ask the California Supreme
Court to her your case. You can do this by filing a petition for review with the
California Supreme Court. If you file a petition for review, the entire record from
your appeal in the Court of Appeal will be send to the Supreme Court. You also
have the option of filing a new petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the
Supreme Court—filing a new petition will start the process over again, and the
record from your appeal at the Court of Appeal will not be included in your
petition.
If the California Supreme Court denies your petition, and your case involves any
federal legal issues, you can file a new petition with the United States Supreme
Court.
For more information on how to file and appeal habeas petitions, please visit:
http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/STATEHABEAS2008.pdf.

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APPENDIX L
California CDCR Form 1502
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APPENDIX M
California CDCR Form 106
See next page.

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APPENDIX N
Transferring To Another State As a Person
Required to Register as a Sex Offender
I AM CLASSIFIED AS A SEX OFFENDER, AND I WANT TO
TRANSFER TO ANOTHER STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
You must meet the above 5 criteria, AND you must be able to meet additional
specific requirements for transferring the supervision of people classified as sex
1005
offenders.
NOTE: You cannot leave the sending state until the receiving state has approved
the transfer request or issued reporting instructions.
See the APPENDIX LL PG.367 to follow detailed steps.
Follow these steps:
STEP 1: Discuss your desire to transfer with your U.S. Probation Officer.
STEP 2: Satisfy all of the eligibility criteria. At the discretion of the sending state,
you are eligible and can be approved for transfer if you meet the following
criteria and all 5 of the criteria above (see PG. 367).
STEP 3: Complete an Application for Transfer
STEP 4: The sending state must send the receiving state:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)

assessment information, including sex offender specific assessments;
social history;
information relevant to the sex offender’s criminal sexual behavior
law enforcement report that provides specific details of sex offense;
victim information: including the name, sex, age and relationship to the
offender and the statement of the victim or victim’s representative;
(6) the sending state’s current or recommended supervision and treatment
1006
plan.
STEP 5: The receiving state has 5 business days to review the proposed
residence. If the proposed residence is not acceptable due to existing state law
or policy, the receiving state may deny the application. No travel permit can be
1007
granted by the sending state until the receiving state says it can.
STEP 6: A travel permit will be given to you by your Probation Officer if the
receiving state has approved the new residence. Travel permits are issued by
the local parole office, so each office uses a different form. Your Probation
Officer will give you this form once you have been approved by the Interstate
1008
Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.101-3.
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.101-3(b).
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.101-3(c).
1008
Email conversation with Executive Director Harry Hageman, Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision, Feb. 26,
2015.
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APPENDIX O
California CDCR Form 106
See next page.

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APPENDIX P
California CDCR Form 106-A
See next page

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APPENDIX Q
California CDCR Form 1824
See next page.

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APPENDIX R
California BPH Form 1074
See next page.

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APPENDIX S
California CDCR Form 611
See next page.

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APPENDIX T
California CDCR Form 1845
See next page.

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APPENDIX U
California CDCR Form 128C-2
See next page.

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APPENDIX V
California CDCR Form 1707

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APPENDIX W
Selected California Felony Probation
Instructions (County Specific)
Felony Probation Instructions by County in CA (for those publicly
available)—limited list.
WARNING: It is very important to understand that there are many different types
1009
of FP programs that vary from county to county in California.
1) Fresno County:
• The Fresno County Probation Department has many types of FP programs to
monitor your conduct. For example, if you have a drug problem, you could be
referred to Drug Court, the PC1000 program, or the Probationers in Recovery
program. Whatever the program or type of supervision, you are expected to
obey the conditions of probation that were set by the Court.
• The frequency and method of contact with your Probation Officer depends
on the seriousness of your commitment offense(s).
• In addition to special supervision programs, there are special programs—
these are conditions of probation offered such as Work Furlough and Work
Project. These special programs allow for consequences other than custody
1010
in jail for a felony conviction.
2) Butte County:
In Butte County, there are different types of FP supervision units. Examples:
•

•

•

Adult Supervision Unit—Supervising low to moderate risk offenders,
Probation Officers utilize monthly mail-in forms, office appointments, and
program referrals to ensure compliance with terms and conditions of
probation.
Field Supervision Unit—Supervising high risk offenders—namely domestic
violence, gang, and sex crimes—Probation Officers utilize routine office
appointments and searches, drug testing, and treatment program partnership
to ensure compliance with terms and conditions of probation.
Adult Treatment Unit—The Proposition 36 and Drug Court programs
supervise offenders with substance abuse issues. Probation Officers utilize
routine drug and alcohol tests, office appointments, and treatment program
1011
partnership to ensure compliance with terms and conditions of probation.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See Fresno County Adult Probation Department, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/DepartmentPage.aspx?id=12773.
1011
Butte County Probation Department, Formal Adult Probation Caseloads,
http://www.buttecounty.net/probation/AdultProbation/TypesofAdultSupervision.aspx.
1010

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APPENDIX X
Sample Instructions for County Probation
From Different Counties in California
WARNING: There are some standard conditions that apply to most (if not all)
1012
individuals placed on probation, but instructions for what to do when you first
start your probation term will vary depending on what county you are being
supervised in. You should call or visit you county probation department
immediately to find out what the requirements and instructions apply to you.
For example only, below you can find a few county probation offices’ reporting
instructions:

San Francisco County’s Instructions:1013
STEP 1: You need to contact the Probation Department as soon as you are
released from custody. If you are released after 5:00pm, please contact the
Department the next day. We open our offices at 8:00am and close at 5:00pm.
Main phone number is: (415) 553-1706.
STEP 2: When you contact the Department you will need to provide our support
staff with your full name and date of birth. If you have your court number, please
provide it too. Our support staff will be able to give you the name and phone
number of your assigned probation officer.
STEP 3: Your probation officer will schedule an appointment to meet with you.
Please, make sure to keep your appointment and be on time. If you cannot make
your appointment, you must call the day before to re-schedule.
STEP 4: Most likely than not the Court would have ordered for you to attend a
counseling or rehabilitation program. You along with your officer will choose
which programs better meet your needs. It is important that you contact the
program and arrange for an intake session.
STEP 5: Stay out of trouble! We know you’re facing a lot of challenges and
difficulties getting your life back together, but if you need help or support, call
your officer before you do something that put you back in jail.

Los Angeles County’s Instructions:1014
STEP 1: If you were just released from county jail or the court, following your
sentencing, and you were ordered by the Court to report to the Probation
Department for supervision, you need to report within 48 hours or within the
time frame ordered by the court.
STEP 2: When you report to the Probation office, tell the receptionist that you
were just recently released from jail, or referred from Court, and you need your
1015
orientation instructions.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See City and County of San Francisco Adult Probation Department, On Probation,
http://sfGov’torg/adultprobation/probation.
1013
See City and County of San Francisco Adult Probation Department, On Probation,
http://sfGov’torg/adultprobation/probation.
1014
See L.A. Cnty. Prob. Dep’t, Just Released,
http://probation.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/probation/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9Q1MjA1tzS0NDcw04_Qj8pLLMtMTyzJzM9LzA
Hxo8zi3QwMDNz9nYKN_INdjA083dydnA39TQyNgo2ACiKRFRg4u1saeDqZuFt4mYUYOvuZE9IfrhFT0mwoTG6AixWgBUY4ACOBgSs8DLR9_PIz03Vz43KsfTMDEgHAB9RScE!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUU.
1015
See L.A. Cnty. Prob. Dep’t, Just Released,
http://probation.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/probation/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9Q1MjA1tzS0NDcw04_Qj8pLLMtMTyzJzM9LzA
1012

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Here is a list of important documents to bring to your probation orientation in
L.A. County:
(1) Valid identification (driver’s license, California I.D., any identification with
your name, picture, or signature.
(2) Verification of residence (this can be a letter or other mailing with your name
and the address where you live, a copy of a rental agreement, or a signed
letter from your landlord verifying that the address presented is your
residence).
(3) A copy of any and all documents that the sentencing court (meaning the
court that actually gave you your criminal sentence) gave to you. This may
include:
• A copy of the sentencing minute ordered;
• A referral card with your next court appointment;
• A referral for registration due to your conviction that is related to
drugs, gang affiliation, arson, or certain sex offenses or proof of
registration of any one of these requirements, if so ordered by the
court.

Ventura County’s Instructions:1016
STEP 1: Upon being placed on formal probation (and immediately upon release
from custody when on probation), you must immediately report to 800 South
Victoria Avenue, Ventura, California, at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility (Sheriff’s
Building), Room A, second floor. Bring to probation your current address, phone
numbers, and all relevant contact information
STEP 2: Your assigned probation officer will contact you via mail or phone within
30 days of the date you were granted probation to set up your first
appointment/intake meeting.
If you have not heard from your probation officer within a 30-day period:
•

Have your case number, date of birth, and Social Security number (SSN)
available and call the Ventura County Probation Agency at one of the
locations nearest your residence. Tell the receptionist your case number and
any relevant identifying information. You will then be connected to your
assigned probation officer or the Officer-of-the-Day (OD) at your local
probation office.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hxo8zi3QwMDNz9nYKN_INdjA083dydnA39TQyNgo2ACiKRFRg4u1saeDqZuFt4mYUYOvuZE9IfrhFT0mwoTG6AixWgBUY4ACOBgSs8DLR9_PIz03Vz43KsfTMDEgHAB9RScE!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUU.
1016
See Ventura County Probation Department, FAQs, http://public.venturaprobation.org/index.php/aboutus/faqs?catid=1.

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APPENDIX Y
Changing Conditions Of Misdemeanor Or
Felony Probation
STEP 1:

Draft the Motion and Supporting Documents:

• There is no official court form for this motion. You may contact the Court Clerk
in the local county superior court where you were convicted to ask if there is a
local form for this purpose. Most likely there is not, so you or your attorney will
have to draft an original motion. Your motion should consist of the following
1017
parts:
(1) Notice of Motion: This tells the court what you want it to do. In other
words, it notifies the court that you want it to modify your probation
1018
conditions.
(2) Memorandum of Points and Authorities: This section explains the law or
authority that you are relying on for your request, as well as the facts
1019
supporting your request under that law or authority.
In the case of a disability, you should include the following: Americans
1020
with Disabilities Act (ADA),
California Government Code § 11135, Civil
Code §§ 54 et seq., California Penal Code § 1203.3 and the specific facts
of your disability, how it affects you on probation, and what changes or
additional assistance you need.
(3) Declaration: This is your signed, sworn statement of the facts used in your
1021
memorandum. It must include all of the facts used to support your motion.
(4) Any Supporting Documentation: If you have any documentation, such as
a doctor’s letter or prescription for medication, you should include
these.
TIP:
(5) Proposed Order: This is the document the judge signs to grant
Try and get to the
your motion and officially allow your probation to be terminated.
Clerk’s office early,
(6) Proof of Service: Include the Proof of Service form with your
because there may
motion. This document must be included with all your court
be long lines. Make
papers to prove that you gave a copy of the court papers to every
sure to bring lots of
person who is required by law to get them.
copies and a friend
Need help with your court forms? Ask the attorney/ Public Defender
from your case, the court’s Self-Help Center, or your local law library
for assistance with your motion.

!

to help if you can.

IMPORTANT: If you had public defender for your case, many Public
Defender offices will write, file, and argue motions to modify probation
on your behalf. Call you public defender to find out whether they are able
to assist you in filing and arguing your motion.
STEP 2: File the Motion
• Once your motion is drafted, you should make at least 4 copies—an original
copy for the court, one copy for the District Attorney, one for the Probation

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.1112.
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.1112.
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.1113.
1020
This law protects people with disabilities against discrimination and requires public entities to provide
reasonable accommodations. The law applies to all public entities, including local courts and probation
departments. http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.pdf.
1021
CAL. RULES OF COURT, Rule 3.1112.
1017
1018
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Department, and one for you to keep. The court clerk will keep the original
copy for the court’s file.
• Bring the original motion and all copies to the clerk who will stamp all the
documents with the date you are filing these documents. The clerk will give
you back your copy, plus any copies that need to be served on the other
parties. Remember to make sure that the clerk stamps each of these copies!
• Be sure to confirm with the clerk if the clerk’s office will serve the District
Attorney and the Probation Department, or if you are responsible for
doing that. If the clerk gives you back more than just your own copy, it
most likely means that you are responsible for service! (See STEP 3
below).
• FEES/ COST: Be aware that there are always fees associated with filing
documents with the court. These fees will vary by county, and you can
request a fee waiver if you qualify. Check with the clerk for your county’s
fee schedule and waiver request process. Note: if you had a public
defender on your case, you also may be eligible to receive a fee waiver
for court filing fees.
After your motion has been filed, the clerk will give you a court date to
have your motion heard by the judge.
STEP 3: Serve the Motion on the Other Parties
•

•

If the clerk indicates that you are responsible for “service,” this means
that you must make sure that all necessary people (called necessary
“parties”) get a copy of the motion in the proper manner.
The law requires that you give the District Attorney at least 2 days’
notice of your motion (or 5 days if your case involves domestic
1022
violence).
This means that the DA must have a copy of your motion
at 2 two days before the date of your hearing. It is best to serve the
motion on all necessary people (parties) right after you file it. Be sure to
have the DA’s office stamp the copy of your motion that you are
keeping for yourself too—this serves as your proof that you served the
DA with your motion.

STEP 4: The Hearing
•

•

When you file your motion, the clerk will give you a court date for your
motion to be heard by a judge. You will have to attend the hearing if
you are not being represented by an attorney. In most cases, even if
you are being represented by an attorney, you will want to be present
to show your respect to the judge and the court process. The judge is
unlikely to modify your probation unless it thinks that you are taking
your probation seriously—and going to your court date shows the
1023
judge that you care about your case!
If the judge grants your motion or modifies your probation conditions in
any other way, he or she must state the reasons for doing so on the
1024
record.

IF YOU ARE
REQUESTING A
CHANGE IN
YOUR
PROBATION
CONDITIONS
DUE TO A
DISABILITY:
During the
hearing, you (or
your attorney, if
you have one) will
explain to the
judge why your
disability makes it
difficult for you to
comply with your
current
conditions, what
changes you need
in your probation
conditions, and if
you need any
other assistance
from the
probation
department to
successfully
complete your
probation. You
can also ask the
court to order the
probation
department to
provide certain
assistance or
other
accommodations.
The prosecutor
will also have a
chance to speak,
including a
chance to oppose
your request for
modification. For
more information
on disabilities,
please see
PG. 284.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(b)(1).
If you are requesting a change in your probation conditions due to a disability: During the hearing, you (or your
attorney, if you have one) will explain to the judge why your disability makes it difficult for you to comply with your
current conditions, what changes you need in your probation conditions, and if you need any other assistance from
the probation department to successfully complete your probation. You can also ask the court to order the
probation department to provide certain assistance or other accommodations. The prosecutor will also have a
chance to speak, including a chance to oppose your request for modification.
1024
CAL. PENAL CODE § 1203.3(b)(1)(A).
1022
1023

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APPENDIX Z
Sameple Instuctions for PRCS from
Different Counties in California
WARNING: You must report to your County Probation Department for PRCS
supervision within 2 working days after your release from state prison, court, or
county jail. Instructions for what to do when you first get out on PRCS vary from
one county probation department to the next. For example only, here are the
instructions for people on PRCS in a couple of California counties:
If you are on PRCS under the L.A. County Probation Department:
•
•

•

•

1025

You must report within 2 working days of your release.
You should bring the following important documents to your probation
“H.U.B.” orientation:
o Valid identification: Driver’s license, California State I.D., or any
identification with your name, picture, or signature). [NOTE: Please go to
the BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING CHAPTER,
beginning on PG. 13 if you need to get this type of document/ID.]
o Verification of residence: this can be a letter or other correspondence
with your name and the address where you reside, a copy of a rental
agreement, or a signed letter from your landlord verifying that the
address presented is your residence.
o A copy of any and all document you were given by the sentencing court
or the Corrections Counselor regarding your release.
Once the HUB orientation is complete, you will be given:
o A copy of your signed permanent probation instructions or the courtordered conditions of supervision,
o All signed financial documents, and
o A referral to your probation officer or the probation office closest to your
residence.
Lastly, you will be instructed when and where to report to your local county
probation office within 48 hours. Once you report to the local county
probation office for supervision, you will be assigned a supervision probation
officer, who will explain the specific requirements of supervision and
reporting requirements to you.

If you are on PRCS under the Butte County Probation Department:

1026

•

You must report within 2 working days of your release.
The Butte County Probation Department’s supervision of people on PRCS
includes: office visits, home visits, searches, urine testing, and enforcement.
Probation will complete an evidence-based “Offender Needs Guide” to
identify and target your needs. This is Probation’s tool to identify your
specific risk and protective factors to improve case management and reduce
the risk of re-offending.

•

Based on the “Offender Needs Guide,” your Probation Officer will make
referrals for services to the appropriate agencies.

•
•

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See L.A. Cnty. Prob. Dep’t, Just Released,
http://probation.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/probation/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9Q1MjA1tzS0NDcw04_Qj8pLLMtMTyzJzM9LzA
Hxo8zi3QwMDNz9nYKN_INdjA083dydnA39TQyNgo2ACiKRFRg4u1saeDqZuFt4mYUYOvuZE9IfrhFT0mwoTG6AixWgBUY4ACOBgSs8DLR9_PIz03Vz43KsfTMDEgHAB9RScE!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUU.
1026
See Butte County Probation, AB 109, http://www.buttecounty.net/probation/AdultProbation/AB109.aspx.
1025

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APPENDIX AA
Information on Modifying the Conditions
of County Probation
HOW CAN I REQUEST AN ACCOMMODATION OR FILE A
COMPLAINT IF I FEEL THAT COUNTY PROBATION IS NOT
ACCOMMODATING MY DISABILITY, OR IF MY DISABILITY IS
PREVENTING ME FROM ACCESSING PROBATION SERVICES OR
PROGRAMS?
Unlike for state parole, there are no formal probation policies or procedures to
request accommodations or file a complaint related to your disability. Each
county does things differently, and many counties have no formal procedures.
You can first talk to your probation officer and explain the situation to him/her
OR you may ask a judge to modify your probation to accommodate your
disability by filing a motion requesting a change.
STEP 1:

Start by talking with your probation officer and explain to him/her:

1. What your disability is;
2. Why it is difficult for you to participate in programs or supervision
requirements; and
3. What assistance, accommodations or changes you need.
4. If you have to do any evaluations with other agencies or service providers
(for example, if the Probation Department does a risk- or needs-assessment
for you, or you have a work placement evaluation by the Sheriff’s
department), you should also explain to them why your disability makes it
difficult for you to participate or meet other requirements.
5. If you were sentenced under Realignment and are on Mandatory
Supervision or PRCS, you may be entitled to participate in special programs
1027
or other services for your disability.
STEP 2: If that didn’t fix the problem, you can ask the judge to modify your
probation to accommodate your disability by filing a motion
requesting a change (called a “modification”).
If after talking to your probation officer or their supervisor, you still need help
because (1) you did not get the assistance you require for your disability, (2) you
are unable to participate in the programs which you are being offered or
required to participate in, or (3) the terms of your supervision are difficult for you
due to your disability, then you can go back to court to request help from the
judge.
In order to ask the judge to modify your probation, you must FILE A MOTION
requesting that the judge modify probation to accommodate your disability.
Once you file your motion, you will have a hearing.
Remember, that your motion requesting modification of your probation should
include mention of the following laws:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1027

Telephone calls with the following county probation departments, Nov. 6, 2014:
•
Tony Crear, Community Network Coordinator, Alameda Cnty. Probation Dept.
•
Robin Nicole Livingston, AB 109 Probation Officer, Contra Costa Cnty. Probation Dept.
•
Jim Metzen, Probation Consultant, Yolo Cnty. Probation Dept.
•
Alan Seeber, Sacramento Cnty. Probation Dept.
•
Whitnee Reynolds, Administrative Assistant / Training Coordinator, Chief Probation Officers of Cal.

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The Americans with Disability Act (ADA)—The ADA protects people with
disabilities against discrimination and it requires public entities to provide
reasonable accommodations. The ADA applies to all public entities, including
1028
local courts and probation departments.
1029
California Government Code § 11135 and Civil Code §§ 54 et seq.,
which
provide similar state protections as the federal ADA.
California Penal Code § 1203.3, which gives the court authority to change
1030
your probation conditions.
The specific facts of your disability, how it affects you on probation, and what
changes or additional assistance you need.

•

•
•
•

STEP 3: The Hearing
During the hearing, you (or your attorney, if you have one) will explain to the
judge why your disability makes it difficult for you to comply with your current
conditions, what changes you need in your probation conditions, and if you need
any other assistance from the probation department will help you to successfully
complete your probation. You can also ask the court to order the probation
department to provide certain assistance or other accommodations. The
prosecutor will also have a chance to speak at your hearing—this includes a
chance to oppose your request for modification.
Because the judge has much more control over the Probation Department and
the terms of your supervision, the Judge can order Probation to provide you with
assistance, and can decide any other accommodations that are necessary for
1031
you to successfully complete your supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1028
1029
1030
1031

The ADA is available at http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.pdf.
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 11135.
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 1203.3.
Telephone call with Tony Crear, Alameda County. Probation Dept.

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APPENDIX BB
U.S. Department Of Justice, Federal
Bureau Of Prisons (BOP) Form BPA714.056, “Notice Of Release And
Arrival”

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APPENDIX CC
Federal Probation/Supervised Release
Standard Conditions
STANDARD CONDITIONS— The list of “Standard Conditions” below—while
technically discretionary (not required)— are added by the judge in almost every
case of Supervised Release, as recommended by the U.S. Sentencing
1032
Commission, the agency that oversees federal sentencing guidelines.
You will likely be ordered to follow most if not all of the following rules
(conditions), or something very similar to these:
1.

You cannot leave the limits of your judicial district (meaning the area that the
court has jurisdiction—i.e. the “Southern District o California”) without
written permission from the court or your probation officer.

2. You must file a written report with your probation officer within the first 5
days of each month, or as directed by your probation officer.
3. You must truthfully answer any questions and follow any instructions that
your probation officer asks of you.
4. You must meet your family responsibilities, primarily paying any courtordered child support or support for the parent with whom your child is
living.
5. You must work regularly at a lawful occupation, unless your U.S. probation
officer excuses you for school, training, or other reasons the officer finds
acceptable.
6. You must notify your probation officer at least 10 days before you change
your address (some officers will require more or less notice, so check your
conditions).
7.

You cannot drink alcoholic beverages to excess. You cannot use or
distribute illegal drugs, or frequent places where others use or distribute
drugs.

8. You cannot associate with people engaged in criminal activity. (This means
you cannot hang out with or spend time with people who are committing
crimes.)
9. You cannot associate with anyone convicted of a felony unless your U.S.
probation officer gives you permission to do so. (Again, this means that
unless your probation officer says differently, you are not allowed to hang
out with or spend time with someone who has been convicted of a felony.
Just spending time with someone who has been convicted of a felony can
be considered a violation of your probation, even if you were not doing
anything else wrong.)
10. You must let your probation officer to visit you any time at home or
elsewhere.
11. You must let your probation officer to take any contraband that he or she
finds in plain view around you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1032

See 18 U.S.C. § 3583; U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(b)-(d) (Standard conditions” are set forth in U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(c)).

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12. You must get in touch with your U.S. probation officer within 3 days (72
hours) if you’re arrested or questioned by law enforcement (again, some
officers will require you to report faster, so check your conditions).
13. You cannot serve as an informant to law enforcement without court
permission.
14. As directed by your U.S. probation officer, you must notify other people
about any risks that your criminal record, personal history or characteristics
might pose; and you must allow your U.S. probation officer to notify people
of any risks posed by your criminal record, personal history or
characteristics.
15. You must pay any court-ordered “special assessment” and fines, and follow
any court-ordered payment plan set up for you.
16. You must notify your U.S. probation officer if there is any significant change
in your income or economic circumstances which would impact how much
you can pay towards any unpaid restitution, fines, or special assessments
(NOTE: this is a mandatory condition for people on federal probation, and a
recommended “standard condition” for people on Supervised Release).

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APPENDIX DD
Federal Probation/Supervised Release
Discretionary Conditions
WHAT ADDITIONAL DISCRETIONARY CONDITIONS MAY I HAVE
TO FOLLOW ON SUPERVISED RELEASE?
If the legal standards are met (refer to PG. 237), the judge may order additional
discretionary conditions on your Supervised Release.
As discussed, the Standard Conditions listed on PG. 234 above are almost
always added.
The following discretionary conditions may also be added (all but one of these is
the same as those listed under federal probation, PG. 245):
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

6)
7)
8)

9)
10)
11)
12)

13)

Require you to support your dependents and meet other family
responsibilities;
Require that you make restitution to a victim of the offense under section
3556
Require that you give notice (ordered pursuant to the provisions of section
3555) to the victims of the offense;
Require that you be employed or be pursuing educational/vocational
training to prepare you for suitable employment;
Prevent you altogether from working in a specified occupation, business, or
profession with a reasonably direct relationship to the conduct underlying
your commitment offense (OR prevent you from working in a specified
occupation, business, or profession only to a certain degree/under stated
circumstances);
Forbid you from going to specified kinds of places;
Forbid you from associating with specified persons;
Forbid you from excessive use of alcohol, or any use of a narcotic drug or
other controlled substance, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled
Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), without a prescription by a licensed medical
practitioner;
Forbid you from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other
dangerous weapon;
Require that you get medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment,
including treatment for drug or alcohol dependency (as specified by the
court
Require that you live in a specified institution foe medical, psychiatric, or
1033
psychological treatment
Require that you remain in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons during
nights, weekends, or other intervals of time, totaling no more than the lesser
1034
of one year or the term of imprisonment authorized for the offense,
during the first year of the term of probation or supervised release (this is
1035
known as intermittent confinement);
Require you to live at a community corrections facility (including somewhere
maintained by or contracted with the Bureau of Prisons), or attend a

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3563(b).
18 U.S.C. § 3583(d); U.S.S.G. § 5F1.8.
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(10) (known as “intermittent confinement”). See also U.S.S.G. § 5F1.8, which states that
intermittent confinement may be imposed as a condition of probation during the first year of federal
probation. See 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(10). It may be imposed as a condition of supervised release during the first year
of supervised release, but only for a violation of a condition of supervised release in accordance with 18 U.S.C.
§ 3583(e)(2) and only when facilities are available. See 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d).
1033
1034
1035

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14)
15)
16)
17)
18)
19)
20)
21)

22)
23)
24)
25)

program at such a community corrections facility, for all or part of the term of
probation;
Require you to work in community service as directed by the court;
Require you to live in a specified place or area, or prevent you from living in
a specified place or area;
Require you to remain within the jurisdiction of the court, unless granted
permission to leave by the court or a probation officer;
Require you report to a probation officer as directed by the court or the
probation officer;
Allow a probation officer to visit you at your home or elsewhere as specified
by the court;
Require you to quickly notify your probation officer, or answer your P.O.’s
questions, about any change in address or employment;
Require you to quickly notify your probation officer if you are arrested or
questioned by a law enforcement officer;
Require you to stay at home/where you live during non-working hours, and
require you to be monitored by telephonic or electronic signaling devices to
1036
track you and make sure you are at home during these times.
However, if
you were sentenced to a term of incarceration, this condition cannot be
1037
imposed on you.
This condition can only be used as an alternative to
1038
incarceration.
Require that you obey any court order or other government administrative
order that requires you to pay for support/maintenance of a child or to both
the child and parent with whom the child is living;
Deport you if you are “deportable” under law;
1039
Satisfy any other court-imposed conditions;
and
Finally, there are additional “special conditions” that are discretionary for
particular kinds of cases under Supervised Release:
a) If you are a non-citizen subject to deportation under law:
i) The court may order you deported and that you remain outside the
U.S. as a condition of your Supervised Release, and may order that
you are handed over to an authorized immigration official for such
deportation.
b) If you are required to register as a Sex Offender:
i. If your conviction is for a sex offense, the judge will consider
imposing the following special conditions:
1. A search at any time, with or without a warrant, of
your person, any property, your house/residence,
vehicle, papers, computer, or other electronic/data
devices or media, by any law enforcement or
probation officer with reasonable suspicion
concerning a violation of a condition of probation or
unlawful conduct, and by any probation officer
lawfully carrying out his/her function of
1040
supervision.
2. Require you to participate in a program for the
1041
treatment and monitoring of sex offenders;
3. Limit your use of a computer if one was used as part
of your commitment offense;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

18 U.S.C. § 3563(b).
This is not true of Supervised Release. That is, you can be convicted of a crime, sentenced to a term of
imprisonment, and be ordered to serve an additional period of time on house arrest as a condition of Supervised
Release.
1038
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(19) (2008). This is because if you are sentenced to a term of incarceration, you cannot receive
a sentence of probation. Rather, you would receive a term of supervised release following imprisonment as part of
your sentence.
1039
18 U.S.C. § 3563(b).
1040
18 U.S.C. § 3583(d).
1041
See U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(d); Jennifer Gilg, The Fine Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of
Supervised Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics---common-offenses/fine_print.pdf.
1036
1037

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4. Require you to submit to random, warrantless
searches of your person, residence, and
1042
computers;
5. Residency Restrictions (meaning there will be
certain places you cannot live);
6. Contact Restrictions (meaning there will be certain
people you cannot have contact with);
7. Movement Restrictions (meaning there will be
certain places you will not be able to go);
8. Employment/Occupational Restrictions (meaning
there will be certain types of jobs you cannot
1043
have);
9. Polygraph and/or Penile Plethysmograph
1044
Testing;
10. Tracking Conditions; and
11. Restrictions on the Possession of Certain Materials
(meaning there will be certain things you cannot
1045
have on your person or in your home)
ii. If you were convicted of a sex offense, you should ask about
any special conditions that apply to you as they differ
slightly among jurisdictions and judges. If you were
convicted of a federal sex offense, you most likely will have
to follow some version of the above conditions.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See U.S.S.G. § 5D1.3(d); Jennifer Gilg, The Fine Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of
Supervised Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics---common-offenses/fine_print.pdf.
1043
See also Defender Services Office, The Fine Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of Supervised
Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics---common-offenses/fine_print.pdf, pp. 3-6.
1044
See D. Richard Laws, Penile Plethysmography: Will We Ever Get It Right? in Sexual Deviance: Issues and
Controversies 82, 85 (Tony Ward, D. Richard Laws & Stephen M. Hudson eds., Sage Publications, Inc. 2003). Penile
Plethysmograph Testing (PPG) is a procedure that uses a gage to measure the change in a man’s penis size. Courts
sometimes proscribe PPG. as a condition of sex offender treatment. See also Defender Services Office, The Fine
Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of Supervised Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics--common-offenses/fine_print.pdf, pp. 3-6;
1045
See also Defender Services Office, The Fine Print: Strategies for Avoiding Restrictive Conditions of Supervised
Release, http://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics---common-offenses/fine_print.pdf, pp. 3-6.
1042

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APPENDIX EE
List Of Factors Federal Judges Consider
When Determining Whether To Let
Someone Off Probation Early
Here is the full list of factors that the judge may consider when deciding whether
to let you off probation early:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Whether or not your Probation Officer or the Prosecutor support your
request;
The nature and seriousness of the crime you were convicted of;
Your criminal history and/or mental illness history;
Whether the judge believes you are a threat to the public;
Whether the judge believes you have been sufficiently punished;
Whether you have completed any substance abuse treatment or
rehabilitation programs;
How your sentence compares to the federal sentencing guidelines
recommended sentence;
1046
U.S. Sentencing Commission policy statements;
1047
Whether you’ve paid restitution to the victims.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In 2011, the Sentencing Commission issued a policy statement informing judges that they may let former
narcotics abusers from supervised release early, if that person has successfully completed a treatment program. See
United States Sentencing Commission, 2013 Guidelines Manual, http://www.ussc.gov/guidelinesmanual/2013/2013-5d12. See also 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1)-(2).
1047
See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1)-(7).
1046

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APPENDIX FF
Federal Crime Classes
Per 18 U.S. Code § 3559:
An offense that is not specifically classified by a letter grade in the section
defining it, is classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is:
(1) Life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a Class A felony;
(2) Twenty-five years or more, as a Class B felony;
(3) Less than twenty-five years but ten or more years, as a Class C felony;
(4) Less than ten years but five or more years, as a Class D felony;
(5) Less than five years but more than one year, as a Class E felony;
(6) One year or less but more than six months, as a Class A misdemeanor;
(7) Six months or less but more than thirty days, as a Class B misdemeanor;
(8) Thirty days or less but more than five days, as a Class C misdemeanor; or
(9) Five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as an infraction.

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APPENDIX GG
Sample Certificate Of Supervised
Release
1048

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1048

Courtesy of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.

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APPENDIX HH
Federal Supervised Release Term Length
Chart
Class of Offense (Sentence length)

Length of Time on Supervised Release

Class A Felony (life imprisonment or death)

2 (minimum)—5 (maximum) years

Class B Felony (25 years or more)

2 (minimum)—5 (maximum) years

Class C Felony (10 up to 25 years)

1 (minimum)—3 (maximum) years

Class D Felony (5 up to 10 years)

1 (minimum)—3 (maximum) years

Class E Felony (1 year up to 5 years)

1 year maximum

Class A Misdemeanor (6 months up to 1 year)

1 year maximum

Class B Misdemeanor (30 days—6 months)

1 year maximum

Class C Misdemeanor (6—29 days)

1 year maximum

Infraction (5 days or less, or no prison time
authorized)

(S/R cannot be imposed; Probation can be
imposed for up to one year)

You have the best shot of being let of supervised release early if:
• You have completed 2/3 of your supervised release term (or at the very least
½ way through),
• You have had no violations,
• You have complied with all the terms of your supervised release,
• You have paid all restitution and fines, and
1049
• Your probation officer agrees that you should be let off early

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Federal Defenders of New York, Supervised Release, http://federaldefendersny.org/information-for-clientand-families/supervised-release.html.
1049

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APPENDIX II
Federal Supervised Release Plans
Release plan, creating a plan for payment of restitution and fines, investigation
of your plan and release.
STEP 1:

Release Plan

Once you have a release date from the Parole Commission (USPC), you must
complete a satisfactory plan for parole supervision to actually get released. The
Regional Commissioner may change your date of release (earlier or later) onto
parole to allow more time for release planning. At most, the Regional
Commissioner can delay your release onto parole for 120 days; otherwise, you
have the right to a hearing if the Regional Commissioner wants to push back
1050
your release date more than 120 days.
Generally, you are required to have included in your release plan:
1. Availability of legitimate employment;
2. An approved residence for the prospective parolee; and
1051
3. Availability of necessary aftercare if you are ill or will require special care.
STEP 2: Unpaid Fines & Restitution
Your release onto parole might also be delayed if you still owe court-ordered
1052
fines or restitution.
When you still have fines or restitution to pay, a
reasonable plan for payment, or a performance of services if ordered by the
1053
court, will be included in your parole release plan, where feasible.
STEP 3: Investigation Phase
Your U.S. Probation Officer will do an investigation to make sure that the
person’s release plan is appropriate. This investigation will start with the
probation officer asking you questions about your release plan. The probation
officer will then follow up and verify your answers. For example, if you told the
probation officer that your approved residence did not have any persons with a
felony record, the probation officer will follow-up to make sure this is true.
STEP 4: Release
After the Parole Commission approves your release plan, and a U.S. Probation
Officer completes an investigation, you will be released on the date set by the
Parole Commission (unless there is misconduct or some other reason leading to
a change in the date).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1050
1051
1052
1053

28 C.F.R. § 2.28.
28 C.F.R. § 2.33(a).
28 C.F.R. § 2.7.
28 C.F.R. § 2.33.

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APPENDIX JJ
Appeals To The National Appeal Board
STEP 1: You may send a written appeal to the National Appeals Board
challenging any decision to grant (other than a decision to grant parole on the
date of parole eligibility), rescind, deny, or revoke parole.
NOTE: If you want to appeal a decision denying your parole on the date of
parole eligibility, you instead need to submit a “petition of reconsideration” to
1054
the USPC.
1055

STEP 2: Use the proper form (Parole Form I-22)
and file your written appeal
within 30 days from the date of entry of the decision that you are appealing. If
you don’t file within 30 days of the decision, you lose your right to
challenge/appeal it.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR APPEAL:
1.

The appeal must include an opening paragraph that briefly summarizes the
legal grounds for the appeal.
2. You should then list each ground separately and clearly explain the reasons
or facts that support each ground.
If you’re appeal doesn’t meet these requirements, the USPC may return it to you,
in which case have 30 additional days from the date the appeal is returned to
submit an appeal that meets the above requirements.

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR YOUR APPEAL CAN INCLUDE:
1)

2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

That the guidelines were wrongly applied in your:
a) Severity rating;
b) Salient factor score;
c) Time in custody;
That a decision outside the guidelines was not supported by the reasons or
facts as stated;
That especially mitigating circumstances (for example, facts relating to the
severity of the offense or your probability of success on parole) justify a
different decision;
That a decision was based on wrong information, and the correct facts
justify a different decision;
That the USPC did not follow correct procedure in deciding the case, and a
different decision would have resulted if it would have followed the right
procedure;
There was important information that you did not know at the time of the
hearing;
There are compelling reasons why a more lenient decision should be given
on grounds of compassion
INCLUDE NOTE ABOUT THIS PROCESS AS INITIATED BY ATTORNEY
1056
GENERAL WHEN PERSON IS STILL INCARCERATED

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1054
1055
1056

See 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.17; 2.27
Parole Form I-22, available at http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/uspc/legacy/2013/02/26/formi22.pdf.
28 C.F.R. § 2.26.

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APPENDIX KK
Federal Parole Revocation Hearings
YOUR RIGHTS DURING A FEDERAL PAROLE REVOCATION
HEARING
The purpose is to determine whether you have violated the conditions of your
release and, if so, whether your parole or mandatory release should be (1)
revoked (taken away) or (2) reinstated (where you continue on parole as you
1057
were).
Know Your Rights!
1)

Present Evidence: You may present evidence at the hearing. However, the
presiding hearing officer or examiner panel may limit or exclude any
irrelevant or repetitive statements or evidence.
a)

The hearing officer or examiner must disclose all evidence being used to
make the revocation decision before or during the revocation hearing.
The Hearing Officer will let you examine the document during the
hearing, or where appropriate, read and summarize the document for
you.

2) Present Witnesses: You may present witnesses at the revocation hearing. At
a local revocation hearing only, the USPC may upon your request or on its
own motion, ask people to attend who can give statements that will help
1058
inform the decision of whether or not to revoke your federal parole.
a)

You have the right to question and cross-examine those witnesses, and
be present for this, unless the presiding hearing officer or examiner
panel finds good cause for you to not be there.

3) Ask for an attorney: You have the right to an attorney. You do not have a
constitutional right to have an attorney at your parole revocation hearing,
1059
but you will most likely qualify for an attorney if you cannot afford one.
4) Appeals: You may appeal a revocation decision.

1060

If you agree to the decision, the Commission may make a revocation decision
without a hearing if:
1)

The alleged violation would be graded no higher than Category Two under
the guidelines at § 2.20;

2) The alleged violation is in any category under the guidelines at § 2.20 and
the decision imposes the maximum sanction authorized by law; OR
3) You have already served sufficient time in custody for the violation, but that
forfeiture of time on parole is necessary to provide an adequate period of
1061
supervision.

!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

28 C.F.R. § 2.55.
28 C.F.R. § 2.51.
1059
18 U.S.C. § 3006(a)(1)(E).
1060
28 C.F.R. § 2.50; see also 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.26; 2.27.
1061
28 C.F.R. § 2.66.
1057
1058

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APPENDIX LL
Transferring To Another State As A Sex
Offender On Federal
Probation/Supervised Release
I AM CLASSIFIED AS A SEX OFFENDER, AND I WANT TO
TRANSFER TO ANOTHER STATE. HOW CAN I DO THAT?
You must meet the above 5 criteria, AND you must be able to meet additional
specific requirements for transferring the supervision of people classified as sex
1062
offenders.
NOTE: You cannot leave the sending state until the receiving state has approved
the transfer request or issued reporting instructions.
Follow these steps:
STEP 1: Discuss your desire to transfer with your U.S. Probation Officer.
STEP 2: Satisfy all of the eligibility criteria. At the discretion of the sending state,
you are eligible and can be approved for transfer if you meet the following
criteria and all 5 of the criteria above.
STEP 3: Complete an Application for Transfer (See Rule 3.107)
STEP 4: The sending state must send the receiving state:
(1) Assessment information, including sex offender specific assessments;
(2) Social history;
(3) Information relevant to the sex offender’s criminal sexual behavior
(4) Law enforcement report that provides specific details of sex offense;
(5) Victim information: including the name, sex, age and relationship to the
offender and the statement of the victim or victim’s representative;
(6) The sending state’s current or recommended supervision and treatment
1063
plan.
STEP 5: The receiving state has 5 business days to review the proposed
residence. If the proposed residence is not acceptable due to existing state law
or policy, the receiving state may deny the application. No travel permit can be
1064
granted by the sending state until the receiving state says it can.
STEP 6: A travel permit will be given to you by your Probation Officer if the
receiving state has approved the new residence. Travel permits are issued by
the local parole office, so each office uses a different form. Your Probation
Officer will give you this form once you have been approved by the Interstate
1065
Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For additional rules see ICAOS Rule 3.101-3.
ICAOS Rule 3.101-3(b).
ICAOS Rule 3.101-3(c).
1065
Email conversation with Harry Hageman, Executive Director, Interstate Commission for Adult Supervision on Feb.
26, 2015.
1062
1063
1064

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APPENDIX MM
Interstate Compact Process Flowchart

* Chart comes from the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision,
http://www.interstatecompact.org/Portals/0/library/legal/ICAOS_ProcessOverview.pdf

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HOUSING
Housing is one of the most important parts of a
strong reentry. In the HOUSING CHAPTER, you will
learn more about your housing options and legal
rights; what kind of housing you can and cannot get
into because your criminal record; and things you can
do if your legal rights are violated.

DISCLAIMER – YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE: When putting together the
Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we did our best to give you useful and accurate
information because we know that people who are currently or formerly incarcerated often have
difficulty getting legal information, and we cannot provide specific advice to every person who
requests it. The laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not
always have the resources to make changes to this informational material every time the law
changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry legal guide, it is your responsibility to
make sure that the law has not changed and applies to your particular situation. If you are
incarcerated, most of the materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library. The
Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather legal information. No
attorney-client relationship is created by using any information in this guide. You should always
consult your own attorney if you need legal advice specific to your situation.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.! INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 376!
Key Terms in the Housing Chapter ............................................................... 376!
II.! LOOKING FOR & IDENTIFYING GOOD HOUSING OPTIONS ...................... 377!
What are the first steps I should take in my housing search? ....... 377!
Can I find housing while I am still incarcerated? ............................... 379!
What are some steps I can take if I am worried about becoming
homeless? ................................................................................................... 379!
Will my parole or probation officer help me find somewhere to live? .380!
What are my housing options after release? .....................................380!
Short-term housing overview ......................................................................... 381!
Staying with family or friends: ............................................................... 381!
Shelters: .................................................................................................... 381!
Transitional housing programs: ............................................................ 382!
Can I get into a transitional housing program if I am still
incarcerated? .............................................................................................. 382!
What may I need to get to be accepted into transitional housing? ... 382!
Special needs housing—short- or long-term ....................................... 383!
Long-term housing overview ......................................................................... 383!
Permanent housing: ............................................................................... 383!
Special needs housing—short- or long-term ....................................... 383!
Housing for Special Needs & Populations ................................................... 384!
Women & Children .................................................................................. 384!
Domestic Violence Survivors ................................................................ 386!
Seniors/Elders ......................................................................................... 388!
Veterans ................................................................................................... 389!
Substance Abuse Treatment & Recovery Housing (also called “Sober
Living Environments” or SLE) ................................................................. 391!
290 Sex Offender Registrants & Residency Restrictions .................. 392!
Private vs. Government-Assisted Housing: An overview .......................... 393!
Private Housing....................................................................................... 393!
Government-Assisted Housing ............................................................. 393!
Why would I be interested in living in government-assisted
housing? ...................................................................................................... 394!
How can I find government-assisted housing? ................................. 394!
Who is my landlord if I live in some type of government-assisted
housing? ......................................................................................................395!

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III.! APPLYING FOR & GETTING INTO HOUSING ............................................... 396!
Understanding Housing Eligibility ................................................................ 396!
What does it mean to be “eligible” for housing? .............................. 396!
Why is it important to understand the eligibility rules of different
types of housing?...................................................................................... 396!
What are some of the reasons I could be eligible or ineligible for a
housing program?..................................................................................... 396!
How will my criminal record affect my eligibility and application to
different types of housing? .................................................................... 397!
Criminal Record Bans To Be Aware Of Before You Apply to Housing ... 398!
1. Criminal Record Bans in Private Housing........................................ 398!
How can my criminal record affect my chances of getting private
housing? ...................................................................................................... 398!
Can a private landlord refuse to rent to me just because of my
criminal record? ......................................................................................... 398!
When might I be legally protected from a private landlord
discriminating against me due to my criminal record? ................... 399!
2. Criminal Record Bans in Government-Assisted Housing .............. 401!
How can my criminal record affect my chances of getting accepted
into government-assisted housing? ...................................................... 401!
Can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) refuse to rent to me just
because of my criminal record? ............................................................. 401!
Where do I find a PHA’s rules & policies about criminal records? .... 402!
Chart Summarizing Criminal Record Bans in Government-Assisted
Housing .................................................................................................... 403!
Detailed Questions & Answers About Criminal Record Bans in
Government-Assisted Housing ............................................................. 406!
What bans are required in government-assisted housing—for
specific types of convictions and specific housing programs? .... 406!
What bans are allowed, but not legally required in governmentassisted housing—the “catch-all” category of bans that apply to *all
people with criminal records*? ............................................................... 412!
How can I find out the criminal record policies of my local Public
Housing Authority (PHA) or of the owner of government-assisted
housing? ....................................................................................................... 412!
Under the “catch-all” ban, can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or
owner of government-assisted housing deny me for a conviction
that I had “expunged”?............................................................................. 413!
Under the “catch-all” ban, can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or
owner deny me from government-assisted housing for arrests that
did not result in a conviction? ................................................................. 413!
Under the “catch-all” ban, will my participation in a pre-trial
intervention or diversion program matter? ......................................... 414!
Under the “catch-all” ban, can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or
owner of government-assisted housing deny my application because
of the convictions of family members who live with me? .................. 415!
Your Rights Against Illegal Denials from Government-Assisted Housing
Because of Your Criminal Record.................................................................. 416!
How does the law protect me from being denied governmentassisted housing because of my criminal record? ............................ 416!

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Improving Your Chances Of Getting Into Government-Assisted Housing—
Offering Proof Of Rehabilitation & Mitigating Factors ............................... 417!
What is “proof of mitigating factors?” ................................................... 417!
What is “proof of rehabilitation?” ........................................................... 418!
Do government-assisted housing programs have to consider
mitigating circumstances & evidence of rehabilitation?................... 418!
When could i show proof of mitigating circumstances and
rehabilitation to the PHA or owner of government-assisted
housing? ....................................................................................................... 419!
Specific Types of Evidence that Show proof of Mitigating
Circumstances & Rehabilitation to Strengthen Your Application to
Government-Assisted Housing ............................................................. 420!
What specific types of evidence will strengthen my housing
application to government-assisted housing? .................................. 420!
If I can show the Public Housing Authority (PHA) that I really need
the housing, will that help my application?......................................... 423!
IV.! ACCESS TO YOUR CRIMINAL RECORDS AS YOU APPLY FOR HOUSING .. 424!
An Overview of the Types of Criminal Records that Could Show Up as you
Apply For Housing .......................................................................................... 424!
What criminal records could show up as I apply for any type of
housing? ...................................................................................................... 424!
Does this Chapter cover what can and Cannot show up in my credit
report? ..........................................................................................................425!
Can a private landlord, Public Housing Authority (PHA), or owner of
government-assisted housing charge me a fee for running a
background check/ tenant report on me? ..........................................425!
Access to Your Criminal Records as You Apply for Private Housing ...... 426!
How Private Landlords Learn About Your Criminal Record ............. 426!
How do private landlords learn about my criminal record? ...........426!
Your Rights When a Private Landlord Runs a Criminal Background
Check........................................................................................................ 426!
What must a private landlord do if they want to get a background
check/tenant report on me? ...................................................................426!
What information cannot be included in a private background
check/tenant report in California? ......................................................... 427!
Do private background check companies have to make sure the
information they report to a landlord in a tenant report is true and
accurate? ..................................................................................................... 427!
Does a private landlord have to tell me that the criminal record
information that showed up in a private background check/tenant
report is the reason I am not getting the apartment? ...................... 427!
Your Rights When a Private Landlord Directly Asks You About Your
Criminal Record ...................................................................................... 428!
Can a private landlord ask me about convictions or arrests older
than 7 years? .............................................................................................. 428!
Your Rights to Confidentiality When a Private Landlord gathers
criminal record information on you ...................................................... 428!
Does the landlord have to protect and keep confidential my
criminal record and other personal information? .............................. 428!

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Access to Your Criminal Records As You Apply For Government-Assisted
Housing: ........................................................................................................... 429!
Your Rights When a Government-assisted Housing Provider Runs a
Criminal Background Check ................................................................. 429!
What criminal records can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) access,
and who gives the PHA my conviction records? .............................. 429!
Can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) require me to sign a release
to get my criminal history information? ............................................... 430!
If I am moving into government-assisted housing in a different city or
county, can my current Public Housing Authority (PHA) share my
criminal history records with the new PHA where I am applying? . 430!
Can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) access my drug treatment
records, and if so, under what circumstances?................................. 430!
What can I do if a Public Housing Authority (PHA) violates my rights
in accessing and using my drug treatment information? ................ 431!
What can owners of federal government-assisted housing see?
How do they get my criminal records? ................................................ 431!
Can a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or owner of governmentassisted housing get records of my arrests that didn't lead to
convictions?................................................................................................ 432!
Can a Public housing Authority (PHA) or owner of governmentassisted housing get my juvenile records? ........................................ 433!
Your Rights When a Government-assisted Housing Provider Runs a
Criminal Background Check—The Rules they must follow ................433!
What are tenant screening reports? .................................................... 433!
Who conducts tenant screening checks & provides tenant reports
to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) & owners of governmentassisted housing? ..................................................................................... 433!
Do you have to pay for a screening report? If so, how much does a
report cost? ................................................................................................ 433!
What must a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or owner of
government-assisted housing provide me with if it orders a
background check/tenant report from a private background check
company?.................................................................................................... 434!
Do I have any rights if a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or owner of
government-assisted housing rejects my rental application because
of a background check/ tenant report? .............................................. 434!
What are my legal rights if a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or
owner of government-assisted housing illegally accesses or uses
my criminal record information? ........................................................... 435!
Errors in Your Background Check Report & How to Correct Them—An
overview ........................................................................................................... 436!
Could there be errors in the background check/ tenant report that a
housing provider runs on me? .............................................................. 436!
How can I correct errors in my background check/ tenant report? 436!
V.! JOINING FAMILY & FRIENDS IN HOUSING ................................................... 437!
Joining Family or Friends in Private Housing .............................................. 437!
Joining Family or Friends in Government-Assisted Housing .................... 438!
I have a criminal record and want to join a household living in
federal government-assisted housing. Can I? ................................... 438!
I want to join a household living in government-assisted housing.
can I? ............................................................................................................ 438!
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Does the family in that household have to report the addition to the
home? ........................................................................................................... 439!
I want to return back to my government-assisted housing unit after
a brief period of incarceration. can I do that? ................................... 439!
If I am joining a household, will the PHA or owner of the
government-assisted housing run a criminal background check on
me?................................................................................................................ 440!
If I am being incarcerated for a new offense, does my family have
to report that I moved out? ...................................................................... 441!
Guest Policies in Government-Assisted Housing: ............................... 441!
I have a record and want to temporarily visit or stay overnight as a
guest with my family in their government-assisted housing unit. Will
my visit in any way risk my family’s government assistance?......... 441!
I have a record and want to temporarily visit or stay overnight as a
guest with my family in their government-assisted housing unit.
What are some suggested steps I can take to avoid putting my
family or friend’s housing assistance at risk? ..................................... 442!
If I am planning to stay as a guest with family or friends until I am
added to their housing lease, what are some suggested steps I can
take to make sure we are following all the guest policies? ........... 443!
If a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or owner of governmentassisted housing denies my request to be added to my family or
friend’s lease, who can challenge the denial And how? ................. 444!
Live-in Aide Policies in Government-Assisted Housing..................... 444!
What is a “live-in aide?” ........................................................................... 444!
Can I be someone’s live-in aide in government-assisted housing if I
have criminal record? ............................................................................... 444!
Will the PHA or owner screen me for my criminal background if I am
someone’s live-in aide? ........................................................................... 444!
Will the PHA or owner screen me for my credit history if I am
someone’s live-in aide? ........................................................................... 445!
I was excluded from being someone’s live-in aide based on my
criminal record. What can I do? ............................................................. 445!
What makes a request for a reasonable accommodation
successful? .................................................................................................. 445!
I am a live-in aide in a government-assisted unit, but the person
who I was caring for has left the unit. Do I have a right to stay? .. 445!
VI.! CHALLENGING DENIALS FROM HOUSING .................................................. 446!
Challenging Denials to Private Housing: ..................................................... 446!
What are my main options for challenging a denial to private
housing? ...................................................................................................... 446!
How do I figure out which option to choose if I want to challenge a
denial from private housing? .................................................................. 447!
Challenging Denials to Government-Assisted Housing ............................. 447!
When would I challenge a denial from a Public Housing Authority
(PHA) or owner of government-assisted housing? ........................... 447!
If I was denied government-assisted housing, how will I know the
reason why? ................................................................................................ 448!
What is the timeline for challenging a denial to governmentassisted housing? ...................................................................................... 448!
Will I definitely get into government-assisted housing if I am
successful in challenging the initial denial? ....................................... 448!

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How can I figure out the specific procedures for challenging a
denial to government-assisted housing? ........................................... 449!
Review Hearings: The Way to Challenge a Denial to GovernmentAssisted Housing .................................................................................... 450!
What can I expect at the review hearing? And how can I prepare? . 450!
What can I expect from the review hearing? What is it like? .......... 451!
What rights do I have in a review hearing? ........................................ 452!
What can I do if I am unhappy with the written decision by the
review hearing? ......................................................................................... 453!
VII.! MAINTAINING MY HOUSING ......................................................................... 454!
General Tips for Renters ................................................................................ 454!
I am planning to rent an apartment (private or governmentassisted). What are some general tips for renters? ......................... 454!
What are some of my general rights as a renter in California?..... 455!
Evictions ........................................................................................................... 458!
What is an eviction? ................................................................................. 458!
I am facing an eviction. What are my options?.................................. 458!
I received a 3-day notice to do something from my lawdlord. Can I
be evicted because of this notice? ...................................................... 458!
What must a “3-day notice to pay rent or quit” say? ....................... 459!
What are my options if I get a “3-day notice to pay rent or quit”? 459!
What could happen if I do not pay my rent or do not move within
the 3 days? ................................................................................................. 459!
What could happen if my landlord takes me to court to evict me?.... 461!
What could happen if I ignore the summons and complaint and do
nothing?........................................................................................................ 461!
What could happen if I lose in court or after a judgment against
me? ............................................................................................................... 462!
How long does the eviction process take?........................................ 462!
I live in transitional housing, and the housing provider (or parole) IS
trying to evict me with very little notice & without going to court. Is
this legal & what are my options? ......................................................... 462!
VIII.!CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 464!
HOUSING APPENDIX .............................................................................................. 465!

WHAT WILL I LEARN IN THE
HOUSING CHAPTER?
•
•
•
•
!

Your housing options in reentry
What kind of housing you are or are not eligible for because of
your criminal record
How to put your best foot forward in applying for housing
What you can do if you believe you were illegally denied housing

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I.

INTRODUCTION

This Chapter explains common housing issues and questions for people with
criminal records and the friends and family who live with them. This section will
give you information about:
1) Your housing options in reentry;
2) What kind of housing you can and cannot live in based on your criminal
record;
3) How to put your best foot forward in applying for housing; and
4) What you can do if you believe you were illegally denied housing.

KEY TERMS IN THE HOUSING CHAPTER
Public Housing Authority (PHA)—a government organization that assists with
the development and/or operation of housing for low-income individuals and
families. There is a PHA in most counties across California.
Private Owner/Landlord—is the owner of a house or apartment that is rented or
leased.
Owner of Government-Assisted Housing—is a private owner/landlord who
receives some form of government assistance to make housing more affordable
for certain categories of people.
Lease/Rental Agreement—is a legal document that explains the terms under
which you are renting your housing.
Background Checks (“Tenant Reports”)— is the process of looking up and
compiling criminal, commercial, and financial records of an individual.
Credit Report—is a detailed report of your credit history prepared by a credit
bureau and used by a lender or homeowner to determine your creditworthiness;
it includes your personal data (current and previous addresses, social security
number, employment history), detailed account information (current balances,
payment amounts, payment history), inquiries into your credit history, etc.
Eviction (“Unlawful Detainer”)—action by a landlord that forces you to leave the
premises through a legal process, as for non-payment of rent.

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II.

!

LOOKING FOR &
IDENTIFYING GOOD
HOUSING OPTIONS
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•
•
•
•

•
•
•
•

Some short-term options for housing
Some long-term options for housing
The difference between privately run & government-assisted housing
Recommendations for finding government-assisted housing
Recommendations for finding housing for people with special needs,
such as women and children, domestic violence survivors, seniors,
veterans, people recovering from addiction, and 290 sex offender
registrants
Your rights—and how they are different—if you are applying to
privately run vs. government-assisted housing
Your rights if you want to move in with friends and family
How conditions of parole, probation, or other forms of supervision
can affect where you can live and who you can live with after release
How to challenge denials from housing—whether it’s private or
government-assisted—based on your criminal record

!

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS I SHOULD TAKE IN MY HOUSING
SEARCH?
Here are the main types of housing you may consider after getting out of prison
or jail:
1)

Short-term housing (staying short-term with a family member or friend,
staying in transitional housing, staying in a shelter or other emergency
housing)
2) Long-term permanent housing (finding an apartment, moving in with family
or friends permanently)
3) Special needs housing (which could be short- or long-term)
4) Government-assisted housing
Below we walk through some steps to help you figure out your housing plans.
STEP 1:

SHORT-TERM HOUSING PLANS:

First, you should figure out what type of housing is right for you in the short
term, and where you will be allowed to live by probation or parole (or which ever
type of supervision you are on) when you first get out. See the PAROLE &
PROBATION CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 130 to learn about how your rules
(called “conditions”) of supervision affect where you can live after release. There
is more information about different types of short-term housing beginning on
PG. 381.
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STEP 2: GET YOUR ID.
Most housing programs will require proof of who you are, your age, and any
income you receive. (Go to the BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING
CHAPTER, beginning on PG. 13, to learn how to get various forms of
identification documents.)
STEP 3: LONG-TERM HOUSING PLANS
Later on, you can figure out what type of housing is right for you permanently—
we call this “long-term housing.” You need to find housing that you can afford,
that you are eligible for (meaning you meet the requirements to be accepted),
and that meets your personal needs.
Long-term, permanent housing might mean living with family or friends; living in
an affordable apartment or housing unit run by a Public Housing Authority (PHA)
or a private landlord; or living in an assisted-living facility for people with special
needs (like seniors, veterans, women and children, people with disabilities, or
people escaping domestic violence, 290 sex offender registrants). There is more
information about different types of short-term housing beginning on PG. 381.
For more information For more information on housing for special needs, see
PG. 384.

HELPFUL TIPS
AS YOU LOOK FOR HOUSING
•

•

•
•

PAGE 378 OF 1210

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS as a person with a criminal record before you apply for
housing! Depending on who owns and runs the housing (private vs.
government-assisted—see PG. 393), you will have different rights in the process.
IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO FIND HELP, if you can. Find an attorney,
advocate, case manager, friend or family member, or probation/parole officer
who can help you find housing. It is very important to have support in this
process and throughout reentry. There is a list of helpful community resources
in the back of this guide on PG. 1201 if you want ideas about where to look for
help.
FINDING HOUSING IS TOUGH BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE—be patient and keep
looking!
SOME OF YOUR OPTIONS. Depending on whether you are currently
incarcerated or already out, affordability, eligibility, and whether you are looking
for short-term or long-term housing, you will have different types of housing
options available to you. As you move further into your reentry, these options
are likely to change over time.

ROADMAP TO REENTRY
!

CAN I FIND HOUSING WHILE I AM STILL INCARCERATED?
Yes, it is possible. First, you may want to think about (1) what you need in the
short-term vs. long-term; (2) how your parole or probation (or other
type of supervision) affects where you can live; and (3) whether you
want to look for private housing, government-assisted housing, or
both. To help with this process, read about your housing options,
starting on PG. 377.
There are additional considerations if you plan to move in with family
or friends. You will want to ask them to find out everything possible
about the guest policies where they live, and/or about adding
someone to their apartment lease. If the housing your family or friend
lives in receives any form of government assistance, they may also
need to contact their local Public Housing Authority (PHA) to let them
know they would like to add you to the household. A list of PHAs in
California and their contact information can be found here:
APPENDIX A, PG. 466 or online here:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/ca.cfm. Learn more
about moving in with family and friends beginning on PG. 437.
If you want to find transitional or emergency housing, generally you or
a family member, friend or advocate will have to directly write or call
the housing facility to ask about what the requirements are. For a list of
transitional housing programs that may accept you while you are still
incarcerated, see APPENDIX B, PG. 472.

STAY POSITIVE!
Finding housing can
be an exhausting
process, but don’t
give up. Reach out
for help. There are
resources listed
throughout this
chapter, and also a
list of legal services
providers on
PG. 1190.
Call us at Root &
Rebound (510-2794662) if you have an
emergency, and we
may be able to refer
you someone to
help.

WHAT ARE SOME STEPS I CAN TAKE IF I AM WORRIED ABOUT
BECOMING HOMELESS?
An important step to avoid becoming homeless is to begin planning and
identifying housing options while you’re still incarcerated (see question above
addressing this topic, PG. 379).
There are also agencies and nonprofits in the community working to help people
find permanent housing and avoid/get out of homelessness. Here are some
organizations that may be able to help:
•

•

•

•

The Public Housing Authority (PHA) in your area: PHAs sometimes give
preference to admitting homeless individuals into the Public Housing
program or “Section 8” Housing Choice Vouchers. Visit the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website to find public housing
authorities in your area:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/index.cfm
Emergency shelters and assistance: HUD maintains a list of organizations
throughout the country that provide emergency shelter and assistance to
homeless individuals (visit the following website:
http://nhl.gov/homeless/hmlsagen.cfm) .
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has an online list of
organizations throughout the country that will assist homeless veterans on a
variety of issues including housing (visit the following website:
http://www.nchv.org/network.cfm).
The National Coalition for the Homeless has links to databases related to for
local service organizations, educating homeless children, transitional
housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and day shelters (visit the
following website: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/resources/index.html).
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WILL MY PAROLE OR PROBATION OFFICER HELP ME FIND
SOMEWHERE TO LIVE?
It depends, but usually not. But it’s always worth asking your supervising officer
if they know of any housing resources!
IF YOU ARE ON CALIFORNIA STATE PAROLE:
There is very little help for housing. In some counties, some parole officers may
work with local boarding houses, hotels, or motels to find you a temporary place
1066
to stay.
Additionally, there could be funding from the California Department
of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) for you to stay a short amount of time in
transitional housing (most of those programs are run by the CDCR’s Division of
Rehabilitative Programs, which you can read more online at:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/what-we-do.html).
You can also ask your correctional counselor (if you’re incarcerated) or your
parole officer (if you are living in the community) about what types of funding
exists for transitional housing while you are on state parole. If your parole officer
is unable to help you find short-term, transitional or emergency housing, you
may try going to an emergency shelter (see PG. 379.)
As a last resort, you may have to use your Gate Money (read more about Gate
Money in the PAROLE & PROBATION CHAPTER on PG. 151) to pay for a hotel or
motel, until you find a more permanent living situation.
IF YOU ARE ON CALIFORNIA COUNTY-LEVEL SUPERVISION LIKE PROBATION,
PRCS, OR MANDATORY SUPERVISION:
Ask your probation/supervising officer about what local programs are available.
Ask if they can make referrals to affordable housing agencies or nonprofits that
advocate for low-income people to find housing.
IF YOU ARE ON FEDERAL PROBATION, SUPERVISED RELEASE, OR FEDERAL
PAROLE:
Ask your federal Probation Officer for a list of affordable housing options in the
area. Federal probation officers will not normally release you from a transitional
(“halfway”) house unless you have a plan for permanent housing. Also, read
about some of your options for long-term housing on PG. 383 of this chapter.

WHAT ARE MY HOUSING OPTIONS AFTER RELEASE?
Again, there are many different housing options out there—transitional housing
programs, emergency shelters, special needs housing, assisted-living housing,
living with family or friends, private apartments and houses, and apartments and
houses that get government money to make them more affordable for their
residents. To make it easier to plan and prepare, we suggest thinking about your
housing options in two categories: (1) short-term housing and (2) long-term/
permanent housing. Also, consider whether government-assisted housing
makes sense in your situation.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1066

See CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB., Parolee Information Handbook at 6.

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SHORT-TERM HOUSING OVERVIEW
When you are preparing for release or first get out of prison or jail,
most of your housing options will be focused on short-term and
transitional housing. Examples of short-term housing include:
staying with a family member; staying with a friend; staying in a
shelter (shelters usually offer a bed and shower for one or more
nights, and sometimes offer other free services); and living in a
transitional housing program.

STAYING WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS:

WHAT IS
GOVERNMENTASSISTED HOUSING?
WHY WOULD I BE
INTERESTED IN IT?
See PG. 393 to learn
more about government
assisted housing and the
different rules that apply
for them.

Here are some pros and cons to consider if you want to move in with
family or friends.

PROS
• If you have friends or family in the •
area, staying short-term with them
can be an option for immediate
housing.
• Friends and family can be supportive•
and useful in helping you
successfully reenter the community.
• A few days or weeks on someone’s
couch or in their spare bedroom can
give you enough time to go to get
social services, start looking for jobs, •
and arrange for longer term housing.
• You will likely have greater
independence in your life.
• It will be free or at a lower cost
because you are splitting the rent.

CONS
If you are under supervision after your
release, your housing will need to be
approved by your probation/parole officer
or supervising agency.
Home visits by parole/probation officers,
search conditions, and other restrictions
don’t just affect you; they also affect your
host and other household members. (SEE
CHAPTER ON PAROLE & PROBATION,
PG. 165)
If you are a guest in someone’s home or
apartment, your stay could cause the family
living there to violate the property’s guest
policy if you stay beyond the time limit
allowed for guests and/or you violate some
other rule in the property’s guest policy
(see more on PG. 441).

SHELTERS:
Most shelters are free, and usually offer a bed and shower for one night or
multiple nights, and sometimes services such as counseling and job-search
assistance. While transitional and permanent housing options can take time to
arrange, you can usually access a shelter immediately. Here are some of the
main types of shelters that exist:
•

24-hour Shelters—24-hour shelters let you to stay at night and during the day
and participate in the services the shelter offers (for example: meals,
counseling, and job training, just to name a few). Don’t let the name mislead
you—a 24-hour shelter doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave after 24
hours: in the Bay Area, for example, many 24-hour shelters have beds
available for up to 30-90 days; and other shelters reserve beds for people
who are participating in special programs, like a required work-program. The
key is that 24-hour shelters are open day and night. Ask the specific shelter
you’re interested in about any other requirements or restrictions it has.

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•
•

•
•

12-hour Shelters—12-hour shelters let you stay for a 12-hour period overnight
(usually 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.), but require you to leave in the morning.
Day Shelters let you come and take advantage of their services during the
day, but you can’t stay overnight. Services at day shelters may include
showers, meals, computer access, and optional programs like case
management/support services and counseling sessions.
Family Shelters have places to stay for you and the rest of your family. They
tend to be 24-hour shelters (see the first type of shelter listed above).
Domestic Violence Shelters take women (usually not men) who are trying to
find safety from someone who is abusive. They usually have confidential
addresses for the safety of the residents. Many domestic violence shelters
also allow women to bring their children with them.

TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAMS:
Transitional housing programs are temporary programs that offer housing and
services. Keep in mind they usually have requirements you have to meet before
you can move in, and there are usually waitlists.
Examples of transitional housing programs include: shared or private
apartments, residential programs that allow for temporary stays (from 3 months
to 2 years) at no cost or at a low cost, and sober living environments (SLE) (read
more about SLEs on PG. 391). Some transitional housing programs
also have services like job training, counseling, general education
HOW CAN I
development (“GED”) programs, and computer classes. Some
SHOW PROOF
transitional housing programs are for people with specific needs such
OF
as mental health support, addiction treatment and recovery (see
HOMELESSNESS
PG. 391), or safety from domestic violence (see PG. 386).

CAN I GET INTO A TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM
IF I AM STILL INCARCERATED?
It depends on the program. Unfortunately, most transitional housing
programs will not let you fill out an application or get on the waitlist
before your release. A few let you apply from inside prison or jail, but
may have other requirements or restrictions. Go to APPENDIX B on
PG. 472 for a partial list of transitional housing options in California
that may accept residents who write to them from inside prison or jail.

WHAT MAY I NEED TO GET TO BE ACCEPTED INTO
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING?
It depends—each program has different requirements. You might
need: identification (learn how to get different types of identification
in the BUILDING BLOCKS OF REENTRY: ID & VOTING, beginning on
PG. 13); proof of homelessness; proof of any income; proof of your
sobriety; police clearance; to get through the waitlist; to have an
interview; etc. It’s best to CALL (or if you’re currently incarcerated, ask
a family member or friend to call, or WRITE the program a letter with
your request) to find out well in advance of when you want to move
exactly what you need to do and what the requirements are!

PAGE 382 OF 1210

For proof of
homelessness, most
housing providers
will just need a
signed statement. If
the housing
provider asks for
further
documentation, you
may need to show
eviction papers, a
letter from a social
worker, etc. Some
organizations will
also issue
certificates of
homelessness, for
example:
Coalition on
Homelessness
488 Turk Street
San Francisco, CA
94102
Phone: (415) 3463740
Certificates of
Homelessness are
issued Mondays
and Wednesdays
10 a.m.–12 p.m.

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!

SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING—SHORT- OR LONG-TERM
There are also housing programs for people with specific needs such as sober
living environments that offer addiction treatment and recovery, safety from
domestic violence, assisted living for people with disabilities or mental health
needs, housing programs for women with children, veterans, and 290 sex
offender registrants. These are often transitional housing programs that are for a
short term only; others are intended to be long-term/permanent housing for
people with special needs. For more information on special needs housing, see
PG. 384.

LONG-TERM HOUSING OVERVIEW
Later in your reentry, often after your stay at a short-term or transitional housing
program is coming to a close, you will need to figure out what type of housing is
right for you permanently. As you consider long-term and permanent housing
options, you need to find housing that you can afford, that you are eligible for,
and that meets your needs.

PERMANENT HOUSING:
Permanent housing is a place that you can live in for multiple years. Examples of
permanent housing include: apartments and homes that get money/assistance
the federal government—though these often have long waitlists and require you
to have somewhere else to live first; single-room occupancy (SRO) units where
you usually have a private bedroom and bathroom, but a shared kitchen and
living space; affordable apartments; and living permanently with family, friends,
or other people who support you. For general tips for renters, see PG. 454 of this
chapter.

SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING—SHORT- OR LONG-TERM
Again, as mentioned under short-term housing options, there are special
housing programs and units for people with specific needs such as addiction
treatment and recovery, safety from domestic violence, assisted living for people
with disabilities or mental health needs, housing programs for women with
children, veterans, and 290 sex offender registrants These are often transitional
housing programs that are for a short term only; but others are intended to be a
long-term, permanent housing solution for people with special needs. See
PG. 384 for more details.

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HOUSING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS &
POPULATIONS
This section provides a brief overview of housing resources for people in reentry
with special needs and who might qualify for special programs, including:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)

Women & Children (PG. 384)
Domestic Violence Survivors (PG. 386)
Seniors/ Elders (PG. 388)
Veterans (PG. 389)
People Recovering from Substance Abuse/ Addiction (PG. 391)
290 Sex Offender Registrants (PG. 392)

WOMEN & CHILDREN
There are some special housing programs available only for women and
their children. These programs may have other requirements (for
example, that you are currently on supervision, participating in a
substance abuse recovery program, etc.), and they may require a
referral from CDCR or another agency.
Since there aren’t many of these programs and they have limited in
space, you should contact the program and/or talk to your correctional
counselor as soon as possible about contacting the housing program,
finding out if you meet the eligibility requirements to participate, and
how to get added to the waitlist if there is one.
Below are a few programs in different areas of California for reentering
women and children. Please Note: This is not a complete list.
•

DID YOU KNOW?
70-80% of women
incarcerated in
California prisons
are mothers, and
the majority were
the primary
caretakers of their
children before
going to prison. See
Barbara Bloom, The
Impact of
California’s Parole
Policies on Women,
Testimony Before
the Little Hoover
Commission (April
22, 2004).

Centerforce MOMS Program at Santa Rita Jail (in Alameda County, CA):
http://www.centerforce.org/programs/moms-maximizing-opportunitiesfor-mothers-to-succeed/
PO Box 415
San Quentin, CA 94964
(415) 456-9980

The MOMS program is located inside Alameda County’s Santa Rita County Jail.
It includes an 8-week, in-custody parenting program AND a post-release case
management for up to one year, including services, alumni groups, and some
limited transitional housing.
The program supports mothers in Santa Rita Jail during and after their
incarceration. Mothers incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail who have not been
convicted of violent offenses or sex offense may participate in the MOMS
program.
•

CAMEO House (San Francisco, CA):
http://www.cjcj.org/Direct-services/Cameo-House.html
424 Guerro St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 703-0600

CAMEO House provides transitional housing in San Francisco for formerly
incarcerated mothers with children.

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In addition to housing, the program provides supportive services to address a
range of issues, including substance abuse, unemployment, mental health as
well as help with family reunification. CJCJ’s staff help residents obtain stable
housing and gainful employment within six months of their placement, although
residents may remain for up to two years.
The transitional housing unit includes access to communal living areas, fully
equipped kitchens, bathroom facilities, and an enclosed yard area. CJCJ staffs
the residence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CJCJ provides help to women with
substance abuse issues, women with histories of domestic violence, women who
have been clean for at least 6 months, women with children up to age 6, women
who are pregnant at least 6 months, women who have been previously
incarcerated in jail or prison, women who are homeless with some criminal
justice involvement, women on parole, women on probation, women referred by
Child Protective Services and women referred by the court.
•

Providence Place (San Diego, CA):
http://www.mhsinc.org/files/file/Program%20Brochures/
Providence%20Place%20Brochure_2012_web.pdf
4890 67th St.,
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 667-5287

Providence Place is a residential substance abuse treatment program that
serves women on parole or community supervision and their dependent
children.
In addition to housing, Providence Place provides substance abuse treatment;
comprehensive case management and family reunification services; a parenting
center focused on child development, parenting skills and family therapy;
specialized support groups to address grief and loss, self esteem, trauma, and
other needs; and employment development services. The program is available
to women on active parole/post release community supervision and their minor
children (typically up to the age of 12). All participants receive referrals,
authorization and funding through CDCR.
•

Free At Last (East Palo Alto, CA):
http://www.freeatlast.org/services.html
1796 Bay Road
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 462-6999
Free At Last offers several housing options for women with children,
including:
!

!

The Residential Treatment Program for Women and Women with
Children provides 7–9 months of residential treatment for women
and women with children. To graduate, clients must complete
treatment goals, secure housing and have a job or be enrolled in
job training.
The Transitional Clean and Sober Living program provides shared
supportive housing for men, women, and women with children.

!

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
If your conviction was related to the domestic violence that you
experienced, this is mitigating evidence that helps to explain your
criminal record. IF YOU FEEL SAFE DOING SO, you may want to
explain the violent situation you were in at the time of your criminal
conduct to a housing provider who is considering your criminal
1067
record, so that you are not penalized in your application.
Below are a few resources that may help you to find housing:

" DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS & TRANSITIONAL
HOUSING:
There are more than 100 shelter-based domestic violence programs
throughout California. Many of these programs operate both:
1) Emergency shelters (typical stay = 30–60 days), AND
2) Transitional housing programs (typical stay = 6–18 months)
In addition to providing shelter to survivors, both these programs
often provide services such as 24-hour hotlines, legal assistance
with restraining orders and child-custody disputes, advocates who
can go to court appearances to support you, counseling for you and
your children, and referrals to other social services.

HELPFUL HINT:
STARTING IN A
SHELTER
BEFORE MOVING
INTO OTHER
HOUSING
Starting off in an
emergency shelter
may help you to find
transitional or
permanent housing
and/or access other
services afterward.
Although many
transitional housing
programs and social
service providers
will run background
checks and have
record-related
restrictions, if you
are living at a
domestic violence
shelter, the staff
may be able to write
a letter or provide a
referral to a
transitional housing
program, which can
help explain your
situation and get
around their
restrictions.

Most emergency and homeless shelters for survivors do not conduct
criminal background checks (although they are permitted to do so,
as long as they follow all of the background check rules on PG. 426).
In addition, most shelters are aware that survivors often face criminal
charges and/or arrest warrants in connection with the violence that
they’ve experienced. Many shelters have relationships with local law
enforcement, and are able to accommodate survivors who are under supervision
(like probation, parole, etc.).

!

HELPFUL HINTS & RESOURCES

You should keep in mind that each shelter is different, so the rules and
opportunities may not be the same everywhere. There may also be some
1068
variation from county to county.
To find a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing program in your area,
contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or
call 211. You will have to contact each shelter or program separately to find out if
you met their specific criteria.
A list of resources by county in CA for people experiencing DV is also available
online at:
California Dept. of Public Health:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/injviosaf/Documents/_California.pdf
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence:
http://www.cpedv.org/Resources%20A%20K

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nat’l Housing Law Project, Housing Access for Domestic Violence Survivors with Criminal Records, Sept. 7, 2011,
http://nhlp.org/files/DV%20and%20Criminal%20Records%20Materials.pdf.
1068
Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub. L. No.: 111-22, tit. VII, § 1003.
1067

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" GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING FOR DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
Read an overview of government-assisted housing and why it
could be right for you on PG. 393; read details about bans on
people with certain convictions and criminal histories on PG. 401.
First, the following federal government-assisted housing programs
do not have any mandatory criminal record restrictions, and may
be available to survivors of domestic violence.
•
•
•
•

Supportive Housing Program for the Homeless
Shelter Plus Care (for homeless people with disabilities)
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
1069
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

Second, for other government-assisted housing programs that do
have restrictions based on criminal records, domestic violence
survivors are entitled to certain additional protections. The
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) states that Public Housing
Authorities (PHAs) cannot deny or end your housing because of
the domestic violence that you experienced or because of a
criminal conviction that is directly related to the domestic violence
1070
you experienced.
This means if a PHA denies your housing
application based on conduct or a past conviction related to the
domestic violence you’ve experienced, you should immediately
challenge the denial and ask the PHA for an informal review
hearing. At that hearing, you can explain how the conduct or
1071
conviction is related to your experience of domestic violence.
Go to PG. 407 to learn about the procedure for challenging denials
to government-assisted housing.

WHO DOES THE
GOVERNMENT
CONSIDER TO BE
“HOMELESS”?
The federal
government’s
definition of
“homeless” includes
people who are
escaping situations
of domestic
violence and do not
have other housing
or resources
available. This
means that if you
are escaping
domestic violence,
you may be eligible
for a governmentassisted housing
program that is for
people who are
“homeless,”
including the
programs listed
here.

" CALWORKS:
If you are eligible for CalWORKS and you are homeless, you can apply to the
Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) through your local county social service
1072
agency.
Your family can receive temporary shelter in a hotel or motel for up to 16
consecutive days, financial help to move into permanent housing (such as last
month’s rent, security and utility deposits, etc.), and 2 months of back-owed rent
to prevent an eviction. Additional services such as counseling referrals are
available for domestic violence survivors. For more information on CalWORKS
eligibility, go to the PUBLIC BENEFITS CHAPTER, PG. 514.

" CA’S VICTIM COMPENSATION PROGRAM RELOCATION
ASSISTANCE:
The California Victim Compensation Program (VCP) can provide victims of
violent crime—including domestic violence survivors—up to $2,000 per

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-22, tit. VII, § 1003.
Violence Against Women Act of 2013, 42 U.S.C. § 41411(b) (2013); 24 C.F.R §§ 982.553(e), 5.2005(c), 5.2001 et seq.
Under VAWA, a public or subsidized housing provider can only evict you based on the domestic violence you’ve
experienced if it proves that your tenancy creates an “actual and imminent threat” to other residents or staff.
VAWA’s protections apply to public housing, Section 8 vouchers and project-based assistance, Section 202, and
Section 811 housing.
1071
NHLP, Housing Access for Domestic Violence Survivors with Criminal Records.
1072
Homeless Assistance Program Fact Sheet, CNTY. OF LA DEP’T OF PUB. SOC. SERVS.,
http://www.ladpss.org/dpss/hcm/pdfs/factsheets/HA_Fact_Sheet.pdf.
1069
1070

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household for relocation expenses, such as first and last month’s rent, security
and utility deposits, temporary housing, moving vans, and emergency food and
1073
clothing.
Please note that the expenses must be considered necessary for your personal
safety or emotional wellbeing, as determined by a law enforcement officer or
licensed mental health provider. You will also need to provide verification (a
signed letter or other documentation) from a law enforcement agent or mental
health provider. You may also have to agree to other restrictions, such as not
telling the person who committed the violence about your new location, not
allowing him/her on the property, and seeking a restraining order against
him/her.
VERY IMPORTANT: The VCP also has certain restrictions on people
with criminal records. You may not be eligible if any of the
1074
following apply to you:
• You committed the crime;
• You knowingly and willingly participated in or were involved in
the events leading to the crime, though some exceptions may
be considered.
• You did not cooperate reasonably with law enforcement in
apprehending and convicting the person who committed the
crime, though some exceptions may be considered.
• ALSO: If you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot get
compensation until you have been released from custody,
discharged from probation or parole, and 3 years have passed
since the crime occurred. However, you may be able to get your
felony reduced to a misdemeanor, which could lessen these
restrictions. For more information, see the UNDERSTANDING &
CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER, beginning
on PG. 1020.

SENIORS/ELDERS
Although there are very few housing programs created just for
senior citizens in reentry, you may be eligible for housing based on
you disability (see PG. 477), your low income (see PG. 393), or
qualify for different types of transitional housing (see PG. 382).
One program for seniors in reentry is the Senior Ex-Offender
Program (SEOP) at the Bayview-Hunters Point Senior Center in San
Francisco, CA. It currently provides temporary and transitional
housing and is developing a permanent housing facility for the
1075
future.
Other transitional housing programs for seniors—
particularly low-income housing, homelessness prevention, and
sober or residential treatment programs for seniors—may be more
likely to admit seniors with criminal records because the conviction
was long ago or you have physical or health needs that give you
priority for the housing (it may help to mention these factors if the
housing provider raises your record as an issue).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A NOTE ABOUT
REQUESTING
REASONABLE
ACCOMMODATIONS
IF YOU HAVE A
DISABILITY:
If you have a mental,
physical, or
developmental
disability, and you
must follow parole,
probation, or
community
supervision conditions
that restrict where you
can live, you have the
right to receive
reasonable
accommodations for
your disability at your
residence. To learn
how to request an
accommodation for
your disability from
your supervision, go
to the PAROLE &
PROBATION
CHAPTER of this
guide, PG. 130. For
help, you may also
want to contact a
legal aid provider for
people with
disabilities, listed on
PG. 1190, or call Root
& Rebound (510-2794662) for a referral or
further assistance.

The California Victim Compensation Program, http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/
The California Victim Compensation Program, FAQ—Eligibility,
http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/faq/eligibility.aspx#Not. The exceptions (for participation or involvement in the
events leading to the crime, and cooperation with law enforcement) are especially important for survivors of
domestic violence, since many survivors may have criminal records related to the violence they’ve experienced, or
may be afraid to cooperate with law enforcement out of fear of further violence or to protect an abusive partner
from conviction, incarceration, deportation, etc.
1075
BAY VIEW HUNTER POINT MULTIPURPOSE SENIOR SERVICES INC., http://bhpmss.org/senior_ex-offender_program.
1073
1074

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VETERANS
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers a variety of housing programs
for veterans.
If you are currently incarcerated—whether in a state or federal facility—a “VA
Reentry Specialist” is supposed to arrange a meeting with you about your goals
to determine the resources available to best meet your needs after release.

What is VA Reentry Specialist and how can I contact one to help
me find housing?
Every region of the U.S. has a VA Reentry Specialist who can help
determine your eligibility for VA benefits, help you enroll in the VA, and
1076
connect you with local housing and services.
VA Reentry Specialists
have relationships with both state and federal correctional facilities to
1077
help incarcerated veterans plan and prepare for release.
If you already met with the VA Reentry Specialist and received
instructions for housing, you should continue with those arrangements.
If you are starting from scratch, the VA’s Health Care for Homeless
Veteran program can help you find housing in your area. You should
visit your local VA, if possible, or call the National Call Center for
Homeless Veterans hotline available 24/7 at 1-877-4-AID-VET (4243838). There you will find a VA counselor available to help you.

HELPFUL RE SOURCES
To learn more about preparing for release as a veteran, go to the VA website:
http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/Reentry/09_ca.pdf.
AFTER YOU ARE RELEASE, you can visit this website to find your local VA:
http://www.cacvso.org/county-contacts/.

" YOUR VA HOUSING OPTIONS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
PROGRAMS:
HEALTH CARE FOR HOMELESS VETERANS CONTRACTS (HCHV) –
The HCHV program provides emergency housing, shelters, and treatment to
veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare, through local community organizations and
service providers. These local community organizations and service providers
may offer outreach, exams, treatment, referrals, and case management to
1078
veterans who are homeless and dealing with mental health issues.
•
•

For information about the HCHV program, please visit:
http://www.va.gov/homeless/hchv.asp
For list of HCHV coordinators in California, please visit:
http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/HCHV_Sites_ByState.pdf

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Guidebook for California Incarcerated at 2,
http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/Reentry/09_ca.pdf.
1077
See DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Guidebook for California Incarcerated, http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/
Reentry/09_ca.pdf.
1078
See Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program,
http://www.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=3006.
1076

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SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR VETERAN FAMILIES GRANTS (SSVF) –
Local non-profit organizations receive funding from the VA to assist low-income
veterans (and their families) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. SSVF
programs can help you transition to permanent housing, along with case
1079
management and assistance with getting other benefits and services.
For a list of current SSVF providers, please visit the following website:
http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp

HELPFUL HINT
Connecting with legal services providers through an SSVF program:
Participating SSVF programs may provide or may contract with local legal aid
organizations to provide Veterans with legal services. (Veterans ineligible for VA
Enrollment may be eligible to receive SSVF assistance if available. Inquire at
your VA if this option is an option for you).

VA SUPPORTIVE HOUSING (HUD-VASH) PROGRAM –
HUD-VASH is a joint effort between HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban
Development) and VA to move veterans and their families out of homelessness
and into permanent housing. HUD provides Section 8 vouchers to eligible
veterans, and the VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive
services through its health care system.
Veterans applying for Section 8 Housing Vouchers through the HUD-VASH
program are subject to most Section 8 Housing eligibility rules (for example,
1080
your income).

!

THERE IS AN IMPORTANT EXCEPTION TO CRIMINAL RECORD BANS IN
GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING FOR VETERANS:
HUD-VASH applicants are not subject to most Section 8 regulations
regarding criminal and/or drug-related history. This means that Public
Housing Authorities (PHAs) cannot deny Section 8 housing to HUDVASH applicants based off the applicant’s prior drug activity or criminal
record (unless you or someone in your household is subject to a lifetime
sex offender registration—know as “290 registration” in California—in
which case the PHA can still deny you and your household from Section
8 housing programs).1081
MENTAL HEALTH RESIDENTIAL REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT (MH RRTP)
PROGRAMS—
MH RRTP provide residential rehabilitation and treatment services for veterans
with multiple and severe medical conditions, mental illness, addiction, or
1082
psychosocial deficits.
MH RRTP programs promote rehabilitation, recovery,

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, U.S. DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS,
http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.
1080
For information about the HUD-VASH program, see Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: Implementation of the
HUD–VA Supportive Housing Program, 73 Fed. Reg. 25026 (May 6, 2008).
1081
DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Guidebook for California Incarcerated Veterans (4th ed. 2009).
1082
DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Guidebook for California Incarcerated Veterans (4th ed. 2009),
1079

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health maintenance, improved quality of life, and community integration, in
addition to treatment of medical conditions, mental illnesses, addictive
disorders, and homelessness. The residential program helps veterans to develop
1083
a lifestyle self-care, personal responsibility, and medical health.
•
•

For more information about MH RRTP and other residential VA programs,
please visit the following website: https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetHomes
Please note: VA Housing providers are required to verify you are free of
Tuberculosis (Tb). If you have had a Tb test within the past year, you should
request a copy of the results before your release from incarceration. If you do
not have a recent Tb clearance, request the test so you can have this
document available.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT & RECOVERY
HOUSING (ALSO CALLED “SOBER LIVING
ENVIRONMENTS” OR SLE)
If you suffer from past addiction or alcoholism, you may be eligible for special
housing and/or funding programs that provide residential treatment for
substance abuse. These are also called “Sober Living Environments” (SLEs).
More information about funding and these residential facilities can be found on
CDCR’s website here: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/substance-abuseservices-coordination-agencies.html.
•

•

FUNDING: If you are on state parole, you may be eligible for temporary
funding through CDCR’s Substance Abuse Service Coordination Agencies
1084
(SASCA) funding or another source.
SASCA funding is generally limited to
6 months of assistance. Ask your state parole officer for more information.
SPECIAL HOUSING: There are transitional housing programs that focus on
substance abuse treatment and/or sober living conditions for people with
former addictions. They may also take SASCA funding. Be aware that many
of these programs are only available for short- or medium-term stays.

My conviction was for past drug or alcohol use. Is past addiction
considered a legally protected disability?
Yes. Past (BUT NOT CURRENT) drug addiction and alcoholism are
considered disabilities under state and federal law. This means you may
have the right to request reasonable accommodations for your
1085
disability.
Reasonable accommodations might include an extended
curfew so that you can attend treatment or AA/NA programs, permission
to take methadone if prescribed by your doctor, or access to special
rehabilitative services. Moreover, a landlord may not deny you housing
or discriminate against you based on your past addiction or alcoholism.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://www1.va.govHOMELESS/docs/Reentry/09_ca.pdf.
1083
DEP’T OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Guidebook for California Incarcerated Veterans (4th ed. 2009),
http://www1.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/Reentry/09_ca.pdf.
1084
OFFICE OF OFFENDERS SERVICES—COMMUNITY AND REENTRY SERVICES, FACT SHEET (Feb. 2014),
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/docs/Factsheets/OS-CRS-Factsheet-SASCA-Feb2014.pdf; SUBSTANCE ABUSE
SERVICES COORDINATION AGENCY (SASCA), CAL. DEP’T OF CORR. & REHAB.,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/rehabilitation/substance-abuse-services-coordination-agencies.html.
1085
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 126; 12112(b)(5)(A); 29 C.F.R. §§ 1630.9, 1630.10, 1630.15(b), (c).
However, current illegal drug use is not considered a disability and does not provide any legal protection against
discrimination. A landlord may deny or terminate your housing based on current drug use, even if you are also
previously or currently addicted.

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For more information on housing protections for people with addictionbased disabilities, including what information a landlord CAN and
CANNOT ask or consider, the following guide may be helpful: Fair
Housing for People with Disabilities, by Mental Health Advocacy
Services, Inc., pages 18-20, available online at: http://www.mhasla.org/FH%20Manual%20rev.4-07.pdf.
For more information on asking for reasonable
accommodations—where you could ask a landlord to
make an exception to their policy banning former addicts
from housing (since past addiction is a protected
disability), go to Appendix D, PG. 477.

290 SEX OFFENDER REGISTRANTS &
RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS
Recently, there have been some important changes in the law
governing residency restriction for 290 sex offender registrants.
Up until March 2015, as a result of Proposition 83 (“Jessica’s
Law”), there were strict residency restrictions on people who were
required to register as sex offenders under California Penal Code
Section 290. If this law applied to you, you could not reside within
2,000 feet of any school or park where children regularly
1086
gather.
In March 2015, the California Supreme Court declared that the
blanket residency restriction for all sex offenders required to
register under California Penal Code Section 290 is illegal. Now
CDCR can place special restrictions on registered sex offenders in
the form of discretionary (decided specifically for you) parole
conditions. These conditions can require more or less than
Jessica’s law, but they must be based on facts surrounding each
1087
individual parolee’s case.
The CDCR may also be able to
impose other residency restrictions as special conditions of parole
1088
in individual cases based on specific case factors.
There is more information about 290 registrants in the PAROLE &
PROBATION CHAPTER of this guide. Go to PG. 172 to learn more.

!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMPORTANT
DEFINITIONS TO
KNOW FOR
PEOPLE
CONVICTED OF
SEX OFFENSES:
“DISTANCE” is
measured by a
straight line between
the main entrance of
the residence and the
boundary of the
nearest park or
school, not the driving
or walking distance.
15 CAL. CODE REGS.
§ 3571(e)(4).
“RESIDENCE” is any
place where:
• You spend 1 day or
night at the same
address every week
for multiple
consecutive weeks;
• You spend 2 or
more days or nights
in a row living at the
same address;
• You have a key to
the address “and
there is a pattern of
residency”; or
• The parole agent
finds evidence of
your residency such
your clothes or
toiletries.
15 CAL. CODE REGS.
§ 3590(a).

CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003.5(b). This rule applied to any sex offender released on parole on or after November 8,
2006, even if the most recent term was for a non-sex offense or the parolee was initially released before November
8, 2006, and later re-released after a parole revocation. In re E.J., 47 Cal.4th 1258 (2010). However, the residency
restrictions could not be applied to people who were both convicted and released from custody prior to November
8, 2006. Doe v. Schwarzenegger, 476 F. Supp. 2d 1178 (E.D. Cal. 2007).
1087
In reTaylor, 60 Cal.4th 1019, 1042 (2015).
1088
For example, parolees convicted of violating Penal Code Sections 288 or 288.5 cannot live within one half-mile
(2,640 feet) of a K-12 school if they are deemed “high risk” by CDCR. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003(g). Also, a sex
offender parolee cannot live in a single family house with another person who is also a sex offender, unless they are
related by blood, marriage, or adoption. CAL. PENAL CODE § 3003.5(a).
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PRIVATE VS. GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED
HOUSING: AN OVERVIEW
It is very important that you understand the difference between private and
government-assisted housing, because depending on what type of housing you
live in will affect your rights. There are very specific legal requirements for how a
government-assisted housing provider can access, look at, and consider your
criminal record, and different requirements for what a private landlord can acess,
look at, and consider.

!

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE TERMS USED IN THE HOUSING
CHAPTER: We use the term “government-assisted” housing throughout
this Chapter to refer to housing programs and owners of housing that
receive money from the federal government. We do not use “public
housing” to talk about any and all housing that gets government money
because there is actually a specific program run by the government
called the “Public Housing” program. So when we use the term “Public
Housing,” we are referring to the specific Public Housing program, NOT
all housing that receives government support.

HOW CAN I FIGURE OUT IF I AM APPLYING TO/LIVING IN PRIVATE OR
GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING?
•

•

•

Did you apply for the housing through a PHA?
o If yes, the rules and criminal record exclusions that apply to federal
government-assisted housing apply to you.
Do you have a “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher?
o If yes, the rules and criminal record exclusions that apply to federal
government-assisted housing apply to you.
Look up the property online at: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm
o If you still don’t know, ask the OWNER of the property.

Sometimes it’s clear that you live in government-assisted housing because you
had to apply for the housing unit or program through a local Public Housing
Authority (PHA) or your landlord is the PHA itself. Other times, it’s unclear that
you live in government-assisted housing because the owner gets a special
benefit directly from the government, and you didn’t know it. The hints above
will help you figure out if you are living in government-assisted housing, but you
can also ask the owner (the landlord) of the property.

PRIVATE HOUSING
This is a large category of housing that is owned and run by private landlords
(NOT the government). Private housing could be an apartment, house, shelter,
month-to-month lease, or year-to-year lease. It could be owned by a single
owner or by a large property management company where you only interact
with the housing managers and not the owner(s) themselves. …VERSUS…

GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING
If you are a low-income person or household and you are looking for affordable
rental housing in your area, you may want to apply for government-assisted
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housing. The federal government funds most government-assisted housing
programs. They have many rules about who can and can’t live there, including a
lot of rules about how a criminal record affects your ability to live there (read
about those rules and exclusions on PG. 397). Government-assisted housing is
designed for low-income people.
For some government-assisted housing programs, the government runs the
housing facilities and EVERYTHING about the housing application process. For
other federally assisted housing programs, the government works with private
companies or private owners/landlords who run their own facilities and have
their own separate application process from the government.
Government-assisted housing could be short-term, long-term, an apartment, a
house, a shelter, or a transitional housing program with services.

WHY WOULD I BE INTERESTED IN LIVING IN GOVERNMENTASSISTED HOUSING?
Government-assisted housing is a great option for many low-income people and
households. While they have many rules about who can and cannot live there, it
provides you with an opportunity to have affordable rental housing in your area.
See PG. 394 below for the resources that can help you find government-assisted
housing in your area.

HOW CAN I FIND GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING?
Try the following resources to find government-assisted housing:
1)

YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY (PHA), which runs some of the
biggest government-assisted housing programs, including the Public
Housing program and the Housing Choice Voucher program (commonly
known as “Section 8” or the voucher program).
2) SEARCH ONLINE: To find your local PHA on the web, visit the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) website at:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/index.cfm. Once at the website,
select your state, then, look for your local PHA by the name of your city or
county.
3) SEARCH IN THE PHONE BOOK: If you don’t have a regular access to a
computer, look in your phone book in the government or business sections
for your local Public Housing Authority (PHA). Some areas have both city
and county PHAs; others just have a city PHA. In the government section of
the phone book, first look for the city, then look for “housing authority” or
“housing department” (for example, the San Francisco Housing Authority, or
the Oakland Housing Authority). Sometimes, the local PHA will be listed
under the city’s housing department.
4) OTHER GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING, NOT THROUGH YOUR LOCAL
PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY (PHA):
a. PRIVATE AND NONPROFIT LANDLORDS operate other forms of
government-assisted rental housing programs. The U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a searchable
list of these programs online here:
http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm
b. LOW INCOME TAX CREDIT HOUSING is an affordable rental
housing developed through the Internal Revenue Services’ (IRS) Low
Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC). Typically, this housing
does not serve extremely low-income households, but it is less
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c.

expensive than similar private housing in the community. LIHTC
housing is owned and operated by private owners and nonprofit
agencies and is monitored in each state by a state agency.
Frequently, but not always, that agency is the state housing finance
agency. Some of these agencies may have lists of persons and
organizations that operate LIHTC housing in your state. In CA, it’s
the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee that oversees LIHTC.
Read more about these types of property at:
http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/tax.asp
RURAL HOUSING: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also
funds government-assisted rental housing in rural areas throughout
the United States and maintains a website that allows you to search
for rural government-assisted rental housing here:
http://rdmfhrentals.sc.egov.usda.gov/RDMFHRentals/select_state.jsp

WHO IS MY LANDLORD IF I LIVE IN SOME TYPE OF
GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING?
It depends. If you live in PUBLIC HOUSING, the local Public Housing Authority
(PHA)—run by your city or county—owns your entire building and is your
landlord. In rare cases, a private company may manage the building for the PHA
or may be part of the ownership, but the building is still controlled by the PHA.
PHAs operate in almost every city and county in California.
If you live in OTHER TYPES OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING,
the PHA is not your landlord. This includes all of the other types of governmentassisted housing discussed on PG. 393 above. Even if you applied through the
PHA, it will not be your landlord. Instead, your landlord will be a private owner
who receives financial assistance from the federal government in exchange for
renting to low-income people, or a private owner that accepts vouchers from
low-income people who went through a PHA to get a reduction on their rent.
Owners of government-assisted housing could be individual landlords, for-profit
companies, or nonprofit organizations. You can get this type of governmentassisted housing through VOUCHERS, where you get the assistance from a PHA
and then have to find rental housing on the private market that will accept your
voucher. OR you can get this type of government-assisted housing through
“multifamily” properties where the owner gets the assistance and it stays with
the property to keep it affordable for low-income tenants.

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III.

APPLYING FOR &
GETTING INTO HOUSING
WHAT WILL I LEARN?

•
•
•
•
•

What it means to be eligible or ineligible for housing
How your record might ban you from private housing
How your record might ban you from government-assisted
housing
What types of bans are illegal and when
When a landlord is allowed to deny you housing but does not
have to

UNDERSTANDING HOUSING ELIGIBILITY
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “ELIGIBLE” FOR HOUSING?
To be eligible for housing means you meet specific criteria so that it is possible
for you to be accepted into that housing if you apply. On the other hand, being
ineligible for certain types of housing means there is something about you or
your situation that automatically disqualifies you and prevents you from being
accepted because of housing agency’s rules.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE ELIGIBILITY RULES
OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOUSING?
Knowing the rules and policies that different types of housing have for who can
and cannot live there is important for you to understand whether or not you will
want to apply, and what your chances are of being accepted. If you are eligible,
that means you could be accepted into the housing; but if you are ineligible,
something about you or your situation automatically disqualifies you from being
accepted because of the rules of that housing agency or because of some law
that bans you from living there. Keep in mind: it’s possible for your situation to
change in a way that could also change your eligibility. Continue reading to learn
more.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS I COULD BE ELIGIBLE OR
INELIGIBLE FOR A HOUSING PROGRAM?
You could be eligible or ineligible because of (1) your income, (2) your criminal
record, and/or (3) some other specific factor.
(1) INCOME: How much money you make will be an important factor for certain
types of housing. If you are low-income, it will help you in certain contexts. For
example, housing that is subsidized (paid for partially or fully) by the
government, you must be low-income—earning less than a certain amount of
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money per month—to be eligible. The income cutoff is different for different
programs (read more below). But for most private housing, you must be earning
more than a certain amount of money per month to be eligible. Landlords want
proof of your income being a certain amount so they know you are able to pay
rent.
(2) CRIMINAL RECORD: For almost all kinds of housing, specific kinds of criminal
convictions may disqualify you from applying, or at least make it harder for you
to get accepted as a tenant.
(3) OTHER SPECIFIC FACTORS: Some housing programs—especially those fully
or partially funded by the government—are designed for certain specific groups
of people. Your age, income level, disability status, veteran status, homeless
status, gender, and whether you have children are just some of the factors that
could make you eligible for certain specific housing programs.

HOW WILL MY CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT MY ELIGIBILITY AND
APPLICATION TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOUSING?
Whether you are looking at short-term/transitional or long-term housing, the
impact of your criminal record on your application depends on whether that
housing is PRIVATE or GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED. In this Chapter, when we
talking about government-assisted housing, we are talking about housing that
gets money from the federal government to make it more affordable for lowincome people. The federal government has created many laws that control
government-assisted housing, including who is allowed to live there.
In this Chapter, we will explain how your CRIMINAL RECORD affects your
application to both private housing and government-assisted housing; whether
or not a Public Housing Authority (PHA) or owner can refuse to rent to you, what
you can do to strengthen your application, and how you can challenge a denial
that you believe is illegal.

!

HOW CAN I FIGURE OUT IF I AM APPLYING TO/LIVING IN PRIVATE OR
GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING?
• Did you apply for the housing through a PHA?
• If yes, the rules and criminal record exclusions that apply to federal
government-assisted housing apply to you.
• Do you have a “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher?
• If yes, the rules and criminal record exclusions that apply to federal
government-assisted housing apply to you.
• Look up the property online at:
http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm
• If you still don’t know, ask the OWNER of the property.
Sometimes it’s clear that you live in government-assisted housing because you
had to apply for the housing unit or program through a local Public Housing
Authority (PHA) or your landlord is the PHA itself. Other times, it’s unclear that
you live in government-assisted housing because the owner gets a special
benefit directly from the government, and you didn’t know it. The hints above
will help you figure out if you are living in government-assisted housing, but you
can also ask the owner (the landlord) of the property.

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CRIMINAL RECORD BANS TO BE AWARE OF
BEFORE YOU APPLY TO HOUSING
1. CRIMINAL RECORD BANS IN PRIVATE HOUSING
HOW CAN MY CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT MY CHANCES OF
GETTING PRIVATE HOUSING?
Most private landlords will run a background check on you, and have a broad
discretion to deny you based on past criminal involvement. However, the
landlord cannot have a blanket ban on ALL people with criminal records and
must treat your criminal record the same as it treats other applicants’. Keep
reading this section to learn what landlords can and can’t do when getting and
considering your criminal history information.

CAN A PRIVATE LANDLORD REFUSE TO RENT TO ME JUST
BECAUSE OF MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
Most of the time, yes. Unfortunately, the law does not protect you from housing
discrimination based on your criminal record alone. Although federal and state
laws make it illegal for private landlords to discriminate against you because of
your race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender
expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, marital status, family status,
genetic information, and source of income in California, they do not provide any
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specific or direct protection based on having a criminal record.
Landlords
have the power to choose their tenants, and judges often side with landlords
who claim that banning people with criminal records is necessary to protect
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other residents and property.
However, there are some cases where you might be protected if a private
landlord rejects you because of your criminal record.
1)

Currently, the issue of whether private landlords who own buildings with 4
or more apartments can have a policy of refusing to rent to ALL PEOPLE with
criminal convictions (these are called “blanket bans”) is being argued in
courts. Read more about this on PG. 399.
2) Additionally, if your CONVICTION is for substance/drug abuse, your past
substance abuse is considered a disability under state and federal law.
People with disabilities enjoy greater protection against discrimination (read
more about asking for a reasonable accommodation for a disability in
Appendix D, PG. 477).
3) Finally, you are protected by state and federal law that limits what a private
landlord can learn about you from a BACKGROUND CHECK (often called a
“tenant report” when it’s for a landlord who is screening you for their
housing). A landlord has to tell you about the background check, give you a

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; Fair Employment & Housing Act, CAL. GOV’T CODE § 12955 et
seq.; Unruh Civil Rights Act, CAL. CIV. CODE § 51. The Unruh Act is incorporated into FEHA for purposes of housing
discrimination (Gov’t Code § 12955(d)), but it is best to bring separate claims under each law because the remedies
are different.
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42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(9) (Fair Housing Act does not protect “individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct
threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to
the property of others”); Evans v. UDR, Inc., 644 F. Supp. 2d 675 (E.D.N.C. 2009) (holding that the Fair Housing Act
(FHA) does not prohibit landlords from denying a disabled tenant’s rental application based on her criminal record;
relaxation of landlord's “no criminal history” policy was not required as a reasonable accommodation for mentally
disabled tenant, even where tenant’s disability was an underlying cause of her conviction).
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chance to fix mistakes, and certain information isn’t legally supposed to
come up in the background check (read more on PG. 426).
Continue reading for more information!

WHEN MIGHT I BE LEGALLY PROTECTED FROM A PRIVATE
LANDLORD DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ME DUE TO MY CRIMINAL
RECORD?
Below are some situations where you might be legally protected if a
private landlord is discriminating on the basis of your criminal record:

1)

WHAT IS A
“BLANKET BAN”
IN HOUSING?

Blanket Bans:

While there is no clear current law that the “blanket bans” when
private landlords refuse to rent to all people with criminal convictions
are unlawful, it is currently being challenged in courts because it
creates a larger impact on particular races and ethnicities. Thus, it
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may be a good idea to consult an attorney. There are multiple
arguments for why a blanket ban could violate the law. These are
covered in #2-4 below.
If you come across a blanket ban, you should contact an attorney.
See the list of legal aid providers on PG. 1190 of this guide.

Here, a “blanket
ban” means there is
a policy that
COMPLETELY bans
or disqualifies
someone—with no
exceptions for any
reason—from
housing.

2) Arbitrary Discrimination:
California state law also prohibits “arbitrary discrimination,” (meaning
unreasonable discrimination), so if a landlord has a blanket ban against anyone
with criminal records—without consideration of your individual situation and
ability to be a good tenant—it may be considered unreasonable, arbitrary
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discrimination, which is illegal.
If you come across a blanket ban, or discrimination that seems completely
arbitrary, you should contact a lawyer. See the list of legal aid providers on
PG. 1190 of this guide.

3) Unfair Treatment (also called “discriminatory treatment”):
Even though a private landlord is legally allowed to consider your criminal
record, the landlord must apply the same standards for screening applicants
equally. For example, a landlord can’t reject an African-American applicant
based on his/her criminal record, but then accept a white applicant with a similar
criminal record.
Another example is that if a private landlord conducts a background check on
you, the landlord must also conduct the same background check on all other
applicants.
If you come across a private landlord who you believe is treating your criminal
record differently from other similar applicants, this may violate your right to

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; Fair Employment & Housing Act, CAL. GOV’T CODE § 12955 et
seq.; Unruh Civil Rights Act, CAL. CIV. CODE § 51; Fortune Soc’y, Inc. v. Sandcastle Towers Housing Devel. Fund
Corp., No. 1:14-cv-6410 (filed Oct. 30, 2014, E.D.N.Y.). The Unruh Act is incorporated into FEHA for purposes of
housing discrimination. CAL. GOV’T CODE § 12955(d), but it is best to bring separate claims under each law because
the remedies are different.
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Marina Point, Ltd. v. Wolfson, 30 Cal.3d 721 (1982) (holding that Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits all “arbitrary”
discrimination, regardless of protected class status; landlord’s blanket exclusion of an entire class of people
(children) based on a generalized prediction that the class, “as a whole,” is more likely to commit misconduct than
some other classes of public” violates the Act.); see also Regional Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission, Fair
Housing Handbook, 18 (11th ed., 2012).
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equal treatment under federal and state law. You should contact a lawyer. See
the list of legal aid providers on PG. 1190 of this guide.

4) Unfair Impact (also called “disparate impact” or “discriminatory
effect”) & Blanket Bans:
There is a strong argument that banning tenants with criminal records from
private housing has a discriminatory effect on African-Americans, Latinos, and
other people of color, who are overrepresented in our criminal justice system.
However, this argument has not been fully tested in court, so it is too early to tell
whether it will be successful.
Lawyers in New York recently filed a lawsuit against a private landlord, arguing
that the company’s blanket ban on all tenants with criminal records violates
federal and state law due to its discriminatory effect on people of color, and that
the company should instead give special consideration to each applicant’s
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situation.
There is also a case that is currently being heard by the United
States Supreme Court that will decide if this discriminatory effect should be also
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prohibited.
In addition, California’s fair housing laws may give you slightly stronger
protection in this situation, because a blanket ban against all tenants with any
criminal records—regardless of the type of conviction, when it occurred, whether
it affects your ability to be a good tenant (like pay rent; respect your neighbors
and property; etc.), and evidence of your rehabilitation & mitigating
circumstances (see PG. 417 for details on evidence of rehabilitation and
mitigating circumstances)—has a discriminatory effect and may not be
1095
“necessary” to protect other tenants and property.

5) Past Drug or Alcohol Addiction (A Protected Disability)
It is illegal for a landlord to deny you housing based on a past drug or alcohol
addiction, as this is a protected disability status. Past addiction, as well as
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current alcoholism,
are considered disabilities under both federal and state
law, so landlords cannot deny you housing for this reason or even ask about
past drug or alcohol abuse. Landlords must also provide you with reasonable
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accommodations if necessary.
However, a landlord may deny you housing if you are currently using or selling
illegal drugs (this is the same rule that applies to current drug use in
government-assisted housing properties.
If a landlord denies you housing due to past drug or alcohol abuse, you should
request reasonable accommodations and/or challenge the denial. It is suggested
that you try and contact an attorney to help, since every individual’s
circumstances and case are different. See the list of legal aid providers on
PG. 1190 of this guide for places that may be able to assist you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fortune Soc’y, Inc. v. Sandcastle Towers Housing Devel. Fund Corp., No. 1:14-cv-6410 (filed Oct. 30, 2014,
E.D.N.Y.).
1094
Inclusive Cmtys. Project, Inc. v. Tex. Dep’t of Hous. and Cmty. Affairs, 747 F.3d 275 (5th Cir. 2014) (cert. granted).
1095
CAL. GOV’T CODE § 12955.8(b) (violation of FEHA for practices having discriminatory effect; business necessity as
defense); see also Cal. Apt. Assoc., Question & Answer Sheet: Criminal Background Checks at 3 (Jan. 2005),
http://www.hiresafe.com/CA_TENNANT_background_screening_law.pdf; Jayne Thompson, Can You Deny a Tenant
for a Criminal Record in California?, SFGATE.COM, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-deny-tenant-criminal-recordcalifornia-93578.html; cf. Regional Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission, Fair Housing Handbook at 18 (11th ed.,
2012).
1096
Americans with Disabiltities Act, Questions and Answers, U.S. DEP’T OF JUSTICE,
http://www.ada.gov/employmt.htm.
1097
Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604; see also Mental Health Advocacy Svcs., Inc., Fair Housing for People with
Disabilities at 18-20 (Feb. 2007).
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2. CRIMINAL RECORD BANS IN GOVERNMENTASSISTED HOUSING
HOW CAN MY CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT MY CHANCES OF
GETTING ACCEPTED INTO GOVERNMENT-ASSISTED HOUSING?
When you apply to government-assisted housing through a Public Housing
Authority (PHA) (see definition on PG. 376), the PHA runs a criminal background
check on:
• You;
• Everyone currently living with you;
• Everyone 16 or older who might live with you;
• Any biological parent of any children who will be living in the household,
even parents who do not plan to live with you and are not part of the
application to the PHA.
The rules governing who may be denied are very broad. The PHA tries to
exclude people it believes will “risk the health and safety of other tenants.” On
the other hand, the PHA may choose to overlook your criminal convictions and
accept your application, especially if they see evidence that you have changed
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since the time of your conviction.

!

IMPORTANT! There are a lot of rules about who can and cannot live in
government-assisted housing. Every program has its own set of rules
that you should be aware of BEFORE you apply. You want to know what
laws or program policies might prevent you from living there because of
a criminal conviction or other criminal history information, even if your
family already lives there. Some bans are required by law, while others
are allowed, but not required. These types of bans are up to the
discretion and policies of the PHA and/or the owner of the governmentassisted housing. You should look at the policies BEFORE YOU APPLY.

CAN A PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY (PHA) REFUSE TO RENT TO
ME JUST BECAUSE OF MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
Yes, it’s possible. Rules for government-assisted housing can be VERY STRICT.
Your local Public Housing Authority (PHA), which runs a lot of the governmentassisted housing programs like Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and the
Public Housing program, and works with private owners that accept government
assistance to keep their buildings more affordable, may reject you and your
household because of certain criminal convictions.
There are two reasons that a PHA or owner of government-assisted housing will
reject you—the first is when it’s legally required (meaning the PHA and/or the
owner of government-assisted housing don’t have a choice and must deny you),
and the second is when it’s allowed but not required (meaning the PHA and/or
the owner of govern